Wedding and Event Catering

Find a birthday party caterer near Atlanta, GA

Find a birthday party caterer near Atlanta, GA

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Top 10 Birthday Party Caterers near Atlanta, GA

Birthday Party Caterers Cost Guide

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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 Atlanta birthday party caterers
Jay B.
Ola did a great job catering our birthday party. Everyone loved the food and it was exactly what we ordered. We got so many inquiries about where the food was from and who catered it and I even had people days after asking me about the food. Will definitely recommend and use again.
Ola's Kitchen AtlOla's Kitchen Atl
Anita H.
Rae’s Int’l Food Diaries did an excellent job catering my son’s birthday party hosting 30 adults and children. Great vegan & vegetarian selections that guests loved. Many asked for Rae’s contact info to have for their next event. Rae and her staff are very professional and the food was delicious. We will definitely have Rae cater future events for us!
Rae’s Int’l Food DiariesRae’s Int’l Food Diaries
Thumbtack Customer
Chef Latanya and her staff was very nice, professional, and thorough with helping to make my 42nd Birthday Celebration a Success within a very limited timeframe for an extra cost of course but it was well worth every penny I spent and some. My soul food cuisine was TRULY DELICIOUS and most importantly NUTRITIOUSLY prepared with a ZESTY taste. All of my guests at the party enjoyed my Birthday Celebration and they really was most impressed with the food that Diva's Touch Catering prepared. I would definitely refer and use Diva's Touch Catering services again for all of my catering services' needs!
Diva's Touch Catering, Inc.Diva's Touch Catering, Inc.
Thumbtack Customer
Nikki catered my wife's birthday party at our home for 30 people. She and the food were fantastic. Nikki was also able to provide a bar tender in the fee, and Jamal devised some delicious original beverages with the ingredients we had on hand for our guests to enjoy. We will be using Nikki again!
Nikki Can CookNikki Can Cook
Darren B.
What’s not to love about Rudine’s? I was hosting a surprise birthday party for my mother with 30 guests in attendance, and Rudine’s catering was more than I could have wished for. The attendees raved about the tenderness of the chicken and salmon that was served and her recos for how to reinvent the leftovers was spot on. The quality and variety of the menu options, and the stellar onsite service, far exceeded my expectations. If you’re looking for a caterer that looks to understand your needs and is willing to meet you where you are, Rudine’s is a no-brainer.
Rudine’s LLCRudine’s LLC
Rebecca A.
Sabrina catered my husband's surprise 70th birthday party. Her creative menu proposal and super responsiveness were the reasons I chose Good Fork, and I was so glad that I did! The food was amazing, her team were simply lovely. My group of 50 friends and family were blown away and I think everyone took the Good Fork's number for future use. I can not recommend Sabrina and her team enough! It was as stress free a catering experience as I have ever had. It felt like a good friend was helping out versus a hired company. A good friend with serious cooking 'chops'!!! (The lamb chops were to die for...)
Good Fork CateringGood Fork Catering
Thumbtack Customer
Mark and Heather and their team did a fabulous job for my husband's 60th surprise birthday party. The food was delicious (my guests raved in particular about the beef tenderloin, the chicken skewers and the potato bar served in martini glasses). Every member of their team was professional and polished, from set-up to clean-up. These people know exactly what they are doing, and they are good at it. The whole thing was stress-free for me and I was able to enjoy my guests. I was particularly impressed with how quickly and thoroughly they cleaned up after the party was over, and they were very respectful of my home. In their hands, you needn't worry about anything; they've got it covered. I HIGHLY recommend Mark Swearingen catering, and will definitely use them again!
Mark Swearingen EventsMark Swearingen Events
Amber A.
I am planning a 40th birthday party for my sister and after an initial conference call with Sabrina and her company we were very impressed by her professionalism & creative ideas on how to meet our dining expectations. Good Fork met onsite with us and gave us some valuable feedback about how to best match her services with our venue party space. Fortunately some of her key feedback helped me discovery some space constraints that were non negotiable for my sister's party expectations. This by no means means Sabrina is not flexible. She absolutely presented a plan that could have worked for us. We were even presented a draft custom menu quote that met my budget and dining needs. However we had to move the venue location to a restaurant that does now allow outside catering. I highly recommend Sabrina and will be considering her for future parties and will actually contact her 1st before I pick my venue to ensure everything matches up next time :)
Good Fork CateringGood Fork Catering
Amy B.
Words really cannot express the greatness of Markie Darling. From the moment she responded to my request until she delivered our food she has been incredible! We are forever grateful to Daddy's Girl BBQ for making my husband's 50th Birthday Party a success. The Shrimp and Grits...OMG...enough said. The Bourbon wings...let me just say that one of the guest left with a storage bag full as he was eating them out of the bag. Daddy's Girl BBQ has become a part of our family and we will be contacting her again for our catering needs. Thank you so much!
Daddy's Girl BBQDaddy's Girl BBQ
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