Wedding and Event Catering

Find a party caterer near Murray Hill, NY

Find a party caterer near Murray Hill, NY

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Top 10 Party Caterers near Murray Hill, NY

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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.

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 Murray Hill party caterers
Esteban M.
Best cocktail party catering experience ever! Highly recommend!
JP Fine Foods LLCJP Fine Foods LLC
Nicole B.
SGS Catering did an amazing job catering my my family's combination birthday/anniversary party. They worked in a far lass than ideal kitchen and delivered for a fabulous cocktail party! I highly recommend!
S.G.S Catering & Private Chef Services LLCS.G.S Catering & Private Chef Services LLC
Ana W.
Perfect cocktail party catering in our New York apartment. The food and service was exceptional!
JP Fine Foods LLCJP Fine Foods LLC
Thumbtack Customer
Working with Bacco catering has been a wonderful experience. They took the time to understand exactly what I wanted/needed in a caterer before providing me with a quote. Very professional and personable-perfect for a corporate party.
Bacco Catered EventsBacco Catered Events
Thumbtack Customer
I had to cater for 50 people in housewarming party. Bacco did an excellent job. People loved the party. Food is good. The crew was extremely proactive and helpful, and the bartender was great too.
Bacco Catered EventsBacco Catered Events
George C.
The food was absolutely amazing. Stenneth and his team are very talented and we enjoyed them very much at our rooftop party! We recommend SGS for any of your party catering needs.
S.G.S Catering & Private Chef Services LLCS.G.S Catering & Private Chef Services LLC
Sharon B.
Marilyn and her team did a wonderful job catering my holiday cocktail party. She was very organized and a pleasure to work with. I’ve used other caterers and she provided excellent value and superb food. I would definitely reccomend her.
Juste Hors D'Oeuvres and Much More, LLCJuste Hors D'Oeuvres and Much More, LLC
Daniela P.
Wayne catered a 15 person party for me that was outstanding. Not only was the food incredibly tasty and unique, but the presentation was exceptional. I highly recommend him!
Global Chefz Catering And Private Chef Services...Global Chefz Catering And Private Chef Services...
Peter F.
Chef Germaine catered my 35 person holiday party at my apartment. I have been engaging caterers around the world for 30 plus years, and Chef Germaine is absolutely in my top 3.... very responsive, highly flexible, innovative & delicious food, and a wonderful, positive manner. My party crowd were senior business figures, so a tough crowd to please & impress. Chef Germaine did both!...
Chef Germaine Batiste  -   Executive Chef/OwnerChef Germaine Batiste - Executive Chef/Owner
Joelle H.
Chef Shain catered a small party for us and was extremely flexible and helpful. The food was a hit, as were the serving items that he helped us out with. We highly recommend him!
Ellen P.
NY Catering service prepared and ran my husband's 70th birthday party and everyone who was there thought it was the best party they ever went to that was prepared in someone's home. The food was amazing and the flow of the evening went perfectly. Could not have asked for anything different. Ellen P
NY Catering Service & Personal ChefNY Catering Service & Personal Chef
Thumbtack Customer
I was looking for a caterer for my birthday party, a cocktail party with passed hors d'oeuvres for 35 people in my NYC apartment. I found Lauren (Bacco Catering) here on thumbtack, and decided to give her a call. I liked her immediately, and hiring her company turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made! Lauren was extremely professional and responsive throughout the entire process. She described her services accurately and was very patient and flexible while we decided on the menu and everything else. She was the only one of 4 caterers I spoke to who was willing to do a site visit prior to the party, which was very important to me. Her company is very service oriented, and it's obvious that she treats all of her clients VERY well whether its a big or small function. She delivered exactly what she promised, and my party was outstanding! Her food was delicious and beautifully presented. She put together an outstanding team for my party--they were EXTREMELY attentive to all of my guests, who are still talking about them! No one had an empty glass for long, and they were so polite and professional and operated seamlessly and efficiently, in a small space too. They cleaned up very well and left my apartment in excellent condition. Lauren and Bacco catering exceeded my expectations in every way. She is a true professional, and I would definitely hire Lauren/Bacco Catering again for future parties. I recommend them HIGHLY to anyone looking for a caterer!
Bacco Catered EventsBacco Catered Events
Thumbtack Customer
We hired Alana on very short notice to cater a work party at our apartment for about 22 people. She put together a great menu for our group. The food was terrific and the service was excellent. We will definitely work with Alana again for our next house party.
Most Wanted Chef LLCMost Wanted Chef LLC
Thumbtack Customer
AMAZING Experience. Marylyn and her crew were exceptional catering our Holiday Party for 35 people. Delicious food, immaculate presentation, and professional staff. Thanks so much. Highly Recommended!!!
Juste Hors D'Oeuvres and Much More, LLCJuste Hors D'Oeuvres and Much More, LLC
Steven K.
Lauren and her colleagues catered a small (20 people) cocktail party at our home. The food was wonderful, both tasty and interesting. Lauren was amazingly responsive and helpful in planning the gathering. All of the staff were professional and helpful. Thanks to Lorraine and her people, the party went off without a hitch
Bacco Catered EventsBacco Catered Events
Brooke K.
We recently had a 40th birthday celebration at Liederkrantz Club catered by OpenSkies Catering. I can't say enough good things about Albert and Phillip and their entire staff. They went Above And Beyond to make our event special. Every detail was perfect!!! The food was phenomenal and very creative. You can't beat their prices either. They are very creative, original, and flexible with their party planning ideas. People are STILL talking about how it was the best party they have ever been too. I would do another party with them in a heartbeat. Just need a reason to have another elaborate affair. :)
OpenSkies HospitalityOpenSkies Hospitality
Jillian R.
I hired NY Catering service for a cocktail party of about 50 people. Chef Chris was an ultimate professional - And his staff was extremely friendly and helpful throughout the night. The food was delicious! The guests were extremely complimentary and impressed with the quality of the food and the service of the staff. The event was wonderful and I look forward to hiring NY Catering service again in the future!
NY Catering Service & Personal ChefNY Catering Service & Personal Chef
Steven S.
Adolfo and his team were simply terrific. He did his diligence before our party, delivered 110% of what we expected and left our kitchen cleaner than he found it. Terrific staff. This was our first experience with a catered cocktail party and it could not have been better.
Casera Group LLCCasera Group LLC
Thumbtack Customer
Karen V.
Harvest was great! Professional servers & delicious food. I had to do the holiday party for my office (80 people) on a very tight budget. Darlene worked with me to get the right menu & price. I worried it would not be enough but it was spectacular. Many said the best party ever. I highly recommend Harvest Caterers!
Harvest CaterersHarvest Caterers
Anushmita K.
We had Desi Galli cater our dinner party for about 25-30 people. We were extremely satisfied with the food arrangement, customization, delivery and taste. All our guests appreciated the food and the quantity was perfect!
Desi Galli CateringDesi Galli Catering
Thumbtack Customer
Tamara and her staff were true professionals and the food was outstanding. I had a birthday party for about 30 people and everyone raved about the food and service. She was extremely accommodating and friendly. I highly recommend Amoraco catering!
Thumbtack Customer
The food and service from Bacco was superb in every way. Lauren and her staff catered a cocktail party in my apartment, and they were beyond professional and friendly. The food was delicious and I've never had so many compliments. Highly, highly recommend!
Bacco Catered EventsBacco Catered Events
Effat H.
Great food is at the heart of a great party and I was so lucky to have Frenchi Touch cater mine and make it the success it was. Daniel was so easy to work with, came up with the perfect menu for my party, and delivered on it seamlessly. All my platters were completely finished and everyone raved to me about the food. Thank you for such great, stress free service!
Frenchi touchFrenchi touch
Hayes s.
Simpli Indulge did an outstanding job for my daughter’s 18th birthday party! The food was so delicious! She helped me plan the menu around a theme and it came together beautifully. She actually left the kitchen cleaner than she found it. It was my first time hiring a caterer for a party on my house and i would hire her again in a heartbeat! Wonderful choice!!
Sympli Indulge L.L.C.Sympli Indulge L.L.C.
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