Find a caterer near Forest Park, OH

Find a caterer near Forest Park, OH

4 near you

Find a caterer near Forest Park, OH

4 near you

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Top 4 Caterers near Forest Park, OH

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 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 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 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.

Reviews for Forest Park caterers
Thumbtack Customer
Dealing with Greg Lutz with a Catered Affair was a pleasure. Greg always responded back to my messages sent and he responded very quickly. The service and food was excellent. All the staff I encountered with A Catered Affair were very nice, perfessional and they made my party a very enjoyable event. I have used caterers before but after dealing with A Catered Affair I will not use anyone else. I would recommend them to anyone because I know they will do an excellent job. Thanks again Catered Affair!!
An Event by GregAn Event by Greg
Joe G.
We were able to completely customize our menu and the caterer worked with our budget. I feel that we got a great bang for our buck. The food arrived hot and on time. I will hire this caterer again.
Spinning Platters LLCSpinning Platters LLC
Mirja Z.
Great caterer, wonderful staff and service, thank you for making my party so easy!
A Catered AffairA Catered Affair
Thumbtack Customer
Chuck was amazing! He was extremely responsive and conscientious of my budget and limited time frame. He worked with me to create a menu that fit exactly what we needed for my company's event. Chuck always responded quickly and professionally to my calls and emails. A Catered Affair also provided a server and bartender for our event, who were both great! I would definitely work with Chuck and A Catered Affair again for a future catering need! 5/5 starts!!
A Catered AffairA Catered Affair
Thumbtack Customer
This was a last minute idea and a Catered Affair came through for me. They were prompt and the food was excellent. Thank you so much.
An Event by GregAn Event by Greg
Michelle S.
Chef Dominick is a pleasure to work with and I received many compliments on the food. He was there early and did all of it himself with a smile on his face. I would highly recommend this caterer.
Flavor Catering and Bar ServiceFlavor Catering and Bar Service
Thumbtack Customer
Five star for the bid and planning process... will update the review after the affair. Greg is the only one to provide a bid with full example menus and pricing and all add on costs (all well within my requested budget). This prevented the need for me to ask lots of questions. Thanks, Greg and A Catered Affair! I look forward to August and working with you.
An Event by GregAn Event by Greg
Natalie M.
They catered my wedding reception for 120 people. We had the brisket, chicken, Mac n cheese, green beans and corn bread. It was all AMAZING. The brisket was so tender. All of our guests were raving about how good the food was. They set up everything and replenished when needed. Took the stress off of me. We are very happy with our decision choosing Big Reds.
Big Reds BBQBig Reds BBQ
Thumbtack Customer
We worked with Dominick to cater a 40th bday party we threw for our friend. We worked with him to customize our menu and went with an Italian theme. The food was amazing and the ingredients were fresh and sourced locally. The service was extremely professional and more than expected; he was early and set up his food beautifully. I didn't lift a finger. Dominick is very easy to work with and his offering - found and service - is outstanding. We are so happy we found him!
Flavor Catering and Bar ServiceFlavor Catering and Bar Service
Tim D.
We loved working with A Catered Affair. They were able to make several last minute changes and even provided linens for our dinner. We had one small hiccup -- we had paid for a bartender but the staff didn't seem to be aware -- but they stepped up and provided one last minute. Additionally, all of our guests raved how good the food was and they were very accommodating of providing an all-vegetarian meal. Slightly pricier than others but well worth it for what turned out to be a fantastic evening.
A Catered AffairA Catered Affair
Jay B.
Dominic catered a birthday party for 11 people at our house that was planned on two weeks notice. He was quick to respond and to remain in touch. His menu offerings were varied and all sounded delicious. When I mentioned that one of our guests would not need a filet, he quickly replied that he would bring a vegetarian dish for her (which turned out to be unique and very good). The dinner was huge success largely due to Dominic taking care of everything for us. I cannot recommend him enough and will use him the next time we host such an event.
Flavor Catering and Bar ServiceFlavor Catering and Bar Service
Karen S.
I am really, really sad to write this review. I contracted with Greg to cater a baby shower for about 35 people. He was very responsive to the request on Thumbtack and I thought his menu looked pretty good and safe. He also had a lot of positive reviews! Our baby shower was at noon and Greg was supposed to be there to setup at 11:30am. Unfortunately, Greg didn’t show up until about 12:30. He forgot his phone so he couldn’t answer the numerous calls I started making at 11:45am. He arrived and his reasoning was he was looking EVERYWHERE for gluten-free wraps to make the 5 special order quesadillas (total of 35, but 5 were supposed to be gluten-free.) My cousins were at Costco doing a backup catering run, which I was able to call off before they checked out. (Whew!) I told him he should have called when he was supposedly running all over town looking for gluten-free wraps and I would have told him to skip the GF quesadillas if that means you can be on time! He genuinely apologized profusely, but I had 35 people waiting to eat lunch and I needed him to get to work! It took him about 30-45 minutes to get everything served as his partner/assistant was plating some things and getting things together. Greg pulled me aside after he was finished putting the food out and asked me “what can I do to make it better?” He was definitely flustered and I felt bad. But, what do you say to that? You were late, give me a refund? I had only tried the quesadilla and had fruit salad on my plate, so I hadn’t paid enough attention to the quality yet. At that point, I wanted him gone so I could enjoy my sister’s shower. The food was delivered and people had more to eat than the drinks and dessert I brought myself. All that would have been disappointing and frustrating, but if the food was awesome I would have been “okay” and written a much better review. In the end, the food was mediocre... AT BEST. — The $100 “Domestic & Imported cheese tray garnished with Fresh Fruit and served with Gourmet Crackers” was sliced cheese squares from Gordon Food Service (similar to what I could have bought at Costco.) The crackers were normal circle “big ritz” crackers. I was expecting blocks of cheese for people to cut and serve on more upscale crackers. — The chicken fingers were not good, and looked frozen bought and fried. — The quesadillas were okay, but not crispy (we did NOT have an oven on site, so maybe they would have been better.) I thought it was a cheese quesadilla, but looking at my invoice I guess it was chicken (meaning, it was not noticeable chicken) — The fruit salad looked store bought from somewhere like GFS, but I am not sure. It tasted okay. It was supposed to be “seasonal sliced fresh fruits”. The strawberry & vanilla dips were served in Marzetti containers. — The expensive chilled beef tenderloin was cooked okay, but didn’t look appetizing at all, so I think maybe 3-4 people tried one even though I ordered 35 servings. The bread wasn’t crisp, more like a pre-sliced piece of baguette bread. The horseradish sauce was good. — The caprese skewers were okay, but no salt which would have made them good. (Tomato, basil leaf and mozzarella w/balsamic drizzle) — I asked someone and they said the spinach artichoke dip was pretty good, but the serving crostini weren’t toasted, but the seemingly pre-sliced pieces of baguette. — The chicken & vegetable spring rolls were hardly touched and soggy. Maybe because he couldn’t cook onsite, but maybe he should have told me he couldn’t keep them crispy. They were very uniform, again, assuming he bought them instead of made them. ALL IN ALL, I could have gone to Costco or Gordon Foodservice and gotten most of the samefood and expected mediocre or sub-par food for half the price. I was expecting something far better than mediocre. Maybe he just didn’t prep in time and had to purchase. I hate writing bad reviews, but I was pretty embarrassed about the food at this shower, as everything else as very upscale. So, unfortunately, I can’t recommend Greg for catering. :(
An Event by GregAn Event by Greg
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