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Find a party caterer near Arlington, TX

Find a party caterer near Arlington, TX

15 near you

Find a party caterer near Arlington, TX

15 near you

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Top 10 Party Caterers near Arlington, TX

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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 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 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 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.

Reviews for Arlington party caterers
Darla H.
I was skeptical about using Thumbtack to find a caterer for my son’s graduation party but decided to give Meat & Greet a try because of the great reviews. Boy was that the right decision! From the very first point of contact Jim & Gemma we’re friendly, prompt, VERY professional and went the extra mile for my event. Gemma called several times prior to make sure everything was just the way I wanted it. They showed up on time, set up, served my guest so well & didn’t mind at all that it was a late night party. Jim came to make sure my sons & I were satisfied and checked with my guests to see if they were happy with the meal, needless to say EVERYONE was pleased, I had family who flew in from 6 states and had their first taste of Texas BBQ from Meat & Greet and they made an excellent first impression on them. I’m still getting compliments on the food days later. The entire crew was so friendly and the best part was members of the crew danced and sang along to the music while manning the food stations and my guests LOVED it! I highly recommend Meat & Greet for your next event. They are so easy to work with and took the stress off of me so I could enjoy the party with my guests. Excellent quality, price and service. Thank you for helping make my son’s party a huge success!
Meat & Greet BBQ Catering LLCMeat & Greet BBQ Catering LLC
Chrystal B.
Based on the reviews on Jared's thumbtack profile I assumed I would have a good experience with him being the caterer for my event. I was totally wrong. It was a big mistake hiring this company. Some of the issues I had.... I spoke to Jared via email and by phone several times informing him of the start time and event specifics and not once did he mention that he would not be working my event. He sent one server who arrived 30 minutes before my event started. No one called or notified me that the only server would be arriving late. Now mind you I ordered 3 different meats, 3 different sides, 2 appetizers and 2 different drinks for my guests. So it was nearly impossible for one server to unload and set up in 30 minutes. I called Jared during the event (obviously upset) that my guests were all present and there were no food, drinks, or cups prepared for them. He told me that he didn't have to have the food ready until 30 minutes after he start time of the event. I wish that was communicated before I dropped money on booking him because I'm confident that there are better options in the area. The server was still setting up food in front of my guests after my party started. One of the beverages and sides I purchased were never put out for my guests. I purchased a fruit and veggie tray and there was fruit containers with clearance tags from Kroger sitting on the counter in front of my guests. I even had a guest mention to me that I shouldn't serve that to my guests. How embarrassing!! I ordered smoked chicken thighs and drumsticks, but these humongous leg quarters were served. They were huge and dry. Embarrassing! I also ordered brisket and it was over cooked. Embarrassing!! The shrimp and grits...the shrimp still had the shell still on it and made it impossible for my guests to fully enjoy them. Overall, my experience was horrible. I would not recommend anyone using this company if you want a seamless event. As a remedy Jared did refund a portion of what was paid to him. I'm all about being fair and paying what I owe, but I honestly feel the refund doesn't fairly compensate for the stress and embarrassment caused. In response to Jared's response...if I paid for appetizers they should have been ready to go at start time of event when my guests entered my home for the party. It was my party---not yours. You were hired to complete a service that was not delivered properly. Your server did not arrive at 6:15, bc I clearly walked around the home as my other vendors (caricature artist, photo booth, videographer, dj and lighting company) were setting up. I asked them several times if any of them had saw the caterer and I thanked them all for arriving in enough time to be ready to go at the start of the event. I enlisted the help of my family to assist with serving food/drinks, because your server was overwhelmed. Therefore people may have asked for business cards bc my family was dressed in similar attire as your server and I gave instructions to them based on what was not being done. If it had not been for my family helping set up and serve my event I'm not sure how the catering aspect of my event would have turned out. I'm thankful you did not attend the event, because your tone and attitude in your response is not something I'd like in my home.
JaredPierre Private Chef and CateringJaredPierre Private Chef and Catering
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