A note to our community regarding COVID-19. Learn more
Find a caterer near Temecula, CA

Find a caterer near Temecula, CA

17 near you

Find a caterer near Temecula, CA

17 near you

Give us a few details and we’ll match you with the right pro.

Zip code

Top 10 Caterers near Temecula, CA

Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How do you find a good caterer?

Reviews, interviews and menu tastings will help you find the right catering choice for your big day. Start by screening possible wedding caterers based on past reviews. If a caterer you are interested in has a review that concerns you, ask them about it; how they respond will be very telling. Next, ask about their availability for your wedding date.

If the wedding caterer is available on your date, it’s time to talk about menus and prices. Be clear about what your maximum budget is find out what choices this will allow you. Caterers may custom-create a menu for your event, or they may have menu templates within different price ranges that can guide your decision. A clear budget gives the caterer clear parameters within which to work and offer creative suggestions. Schedule a menu tasting to confirm you love your wedding menu. Once you have a menu and date, and have paid a deposit to reserve the caterer’s services, confirm additional details including when the food will be delivered to the site, what kind of service will be provided, how many servers will be onsite and for how long, and who is responsible for setup and cleanup. The more specific your contract, the fewer worries you’ll have on your wedding day. Get more smart hiring tips here.

Do you tip a wedding caterer?

Tipping 15 percent to 20 percent on a $3,000 catering bill can feel daunting — especially in light of all the other costs of throwing a wedding — but tipping your wedding caterer is standard practice. Be sure to ask your caterer about their specific policies. Many catering companies include gratuity as a line item on their bill. If tipping is not automatically included in your total, a good approach is to tip all the people involved the day of the event rather than paying one lump sum to the catering company. For each server and bartender, you can tip $20-$50, depending on how long they were onsite and whether they did exceptional work. You can also tip the chef; experts suggest $50. It’s also a good idea to tip the catering manager, the point-of-contact person who keeps the catering service running smoothly the day of your wedding, ensures all the food looks beautiful and is plentiful, and resolves any mishaps. Industry pros recommend tipping the catering manager $100-$200. If gratuity is not included and you’re tipping individuals, set aside $200-$500 in cash to be safe.

How much does wedding catering cost per person?

Wedding catering costs will always vary based on the number of guests you’re inviting, the menu you want to serve, and the way the food will be served to your guests. As you interview wedding catering companies, you’ll be presented with a cost per person for various menus. On the low end, wedding catering may cost approximately $15-$18 per person. This would include prepared food only, with no setup or service of any kind. The starting price for a simple buffet meal with minimal service typically averages $22 per person. Opting for the same menu with all organic ingredients could raise your costs to about $33 per person. A moderately upscale menu (finer ingredients, more elaborate presentation) could range from $24 to $34 per person. High-end wedding catering cost truly has no limit. Lobster, filet mignon, specialty seafood, organic ingredients — menu choices like these can boost your cost per person up to $150 and more.

How much should catering cost for a wedding?

The cost of wedding catering will reflect the level of service, the menu you choose, the luxury you desire and the number of guests you invite. Where you live also plays a major role in your wedding catering costs. The regional cost to do business and local cost of food will affect your catering bill. There is no set price for wedding catering, because each wedding and each menu is different. This is why many caterers provide a per-person price. This allows you to break down what it costs to feed each person based on the menu you want. Working with your caterer, you can adjust menu items, service level and more to accommodate your budget and guest count. Keep in mind that wedding catering costs are not just for the food. The bill reflects all the components that go into commercial food catering: a commercial kitchen, ingredients, staff, insurance, marketing and more. Here are some examples of average costs:

  • Three-course plated meal, moderately upscale, for 125 in Los Angeles: $14,000. Because of staffing costs, a true plated meal costs about twice as much as a staff-assisted buffet.
  • Buffet meal, standard menu, for 100 in Los Angeles: $5,000.
  • Per-person cost for hors d'oeuvres, dinner and nonalcoholic beverages: $24–$37, depending on menu selection, in Southern California.
  • Drop off prepared food for 50: $1,000 in North Carolina. Price does not include any service, setup or breakdown.

How do you serve food at a wedding?

Food service at your wedding will affect your catering costs and influence the atmosphere of the reception. Buffet style is more informal; plated meals are a bit fancier; family style encourages sharing. Read about the different food service styles to select your preferred wedding catering choice.

  • Buffet: Caterers can drop off prepared foods for a DIY and budget-friendly buffet option where you set everything up and food is entirely self-service. For a fuller-service buffet, the caterers set up food, oversee the buffet throughout the event, and clean up afterwards. For food only, prices per person might average $16-$18, while a service buffet may start around $20-$22 per person. Adding food stations can increase per-person costs by at least $3-$5.
  • Family style: Servers bring large platters of food to guest tables in courses. It’s less formal (and less expensive) than a plated meal, but more formal and higher-cost than a buffet. You’ll need large tables to accommodate the platters, so plan accordingly when renting furniture for the event.
  • Plated: A plated event is a formal dining experience; waitstaff serve your seated guests for each course, fill their drinks, and attend to them throughout the dinner. A plated dinner is typically the most expensive option for both food and service.
  • Food trucks: Similar to buffets, with food trucks your guests get their own food and bring it to their table. A food truck gives a relaxed and playful vibe to your reception.
  • Cocktail reception: If you don’t want a formal seated dinner, you can opt for a wide assortment of passed appetizers at an extended cocktail hour reception.

What should you look for in a caterer?

A delicious meal is a critical element of a successful wedding, with happy guests fondly remembering your fabulous wedding food. The right caterer for you will be:

  • Available: Even the best caterer is no good if they aren’t available on your wedding date. Ask early before you get your heart set on someone.
  • Affordable for you: Find a caterer that you can afford. Having a spending plan ahead of time will mean you won’t overspend on food.
  • A good personality fit: Wedding planning is stressful, so work with someone that you can get along with and communicate with easily.
  • Experienced and recommended: Ensure the company has a proven track record with events of your size and the references to back it up.
  • Transparent about money: Steer clear of shady pricing. Find a caterer who is very clear about costs and is happy to talk you through budgets and pricing options.
  • Transparent about food: Find someone who is clear about where they source their food from and where it is prepared.

How much should catering cost per person?

Catering prices can range from about $10 per guest on the low end to $150 or more per person on the high end. Catering costs represent the quality of food, presentation, variety, ingredients and service. But catering prices are more than the cost to cook the food that will be at your party; they also include the cost for the company to do business. Here is a simple breakdown of catering prices:

  • Menu: The food you serve your guests will directly affect the price per person. Organic ingredients, complex recipes, elaborate presentations, or high-ticket items like lobster or filet mignon all add to the cost.
  • Service: Buffet, family style, plated dinners — how you serve the food affects the cost per person. For example, a true plated meal can cost about twice the price of a staff-assisted buffet because of staffing costs. Hiring waiters, bartenders and cleanup crew will all be calculated into the per-person catering price.
  • Drinks: Providing beverages and alcoholic drinks for guests greatly increases your catering budget. Hosting an open bar can cost as much per person as the meal.
  • Rentals: Seating, plates, glassware, etc., will all have an effect on the cost per person for catering. For example, a plastic conference table that seats 10 costs about $6 to rent on average, while a wooden farmhouse table is about $80 to rent on average.
  • Business costs: Any catering cost will also include the cost for the company to do business such as insurance, employee wages, commercial kitchen space and more.

How much does it cost to hire a caterer?

Catering prices depend mainly on how fancy you want the food and service to be and how many guests you’ll have. When you’re first looking to hire a caterer for your event, consider how many guests you’ll have and your total food and drink budget. The national average for event catering is $340, but catering prices can range into the thousands depending on your menu, guest count, and service.

Event catering is a broad term that covers everything from fully prepared, ready-to-eat food that the hosts plate and serve themselves to full-service, multicourse meals, including rental of linens, glassware and other items, with service staff organized by the catering company. Usually a caterer will determine cost based on the type of event you’re having, how many guests will attend, the level of service you desire, and what type of menu you’d like to have. For example, if you have a set catering budget, say $1,500, and you plan to have 50 people attend, that means you have $30 per person for food. If you have the same budget with 100 people, you have $15 per person for food. In this way, the number of people you want to attend your event and the level of food you want to serve them determines how much catering will cost.

Reviews for Temecula caterers
Thumbtack Customer
I have interviewed a few caterers, but at Blazes Kitchen, Noelani was most at ease, professional, and a menu worthy of an experience. A little Polynesian flair. Very yummy.
Blaize's KitchenBlaize's Kitchen
Charlotte M.
Personal Touch catering was amazing! Long story short, my (now) husband and I decided we didn't want to wait any longer and finally sealed the deal on very short notice. We threw a wedding together in a matter of days. I reached out to Personal Touch catering on 7/23 to set up a day-after-wedding brunch for 7/26. Nashawna responded to my request within hours, she gave me all of the necessary details, and next thing you know I've got an entire catering menu prepared and delivered to me with all of my guest's dietary restrictions and preferences included! Day of, the catering team arrived to our rental house on time and ready to go. Nashawna and all of her teammates were professional but also warm and welcoming - it felt like we had family cooking us breakfast! Not to mention that the food was absolutely delicious and we continued to eat all of the left-overs throughout the day! I really appreciated Personal Touch catering for all of the reasons above and would absolutely recommend their services to my friends and family. Thank you for everything Nashawna and team! :)
Personal TouchPersonal Touch
Demi T.
We loved working with Mr. Worldwide Catering! Not only was the food absolutely delicious, but Chef Jose went out of his way to make sure that all of questions were answered and needs were fulfilled. We had a tasting prior to hiring Mr. Worldwide Catering and were quickly convinced not only by the delicious food, but by Chef Jose's knowledge and professionalism. The food at our wedding was outstanding! We would highly recommend Chef Jose and his team! Thank you!!
Mr. WorldWide CateringMr. WorldWide Catering
Bea D.
Chef Tim and his team are a pleasure to work with. He checked all our needs and wants when it comes to catering our wedding! He is very adaptable, professional and his menu has good choices! His food is really good and all our guests were pleased on the presentation and taste. I highly recommend getting him as your caterer on your upcoming events! It will not disappoint you! I will definitely add photos once I get our professional photos done.
Southern California Private Chef ServicesSouthern California Private Chef Services
Cornelia H.
We hired Heritage catering for our daughters wedding. Kevin was great to work with during the planing and food tasting process. Food tasted great and fine presentation. High quality ingredients. Service team was polite and accommodating. Very responsive to special request. I would choose their service again. We highly recommend.
Heritage Catering & Culinary ServicesHeritage Catering & Culinary Services
Traica D.
Chef Kevin, provided the MOST amazing meal for our small intimate wedding! Every single bite of every thing he cooked was absolutely delicious, and multiple guests said it was the best meal they had ever eaten. The service was also such high quality, and Leo, who worked with Chef Kevin was incredibly professional. If you want a wonderful experience, then you must hire these guys for your special event, because they strive for the best in every aspect of catering!
Heritage Catering & Culinary ServicesHeritage Catering & Culinary Services
Thumbtack Customer
I hired Jose for my wedding. His food was excellent and he was so professional at the tasting that we went to. Jose was very responsive and helpful with all of my questions/concerns over several months while I was planning my wedding. The caterer at a wedding has a huge job, and for my wedding day I felt like everything went so smoothly. His staff were so professional, friendly and dedicated to making all of our guests happy. He showed up on time and set up everything flawlessly and exactly as we had talked about. I am so happy that I found Jose for my wedding! I would highly recommend him and his staff for any event! Not only is it important to have a caterer that makes good food, but also have someone who cares about his clients and wants to provide the very best customer service and from my experience Jose did exactly this. He went above and beyond and we couldn't have been happier! Thank you Jose!
Mr. WorldWide CateringMr. WorldWide Catering
Jen F.
We hired Kevin to cater a small wedding with about 25 guests. I have to say Kevin exceeded my expectations tenfold. The food was phenomenal. He came on time set up everything beautifuly, he helped decorate some of the tables and he and his server were gracious and accommodating for all of our needs. My guests commented it was some of the best food they had ever eaten. I will definitely be hiring Kevin again and recommending him everyone.
Heritage Catering & Culinary ServicesHeritage Catering & Culinary Services
Ready to find a pro?

See more reviews, compare prices, and hire your favorite pros all with Thumbtack.

Why hire professionals on Thumbtack?
Free to use

You never pay to use Thumbtack: Get cost estimates, contact pros, and even book the job—all for no cost.

Compare prices side-by-side

You’ll know how much your project costs even before booking a pro.

Hire with confidence

With access to 1M+ customer reviews and the pros’ work history, you’ll have all the info you need to make a hire.