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Find a food service professional near Denver, CO

Find a food service professional near Denver, CO

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Find a food service professional near Denver, CO

51 near you

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Top 10 Food Service Professionals near Denver, CO

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 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 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 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.

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 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.

Reviews for Denver food service professionals
Loralee U.
Great service and the food was fantastic
Clark's Custom CateringClark's Custom Catering
Thumbtack Customer
Everyone complimented the food. The food and the service was fantastic and all for a reasonable price. I would highly recommend Bob for other catering events.
Events by BobEvents by Bob
Dan T.
Great food and service. Worked hard and adapted to the unique layout of the venue.
The Crazy CatererThe Crazy Caterer
Bob L.
Chef Randy’s service and food was as promised. We were very satisfied and would use him again.
Luxury Meals From HomeLuxury Meals From Home
Mike S.
Excellent food and great service. I highly recommend SK. (Ask for the bacon wrapped potatoes...totally crack.)
Sparrow KitchenSparrow Kitchen
Kevin B.
I know vegan food was an option but I dont feel it's their specialty. Customer service is excellent and was perfectly on time. Got me out of a bind in short notice. I really appreciate the service.
B and T CateringB and T Catering
Lily B.
Sandy & Corey were absolutely wonderful! I can't say enough good things about the service they provided. They made my 30th birthday party a huge success with all the delicious handmade food. I would highly recommend them and plan to use their service in the future. Thank you!
3 Chicks Kitchen3 Chicks Kitchen
Thumbtack Customer
Bob catered for our private dinner party. The food and service were great. We had a plated meal and the timing was perfect. He even left the kitchen cleaner then when he came. I would highly recommend Bob.
Events by BobEvents by Bob
Thumbtack Customer
We had a 30th anniversary party with drinks, pased hors d'oeuvres, dinner and dancing for 50. A monsoon spoled the plans to have cocktails on the lawn---fast action and creativity made theat part of the evening a delight. Food was fantastic, service friendly and unobtrusive. I was thrilled.
A Wild Thyme Catering and EventsA Wild Thyme Catering and Events
Thumbtack Customer
Dustin made the most incredible brunch buffet for a Bachelorette/shower for 10 women. He was so professional and the food was out of this world! Everyone was raving that it was the best of "everything." He was very responsive throughout the planning process and made sure everything I requested was done to perfection! I cannot recommend him and his services enough! I will definitely be using him again.
Underground Fine DiningUnderground Fine Dining
Ahlea G.
Everything was amazing!! Dustin accommodated our group of 8 foodies! He even prepared a separate menu for my cousin who is Vegan. The food was incredible, the service was perfect, and there was absolutely nothing for us to do but enjoy. The kitchen was spotless when they left and we were all fat and happy. I will definitely be using Dustin again in the future and will recommend him to EVERYONE!!!
Underground Fine DiningUnderground Fine Dining
Sierra P.
Sandy from 3 cooks kitchen went above and beyond my expectations. The food was delicious, she was there on time and was so incredibly friendly. I hired her company for my sisters memorial service, and she was so extremely kind and answered my many, many questions (quite quickly I might add) and helped me with making final decisions. I can’t thank her enough. I highly recommend this company.
3 Chicks Kitchen3 Chicks Kitchen
Evan W.
I found 3 Chicks Kitchen because of Thumbtack, and I'm so glad I did. They were always easy to reach, kind and courteous, and wow is there food delicious! Ask them to do the roast beef sandwich, it's amazing! Even when they were concerned that they were behind schedule, they stayed in touch and kept us updated. They are a great local team that cares about their employees and works hard to provide an excellent service.
3 Chicks Kitchen3 Chicks Kitchen
Thumbtack Customer
I hit the jackpot when I found Lenny with Xim catering. He went way above and beyond to accommodate our somewhat complex needs for my Mother's 80th birthday. He was so incredibly gracious, kind, and professional. Xim had some challenges with the venue we had chosen but they really make it work so well despite the none kitchen, tiny space and complex menu. All our guests raved about the food and the extremely friendly service. I give Lenny and Xim 10 stars for service and execution. Thank you very much
Xim cateringXim catering
Thumbtack Customer
Grant catered our wedding in September, and I'm still getting compliments!! His food was excellent, chosen specifically for our needs, and the service he and his employees provided was exemplary!! The decor he brought matched mine and he and his staff were helpful, caring and generous all night. They even kept an eye on wandering kids! I highly recommend Grant for any event, and I'll personally be returning to him for any of my future catering needs.
GB CulinaryGB Culinary
Deborah R.
From our first contact, I knew we had found the right fit! Sara was exceptionally helpful developing a cost effective approach and Chef Sean prepared exceptionally tasty food which he served with a friendly smile. He arrived early and even helped with last minute decorations! Clark's Custom Catering provides that personal touch and level of service that you don't find with larger commercial institutions. And their culinary creations are wonderful. I would hire them again in a heartbeat.
Clark's Custom CateringClark's Custom Catering
Anant P.
My wife and I are visiting colorado for the summer to celebrate our 40th birthdays with close friends. She was flexible and worked with me to create a beautiful spanish tapas menu. Among some of our favorite dishes were the patatas bravas, chicken, shrimp and churos. I truly appreciated her go-with-the-flow attitude and did a great job cleaning up after. I highly recommend hiring Andrea for her services. Not only is her food delicious, she has impeccable bed side manner
Fresh Food Further Catering & Private Chef ServiceFresh Food Further Catering & Private Chef Service
Thumbtack Customer
I wanted everything to be perfect for my son's high school graduation party. We had the party at an outdoor park and Oscar brought his "food truck" and parked at the venue to serve the guests. He served from 3:00-7:00 PM. From the moment I hired Oscar, he was professional, personable, and gave me an incredibly reasonable bid for bringing his food truck and serving. What I didn't know then, is how amazing his tacos, quesadillas, and tortas would be!! Oscar and his crew served 80 plus hungry teenagers as well as adults and younger kids and everyone was raving about the delicious food! The service was wonderful- personable, advice was given to guests about individual tastes,and the servings were generous. Oscar was a joy to work with in every way! He had checked out the park days before the party, he was more than an hour early the day of the party, and was completely set up way before the time the party started. He helped my friend set up music with his generator since there was no power source in the park. He even helped us bring in items to set up! He carefully kept track of the number of meals served with a ticket system. I was thrilled with Oscar's professionalism, his enthusiasm, and his wonderful manner with all of my guests. On top of that, he delivered the most fantastic food! I would suggest something for improvement if I could think of anything, but I simply can't! Many of my guests felt the same way, because I had to ask Oscar several times for his card to give them! I can't wait to hire Oscar and his crew again! What a find!! Thank you for making my son's party so special!
Tacos La Tapatia Ltd.Tacos La Tapatia Ltd.
Nicole P.
The entire team at A Spice of Life was amazing. From the menu planning to the event staff - it made our party planning seemless and the evening itself better than I could’ve imagined. Jen, Jordan and John were professional and their service was perfect - they literally took care of everything so we could just enjoy our party. Our guests couldn’t stop raving about how good the food was (not only in taste but in the beautiful presentation) and John’s excellent drinks from the bar. I would highly recommend A Spice of Life for your next event - I know we will be using them again for ours!
A Spice of Life Catering and EventsA Spice of Life Catering and Events
Kevin G.
From the start of my experience with Knife and Pepper, working with Carrie was a breeze and, equally importantly, a fantastic decision for my private party. Between short notice, a change in party organization, and personalized service, she really went above and beyond to provide an incredible catering package. On the day of, she was professional, punctual, and eager to make the party a hit, and I am very glad that I went with Knife and Pepper. Finally, it bears mentioning that everyone loved the food, and the portions were very generous for the number of guests confirmed. I would absolutely recommend going with Knife and Pepper for your private party!
Knife and PepperKnife and Pepper
Thumbtack Customer
We hired Connie to organize a dinner for colleagues that we were meeting at a conference in Denver. That means I did not know the place where the dinner was organized and all the amenities it offered, the exact number of people that were invited, and the exact food habits of our guests until only last minute. Also, this was the first time I used the services of a private chef to organize a dinner and I did not know where to start. Needless to say, Connie organized everything without us having to think about that dinner a lot. By the first email, she made our task very easy. From the way she gave us some flexibility, her reasonable priced menu, and the fine menu options were something we liked among all other chefs I corresponded with. Furthermore, with her italian background she had a genuine and refined taste in the choice of the dinner. I wont get into details on the menu for intellectual property concerns, but I can only attest that it was italian cuisine in its finest. If you do not want to spend time organizing and you want to be sure it will be great, then Connie is your chef. She was able to organize a fine dinner, to deal with an unexpected higher number of guests than what we had as confirmed guests, to deal with the various food habits and to have everybody happy and praising her cooking. It may sound as an exaggeration, but it was the highlight of our conference meeting and I was so happy we chose Connie for our dinner. Connie, thank you so much!!!!
Follow the RuelFollow the Ruel
Gabrielle M.
I hired Chef Randy for a dinner party for 6 in honor of my husband's birthday. Compared to going to a restaurant, hiring Chef Randy was more affordable and a much more intimate and memorable experience. I felt safer & socially-responsible by being at home instead of going into the public during a pandemic. And being at home made the whole experience SO much more comfortable. This dinner far exceeded my previous experiences hiring traditional caterers, who charge an hourly fee for lesser-quality food. The flat, affordable rate, and fully customized menu made it stress-free to plan and the excellent quality of the meal and service made for a 10/10 evening. Before the dinner, Chef worked with me to create the menu of my husband's dreams and was very professional and responsive to my emails and phone calls. The night of the dinner, he and one server, Nate, arrived exactly on time and got to work comfortably in my kitchen. They were responsive to all the little needs that came up and even bailed me out by bringing extra ice! And they were both so friendly and kind! I felt like I had two foodie cousins taking over the kitchen during a holiday, and not at all like having contractors in my home who I couldn't get in the way of or interrupt. The dinner itself was impeccable - one guest claimed he could now cancel Christmas, because this was the best meal he would have all year. They left my kitchen spotless, so cleanup was a breeze. And the best part is, my husband has been going on and on about his "best birthday ever," and how he needs to step up his game for my next birthday! I enthusiastically recommend Chef Randy without any reservations and will definitely be calling him again.
Luxury Meals From HomeLuxury Meals From Home
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