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Find a caterer near Golden Valley, MN

Find a caterer near Golden Valley, MN

5 near you

Find a caterer near Golden Valley, MN

5 near you

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Top 5 Caterers near Golden Valley, MN

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.

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 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.

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 Golden Valley caterers
Darcie L.
Everything about this catering company rocks!! They are the best. Had a wonderful relationship with Amber. She displayed such a genuine, caring attitude and excitement for our wedding! They are very flexible with everything and really made us feel important. Thanks for being a part of our special day. I will always use Chef Jeff Catering for future catering needs :)
Chef Jeff CateringChef Jeff Catering
Thumbtack Customer
Dani was not only very professional but outgoing and friendly. The food was fabulous! I've had guests asking me ever since who was that caterer. I will definitely call Dani if we ever have any future catering needs.
Catering by DaniCatering by Dani
Thumbtack Customer
Christine did a fabulous job for our holiday office event. The presentation was great and the food was outstanding. Christine was very attentive to the food and made sure we had plenty to eat. I would recommend Pangea Catering for any of your catering needs! Janelle
Pangea Full Service CateringPangea Full Service Catering
Thumbtack Customer
What an awesome experience working with this catering company!! Food was marvelous. Amber is a wonderful asset to this company!
Chef Jeff CateringChef Jeff Catering
Thumbtack Customer
Dani's catering service was awesome! With short notice Dani came through. The food and service was wonderful!
Catering by DaniCatering by Dani
Kristel P.
Next time remember when you promised to cater. You totally forgot and went out of town instead.
CH Professional CateringCH Professional Catering
Thumbtack Customer
This was a great experience. The food was delicious and the portions generous. Setup went smoothly! We will definitely use Catering by Dani again.
Catering by DaniCatering by Dani
Jill B.
Christine catered our graduation party yesterday and was amazing. We had a waffle bar and everyone loved it. I highly recommend her services!!!
Pangea Full Service CateringPangea Full Service Catering
Lily D.
Chef Jeff did a great job catering our wedding brunch. They were very accommodating with our changing needs as the event approached, and the food was delicious!
Chef Jeff CateringChef Jeff Catering
Ashley C.
I cannot say enough amazing things about our experience with Amber and Chef Jeff catering. She was so responsive and willing to work with our ideas. All of our guests loved the food and were raving about it all evening! They left the space cleaner than it was to begin with, which is incredible! Thank you so much Amber and Chef Jeff catering - we can't wait to work together again soon!
Chef Jeff CateringChef Jeff Catering
Thumbtack Customer
Gianna was terrific. Food excellent. Personality and customer service over the top. Would definitely use again. Will be our famiy's catering service of choice. We consider her a friend.
Personal Chef ServicesPersonal Chef Services
Thumbtack Customer
I used Catering by Dani for my wedding and it couldn't have gone better! Her and her team were so friendly! During cocktail hour we were taking pictures and I sent a bridesmaid out to the reception room to get some hors d'oeuvres but they had already finished up and I was so bummed and hungry. Then to my surprise one of the waiters came around with trays just for us! They really went above and beyond and everyone loved the food. When I was searching for a caterer I found it really overwhelming because you have to take so many steps before you can get a quote, talk to this person, meet with that person. When I signed up for thumbtack, catering was the first thing I requested and Dani was the first to respond with an actual quote just for our event! I will definitely be recommending this company and will visit their restaurant in the midtown global market! Thank you so much Catering by Dani for amazing service and great food! Jonathan & Cailin Lindberg Married April 26, 2015
Catering by DaniCatering by Dani
Thumbtack Customer
Lili did a fabulous job of catering a cocktail party at my home in Edina! Delicious appetizers, all beautifully presented. Lili was lovely to work with, very accommodating and creative. I will definitely use her again!
Lila Buffet StylingLila Buffet Styling
Meghann M.
Chris was extremely professional when planning out my menu. I spoke with other catering firms, but the menu he created was the most personalized. I really appreciated the way he listened and incorporated my preferences.
Savor The PassionSavor The Passion
Thumbtack Customer
Josh and his team did an excellent job catering for my wife's 40's birthday bash. Menu was well planned and executed. Timing of the various made the experience all the better, especially the late night flatbreads. Highly recommend.
Diem CulinaryDiem Culinary
Thumbtack Customer
Luzette Catering did a fantastic job for our company picnic! It was short notice and Daniel was flexible and accomodating. The server who worked our party was very nice, even in the 95 degree heat. I would recommend them for sure!
Luzettecatering l.l.cLuzettecatering l.l.c
Marilyn B.
It was a delight communicating back and forth with Matthew. He responded so quickly to any questions or concerns I had, and he definitely worked within my budget! I would recommend Cozy Kitchen Cuisine to anyone looking for an excellent catering service!
Cozy Kitchen CuisineCozy Kitchen Cuisine
Audrey F.
Drew the Bartender and his employees brought us an incredible array of delicious foods to serve to our guests at our daughter’s graduation party. He created food that was delicious for every age group which was very appreciated. Drew was very professional and his foods were creative, beautiful and delicious. All of our guests commented on how good the food was, and asked who our caterer was. I am happy to recommend Drew to any of my friends who have catering needs. We had a signature drink the bartender expertly crafted that also helped to make our party that much more classy. Thank you to Drew and Company for helping us create a memorable event for our daughter and our guests.
Partylinetoo CateringPartylinetoo Catering
Thumbtack Customer
Christine was the best! Food was perfect and the event was seamless. High quality food, service and work ethic! Great support staff! All I did was visit with guests. Still getting raves of how good the food was. I will use Penga Full Service Catering for all of my event needs! Thank You Penga!
Pangea Full Service CateringPangea Full Service Catering
Audrey C.
Pangea catered my companies holiday party and it was amazing, about 140 people! From first contact Christine was responsive, easy to work with and modified the menu for our needs. We had a great assortment of appetizers, the value and the quality of the food was superb. Everything was made fresh, presented beautifully and tasted even better. I will be calling Pangea again for our next event!
Pangea Full Service CateringPangea Full Service Catering
Thumbtack Customer
I asked for a catered dinner for my siblings and their spouses for a Christmas gathering. Christine suggested a variety of options and price ranges for our group of 20. We all agreed that she was very professional and friendly, service was wonderful and the food was delicious! Will most definitely keep her name for the next gathering we have. Thank You so much Christine! LuAnne Hayes
Pangea Full Service CateringPangea Full Service Catering
Bonnie N.
Melissa from Lila Buffet Styling catered our Wedding event yesterday 9-9-17 in Prescott Wisconsin. From the very first meeting to the actual event everything was handled very professionally and prompt. The food was fabulous, our menu was to reflect our heritage Italian and Spanish. Lila Buffet was able to put together delicious food reflecting both. Our guests raved about how good everything was. Melissa did an excellent job and we look forward to booking again in the future!
Lila Buffet StylingLila Buffet Styling
Thumbtack Customer
Christine was fantastic! I hired her to cater for my parent's 50th wedding anniversary. I asked her to give me a few healthy menu options at different price points and she provided a good variety of options. Christine was easy to communicate, reliably followed up, and provided very healthy and tasty food at our event. Christine even came to the venue before the day of the event so she could make sure she could set up everything perfectly. Overall, great value, great communication, and great service! One person even came up to me and said it was the nicest food they had seen at an event like this. Thank you Christine!
Pangea Full Service CateringPangea Full Service Catering
Kathleen R.
We had a 90th birthday party for my dad on a sunday afternoon. Just 45 people at our home but I could not have done it without Chef Jeff Catering. The menu was Chicken Parmesan, steamed green beans with red peppers (very crism and not at all over cooked), a colorful and fresh salad, dinner rolls and some of the best cookies I ever tasted (very soft and chocolatey). We also had appetizers that were very professionally created. Tracy was in charge of our party, and she was so understanding to work with as our guest list kept fluctuation (as it does when you are inviting people in this age group). The food was delicious and Tracy kept it warm without drying it out, despite the many hours that the party expanded (11:00 AM till 4:00). Many people asked for her card and even my sister-in-law, who is very picky, gave hearty compliments. Tracy was there to help no matter what needed to be done including picking up dishes throughout the house, and seving the cake that someone else brought. She was also a friendly and warm person and a joy to work with. The bill was extremely reasonable, I was very surprised. I will definitely hire Chef Jeff again.
Chef Jeff CateringChef Jeff Catering
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