Wedding and Event Catering

Find a chef near Myrtle Beach, SC

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Top 9 Chefs near Myrtle Beach, SC

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 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 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 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 do you find a personal chef?

You can find local personal chefs by searching on Thumbtack. Once you enter in your details (how many guests the chef needs to feed, the date, your zip code, etc.), you’ll see a list of chefs who fit your needs.

Reviews for Myrtle Beach chefs
Lydia D.
I contacted this chef and many others. I went with the chef that contacted me first. When I contacted this chef to let her know that I had chosen another chef and if it didn’t work out I would call her back. This was her response Please be aware when you reach out to a Chef they have to pay to respond.It cost me over 25 dollars to contact you.If your thing doesn’t work out please don’t contact me! Totally unprofessional and out of order I reported her to thumbtack!
Private Chef Jacqueline DavisPrivate Chef Jacqueline Davis
Thumbtack Customer
We are thoroughly enjoying our experience with Chef Nico. We explained to him our needs and what our goals were with hiring a chef and he has gone out of his way to accommodate every single one of those needs and concerns. His food is absolutely delicious and I would highly recommend Chef Nico to anyone!
Thumbtack Customer
It was our first time dealing with a personal chef and it was great. We were 12 golfers on vacation in Myrtle Beach. Chef Michael helped us with the entire process. Michael kept in touch with us offered suggestions for our menu and let us pick our own menu. We went fishing the day before our dinner. Chef had no problem adding our catch to our menu for our dinner. Chef was on time and took care of everything from setup to cleanup. We will definitely do this again when we are back on vacation.
Tye J.
Chef Bruce was AMAZING! He was very professional and the food was YUMMY! I would definitely recommend him and use his services again.
Ep!phany n CoEp!phany n Co
Shakeyia A.
The food from this chef was amazing. We did a brunch for about 10 people and he got thumbs up from each guest . I recommend booking with this company.
Granny's Family CateringGranny's Family Catering
Stacie J.
Drive from Alabama to Myrtle Beach and knew we would be tired so hired Chef Arthur to be our private chef for the evening! We didn’t know what time we were arriving due to stops and traffic and Chef was flexible with our schedule and was prepared to cook on arrival. We worked together on the menu and aligned on an appetizer of smoked chicken salad served w/ crackers, salad w/ homemade garlic dill dressing, entree of seafood stuffed blackened catfish w/ mashed potatoes and broccoli, and homemade carrot cake and icing. We had absolutely no complaints because EVERYTHING was amazingly delicious! And he cleaned the kitchen spotless including putting leftovers in the refrigerator. I reached out to multiple local chefs and their menu selection was limited, they told me what the meals were going to be, and overpriced! We are sooo happy w/ our experience and already planning our next visit to hire him again!
Granny's Family CateringGranny's Family Catering
Lynn H.
Chef Jacque was incredible. The food was delicious. I can't say enough about her cooking. We loved everything she prepared. She listened to what I wanted
Private Chef Jacqueline DavisPrivate Chef Jacqueline Davis
Shaneka S.
Everything was absolutely amazing!!!!!!! Chef arrived on time every single day! The food was delicious! We had variety for every attendee and they just couldn’t stop raving about how good the food was, especially the steak! Our event wouldn’t have been as successful if chef hadn’t come through with the food. We all came from across the country so we couldn’t do a tasting. We just had to trust the reviews and they were not exaggerating even a little bit. I just can’t say enough about how great everything was. We had a 4 day event with several meals being served daily. Chef was on time every single time and arrived with a smile, professionalism and warm spirit! We will definitely be booking this company for all of our future events.
Granny's Family CateringGranny's Family Catering
Paul M.
This was a superior dinner event and I have asked her to do a dinner for us in February. This was a great experience and a great value!. I highly recommend her. Chef Jackie was a delight to have in our home.
Private Chef Jacqueline DavisPrivate Chef Jacqueline Davis
Kennisha m.
What an awesome experience we had!!!! Jacqueline was our chef for my 40th birthday dinner of 10 girls. She was extremely professional, great personality and food was amazing! Everything was perfect! I would definitely book Jacqueline again!
Private Chef Jacqueline DavisPrivate Chef Jacqueline Davis
Janis D.
Chef Jacquie was fantastic!! Every course tasted amazing!!! I highly recommend the profiteroles, best dessert ever!! What a great 80th birthday for my Mom...14 of us got to eat at home, in comfort, with great food. Thank you!!
Private Chef Jacqueline DavisPrivate Chef Jacqueline Davis
Sharon S.
Top Notch Catering Services! Chef Arthur was a delight. He provided everything that I asked for my birthday celebration at the beach. The food was scrumptious the presentation was on point. My guests and I were completely satisfied! I'll definitely use his services in the future
Granny's Family CateringGranny's Family Catering
Alisa G.
Chef Jacque did a fantastic job in exceeding our expectations. She worked around some dietary restrictions without any issue and produced a fantastic meal for all 7 of us! She was prompt and timely with her communication and delivery. She was flexible with the menu and her primary goal was to make sure each of us had happy and full bellies afterwards....which we all did!! We highly recommend her and will book her again upon our return!!!
Private Chef Jacqueline DavisPrivate Chef Jacqueline Davis
Olivia C.
If you are looking for a personal chef, LOOK NO FURTHER! My family visited Myrtle Beach for my father's 60th birthday and hired Shay for a special night in. Shay responded to my initial inquiry super fast, and came up with an amazing 3 course menu (it was so hard to choose just one from each category!) She showed up right on time and cooked my family the most amazing meal. We bonded over our love of Boston and reality TV, it felt like we were just hanging with a friend! I cannot recommend her enough :)
NOSH Catering and Personal CookNOSH Catering and Personal Cook
Adia I.
Long Honest Review (5 perspectives): I booked Chef Jacque around March for my best friend's Bachelorette Weekend. Which I am so glad that I booked her so early, because she gets booked up quickly. She made the entire process run smoothly, from our initial conversation, planning the menu, etc. She was a great listener when it came to forming and creating a well balanced meal. She was very professional, not to mention how good her food was. The amazing appetizer, delectable stuffed chicken, and mouthwatering chocolate bomb dessert equally complimented each other along with the bread and salad. I can say so much more about my experience, but the other 4 ladies wanted to leave a review through me. If we could give her a 5.0 star rating x 5 it would not be enough. Booking her was one of the best decisions I have ever made. ........................... Below are reviews from the other ladies: .......................... "Jacque remained professional the entire time she was with us. Her personality and kindness was well appreciated. The food was AMAZING!!! Everything from the shrimp, salad, chicken with alfredo, and brownie with raspberry. Did I mention she makes everything from scratch? Even the balsamic dressing was homemade. Overall, she made my best friend's night for her bachelorette, and the food was truly AWESOME!!!"........................ "I had no idea what to expect from a personal chef as it was my 1st time. I thought the situation may be awkward. It was just the opposite. Jackie was the perfect combination of personable, professional, and relatable. Not only this... the food was also amazing!!! I'm a pescatarian... so I don't eat chicken. But she started us off with a delicious Italian take on shrimp sautéed in seasoned olive oil. She coupled this with Italian bread that was equally hard to resist. I had the fettuccine that was designed to be eaten with the spinach stuff chicken. So I'll allow the others to comment as I didn't get the full effect of that portion of the meal. I was already completely satisfied when behold.... Chocolate goodness approached the table infused with raspberry goodness --- topped with fresh raspberries! I don't eat chocolate or raspberries on a regular basis but WOW!!!! Chef Jacque floored me with her story, her professionalism, and her food. If you're not convinced yet, she cleaned the kitchen afterwards. I just had to push start. You choose.... " ........................... "Great cook! Everything was to perfection! I thoroughly enjoyed everything she cooked and I appreciate how much thought and time she put into preparing the food" ................................ "Chef Jacqueline made the dinner event one to remember from start to finish! I thoroughly enjoyed her knowledge of ingredients and how she implemented that into every course and serving."
Private Chef Jacqueline DavisPrivate Chef Jacqueline Davis
Amanda K.
Chef Jacque not only prepared a delicious meal for my friends and I for a bachelorette party weekend, but she also stepped out of her comfort zone to share some cooking demos that were not only educational, but interactive and fun as well! From the get-go Jacque was responsive and polite. It was such a breeze to plan the menu, she showed up on time and completely prepared, and, most importantly, the food was AMAZING! This cooking experience was the big event of the bachelorette party weekend and it was a huge success because of Jacque. The bride-to-be has such a good time and we made a lot of memories. Thank you for a wonderful night we will never forget!
Private Chef Jacqueline DavisPrivate Chef Jacqueline Davis
Mike B.
First-class private dining, first-class professionalism, and first-class experience from Jacque. In speaking with her, you feel like you’ve known her for years, as her personality is infectious and fascinating. Jacque’s multi-course meal for our group of 12 was fantastic and delicious in every aspect. The sausage stuffed mushrooms and charcuterie spread started watering our palettes early and often, followed by a round of homemade focaccia bread. Then, she treated us to separate red-sauce based (mozzarella stuffed chicken parmigiana) and white-sauce based (shrimp alfredo) Italian dishes that had us wondering whether we were sitting in a 5-star Italian restaurant. Absolutely exquisite! The chocolate bomb desserts ended the evening wonderfully, although if only many of us still had room after second and third portions of the earlier courses! She was extremely flexible on developing our menu and for that, we felt overly satisfied! Her preparedness and punctuality were so appreciated and enabled our family to eat in style and visit with one another from the comfort of our condominium. Jacque is a consummate professional in every meaning of the phrase and we would recommend her to anyone and everyone looking for a private chef to spoil them with a first-class meal! Many thanks Jacque!!!
Private Chef Jacqueline DavisPrivate Chef Jacqueline Davis
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