Find a caterer near Saint Petersburg, FL

Find a caterer near Saint Petersburg, FL

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Find a caterer near Saint Petersburg, FL

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Top 10 Caterers near Saint Petersburg, 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.

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 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 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.
Reviews for Saint Petersburg caterers
Thumbtack Customer
Chef Ann catered our 30th anniversary party on 2/1/14 and we are still receiving compliments on how delicious the appetizers and the main entrees were. Chef Ann is very professional regarding the timing to sserve the food and the perfection in all her amazing dishes!! I look forward to hire her again. I absolutely recommend this caterer. Check out her extensive choices, its so awesome!!
Forgotton Coast Personal Chef and CateringForgotton Coast Personal Chef and Catering
Thumbtack Customer
Ann Lotterhos catered our 40th Wedding Anniversary celebration. The food was incredible! All the guests were talking about it and trying to decide which selection they liked the best. Ann was great to work with in planning and executing the event. She provided me an amazing list of food selections to choose from and was very accomodating in providing something for everyone including vegan, vegetarian and a selection for the kids. After the event the kitchen was clean and spotless! I have never been to an event where all the guests applauded the caterers!
Forgotton Coast Personal Chef and CateringForgotton Coast Personal Chef and Catering
Geri L.
It’s always scary to procure services online, especially when it comes to catering a party. Island chef provided excellent service, arrived on time, food met all expectations. Tamara was extremely responsive with questions and options.
The Island ChefThe Island Chef
Thumbtack Customer
One word .....JACKPOT!!! From the service to the food. One of the best Caters I've ever had. The pot pies and the French toast were soooo good!!! Thank you Ann and Thank you Thumbtack. I will definitely use these company's again. DG
Forgotton Coast Personal Chef and CateringForgotton Coast Personal Chef and Catering
Jeffrey B.
I hired a lot of caters in the past. But Eric and his team was hands down the best! Food was outstanding! Him and his team are very personal, out going and professional. I plan on doing a family and friend reunion every year. I will hire Eric in a second. Looking forward to getting fat again haha. Thank you Eric! Mariuxi and I were so very happy we hired you. Your service is the best! Thank you.
Laura B.
Tamara and her staff made our wedding food just spectacular! We struggled trying to find the right caterer for us. We didn't just want the regular wedding food.... we wanted something delicious and Tamara sure did deliver! She set up a meeting with us to discuss what we had in mind and then sent us quite a few choices to make up a menu. Everything sounded so good, we asked for a tasting to make final decisions. After the tasting we finalized our menu which ended up being 3 apps that were to be passed around and 3 items at a standing station. Her Lobster Mac and Cheese may be the most delicious thing I have ever eaten!! And I have continued to eat it afterwards with all the leftovers we brought home! I would recommend The Island Chef Tamara and her staff to anyone who wants the most amazing food possible! Thank you Tamara for making our night special!
The Island ChefThe Island Chef
Lee H.
My lovely wife’s 40th birthday was upon us. It was a big deal, a major milestone and the pressure was on. I was intent on creating a special celebration that was both unique and memorable. I settled on throwing an elegant dinner party, that was white attire themed, with 25 of our closest friends. I reached out to several chefs here on Thumbtack, however, one in particular seemed to stand above rest, Chef Joe at Tasty Obsessions. Chef Joe proved to be patient, helpful and skilled at guiding the process. He helped me narrow down the type of cuisine, the specific items that would have a “wow” factor and the manner in which the meal would be best served given the size of our party and the atmosphere we were attempting to establish. The night of the event Chef Joe, along with his assistant Madeline, arrived 90 minutes prior to the event to do set up and prep. Their timing and execution were impeccable as our home was transformed into what seemed like a Michelin star restaurant precisely as the first guest arrived. They stayed an additional two hours helping to serve guests and ensuring that we were provided with a first class dining experience. Our guests were blown away by Chef Joe’s culinary wizardry and generously heaped praise on him for his delicious plates. Last, both Chef Joe and Madeline had wonderfully charming personalities that added considerably to the ambiance. The birthday girl was quite pleased! Suffice it to say, I’d recommend Chef Joe if you are considering an in-home intimate dinner or any other special occasion that requires catering. Here are the menu items: -Seared Tuna on a Wonton Crisp with Cilantro, Lime, Avocado Mousse -Seared Beef Tenderloin on a Baguette with a Dijon Horseradish Sauce -Proscuitto & Figs with Gorgonzola and Toasted Walnuts -Fried Goat Cheese Balls with a Tomato Jam -Ceviche made with red snapper scallops, red onion avocado cilantro and heirloom tomatoes -Limoncillo Sorbet
Tasty ObsessionsTasty Obsessions
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