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Find a caterer near Lakewood, CO

Find a caterer near Lakewood, CO

20 near you

Find a caterer near Lakewood, CO

20 near you

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Top 10 Caterers near Lakewood, 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.

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 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.

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 Lakewood caterers
Patrick O.
Sandy and her crew did such a wonderful job with our wedding! the cuisine was excellent and our guests were most impressed. We would strongly recommend 3 Chicks Catering for your event.
3 Chicks Kitchen3 Chicks Kitchen
Holly B.
The Crazy Caterer was very punctual and professional. Most of the food was very well presented and good. A couple of the selections were not what we were expecting. Our guests overall really enjoyed the food.
The Crazy CatererThe Crazy Caterer
Mary P.
Kim was easy to work with. She was the only caterer that requested to chat immediately; the others just sent menus and wanted email if I had questions. We chatting on the phone about our dietary needs being gluten free due to Celiac Disease. Menus were emailed back and forth while chatting. That personal touch went a long way with me. My guests raved about the homemade food, it was staged well and there was PLENTY! My party was a gluten free taco bar for 70 and included all toppings. We would use The Crazy Caterer again and highly recommend her.
The Crazy CatererThe Crazy Caterer
Thumbtack Customer
This is the second time I have used Crazy Caterer and she doesn't disappoint. 27 people for sit down dinner at our house Christmas Eve. I have a grandson who is autistic and she went out of her way to make something special that he would enjoy eating. They are friendly, the food is unbelievable good, they clean up so well you would never know anyone had been in the house. I highly recommend them.
The Crazy CatererThe Crazy Caterer
Ray M.
Pour La France caterered my wedding this past weekend, and they were great. Timely with food drop-off and pick-up. Everything was hot, fresh, and delicious. We were impressed by their very broad and diverse menu choices. We ordered the brunch smorgasbord package and even though the menu specifications for bacon were two slices per head, they actually gave us way more bacon than all of us could eat. Same was true for the other brunch items. We ended up having quite a bit of food left over, which I felt a bit sad about, because all of it was quite good. The only reason I gave them 4 stars instead of 5 is because a bit of the plastic packaging had fallen in to the pan of breakfast potatoes. Luckily I happened to be there when it was discovered and I disposed of it quickly. Despite this incident, everything was delicious. Suzie Snuffin was excellent and timely in answering my questions, and even arranged a payment plan option to make this affordable on my very fixed wedding budget. The bit of plastic packaging in the pan was unfortunate but did not ruin the experience by any means. I would not hesitate to use them again or to recommend them to anyone looking for event catering.
Something Social Catering & EventsSomething Social Catering & Events
Jan E.
Ohh, my goodness! I wanted for my guests to really feel honored by every aspect of my celebration event, and Pour la France really poured it on! Every single one of the Puffs and the salmon and beef crostini's, caprese skewers were show stoppers! I would love to have them cater my daily meals! I felt proud and pleased to host such a gathering. Zeke is a great, mellow, easy to work with -- very easy and helpful to plan with. High praise to him for working with me on a late 'wrinkle' we'd introduced. And then, more high praise for our excellent server, John, who was a few minutes early, and so very efficient, beyond helpful, and "excellent in every way," said one of my own staff. He even helped us serve a big cake, outsourced to a Scandinavian bakery for a Swedish event. He served more than he was technically expected to do, and cleaned up, and was a great spirit to have with us. And, as the guest of honor, and disabled, it was my job to sit in a lovely place and the guests came to sit with me. John, so thoughtfully, realized early on that I wasn't going to get any food if he didn't make me a big plate -- and so he did! How above and beyond! I can't wait to have another gathering for Pour la France to cater!
Something Social Catering & EventsSomething Social Catering & Events
Thumbtack Customer
Thank you The Orange Crunch for catering my Wedding in July 2016! You guys are extremely outstanding! Your services from servers, cooks, wait staff, and bartenders are super professional, super nice and down to earth. Everyone at the wedding enjoyed the custom menu you built for us and the roasted pig was delicious! I want to give a special shout out to Leshner and Sarah. You guys are extremely helpful and made the wedding super smooth. You guys help me source tablecloths, napkins, tableware and glassware, and bartenders. I cannot thank you guys enough. Thank you again!!
Orange Crunch CateringOrange Crunch Catering
Judith H.
Allen and Naomi were wonderful. The food (skewered grilled shrimp, pulled pork carnitas, cole slaw, fruit salad, chips and freshly made guac and 3 kinds of fresh salsa, small pan brownies and cheesecakes) was delicious and beautifully presented,and it was freshly prepared as guests (mostly adults) filtered in and out of our daughter's graduation open house. Guests raved about the food. Allen arrived early to set up, he and Naomi removed guests' finished plates during our open house and Allen cleaned up afterwards, I had little to do but enjoy my 60 guests. Please don't think twice about hiring Allen to cater your event. He pays attention to every detail. Because of him and Naomi, our event was so successful.
Yes Chef ConceptsYes Chef Concepts
Karen B.
Quick response from Erik with quotes and information. I would have liked some suggestions from the staff for types of food for my particular party. I haven't catered an event before, and needed a bit more help with the menu. The food was delicious! Nacho bar was excellent. Popcorn bar was not as described in terms of serving size and "mix-ins" for the popcorn. But I had other dessert so it covered it. The server who brought the food and set it up was wonderful, very punctual. Would recommend a follow up call the day after the event to check on things. I had to call two days later to remind them to pick up the serving equipment, and even then wasn't asked how things were. Instead, I offered the feedback. It is just those simple additional professional touches that would have made my review 5 stars instead of 4.
Something Social Catering & EventsSomething Social Catering & Events
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