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Find a caterer near Nashville, TN

Find a caterer near Nashville, TN

6 near you

Find a caterer near Nashville, TN

6 near you

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Top 6 Caterers near Nashville, TN

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 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 Nashville caterers
Mary C.
Everything was perfect! From working with Shannon to the food. I hosted a Bridal Shower for my Niece and all the guests loved the food. I would recommend Our Table Catering to anyone who needs catering for an event.
Our Table CateringOur Table Catering
Malorie M.
We catered to a group of 11 for dinner. They were on time for the delivery and the food was amazing.
Ludlow Catering & EventsLudlow Catering & Events
Stacy W.
Kristen was amazing to work with, couldn't have been easier or less stressful. The food was beyond delicious. Kristen is my new go to caterer.
Kristen Gregory Catering, LLC Chopped Champion ...Kristen Gregory Catering, LLC Chopped Champion ...
Thumbtack Customer
My team loved the food! Shannon was right on time, with all of the supplies she needed, and organized perfectly. We'll definitely call on Our Table Catering again!
Our Table CateringOur Table Catering
Thumbtack Customer
I used Thumbtack to bid for catering quotes. MacK and Kates were quick to respond and worked fantastically with me on my menu and budget. I'd happily use them again.
MacK and Kates Catering & Lou Lou's Garden (Fas...MacK and Kates Catering & Lou Lou's Garden (Fas...
Jasmine C.
Chef Bianca and her team went above and beyond to make our company party special. They were mindful of every detail. The food was delicious and well presented. I highly recommend Chef B for all your catering needs.
Chef B CreationsChef B Creations
Brenda M.
Chef Adam's work if fantastic. He catered our breakfast and the fruit was cut out like flowers and too pretty to eat, but we did. Donuts and bagels were the bomb. Coffee and juices just right. Thank you Chef Adam.
Mantra Classic CafeMantra Classic Cafe
Sheila S.
Michael and his staff catered our son's rehearsal dinner. He met with me during the planning phase and discussed options based on our preferences and came up with a wonderful proposal for a buffet that included my son's favorite foods as well as added a Nashville flair. The presentation was beautiful and the food was wonderful. Michael was always responsive, he was conscientious, and very personable. In addition to exceeding our expectations as caterer, he helped us with suggestions and even made a phone call on our behalf when our rental tables did not show up. We were very pleased and highly recommend Creative Culinary Creations!
Creative Culinary CreationsCreative Culinary Creations
Caitlin R.
Kristen catered a party at our home with 35 guests. We decided on a "stations" concept and the food was beyond delicious. The staff she brought were friendly, kind, and fun. Kristen also brought a bartender who mixed delicious drinks. The entire evening went on without a hitch. I recommend Kristen and her team VERY highly!!!
Kristen Gregory Catering, LLC Chopped Champion ...Kristen Gregory Catering, LLC Chopped Champion ...
Thumbtack Customer
Jan catered a small brunch (16 people) for my mother's 80th birthday and it was perfect. I had coordinated a simple but elegant menu with Jill Brother's of MacK and Kates. The food was delicious. They arrived on time, set up and served beautifully and the very best part was that my kitchen appeared as if nothing had happened when they left. It was effortless and everyone raved about the food.
MacK and Kates Catering & Lou Lou's Garden (Fas...MacK and Kates Catering & Lou Lou's Garden (Fas...
Bob B.
It's late in life for my first time to even hire a caterer; I usually do all the food preparation myself, because 'I want it right'. This event was out of town, hosting a rehearsal dinner at a location I've never been; a million things could have gone wrong. Pam, did everything perfectly, from planning and recommendations that were just right, to punctuality and delivery. When the food arrived, it was a beautiful site, a fabulous presentation! Then, the taste, unbelievable! As good as the food was, with everyone stuffed, there was plenty left over to enjoy another day. 'Well done' is putting it lightly. Thanks Pam!
Lettuce Do Lunch & DinnerLettuce Do Lunch & Dinner
Stacey M.
I booked It's a Southern Thing Catering for two back to back events. I was very happy with their responsiveness to all of our questions leading up to both events. Susan is very easy going and gave us all the info we needed. The first event was for food drop-off services. They created a unique finger food menu featuring the guest of honor's favorite food (bacon). The guests loved everything and the quantities were plentiful! The food was delivered on time & displayed well on the buffet. The second event went well also. The food was tasty and the service did a good job if accommodating our needs from beginning to end. We purchased full service for this one and the staff worked hard to ensure the guests enjoyed their dining experience.
It's a Southern Thing CateringIt's a Southern Thing Catering
Candice L.
We decided to host Thanksgiving at our house this year, and thanks to Michael and Creative Culinary Creations IT WAS A HUGE SUCCESS! From beginning to end, I enjoyed working with Michael. He responded immediately when I was looking for a caterer and was patient with me as I asked a million questions and adjusted the menu along the way. On Thanksgiving Day he was prompt and made sure everything was set up and ready to go. And now for the most important part—the food was DELICIOUS! We wanted to give our parents a break from cooking and we knew it had to be good—and it really was! Everyone raved about the food and we are still enjoying our leftovers! Thank you for making our day so special. Not only do we plan to use Creative Culinary Creations in the future, we are going to recommend them to others. Please don’t hesitate to use them—they are first class all the way and you will be happy!!
Creative Culinary CreationsCreative Culinary Creations
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