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Find an event caterer near Ballantyne, NC

Find an event caterer near Ballantyne, NC

12 near you

Find an event caterer near Ballantyne, NC

12 near you

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Top 10 Event Caterers near Ballantyne, NC

Event 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.

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 Ballantyne event caterers
Thumbtack Customer
I used Good Kitchen catering for a major grassroots activation in the Charlotte area for my brand. I travel all over the country managing events and deal with a lot of catering firms. Good Kitchen is now at the top of my list for catering vendors. They were professional and accommodating to my event vision/needs from beginning to end. The Good Kitchen team was flexible with my budget and menu requests. Most of all, their food was amazing and the service was first class. I will gladly use Good Kitchen for my next event in the Charlotte area. So glad I found such a great company to work with on my event!
Alternative ChefAlternative Chef
Blair C.
The ladies are family oriented and made my first catering experience super easy! I would use them for future events!
C & M Creations dba A Cheri CakeC & M Creations dba A Cheri Cake
Matthew W.
Great job to the Roaming Table! The catered our Grand Opening event! They were professional, fast, and amazing! Use them, you will be glad you did!!!
The Roaming TableThe Roaming Table
Nikia B.
The food was sooo delicious!! Marcia and her team was so professional and the food presentation was amazing!!!! We plan to use Jamaica Coast Catering for our next event!!!
Jamaica Coast CateringJamaica Coast Catering
Beth L.
We used Cooking with Joya for a corporate breakfast event celebrating our admins. It was delicious! Everyone commented on how amazing the food was and asked if we could use her again in the future. The answer was definitely yes! She was on time, easy to work with and very professional. Would highly recommend Cooking with Joya for their next catered event.
Cooking With Joya ( Chef Joya )Cooking With Joya ( Chef Joya )
Victoria V.
Very excited to work with Carmen! She is truly caring and my fiance an I are excited to have her as our Caterer! Can't wait til the Big day and would definitely recommend her for any event. This will definitely be an Affair to Remember! Thankyou
An Affair to RememberAn Affair to Remember
Sukayna b.
Carmen was amazing. She was extremely sweet very responsive and also caring. She made sure I had no issue pertaining to my special day. She wanted everything to run just as smooth as I did. I didn’t stress one bit on my wedding day because of her. Everything was perfect I can’t thank you enough for the outcome of the catering service and set up. If there is anyone you want to caterer for an event I wouldn’t recommend anyone better than Carmen herself. She was just truly amazing !
An Affair to RememberAn Affair to Remember
Lashanda T.
Taste of Heaven was wonderful for my wedding reception. I was so blessed to find such a professional and talented caterer. Communication was awesome and he was very easy to work with in getting the details correct. The tasting was reasonably priced and they worked with my other vendors well. The day of my event was more than I could have imagined. The service was excellent, the food was excellent. Chef Rueben’s passion for cooking and serving was very visible. I highly recommend Taste of Heaven for your event. I will definitely use them in future events. My recommendation ones from their ability to execute my vision, professionalism, quality of food and delivery, accuracy, punctuality, ease of management and their will and desire to provide their service with diligence and beyond my expectations. Thank you so much for making my day awesome. Thank you for providing services beyond catering which helped to make my planning seamless. Thank you for caring about my vision and executing it gracefully.
Taste of Heaven CafeTaste of Heaven Cafe
Cynthia H.
The food was awesome and the owner was very personable. There was a small hiccup due to the several emails that sent back and forth (No drinks, flatware or containers to hold the food). Aww but nor regrets, Marcia immediately took responsibility although it could have been my glitch She apologized and went beyond to make sure that we had what was needed and missing. As I was attempting to recover or get the missing items, she too was 'missing. Approximately 20 minutes later Marcia showed up with the drinks and all , She said "No worries" and she proved, that is what she meant. I Love Jamaica Coast Catering and have shared her information with all of my friends. BTW:: Every person at the event was raving over the food. Thanks Jamaica Coast Catering for making our event wonderful with the presentation of the food and the delight to the palate.
Jamaica Coast CateringJamaica Coast Catering
Thumbtack Customer
Julian is a true professional. Our experience from booking the event to cleaning up after was perfect. We were very impressed with the food preparation, presentation, flavor and quality. The menu was catered to our specifications. The servers he provided to attend the party were excellent. Our cocktail party of 25 went off as effortless as it could have. We HIGHLY recommend Julian and his services.
il Chef Segretoil Chef Segreto
Barbie K.
Planning catering for party was completely new for me and Mr. Epps was amazing. He was so very patient with all my questions and needs. At the event the food was incredible and the service of him and his staff was beyond expectations. It feels like we all left as friends. I am looking for reasons to use his services again. Everyone from our party has subsequently commented about the wonderful food. I highly recommend Epps Bistro!!!!!
Epps BistroEpps Bistro
Meredith G.
Saucy Spoon provided a spread of delicious appetizers and entrees for my graduation party and the experience as a whole couldn't have been more positive. Jessica Lutz, Executive Chef, was extremely accommodating and friendly. She displayed warm, hospitable service in addition to a variety of flavor profiles to meet my indecisiveness when it came to choosing what was on the menu. The warm sausage dip was favored, as well as the homemade chicken fettuccine Alfredo. I would highly recommend Saucy Spoon Cooking to cater any special event for a small or large group!
Saucy Spoon CookingSaucy Spoon Cooking
Rodney S.
We have only wonderful things to say about both your food (which we didn't really get to try until the next day, haha) and your staff. The opinion of everyone that attended our wedding reception was very positive. Everyone was extremely friendly and helpful! Everything was delicious, from the vegetarian options to the pasta salad and meat patties. We were very happy with everything and will certainly consider you for our next large event. Several people have asked the name of the catering company and we eagerly passed along your name. Thanks again for all your help and patience throughout the entire planning process to the day of execution. Have a wonderful Christmas! Chandra & Rodney Scroggins
Jamaica Coast CateringJamaica Coast Catering
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