Wedding and Event Catering

Find a caterer near Creve Coeur, MO

Find a caterer near Creve Coeur, MO

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Top 7 Caterers near Creve Coeur, MO

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 Creve Coeur caterers
Thumbtack Customer
The food was very very good! Everyone at the event loved it. Highly recommend Lily Pad Catering! We will be using them again.
Lily Pad Catering LLCLily Pad Catering LLC
Thumbtack Customer
Dana and Ginger did an excellent job catering and bar tending at our event. We hosted a party in our home. Dana was easy to work with and very responsive. He checked in leading up to our event. The food was a hit with our guests. I would absolutely use Lily Pad Catering for future events and would strongly recommend Dana and his team.
Lily Pad Catering LLCLily Pad Catering LLC
Sarah C.
Chef Sara was amazing to work with to create a memorable and remarkable meal for friends and family. We will definitely reach out to Chef Sara and Chef Cox Catering again!
Catering, by Chef Cox & Co.Catering, by Chef Cox & Co.
Thumbtack Customer
Dana catered a private dinner for me and the food was great! He was very responsive as we discussed menu changes in advance and on the day of the dinner he personally delivered the food.
Lily Pad Catering LLCLily Pad Catering LLC
Thumbtack Customer
Chef Terri Jayne is a consummate professional. The food could not have been better. She has an outstanding staff who were prompt, courteous and most pleasant. We will definitely use Delistro Catering for our future events.
The Deli'stro Private Chef & CateringThe Deli'stro Private Chef & Catering
Michael C.
Chef Yo was great to work with! She listened to the needs of our gathering, and came up with good ideas that fit our budget. She was responsive when we had to reduce our order due to folks not able to attend due to coronavirus. The food was delivered early and it was delicious! I would hire Chef Yo again if we need a caterer next time.
Chef Yo & AssociatesChef Yo & Associates
Suzie D.
Truly 5 stars in all categories. Dana/Lily Pad Catering was so very nice to deal with. From the very start he was responsive and organized. We planned a small 55th anniversary celebration for my in-laws and Dana was outstanding in communication - listening and gathering information to make it a perfect dinner for us. The food was delicious and we look forward to using him again!
Lily Pad Catering LLCLily Pad Catering LLC
Thumbtack Customer
Dana, has been great to work with, and he responds to your questions quickly, he brought a sample of his food for me to taste and I was very pleased with the flavor of the foo. Dana worked with me on my budget and he was by far the most reasonable price caterer out of the three that responded on my request. I would highly recommend you giving him a try.. you won't be sorry
Lily Pad Catering LLCLily Pad Catering LLC
Kelsey T.
Dana was phenomenal to work with, from the planning phase to the execution of the event. He was creative and flexible with the menu and made sure we got exactly what we were looking for. He was especially great on-site the night of our event and everyone really enjoyed getting to meet the chef! Everyone is still raving about the food, and we will definitely be welcoming Lily Pad back for future catering opportunities. Highly recommend.
Lily Pad Catering LLCLily Pad Catering LLC
Thumbtack Customer
Hi Dana! Everyone absolutely raved about the food and loved the variety of options that met the needs of all guests (e.g., meat-eaters, vegans, etc.). Kudos to you Dana for your wonderful demeanor, outstanding selections of menu items, and your overall Catering manner. Our mom was definitely surprised and shocked by all that was planned to celebrate her 70th birthday!!! Elaine (on behalf my sisters Karla and Karen and the St. Louis Family)
Lily Pad Catering LLCLily Pad Catering LLC
Elaine T.
I can't say enough positives about Dana and his delicious catering. He was quick to respond to my initial inquiry and very accessible from beginning to end. He delivered and set up the dining room with place cards with each appetizer. The quality of the food both in appearance and flavor was top-notch. I really appreciated having so many details taken care of that I was able to enjoy my own party!
Lily Pad Catering LLCLily Pad Catering LLC
Anthony T.
My staff loved each and every part of the meal. Setup was ahead of schedule, fast, and efficient. A few people were trading items for their take-home plates. Most had seconds and there was plenty food left. It was delightful to see my staff bonding in a way they never have before. I sincerely appreciate this company for not only delivering the wonderful buffet promised but also exceeding my expectations in taste. This is my new go to catering service.
Flame Masters CateringFlame Masters Catering
Thumbtack Customer
This was my first experience hiring a caterer for any event aside from my wedding and I really had no idea what I was doing. Thankfully Dana had a PROCESS and quickly got up to speed on my vision for an informal / casual event that was just "fun". He helped me with the details like compiling a largely gluten free menu, supplying serving ware, coordinating for a bartender and he even made recommendations for things I could buy myself to cut costs. The best part of working with Dana is that he is GREAT at what he does. The food was outstanding and I didn't have to lift a finger. He reached out several times prior to the event to make sure my needs were being met. And he stayed an extra hour with minimal notice. Overall, just A+ service. There are some vendors that you enjoy working with and then there are vendors that make you want to throw parties just for the heck of it so you can use them again. Dana is the latter. THANKS FOR MAKING OUR PARTY AWESOME!
Lily Pad Catering LLCLily Pad Catering LLC
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