Wedding and Event Catering

Find a caterer near Oakland Park, FL

Find a caterer near Oakland Park, FL

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Top 10 Caterers near Oakland Park, FL

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

Reviews for Oakland Park caterers
Alicia B.
Wonderful catering service in South Florida. They put the meaning in Catering. I used them for a birthday celebration and every meal was cater to my request and delicious. Highly recommend.
Island Palate CateringIsland Palate Catering
Genesis E.
Best catering company I've worked with!! The food was AMAZING and well presented. I will definitely be using them again. Look no further for your catering needs.
Dade County Food GroupDade County Food Group
Andrea M.
Exquisite Catering by Robert was AMAZING. They were very professional, on time, and most importantly, the food was delicious!
Exquisite Catering by RobertExquisite Catering by Robert
Thumbtack Customer
C & F Catering are professional, kind, reliable and honest. My fiancee and I are grateful they will be catering our wedding 1 month from now! I was not stressed one bit while we discussed and organized my proposal for our special event. Thank you again Cynthia!
C & F CateringC & F Catering
Leah F.
We had a family dinner and brunch catered. Sherry is absolutely the best. She is an awesome host, chef and professional. She was absolutely a joy to work with. She listened to our request and was a great communicator throughout the entire process. The food was flavorful, great portion sizes. You will be more than satisfied at the end. Sherry has warm and friendly personality. If you are looking to have an event catered I highly recommend using Special Events Catering. We will absolutely use them again. Thanks for everything.
Special Events CateringSpecial Events Catering
Rene M.
Awesome food. Communication 100%. Everything was on time and presentation was excellent. Everything went smooth. Jonathan M3 catering is a must.
M3 CateringM3 Catering
Hazel L.
Mr. G’s catering went beyond our expectations with the food, our wedding cake and the service in General. John and Jeannie are a delightful duo who make sure your event goes perfectly. I would and will hire again if the oportunity to do so comes! If you are having a hard time deciding which caterer to get, please, don’t go any further.
Mr. G's CateringMr. G's Catering
Michelle K.
Lori did a fantastic job for us on short notice when our caterer canceled for the boat parade. She was prompt, the food was great and the service was spectacular.
Lori Rizzo Events  - South FloridaLori Rizzo Events - South Florida
Haydee G.
I can’t say enough about Rice catering! Excellent in my book! Exceeded my expectations all the way. Food service value quality in everything!
Rice Catering, Inc.Rice Catering, Inc.
Kodia G.
She literally works with your budget. She works with your vision. My wedding is upcoming July 6th 2019 and she is doing everything to make it happen from catering to decor.
Decorento CateringDecorento Catering
Thumbtack Customer
I had Thanksgiving catered for 34 people. Everything was very good. The guests enjoyed the food. The set up and pick up was very good too! I would use them again.
Mr. G's CateringMr. G's Catering
Betti H.
What a wonderful caterer. Sherry was fantastic. Couldn't ask for nicer people or better food. Bartender Dion got everyones attention as she remembered their names and what they were drinking. They make it a party to remember.
Special Events CateringSpecial Events Catering
Alexa W.
Most amazing company for catering. Used them for a private thanksgiving event, they came set everything up beautifully and left everything cleaner than before. Booked them immediately after for Christmas dinner.
Dade County Food GroupDade County Food Group
Kaysie P.
Chef Traci took this catering request a few days before the my 20 person event. He was punctual, reliable, professional and the food was amazing. I will most definitely be using Good Eating Sobe in the future. Thank you!
Good Eating SobeGood Eating Sobe
Lisa P.
I had a wonderful experience with Rice catering from start to finish. He was super flexible in designing a menu, he was on time, and communicative. The food was delicious!!! We had brunch and mimosas for a bridal shower. It was elegant and satisfying. Not to mention Chef Wally’s personality is very relaxed and helpful. Guests started arriving and he had it all set up so that I could enjoy the party and I wasn’t in the kitchen the whole time. The bride is now considering having him cater her wedding. I will definitely hire him again.
Rice Catering, Inc.Rice Catering, Inc.
Olga T.
Paul catered our wedding and exceeded our expectations beyond anything I imagined. He cooked the tasting meal (at no cost) right in our kitchen, which was finger-licking delicious. We're from New York and coordinating with vendors was very difficult but Paul made it so easy for us. He was very hand-on with all the prep. He guided us not just with the catering and rentals process but helped with aspects of the wedding planning as well. The venue where we held our wedding was a botanical garden that doesn't have a kitchen. Unlike many other caterers, he doesn't cook elsewhere and bring warmed food. He pulled up his food truck and cooked right on the premises, so everything was right off the stove. He helped us pair the appetizers with entrees and was extremely flexible with any requests (without charging an arm and a leg). Other nice perks were the late night snack and that he gets creative with how to serve appetizers (ours served on old records). His prices are very reasonable and he worked with us to make sure we got the most out of our budget. One of the things I loved most was that he made a brief speech to all our guests describing what will be served on the menu. The food was absolutely delicious and everyone complimented us on the meal. Paul's not the typical caterer. He is a master chef.
The Dancing Palate, Inc.The Dancing Palate, Inc.
Jodi T.
Our wedding was catered by Paul and his team of professionals. I can’t say enough about how much they invested in making our special day a huge success. Paul was and intricate part of the day, assisting with the DJ and the band, as well as the photographer. We can’t thank Paul and his team enough. THANKS PAUL!
The Dancing Palate, Inc.The Dancing Palate, Inc.
Jennifer B.
Exquisite Catered a large meeting with VIP's at our Headquarters in Fort Lauderdale for about 25 people. The service, meal, desserts were impeccable. All of the meeting participants gave great reviews of the food. The chafing dishes with the roll top was one of my favorite details they provided. We will definitely use Robert and his team again!
Exquisite Catering by RobertExquisite Catering by Robert
William B.
Shari and Omar were amazing. They showed up early to setup, took care of everything from start to cleanup, delivered great service and food that our 30+ guests are still talking about. Highly recommend Lyon for your event... we are super happy to have found the caterer for all our future events!
Creative Catering SolutionsCreative Catering Solutions
Philip J.
Wally catered a plated meal for 12 people for my 60th birthday in a rental home in Fort Lauderdale. He did an extraordinary job planning the menu, preparing the food on site and even helped serve with his wait staff. My guests raved about the food variety and quality! I highly recommend Wally and will use him the next visiting Florida.
Rice Catering, Inc.Rice Catering, Inc.
Sowmitha P.
We reached out to Sherry on vert short notice to cater for our office thanks giving lunch. She was very accommodative and provided the best service without any compromise. The food was amazing and every single person enjoyed it so much. The corn bread and pie were to die for. She was very professional and delivered as promised. We would definitely recommend her.
Special Events CateringSpecial Events Catering
Jackie W.
Chef Shary was amazing! We came to visit from California and I must say that the food was amazing. She did a beautiful set up and came on time. I would recommend her for any event even with such short notice, she did an amazing job. The chicken was to die for and the Mac n cheese was the best I’ve ever had. Next time I’m in town I will be definitely using her for any catering services.
Creative Catering SolutionsCreative Catering Solutions
Diana Paola P.
Wonderful Experience!! Paella VIP catered my Son's Graduation Party at the beach and Chef Jorge went over and beyond with his service, quality of food, and was very accomodating. The food was DELICIOUS and we received soooo many compliments from our guests. Needless to say, we were all impressed with his overall product and professionalism and we are already in talks about hiring him again soon. Thank you Chef Jorge for your impeccable service!
Paella VIPPaella VIP
Donna M.
I found Chef Paul on this website less than 2 months before our 200 person sit-down dinner after another caterer dropped out on us. From the very first call, Chef Paul took us on with so much warmth, enthusiasm, professionalism, and understanding. This was our first time planning an event like this and we couldn't have been in better hands. Not only was the event literally flawless and on-budget in a non-traditional space (the Museum of Discovery and Science) that Chef Paul hadn't worked in before, but Chef Paul calmed our first-timer nerves whenever we worried with his humor and his unshakeable confidence and experience. There were even folks with dietary restrictions that joined the dinner at the last minute (reporting them as dinner was served) and Chef Paul accommodated them, I think by magic. His entire team couldn't have been lovelier, the mojitos were the best any of us have tasted, and the food was phenomenal. I'm convinced you won't find a better caterer in all of South Florida. Thank you so much Dancing Palate team!!!
The Dancing Palate, Inc.The Dancing Palate, Inc.
Thumbtack Customer
Michael was one of the first caterers to respond after I listed a few brief details of the party. I was uncertain specifically what I was looking for and he had great ideas for my party. Michael was very good about listing the details of the party in his proposal. As a contractor getting the facts in writing upfront is important. He and his team were 5-stars from setup to cleanup. I hope to soon use his services again for our next venue. Thanks Michael! Kevin F
Culinary Artz Catering & EventsCulinary Artz Catering & Events
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