Wedding and Event Catering

Find a caterer near Fort Worth, TX

Find a caterer near Fort Worth, TX

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Top 10 Caterers near Fort Worth, 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.

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.

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.

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.

Reviews for Fort Worth caterers
Louise Y.
Will hire Buddy's Catering for my next event. Food was awesome and staff was great. Buddy was on time.
Buddy's Catering & Snootypig cafeBuddy's Catering & Snootypig cafe
Thumbtack Customer
Chef Cassy crew catered my grandmother 80th Birthday Celebration and they did a great job and the food tasted great..
Chef Cassy's CreationsChef Cassy's Creations
Thumbtack Customer
I would highly recommend Buddy's Catering. The food was great and so was the service. Everyone was very happy with the service.Very professional. Thanks Buddy!!
Buddy's Catering & Snootypig cafeBuddy's Catering & Snootypig cafe
Felicia T.
One of the best catering experiences We have ever had. I host normally 4 events a year and so glad we stumbled upon this jewel. Our first time hosting in Fort Worth and the food was beyond my expectations!!! We will return and hire them again.
Smoke City Proz BBQSmoke City Proz BBQ
Thumbtack Customer
If I could offer zero stars I would....Robert did not even show up to my event. He sent staff instead which were late...HORRIBLE knives to cut the meat...and didn't even promise all that was in my original contract. Stay away from this caterer
Chef it Up! CaterersChef it Up! Caterers
Tinel A.
I cannot say enough good things about Kevin's Caribbean Kitchen. The food was of great quality, flavor, and with a doubt abundant. He was responsive (even when I was delayed in responding) and his prices are more than fair. Simply put if you are in need of a Cater who will listen to your needs and perform Kevin's Caribbean Kitchen is without a doubt your place.
Kevin’s Caribbean KitchenKevin’s Caribbean Kitchen
Thumbtack Customer
From the moment we spoke to Ed, we knew he was the one to cater our event! We were married in New York and then hosted a reception at our home in Fort Worth, TX. From the tasting, down to the event itself, Ed was there every step of the way. Not only was the food delicious and reasonably priced, the staff were exceptional. Our bartender never stopped pouring, the servers made sure everything was perfect down to bussing, running the dishwasher, and even cleaning up! It was a perfect night! Thank you for everything! Cindy and Lindsay
Fresh Thyme CateringFresh Thyme Catering
Audri W.
We hired Buddy to cater our company Christmas party on Christmas Eve. Everything was fantastic. We were very grateful they were even available on a holiday. Buddy and his assistant arrived plenty early to get everything set up and looking good. They patiently waited when we weren't quite ready to eat on time, and they made clean up a breeze. On top of everything else, the food was delicious and the price was amazing!! I would highly recommend Buddy and will definitely plan on hiring him again. Thank you, Buddy!!
Buddy's Catering & Snootypig cafeBuddy's Catering & Snootypig cafe
Ramon F.
So far we have contracted Chef Tony to cater our daughter's wedding in Sept. 2018. He has thus far shown impeccable professionalism and utmost in care to service this momentous occasion. We are teeming with excitement to have him and his staff work closely with us to make this an unforgettable event. Based on our experience and tasting of his food alone, we are sure that we will be his service will be of the highest quality- because his culinary skills and presentation were tops. We plan to update this review as the big day approaches​ and the event is upon us.
Chefs Like It Hot CaterersChefs Like It Hot Caterers
Tessa B.
We recently hired Chef Tony for our wedding July 28, 2018. I did not know what to expect going into thumbtack experience for the first time nor how the catering experience is supposed to be like. However, I knew right away out of all the caterers I contacted/contacted me, that this was who I wanted to work with immediately! The pics of food looked amazing and non-traditional, which was extremely important to me! I have been to so many weddings with bland food, and promised myself, I would not do that to my guests! Tony hosted a tasting with my mother (60), my daughter (7) and myself (29). It's normally hard to please 3 generations, however, we all approved of the delicious appetizers, main courses and other dishes served. The drink options were delicious! We even had fruit and food to take home for seconds! Tony worked with our budget, worked with last-minute changes and provided excellent service the days leading up to the wedding (Bonus: he viewed venue a day prior to prevent surprises the day of) and arriving 15 minutes early to the venue scheduled arrival time the day of. The food was delicious as expected and we received many compliments on the dishes from guests. We were able to take food home and enjoy it one more time the next day. He also provided cake cutting service. Very thankful we were connected through thumbtack. I highly recommend Chef Tony and his team! *Shout out to the bartender we also were able to hire, referred by him! She was awesome and assisted with being a liaison the day of! Thanks, The Millers
Chefs Like It Hot CaterersChefs Like It Hot Caterers
Karen P.
Buddy and his staff did an amazing job for my event! The process of working with him in advance was smooth and reassuring. The food options were excellent, and after finally deciding (that took a while because it was all so yummy looking), Buddy was very informative and flexible with us regarding final numbers right up to the weekend before the event. We chose Lasagna and chicken as our entree options. The Lasagna was very different than a "traditional" lasagna, and we loved it! It had an excellent smoky / almost barbeque type flavor which was perfect for a Texas cowboy crowd. The chicken may have been the best I've ever had and practically fell off the bone. We loved the green bean and squash sides as well. His team that showed up for the event were prompt, professional and very pleasant to work with. We had tons of compliments on the food and the service! I would definitely recommend Buddy Catering and can't wait to go and enjoy his restaurant!
Buddy's Catering & Snootypig cafeBuddy's Catering & Snootypig cafe
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