Find a food service professional near Columbus, OH

Find a food service professional near Columbus, OH

22 near you

Find a food service professional near Columbus, OH

22 near you

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Top 10 Food Service Professionals near Columbus, OH

Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How much does a personal chef cost?

Hiring a personal chef usually costs anywhere from $40-$100 or more per person. Request free cost estimates from personal chefs in your area so you’ll know exactly how much it will cost to hire one for your needs. For an accurate quote, be sure to let the chefs know the number of people they’ll need to feed, what you’d like on the menu and other relevant details. 

To learn more about the factors that impact the cost to hire a personal or private home chef, read our cost guide.

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 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.

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.
Reviews for Columbus food service professionals
Thumbtack Customer
Amazing food and amazing service
An Event by GregAn Event by Greg
Erin B.
Good food. Good service. I would highly recommend them.
Big Reds BBQBig Reds BBQ
Thumbtack Customer
To say Wendy is a caterer does not do her justice at all. She was a personal chef - making all of her food from scratch. Her display was beautifully done and the food was spectacular. She cooked the food in my home so everything was as fresh and delicious. Our guests were more than impressed. I will most definitely use Wendy's services again in the future. Perfectly awesome.
Stir Crazy Cooks & CateringStir Crazy Cooks & Catering
Deni B.
Chef Jeff catered my mother-in-law‘s 90th birthday party. After discussing her likes and dislikes, he absolutely delivered on the most amazing meal! The food was delicious and the presentation and service was excellent! I highly recommend his services.
ChefJeff Catering and Consulting LLCChefJeff Catering and Consulting LLC
Angela C.
Great experience with menu, food and service. They did a great job and made one small error and remedied it swiftly. We definitely enjoyed our graduation party while Chef Brooklyn worked her magic.
House AvilaHouse Avila
Garry R.
Chef Z was very easy to work with in planning. He had excellent suggestions and communication was excellent. He is most professional and was easy to reach with questions. He offered excellent value with several options in food and service. We had a dinner of 88 people. He and an assistant arrived exactly on time and the food was excellent and he provided all services he advertised. We would be happy to work with chef Z again and look forward to another opportunity. He had many requests at the dinner for contact information. Thank you Chef Z.
Chef Z CateringChef Z Catering
Regina B.
Chef Simmone was very timely and professional and had excellent suggestions for our small family dinner. She was prompt in delivery and the food was delicious. Having planned this event from another state the ease of communication was very appealing for me since I do not reside where the party was planned. Excellent and would recommend her to any who are looking for a catering service. The amount of food was more than needed and great for take home.
RahZae Simmone's (Personal Chef)RahZae Simmone's (Personal Chef)
Thumbtack Customer
Leah and her staff provided an excellent menu for a party of 35 employees. The food was well prepared and at the right temperature when served. She set the event up for us and made sure that everything discussed was present and on time. Her friendly manner and professionalism made I a pleasure to have engaged her services. I look forward to an opportunity to utilize her catering services again in the future.
Ninette H.
We hired JM catering for my grandmother Marie Winbush 75th birthday party. He was able to stay within our budget and meet our very specific menu request. Everyone raved at how wonderful the food was. I would definitely recommend his services to others and use him again for other functions. JM was prompt, professional, and provided a great service. Thank you
JM Catering
Lucas P.
I hired Chef Jeff to prepare dinner for my girlfriend and me for her birthday. Jeff exceeded all expectations. He was very helpful in planning the meal. He was very professional, provided great service, and was friendly. On top of all that, the food was delicious and just as high quality as you would expect from the finest restaurants in Columbus. I will not hesitate to hire Chef Jeff again, and I highly recommend him!
ChefJeff Catering and Consulting LLCChefJeff Catering and Consulting LLC
Phoenix C.
Chef Brittney exceeded my expectations. From our initial meeting to the execution of the event, she was flawless and dedicated to success. Chef Brittney is the real deal and worth every single penny. I hired her to host and cook for my wife’s elegant surprise birthday party . Every single guest was satisfied with the for food and the amazing service from her server (who deserves her own separate review). I Highly Recommend!!!!!!!
Chef Brittney KesslerChef Brittney Kessler
Thumbtack Customer
I hired Maria to come into my home and cook breakfast for my then girlfriend and her best friend. This was the beginning of a entire day of surprises I had planned for her as I planned to propose to her later that night. Maria was so helpful and pleasant to work with. She helped me decide what to have on the menu,keep it a surprise and even called me with an update during. Maria arrived on time, in full chef attire and fully prepared to whip up an amazing tasting breakfast for my now fiancé and her friend. My fiancé raved about how delicious the food was. She cooked them stuffed French toast, omeletes, hash browns, bacon, fruit salad and even brought them a pitcher of mimosas. Not only was the food delicious but the entire presentation was perfect. Maria brought her own table clothes, plates, glasses and flowers as a center piece. Maria cleaned my counter tops and left my fiancé with such a amazing experience. I wish I could give 10 stars because she deserves it. She delivered such a premium service at a extremely honest price. I can not wait for the next occasion in which I can use Maria again.
Kibby Home Care, Inc. (Chef Services)Kibby Home Care, Inc. (Chef Services)
Thumbtack Customer
Overall we were happy with the services! Just a couple of snags, but nothing that took away from our event. Communication was a bit delayed the closer we got to the event. A larger event took precedence so the menu wasn't confirmed until a couple of days prior to to event. Luckily our event was fairly straight forward so getting the menu together didn't take long. They were late arriving to the site but that could have been attributed to the 2-hr drive since they are based out of Cincinnati and our event was in Columbus. I wasn't on-site for the event, but received word that the food went over well with the crowd. This particular crowd wasn't as excited about the desserts, but it was their loss :)
An Event by GregAn Event by Greg
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