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Find a food service professional near Philadelphia, PA

Find a food service professional near Philadelphia, PA

39 near you

Find a food service professional near Philadelphia, PA

39 near you

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Top 10 Food Service Professionals near Philadelphia, PA

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 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 Philadelphia food service professionals
Jerrell M.
Great service, great food, amazing experience. Food was prepared, cooked and presented beautifully. Time and care were put into their service and professionalism as all of our needs were catered to and meet.
Friendly Fire Culinary Stuido LLCFriendly Fire Culinary Stuido LLC
Dee B.
Chef was personable and the food was amazing!! Will definitely be acquiring his services again!
Full Plate Culinary LLCFull Plate Culinary LLC
Thumbtack Customer
The service was impeccable. The food was phenomenal along with the setting of the table. my family was very surprised and impressed with their professionalism and great tasting food. They even clean everything after they are done. I have already referred friends and family who will be using there service. Thank you for making our valentines day a special evening.
Feast CatererFeast Caterer
Pamela L.
Everything was great about Feast Caterer, the food, the service, the price...I will be getting them added to our corporate approved list!
Feast CatererFeast Caterer
Sabrina T.
John Gale although he has not cooked for us yet, deserves 5 stars for customer service alone. I'm sure the food will be amazing. He's courteous and delightful to converse with. Ppl dont understand customer service is first if I don't like that, your food could be absolutely amazing and the only thing I'd remember is how the person treated me.
Elite Flavors CateringElite Flavors Catering
Tudor J.
Delicious food. Excellent presentation. Fantastic service. Overall outstanding value for money. Would use D'Lish again for a catered event without the slightest hesitation.
Megan L.
They arrived late which made them late with the time they were supposed to start serving the food, so the guys had to wait a bit longer than planned. They also forgot to bring the fries so we weren't able to serve them on the menu as planned. Other than that the food and service was good.
Gord's Yo' Dawg Food CartGord's Yo' Dawg Food Cart
Thumbtack Customer
Chef Jay is AWESOME! The food was delicious and hot. He is very professional with his services and friendly. And his prices were reasonable for the event. Thank you and look forward to utilizing your services in the near future.
F.E.A.S.T. Catering and Private Chef ServicesF.E.A.S.T. Catering and Private Chef Services
Thumbtack Customer
Not really sure where to begin.. I had Chef Tony prepare my husbands 40 the surprise party.. We were both absolutely blown away by the service, quality and perfection of everything that came to the table.. From the settings, timing, food (ahhh.. Food), service, pairings and company. The pairings were like yin and yang.. Complimenting every taste bud.. This was an experience we will never forget.. It was a pleasure having him in our home.. Thanks Chef
Tony Lawrence - Global Wine ChefTony Lawrence - Global Wine Chef
Kristen T.
This was my first experience with a personal chef. I hired Chef Tony as a surprise birthday present for my husband and he did not disappoint! The food was top notch and he was very up front about costs and menu items. He worked with me and our likes and delivered excellent service. Not only was the food good but the conversation was as well. I would definitely hire him again!
Tony Lawrence - Global Wine ChefTony Lawrence - Global Wine Chef
Hassan P.
Our chef was absolutely amazing. There was no way to have made this dinner any better than. Food was delicious, service was prompt and he was so professional and patient with us. We cannot wait to book again.
Enjoi CateringEnjoi Catering
Jason A.
Elite flavors catering was absolutely AMAZING! They stepped in at the last minute and were exactly what I needed... the service was excellent and the food was even greater the vegan crab cakes and vegan Mac and cheese were by far the best I’ve ever tasted !
Elite Flavors CateringElite Flavors Catering
Thumbtack Customer
Chef Tony and his staff were a pleasure to work with. The job was for an open house buffet style dinner in celebration of a college graduation. The food was delicious, fluently arranged, and thoughtfully prepared. I would certainly recommend their services to anyone in need of a catering.
Tony Lawrence - Global Wine ChefTony Lawrence - Global Wine Chef
Shekia P.
From the very first point of contact and throughout communication Mr. Lawrence was professional and friendly. His responses to my text messages were prompt with no delays. We were celebrating my partners birthday. J ( my partner) is a man that is very particular about his food, and loves good quality food. Tony's food and service were exceptional. It exceeded J's expectations. Tony also took time to mentor my 18 year old daughter, who will be attending culinary school in the fall. She was able to set the table, pour wine, properly cut a rack of lamb, etc. What can I say? Our overall experience was more than a five star rating. It was AMAZING!!!❤❤❤❤
Tony Lawrence - Global Wine ChefTony Lawrence - Global Wine Chef
Johnika V.
Antion and his partner was really nice understanding as well due to a passing in the family but overall the food was great and the supplies was right on the money i really do like the service and i will be a returning costumer menu and price was great .god bless hear from me soon
Feast CatererFeast Caterer
Thumbtack Customer
Excellent job. I took my now girlfriend to Tony on our first date and he made it seem as if it was the royal treatment. The food was great, the atmosphere was perfect, and he even came and spoke to us a little bit to make us feel more welcome. Definitely requesting Tony's services again.
Tony Lawrence - Global Wine ChefTony Lawrence - Global Wine Chef
Kimberly H.
I recently hosted a law school graduation party weekend for my daughter. My plan was to rent a Airbnb for family members to stay and also have graduation gatherings there as well. I do not live in Philadelphia so I wanted to hire one catering company to handle details and food for the graduation gatherings/parties as well as provide meals (breakfast and dinner) for my 20 family members staying at Airbnb. I searched the internet and spoke to several catering companies before discovering the Thumbstack site and eventually speaking with Chadd of STER Catering. I knew, as soon as I ran my ideas by him that I would hire him to cater the event. He was very excited and receptive to my ideas. He listened to my vision and worked on a written menu and plan for the events and provided the plan and estimate cost the following day. He insisted, before hiring him that he cook a few of his dishes for my daughter to taste. His food is phenomenal! The graduation party weekend was a huge success. Everybody RAVED over the food. What I am so grateful to Chaad and his wife and mom (family operation) is that I, as the host, was able to enjoy the festivities because STER Catering took care of everything! They brought all the glassware, utensils and food. Deanna, Chaad's wife provided the decorations. For the graduation party we had around 60 people and the estimate of the amount of food was on target because we had little to no leftovers. If you are hosting an affair and need a caterer you can trust to handle everything with upmost professionalism and provide exceptional food and service then look no further than STER Catering!!!
STER Catering & Private Chef ServicesSTER Catering & Private Chef Services
Robert p.
Had a great experience with chef tony excellent food and wine pairing the conversation was spiritually uplifting thank you for your excellent service you have made me and my wife's anniversary one of the best ever and I would recommend him to all family and friends my first personal chef and it really was worth every dollar
Tony Lawrence - Global Wine ChefTony Lawrence - Global Wine Chef
Danielle M.
Josh cooked a dinner during my bachelorette weekend and he was absolutely fantastic. We spoke in advance about what I was looking for in terms of dietary preferences and service style and he understood and captured what I was looking for perfectly. The group loved having him around and the food was delicious. I would 100% recommend him to anyone!
Chef Joshua NorthcuttChef Joshua Northcutt
Amanda A.
Chef Tony was very professional and attentive to our individual and collective likes/dislikes. He had great conversation and although we had not met him prior to our event, he served us with a very personalized touch. Chef Tony was easy going and knew how to improvise when necessary. All of the food was delicious and the wine paired for each course was perfect! This service far exceeded our expectations!
Tony Lawrence - Global Wine ChefTony Lawrence - Global Wine Chef
Thumbtack Customer
Chef Tony Lawrence understood from his own church experience how friends of the deceased wanted to bring homemade food to the post-funeral repast. Anonymous friends wanted to fill out the menu. And he suggested salmon, shrimp orzo, marinated grilled chicken and a salad, all excellent. He delivered the dishes --enough for 75 -- on time and at a reasonable price. Couldn't have asked for better service or quality! He works with customers to fit their budget.
Tony Lawrence - Global Wine ChefTony Lawrence - Global Wine Chef
Thumbtack Customer
Kim was wonderful to work with. To say she was flexible is an understatement. She was so accommodating and willing to go the extra mile to make your event exactly the way you want it. Grill Chef Chaz was a wonderful grill chef who grilled for three & 1/2 hrs straight keeping the food flowing smoothly with no bottlenecking. He was so personable and a pleasure to have at the party. My guests were so pleased they asked for the caterers card. I whole heatedly recommend they're services!
Chef Kim's KitchenChef Kim's Kitchen
Chloe J.
We did a surprise dinner for our husbands so a total of 6 of us. Ms. Donna was an angel to us!!! Everything from introducing herself, to getting our menu ready, to the actual dinner day from start to finish was exceptional service!!! She made us feel so special and took her time catering to us. We could barely hold a conversation during dinner because her food was so good! We will definitely be using get again for everything!!
Elaine M.
Chef Anton helped make my son’s college graduation party a celebration we will always remember. With my last minute planning and just two weeks before graduation, I found Chef Anton on-line, and luckily he was available. He set-up early and nicely the day of the event, made excellent use of my space in my home, and took a load off me so I could enjoy my happy guests and event! The food was tasty and the service professional.
Feast CatererFeast Caterer
I await my event on April 28 with eager anticipation for so far Ma'idah Catering has been super. The owner has gone out of her way to insure That I was satisfied with the menu and even visited the site to make sure what was needed to make my event shine. So far she is doing a fantastic job. I can not wait to taste the food. With her professionalism and attitude and pleasing service methods exhibited so far I am sure my event will be awesome. The right caterer for the job!
Ma'idah Catering Co.Ma'idah Catering Co.
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