Wedding and Event Catering

Find a chef near Bloomington, MN

Find a chef near Bloomington, MN

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Top 10 Chefs near Bloomington, MN

Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How much does a personal chef cost?

Hiring a personal chef usually costs anywhere from $40-$100 or more per person. Request free cost estimates from personal chefs in your area so you’ll know exactly how much it will cost to hire one for your needs. For an accurate quote, be sure to let the chefs know the number of people they’ll need to feed, what you’d like on the menu and other relevant details. 

To learn more about the factors that impact the cost to hire a personal or private home chef, read our cost guide.

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 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 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 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 do you find a personal chef?

You can find local personal chefs by searching on Thumbtack. Once you enter in your details (how many guests the chef needs to feed, the date, your zip code, etc.), you’ll see a list of chefs who fit your needs.

Reviews for Bloomington chefs
Erica S.
Omg!!! My husband birthday and Father’s Day dinner was thee absolute best!!! This experience was enjoyed by us and our guest…the price was reasonable and well worth every penny. Chef Chris was very responsive to any questions I had and changes I needed to make. The taste was beyond restaurant quality and everyone enjoyed it!!! He was a joy to have in our home because I’m not gone lie I was nervous with this being the first time hiring a chef!! We are most definitely planning our next event with Chef Chris!!!
Savor The PassionSavor The Passion
Lisa D.
We loved our SavorWe experience! Chef Brian was so professional & friendly. The food he made us was amazing. Highly recommend!
SavorWeSavorWe
Daniel S.
We were so happy with Marci and Mpossibly Good! She was a breeze to work with in advance of our event, and she did an extraordinary job as a personal chef for our small gathering (8 adults for a 50th Anniversary Celebration). Marci and her help were punctual, professional, excellent in communicating before and during the event, and (most importantly) put together a delicious four-course meal. We would absolutely recommend Marci to anyone looking for a personal chef!
Mpossibly Good, LLCMpossibly Good, LLC
Ali D.
Wonderful dinner for a b-day celebration! I highly recommend you hire Chef Chris. His food was off the charts delicious, and he is very personable! I will be hiring him again.
Savor The PassionSavor The Passion
Nick e.
Matthew and his food were excellent. I've never hired a personal chef before, and I'm glad we did. It was fun to bring the restaurant experience to our kitchen. We'll definitely be hiring Matthew again!
Cozy Kitchen CuisineCozy Kitchen Cuisine
Brady P.
We were very happy with Savor the Passion!! Chef Chris was engaging, fun, and provided a delicious meal. The food was amazing! The balance of the spices were very pleasing to the palate. The flavor of the quality foods was spectacular. There was a wonderful initial taste and a lingering aftertaste that amazed the taste buds. The word "balance" kept coming to my mind. The use of the spices were perfectly done! He inquired about our tastes and our preferences before he started. I think his calculations were right on!! The presentation!! Beautiful Food!! Thank you Chef Chris!!!
Savor The PassionSavor The Passion
Brad P.
I had no clue how to approach hiring a private chef for my wife's birthday party. I saw Noelle on thumbtack and contacted her. That was about it! All the rest she took care of and I couldn't be happier. I highly recommend you contact Noelle first.
Noelle EveNoelle Eve
Sarah B.
Chef Chris did an outstanding job creating a memorable and incredibly delicious dinner for my parents’ 50th anniversary. He was so responsive and the food was top notch; we had so much fun talking and watching him create! He was a joy to work with and we will definitely be collaborating again in the future!
Savor The PassionSavor The Passion
Latifat O.
We had a great experience for our date night with Chef Chris. We felt very involved in the process from beginning to end. He was very communicative and sought our input at each stage. The food looked AND tasted great. The plus side was that he cleaned up afterwards. Would definitely recommend!
Savor The PassionSavor The Passion
Jamie G.
Perfect experience for our son who’s passion is cooking! Chris came in and was wonderful not only at making food but teaching our son the tips and tricks that make a great chef. From using math to working on time management skills all the way to how to plate a dish... Chris was amazing! He will be back at our house for sure!
Savor The PassionSavor The Passion
Andrea G.
We hired Matthew to come cook for us for a date night which we normally do for Christmas. Our first time hiring a personal chef, and he did not disappoint! I think we ended up talking with him more than we did with each other! He was so professional yet friendly and the food was great. We would recommend!
Cozy Kitchen CuisineCozy Kitchen Cuisine
Thumbtack Customer
Instead of going to a restaurant for our annual holiday work party, we had an "interactive cooking dinner party" with Jessica as our chef/instructor and she did an awesome job. There were nine of us and we prepared the meal (appetizer, dinner and dessert) with her assistance at a private home -- the food and experience was great (lots of laughs)! Strongly recommend this type of party and Jessica!
Jess Delicious LLCJess Delicious LLC
Corinne E.
The food at my daughter's 1st birthday party was delicious every bite was amazing and Matt was efficient and easy to work with. Everything Matthew recommended was perfectly executed, we got alot of complements about the food well done chef! He set up the food amazingly and accomodated my special meal requests for vegetarian options... I was super happy to work with him and look forward to working with him again in the future.
Cozy Kitchen CuisineCozy Kitchen Cuisine
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