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Find a celebration caterer near Upper Manhattan, NY

Find a celebration caterer near Upper Manhattan, NY

63 near you

Find a celebration caterer near Upper Manhattan, NY

63 near you

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Top 10 Celebration Caterers near Upper Manhattan, NY

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 Upper Manhattan celebration caterers
Floyd W.
I cannot stop raving about the food, service and professionalism of Chef Stenneth and his team. I searched the internet and referrals for a special chef to cater our celebration for a dear friend who passed away in December. Right from the first call, I knew Chef was the right person to do the party. Even after highly referred caters called, my gut said to stay with Chef. And, he did not disappoint! The guests were amazed of the presentation and attention to details. The food was outstanding and all of the diverse 75+ guests kept coming back for more. Not one complaint. The staff was easy, professional, friendly and conscientious! The team made celebrating the passing of a dear friend effortless and we are all extremely grateful. Chef is talented and personable. He will work with you to design your dream party or just a simple dinner. Since the celebration, others from the party have used his services. You should too! As I said, he will not disappoint! Thank you Chef Stenneth! Looking forward to you helping me with my 60th celebration! Yeah Mon! Cheers!
S.G.S Catering & Private Chef Services LLCS.G.S Catering & Private Chef Services LLC
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
Cindy R.
We had a small wedding celebration catered by DeCicco and Sons and it was a great experience from beginning to end. From the first text I received with a quote it was clear that they are incredibly professional and easy to communicate with. On top of the great customer service the food was very delicious and everyone raved about the taste and how well they accommodated for dietary restrictions. I would recommend them in a heartbeat and am so happy we found them through thumbtack.
Anelise E.
We celebrated my husband's 50th birthday yesterday. Chef Lauren of Bacco Catered Events was, from our first contact, very professional, courteous, and had an immediate response to any questions or doubts. She was very flexible and very helpful during the planning, finding solution to any problems. We planned this cocktail party for 50 people in 1 month. The execution was amazing. The food was beautiful, delicious and plentiful. The staff was poised, worked non-stop and very attentive. I heard positive comments throughout the party from my guests, and several asked me where I found this amazing caterer and staff. We had a great party thanks to Chef Lauren and her great staff I recommend her with no hesitation.
Bacco Catered EventsBacco Catered Events
Courtney d.
JP Fine Foods catered a fabulous July 4th Celebration for me. Chef Jeffrey and his team easily exceeded my expectations and importantly Chef was flexible w/dishes, all my requests and even a slightly changing guest list. We did all "one bite passed hors d'oeuvres" and the experience could not have been better. My guests raved about the presentation, quality of product and originality of dishes. I'd certainly use Chef Jeffrey and his team again and cant thank him enough !!!
JP Fine Foods LLCJP Fine Foods LLC
Thumbtack Customer
Tamara Shenkle was fantastic to work with. From start to finish, Tamara professionally brought me through the process of planning our marriage celebration NYC cocktail party. From the delicious menu (the guests raved perfectly bite sized hors d'ourves), cocktails & bar (she handled everything) to the handling of a lovely prosecco toast for fifty of our closest friends. Amoraco's food was fresh, exquisite, the glass and serving ware completely taken care of and the staff gracious, skilled and friendly. Thank you Tamara for catering our party. We and, again, the guests gave you and your team heartfelt compliments. P.S. Thank you for leaving the place so clean - our host appreciated it! I highly recommend Tamara and Amoraco for anyone reading this post.
Thumbtack Customer
Peter and his team were absolutely amazing. Not only was he great at communicating with me prior to the event, but he also offered many delicious options for the menu to ensure there would be something for everyone at my party. The team was on time and very respectful of the staff and the space, putting together a lovely set-up with flowers (!) that made the event feel that much more special. The food and drinks were delicious. My personal favorite were the pulled pork sliders and mojitos, but everyone raved about how delicious all of our appetizers were. Peter even sent a special plate over to me (the host) to ensure I'd have a chance both to eat and sample his delicious menu. I cannot say enough about the friendliness of him and his staff throughout the night. They were just so thoughtful and professional. I would (and will!) absolutely hire Peter and Creative Table Catering again in the future. My friends were also very impressed by him and the value of the services he offered at my event. In a city with innumerable options for caterers, I would highly recommend Peter for any event you have. He made my special night a celebration to remember.
Creative Table NYCreative Table NY
Thumbtack Customer
What a treat to find Chef Lauren and Bacco catering. This was our first experience with Lauren and her delightful staff but we are already coming up with excuses to hire them again. Chef Lauren worked with us to personalize the menu for my partner’s milestone birthday celebration and provided a full service dinner for 40 guests in our apartment with compelling warmth, confidence, and the utmost professionalism. The food was mouthwatering from the first tantalizing passed hors d'oeuvres all the way to the desserts which, by the way, included triple chocolate brownies with raspberries on the side. Everything was perfectly flavored; clearly prepared with great care and the finest ingredients; and presented beautifully. We are over the moon and our guests haven’t stopped talking about the flavorful food and wonderful service. On top of that, our kitchen was left sparkling clean and there was an awesome stash of irresistible leftovers waiting for us in the fridge to help keep the memory of an already unforgettable and delicious evening alive for just a little while longer. Professional, on time, everything was as promised and beyond.
Bacco Catered EventsBacco Catered Events
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