Find a caterer near Austin, TX

Find a caterer near Austin, TX

Find a caterer near Austin, TX

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Top 10 Caterers near Austin, TX

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 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 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.
Reviews for Austin caterers
Norma M.
Will use V's Catering & Event Styling again
V's Catering & Event StylingV's Catering & Event Styling
Jerin G.
The food offered by Cake-N-Que catering was very delicious and priced well!
Cake -N- Que Catering, LLCCake -N- Que Catering, LLC
Joshua S.
Great to work with! Derek catered a 30 person event and did a spectacular job!
Chef DerekChef Derek
Angela H.
Fantastic food and punctual. I would recommend for anyone who's looking for personalized catering.
Chef DerekChef Derek
Megan S.
Thank you so much for catering our wedding! The food was fantastic and you guys are amazing
Chef DerekChef Derek
Sierra B.
LOVED having my birthday dinner catered by Taste or Napoli. The menu was perfect and everyone loved it!
Taste of Napoli LLCTaste of Napoli LLC
Gina R.
So happy with V! My catering service dropped the ball at the last minute and V and her team came to the rescue! EVERYONE raved about how amazing the food tasted! And the presentation was beautiful! She made my birthday party one to remember!! I highly recommend V’s Catering!
V's Catering & Event StylingV's Catering & Event Styling
Jenn L.
Fabulous Affairs catered a luncheon for our school staff and did a great job accommodating many dietary needs.
Fabulous Affairs Event Planning & Gourmet CateringFabulous Affairs Event Planning & Gourmet Catering
David L.
Food quality was amazing! All my guests were impressed with the food, the varied selection and the flavor. I would highly recommend this caterer to anyone wanting the best quality food for a VERY reasonable price. I don’t regret this selection of caterer since many of the previous companies we contacted never replied to us once they realized it was a same-sex wedding. Due to the delay in finding a caterer, we did not do a tasting prior to the event not have any ideas what to expect with the quality of food (other than the plethora of amazing reviews on thumbtack). Leslie did not disappoint and I will use this company again for any of my catered events. Thanks so much for the amazing memories! My guests can’t stop taking about how good the food was.
Fabulous Affairs Event Planning & Gourmet CateringFabulous Affairs Event Planning & Gourmet Catering
Sandi C.
Chef D was so great to work with. He catered our wedding after we had to reschedule everything and find a new caterer as part of the rescheduling. He did a fantastic job! He came up with some great options for our much smaller group and was so fun to plan everything with. I highly recommend him. His food is excellent!
One Love Foods, LLCOne Love Foods, LLC
Thumbtack Customer
Leslie was a joy to work with. This was the first time I've had to set up an event with a catering service and she was a tremendous help in guiding me through the process. Everything was set up on time, the food was delicious, and my group was very appreciative of the service provided. Thank you, Leslie, for a job well done. I definitely recommend Fabulous Affairs for your event planning/catering needs.
Fabulous Affairs Event Planning & Gourmet CateringFabulous Affairs Event Planning & Gourmet Catering
Thumbtack Customer
If you are looking for the PERFECT caterer for a dinner party in your home, Kniseley Catered is for you. We used this company to serve a buffet style dinner for a professional office party during the Christmas holiday season. From start to finish Robert and his crew were supportive, attentive and a true pleasure. The menu was customized for our guests. The food was excellent. The cost was extremely reasonable. They even did the dishes!
Kniseley CateredKniseley Catered
Katherine H.
First time using Most Wanted Chef LLC, we had so many compliments about the catering. Thank You for making our event successful
Most Wanted Chef LLCMost Wanted Chef LLC
Teresa S.
My guests were quite wowed by the quality and novelty of the catering. And I had a relaxed evening with my guests instead of rushing about the kitchen. It was a very successful evening.
African Violet Personal ChefAfrican Violet Personal Chef
Dana Y.
Pearl Snap catered brunch the day after our wedding. Everything was amazing and we got compliments from all our guests! Working with the Pearl Snap team was easy and stress-free.
Pearl Snap CuisinePearl Snap Cuisine
Kristen O.
We had Chef Derek cater an assortment of hors d'oeuvres for our wedding welcome party. The food was amazing and there was plenty to go around for everyone! I would certainly book Chef Derek again!
Chef DerekChef Derek
Diandra F.
Diva B’s is a fabulous catering service and I will be a repeat customer! From the super stellar food to the awesome response times, I have zero complaints! Thank you Balena for a job well done!
Diva B's KitchenDiva B's Kitchen
Nikki B.
Bake a was great! She was quick to reply and very accommodating. We had a party for 45 people and she catered heavy appetizers. People devoured the Mac n cheese bites and the baked potatoe bites! Everything was great!
Diva B's KitchenDiva B's Kitchen
Thumbtack Customer
Leslie did a fabulous job catering our event. She provided a great list of food options and prices. We decided to opt in for her to set up, and everything turned out perfectly! Everyone enjoyed the food and had a great time.
Fabulous Affairs Event Planning & Gourmet CateringFabulous Affairs Event Planning & Gourmet Catering
Thumbtack Customer
Leslie Wellons catered breakfast and lunch for a three day event for us for over 30 people. After each meal the attendees at the event complimented the food and we were more than pleased with the service and timeliness. We hope to use Leslie Wellons again!
Fabulous Affairs Event Planning & Gourmet CateringFabulous Affairs Event Planning & Gourmet Catering
Tom S.
Joyce did a wonderful job catering my son’s wedding celebration. Her extensive menu offerings allowed us to offer an international meal with Texas, Argentine and Russian dishes. Thanks JC Cooks for great food and service on a wonderful day full of love.
JC Cooks Catering & Chef ServiceJC Cooks Catering & Chef Service
Angela S.
Chef Derek & Niki were very responsive. They also helped me out with my catered dinner on very short (four days) notice and the food was great! They were flexible onsite with my corporate group and feeding 50 hungry people. I would absolutely work with them again.
Chef DerekChef Derek
Stephanie T.
Chef D catered my firm's holiday party at my house. The food was very good, much complimented, and attractively presented and served. Chef D and his assistant, Tessa, were attentive and engaging throughout the evening. Pre-event planning was seamless, with excellent communication by both email and telephone.
One Love Foods, LLCOne Love Foods, LLC
Dominique G.
Vernetta has been so helpful during this process. We were blessed and lucky to have come across V’s Catering. Though our event hasn’t occurred yet, (Dec 2018) we are so looking forward to the wonderful meal she will prepare for our family & friends! Thank you so much!
V's Catering & Event StylingV's Catering & Event Styling
Thumbtack Customer
Leslie catered our Hawaiian themed house party and did an amazing job! She provided a custom menu, set everything up beautifully, and made it all easy for us. My guests were raving all night about the delicious food. Leslie is professional, creative, and I would definitely hire her again!
Fabulous Affairs Event Planning & Gourmet CateringFabulous Affairs Event Planning & Gourmet Catering
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