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Find a party food caterer near Atlanta, GA

Find a party food caterer near Atlanta, GA

41 near you

Find a party food caterer near Atlanta, GA

41 near you

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Top 10 Party Food Caterers near Atlanta, GA

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 Atlanta party food caterers
Thumbtack Customer
Our Holiday Party was a success, THANKS to Chef Vince & his team from Gotta Have It Catering! The food was a FOODIE'S dream and the service was top notch! Thanks to Thumbtack for introducing us to Gotta Have It Catering!
Gotta Have It CateringGotta Have It Catering
Carolynne E.
Excellent food and service. Catered southern style dinner for daughter’s graduation party yesterday. Guests were so impressed with the food and still raving about it today. Amazing!!! Highly recommend. Thanks for making it an amazing party. Will definitely involve Tad and team at our next event.
Tad's Tasty Treats CateringTad's Tasty Treats Catering
Allison J.
From our first phone call to the day of my event, Kings Food Catering gave tremendous service making my party stress and worry-free the entire night.
kingsfoodcateringkingsfoodcatering
Thumbtack Customer
Mike and his team were outstanding!! He was attentive, professional, prompt, and gracious. I was beyond pleased! He managed the menu beautifully, we had plenty of food for a party of 45, and it was presented perfectly. Thank you!! Will be my go to caterer from now on.
The Bountiful Basket Catering LLCThe Bountiful Basket Catering LLC
Thumbtack Customer
Wow, is the best way to describe this company!!! The food, service and professionalism was exceptional. They came early, well prepared and delighted our guests at our holiday party. They also made homemade decorations. They kept the food warm and refreshed and catered to our every need, also ensuring my beverage was constantly refreshed. The price was more than reasonable and a great value. The also brought a bartender that was exceptional and had custom cocktails for the party! We will be using them in all of our future events! A+++++++++
E&L CuisineE&L Cuisine
Thumbtack Customer
Nikki was AMAZING! The food and service completely "5 star" professional quality. I was going to go with a larger caterer for my party, but am so happy I didn't, as everyone is still raving about the food and service 2 days later. Nikki is also very good with people and has a fantastic demeanor/attitude. Thank You Nikki, for doing a Great job and making my party such a success - I feel so lucky to have found you and will definitely be using you again soon! Cheryl P.
Nikki Can CookNikki Can Cook
Chris D.
They were Awesome! From the day that I met with Allison to the day of the party, everything was beyond my expectations. The food was amazing and multiple guest commented on this. I can not say enough about how wonderful the whole experience was and if I ever need a caterer again, I will definitely use Ali's.
Ali's Personal Chef ServiceAli's Personal Chef Service
Thumbtack Customer
I had John cater a BBQ dinner for about 80 people last night for my resident party. Not only was he 3 hours early to set up, the presentation was beautiful and tastefully done. I had residents all night ask me who the new caterer was and constantly complimented his food. All of his salads and such were freshly made with really nice spices, giving it a unique and amazing flavor. John set it up beautifully and cleaned up his area right after the party. I can't wait to have him cater my next event, he is my new go to guy! Thanks John for an amazing experience. Jim Stabler
Hootie's CateringHootie's Catering
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
TiAnna C.
Chef Troy is Awesome! He accepted to cater my birthday party despite being last minute. He was on time and proffessional. I invited him to join in on part of the celebration and he was able to enjoy himself as well. When it was time for dinner he served my guest with passion and care. I received many compliments about the food being delicious. It is evident he truly loves his craft! I am pleased with his service and will be contacting him for future events :)
"BLESST" Events (Catering, Photo, Video, DJ)"BLESST" Events (Catering, Photo, Video, DJ)
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 Swearingen events catered for my corporate holiday party this season and I could have not asked for a smoother and organized process! When my team was going through the process of finding the right caterer, I talked to multiple people on the phone. Mark was the one person who stood out as he asked me the right questions and came up with unique ideas. His menu, organization, ideas, enthusiasm, ultimately made the decision for caterers very easy. We had a lot of requests and they made sure to fulfill those requests while adding their own great ideas. Throughout the process, Heather made the process problem free by always responding to my questions and clarifications (I had a lot). I never had to worry about communication because I knew they were always prompt with their answer. The night of the party went off without a hitch. I had many people come up to me to tell me that the food was amazing as well as the service. Not only was the food delicious, but Heather and Mark came up with ideas such as milkshakes that was a huge success. Clean-up also was problem free as the team left the house in the shape they found it. Overall, I couldn't have asked for a better service, the exceeded all of my expectations (I have very picky and specific expectations) from beginning to end.
Mark Swearingen EventsMark Swearingen Events
Sherry l.
I messaged three catering pros regarding a holiday open house with details around the event and the amount I wanted to spend per person. Some sent me back a list of menu items from which to choose, but Chef Shu read my message and designed a custom menu to meet my requests. All the items worked together, were beautifully presented, and everything tasted great. His food had just the right amount of seasoning for the dish. He and Rochelle handled all of the set up, serving, and clean up. They were just delightful to work with and their professionalism allowed me to actually enjoy my own party without worrying about a single detail related to the food or drinks. I don’t entertain often but I am already thinking about having another party so that I can hire Chef Shu again- this experience was that great! Do I need to say ‘highly recommended’?
Sankofa Catering and Special EventsSankofa Catering and Special Events
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
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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