Wedding and Event Catering

Find a caterer near Pearl District, OR

Find a caterer near Pearl District, OR

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Top 10 Caterers near Pearl District, OR

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 Pearl District caterers
Cynthia S.
We used That Food Guy Catering for a drop-off lunch for a funeral. Jerry was very helpful and responsive in assisting me and answering questions. Everything was exactly as expected with the food. I will definitely keep this company in mind for future catering needs.
That Food Guy CateringThat Food Guy Catering
Kimberly E.
The food was absolutely wonderful and we got lots of positive feedback. Many people commented on how nice Sandra was and how easy it was to get everything set up. Sandra worked with us when we needed to come up with a caterer fast and really made everything effortless on our end. We highly recommend her for any of your catering needs!
Sandra's Goodies CateringSandra's Goodies Catering
Donna B.
Sandra was very easy to work with and went above and beyond what I expected. I would definitely use her catering services again.
Sandra's Goodies CateringSandra's Goodies Catering
Thumbtack Customer
Bonnie catered and served at my office Christmas party, which went very well. The food was excellent (Creole menu) and she was very responsive and professional to deal with.
Oh Honey CookeryOh Honey Cookery
Kathleen Y.
I've just hired Sandra for our event in April. So far, she has been prompt, professional, and so sweet! We can't wait to have her cater our event.
Sandra's Goodies CateringSandra's Goodies Catering
Kehau S.
Alison is a true professional! From the first Thumbtack contact to the event, she was extremely easy to work with. Sadly, I was unable to attend the actual event. But I received numerous texts, during the event & after, complimenting Alison & the wonderfully delicious spread that she put out. According to everyone in attendance, the food was FANTASTIC and there was so much of it! You know that things went well when you get asked for contact information for the caterer. Cheers to Alison & Baker's Dozen Catering & Cakes for a job well done!
Baker's Dozen Catering & CakesBaker's Dozen Catering & Cakes
Greg M.
Alison provided a fully catered and full meal. She came early, set up, cooked, and served the meal. The food was great and Alison did a great job of making the night special. I would highly recommend Alison!
A Wonderland Of FoodA Wonderland Of Food
Kehau S.
This is the 2nd Holiday Event that I've used Baker's Dozen Catering & Cakes, but the 1st time I was able to meet Alison & enjoy her wonderfully delicious food. Once again she was top notch from beginning to end and such a joy to work with!
Baker's Dozen Catering & CakesBaker's Dozen Catering & Cakes
Lisa B.
I needed a caterer last minute and Sandra made herself available. She worked with in my budget and the food was excellent! I would use her again without question. She even took care of the details that I forgot about.
Sandra's Goodies CateringSandra's Goodies Catering
Cassandra W.
Amazing job for my wedding. We booked a catering service originally and she dropped the ball and Koki came in and saved the day. Food was delicious and got lots of compliments about how great it was for 140 people. Courtnay who was the bar manager was fantastic as well.
Teri h CateringTeri h Catering
Cheryl S.
What a wonderful find this catering company was. Alison was so good at working with us to create lovely platters of finger foods for my daughter’s baby shower. She went above and beyond, I cannot thank her enough for helping make the day a memorable one.
Baker's Dozen Catering & CakesBaker's Dozen Catering & Cakes
Janira R.
My clients and I were very happy with Fusion catering. You guys did an excellent job on the food (taste) and presentation. We were blown away. Thank you for also being very prompt and on time. Looking forward to working with you again in the future! Thanks!
Fusion international cateringFusion international catering
Riley-James V.
Viki and Tami did an absolutely stunning job! I mean these ladies had everyone talking about how delicious the food was. Even the Governor herself. When there wasn't much to do, they kept themselves busy making sure everyone had drinks and was being very attentive to our guests (something the bartenders should've been doing). We are truly impressed -if not amazed, and for them to cater with just two? Speechless. I could not thank you guys enough for taking us last minute and providing such great services. If you're looking for friendly professional caterers -this is the company. P.s. Everyone took home seconds. Keep up the good work! Looking forward to seeing you guys again.
It's Party Time Catering, BBQ's and Event PlanningIt's Party Time Catering, BBQ's and Event Planning
Edward J.
Alison was responsive and accommodating to every request we had. She made time to address concerns while she was on personal time herself and never missed a beat. This was a special birthday celebration for my wife and Alison made it seamless, even assisting with rentals for the event. I work with caterers all over the country and if I have a need here in Portland again, it will be filled by her and her team if they are available!
A Wonderland Of FoodA Wonderland Of Food
Thumbtack Customer
Jerry and his team were brought on board pretty much at the last minute and performed beautifully. The food was delicious; the layout was beautiful, and his staff was right there keeping the trays full and the tables neat. The bartender was proficient in pouring drinks. The bar service was another area where it was a last minute decision on our part. That Food Guy was amazing in fulfilling what we needed. They arrived promptly and immediately started set up for our event. And, they stayed until the venue manager signed off on the kitchen and event spaces. We would definitely look to That Food Guy for other event catering. He and his staff were helpful, professional, and especially interacted well with our attendees. I've been in fundraising and event planning for many years and can say Jerry Crane and his staff are up there with some of the better caterers I've used. Juanita Barrabee Business & Fund Development Manager Community Access Services
That Food Guy CateringThat Food Guy Catering
Sarah A.
From beginning to end it was a pleasure to work with Alison and A Wonderland Of Food catering. The service staff were attentive and professional during our event and made sure glasses and plates were cleared in a timely manner and food was consistently replenished. The food was delicious and the amount of variety ensures you won't have an issue finding something tasty and unique to please all palates. We look forward to working with her again for future events!
A Wonderland Of FoodA Wonderland Of Food
Thumbtack Customer
Jerry and his crew were FANTASTIC. Everything was spectacular from the food quality and flavor to the flexibility of menu options including vegan, vegetarian and gluten free. The buffets were set up to allow less than a 2 minute wait at the busiest time making all our employees very happy and a smooth process. That Food Guy Catering is being added to our preferred vendor list for future events and recommended to other departments within our organization.
That Food Guy CateringThat Food Guy Catering
Tina T.
Alison has been terrific to work with. We have used her in a few different capacities in the last 2 weeks...private chef for a dinner party, caterer for a holiday cocktail party and chef for delivered meals. Her food has been delicious, and she is really easy to work with. She is open to suggestions and will also give her opinion on what she thinks will work best depending on the event. She is quick to respond, always professional and reasonably priced. I plan on using her again and recommend you give her a try.
A Wonderland Of FoodA Wonderland Of Food
Gevan M.
I have to say Sandra's Goodies made a phenomenal spread for our company's Christmas luncheon. Her ribs and brisket were smoked to perfection and the roasted/smoked veggies were out of this world. Sandra delivered more than she promised and that was outstanding. Most caterers we've used in the past fell short on providing enough food, but not Sandra's Goodies. We had enough leftovers to share for lunch the next day. Thanks Sandra's Goodies we will be using you again and I have already had several people asking me about your services.
Sandra's Goodies CateringSandra's Goodies Catering
Rosie F.
Alison was very responsive and professional from the start of the process and all the way through. Her menu had a very large variety of options. We narrowed down to some of our favorites. She offered to bring samples over a few weeks before the party so we could taste and finalize the menu. She was very helpful and flexible, with a couple if minor tweaks and requests. The day of the party, she arrived an hour early to prep and stayed about another half hour to ensure all was well. Food portions were generous. Everything was delicious!! I cannot say enough about how awesome Alison and Baker's Dozen Catering & Cakes is. We would highly recommend her!!!
Baker's Dozen Catering & CakesBaker's Dozen Catering & Cakes
Thumbtack Customer
I hired Viki and her staff after seeing multiple positive reviews on Yelp and a local wedding community site I was using during the planning process. After our initial contact she invited me to meet at the Macys Sip and Scan she was catering and I was able to view her tables and chat with her about what I was looking for. She was super attentive and sweet, got back to all of my emails and phone calls and made sure everything I asked for was delivered. I did a TON OF RESEARCH and the price per head was extremely reasonable, (even after the delivery and set up %) especially given the amount of food there was leftover and the quality of the ingredients used. I am so sad I never got a chance to see the catering table set up except from behind for twenty seconds before I was whisked away for the grand entrance! Our guests seemed very happy with the food and said it all looked so nice and elegant. Thank goodness for the photographer! We did a whole roasted pig and I was told it was super yummy and having it sliced as people went through the line was super impressive to our friends and family. A couple guests did say there was a little pink meat they were worried about but as the owner Viki stated below, this is normal with a Traegar smoked pig. Not much we could do about that. My husband said he got to see he pig before it was carved up and the caterer pointed out they "burned" in our names and wedding date into the skin which we thought was a very sweet and totally unexpected touch. My dad and my Samoan family was very happy that the staff were nice enough to package up the skin for them to take home with them as well. Although I was only able to eat 2-3 bites of the plates their awesome staff made sure to get to us after the ceremony (and couldn't tell you how they tasted or even what I tasted as I was so distracted with all of the guests hahaha) quite a few people have told us that it was so nice to have decent food at a wedding for once . I was SUPER happy that the vegi's were fresh and not frozen (I CAN tell the difference and it's huge!), they were still delicious reheated the next day. The staff packed up a TON of leftovers and we have been munching on them since Saturday, a really nice treat to not have to cook for a few days afterwards! The leftover pork is FA-MAZING! Her staff checked with us throughout the night if we needed anything and made sure the guests were full and happy, all delivered with a smile. That's what was most important to us and Viki definitely delivered! I will recommend her for sure and quite a few of our guests also took cards for future needs!
It's Party Time Catering, BBQ's and Event PlanningIt's Party Time Catering, BBQ's and Event Planning
Thumbtack Customer
Jerry and his team catered my wedding in Troutdale in April 2015. The entire process was easy (almost too easy!) from the very beginning. Jerry always replied to my questions right away, made me a quote within my budget, and went above and beyond to find the beer we wanted so we didn't have to bring our own kegs in. I really appreciate Jerry's "all inclusive" approach. Our venue provided tables and linens, but Jerry did everything else for a set, per-person rate. Servers, bartenders, set up, tear down, utensils, plates, etc. It was all included. He served the wine we purchased, and didn't charge us corkage for not going through his distributer. Jerry is very friendly and professional, I always felt like I was in great hands. And on the wedding day I had no worries about at all! Also - the food was absolutely delicious. Thank you for helping make our wedding day perfect, Erin
That Food Guy CateringThat Food Guy Catering
Claire D.
I hired it's party time/it's BBQ time for my company's summer picnic. When I initially talked to Viki she was very professional, insured me that she would take care of everything, sent me multiple options for my event with quotes to match. I was super excited because this is the first time I have planned something like this on my own and it sounded like they were a one stop shop! As it got closer to the event communication with Viki was a bit of a struggle. There were multiple problems with the liability insurance needed (the event was taking place at a public park). I would send Viki emails and not get a response. I would call and talk to someone other than Viki who wouldn't relay my messages on. I ended up having to coordinate with her contact at Farmers insurance in order to get everything that was needed on the insurance end. I planned the whole event but was actually unable to make it. I was told by MANY of my coworkers that the food was some of the best they've had, and that the staff that was there serving and bartending was super friendly and professional. In the end I would definitely consider working with Viki and It's Party Time Catering again. If I had any advice for them I would say - please work on your communication! I know juggling multiple events is tough, but please follow through with any questions or requests that come your way.
It's Party Time Catering, BBQ's and Event PlanningIt's Party Time Catering, BBQ's and Event Planning
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