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Find a party food caterer near Houston, TX

Find a party food caterer near Houston, TX

13 near you

Find a party food caterer near Houston, TX

13 near you

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Top 10 Party Food Caterers near Houston, 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 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 Houston party food caterers
Dana J.
I will definitely be using Munched Out Catering for my next party. On time and great food.
Munched OutMunched Out
Michael b.
My party was a success thanks to Unique Magic Catering. The food was great and everyone was satisfied. I will definitely use them again .
Unique Magic CateringUnique Magic Catering
Jay G.
Joy of Lanier catering did a great catering event for us. She was on time, the food was excellent, the staff she brought with her to help serve were very well mannered and kept the food well stocked on the buffet. We plan on using Joy again for next party.
Laniers Cajun & Italian CateringLaniers Cajun & Italian Catering
Thumbtack Customer
Anyone who is looking for a catering event needs to call AJ! We had a corporate holiday party for 120 people and it was by far the best catered party I have attended. The food, the decor, the atmosphere, everything was perfect! I encourage you to call him before you make any decisions! It will be worth it! Alicia Haberstroh
Red Dot CuisineRed Dot Cuisine
Alexa S.
We are new to the Houston area and found it daunting to hire a caterer for our recent cocktail party. AJ from Red Dot was very responsive and professional and worked with me to plan a menu for our 40-50 person holiday party. He worked with my budget and called two days ahead to confirm. I was still a bit nervous as to whether the food would taste as good as it looked, but my fears were quickly put to rest. The food was AMAZING, all of my guests were raving about it and asking how I managed to find such a fantastic caterer. The food was displayed so nicely, the servers were very inconspicuous and polite. There wasn't a single item that wasn't delicious.
Red Dot CuisineRed Dot Cuisine
Lina A.
AJ was fantastic! He was quick to follow up on the original quote and every question I had there after. We had a Christmas Party for a fire station and the event went seamlessly. The caterers arrived early, helped set up, and the food was great.
Red Dot CuisineRed Dot Cuisine
Megan L.
Lori was so great to work with. She worked with me on the menu and worked inside my budget. I loved how she was able to deliver everything ahead of time and brought it hot ready to go. The food was such a hit for our party and would highly recommend using Arcodoro's catering! We loved it all!
Arcodoro & GourmetSardiniaArcodoro & GourmetSardinia
Nicole M.
Mr. Chef Roy catered our company holiday party and everything was exactly as we discussed. He was on time with the delivery, set everything up nicely, and was very professional! All of my coworkers kept complimenting on how good the food was and what a nice variety of items there were to choose from. Highly recommend!
Catered ComfortsCatered Comforts
Donna M.
AJ at Red Dot catered our recent company Christmas party. The event was held in a tent, and the weather was cold, which provided an extra challenge, but AJ rose to the task. He was very responsive in all dealings, and his food presentation was phenomenal. I'm looking forward to having an occasion to using Red Dot again!
Red Dot CuisineRed Dot Cuisine
Thumbtack Customer
Arcodoro & Gourmet Sardinia catered a 40th Birthday party for me. It was a four hour party with fantastic food. The servers were fantastic and take it from me you want the chocolate tiramisu. The important thing for me is my appreciation to Lori. For a guy that had no clue what he was getting in to Lori was patient and helped me to make sure I had everything done. I will use them again and highly recommend to everyone.
Arcodoro & GourmetSardiniaArcodoro & GourmetSardinia
TC M.
Mark and his team catered my niece's christening reception @ the Gite Gallery in April 2018. The Gite Gallery has preferred caterers; however, I never heard from either caterer after contacting them. Upon contacting Mark, I explained that a friend of mine had attended an event where his team caterer the food and raved about it so I felt it was kismet that we linked up on Thumbtack. I also explained to Mark that I live in northern Virginia, and that I would need a caterer to facilitate most of the interaction with the Gite Gallery. Mark hosted a tasting the week of the reception for my mother and I listened in over the phone. She RAVED about the food! Every item Mark brought out was better than the next! I received the same rave reviews from the 50 people that enjoyed the passed hor d'oeuvres and heavy appetizers over the 3.5 hour period of the party. His lovely wife served as the TABC bartender. We provided the wine, water, and sodas and she served our guests. The money I spent on the event was well worth it and the Gite Gallery owner is even planning on using Mark and his team for future events. Mark will also be the caterer of my rehearsal dinner and wedding (once the date and man are secured 😀) . It was an absolute pleasure to work with Mark, his lovely wife and his staff. His impeccable attention to detail is evident through the presentation of his food and options for seating at a venue that was extremely tight and didn't necessarily accommodate for seating. If you're looking for a caterer with years of experience and reasonably priced with attention to detail and the most AMAZING food, Dine Catering and Events should be your first and ONLY option!
Dine Catering and EventsDine Catering and Events
Thumbtack Customer
Amazing! They catered my 60 peoples, 30th bday, garden party and I coudn t be happier! They helped with everything, from lighting the candels, setting the flowers, to taking my gifts, serving amazing food (I am still getting compliments from guests) and keeping my glass alwaysd full of champagne. I did not have to worry a single second. They had EVERYTHING under control. I would hiere them again for any party.
Arcodoro & GourmetSardiniaArcodoro & GourmetSardinia
Paris F.
OMG!!!! Chef Roy of Catered Comforts is the absolute best. His prices are EXTREMELY affordable and the portions are VERY large. We did a tasting prior to the party. I booked him on the SPOT!!! I couldn't give him my deposit fast enough. The food was sooooo good. I would definitely recommend Chef Roy. He was very easy to work with.
Catered ComfortsCatered Comforts
Thumbtack Customer
From the start Chef Mason was a HUGE help and hit! The samples he brought us, won us over on the first bite! We had a small office Christmas party of about 20 people. Chef Mason's food outstanding! Chef Mason's personality outstanding! I highly, highly, highly recommend if you are looking for a caterer, you contact Chef Mason! (Oh and ask for the Crawfish Enchalides!) We were seriously licking our plates clean and asking for 2nd's and 3rd's. Thank you for making our Christmas party great Chef Mason! Two of us are already planning on booking him for a wedding and a house warming party that's how great he is! Can't wait to try more of your food! Sincerely, A New Devoted Fan!
Mason's Creative CateringMason's Creative Catering
Thumbtack Customer
I am absolutely thrilled with the way Dine Schools catered my Engagement party.They really made my party perfect!!! I have friends and family that are still talking about food/party. Everything turned out better than I could've imagined and the staff was unbelievable. Now to get to the food and the set up! Delicious and stunning!!! I had no idea I was going to see any kind of set up display and when I walked into the venue I was so shocked! It looked so beautiful !! Everyone kept asking me about the caterer because they kept saying how delicious the food was! I loved the system used, the plates and silverware were so nice! Everyone was fed, with plenty extra to get seconds! I accidentally put the wrong time on my invitation but Chef Mark assured me it was o problem at all! He was well prepared, on time, attentive, and truly amazing!!! I sat back the next day so grateful on how my party went!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU CHEF MARK!!! Can't wait to see you and your staff at the wedding!!!
Dine Catering and EventsDine Catering and Events
Thumbtack Customer
I would like to say thank you for Lori and her catering team for helping us host a wonderful graduation celebration at our home for about 36 guests. Lori came out to our home so we can brainstorm the menu, and plan out the event with great organization. She is a joy to work with and I have enjoyed working with her through the whole process. She orchestrated our celebration with calmness and grace. The catering staff she brought with her were professional and excellent. Our guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves at the party and had rave reviews of the food and her team. It would be a great pleasure to work with Lori again in the future! I thank her for allowing me to also enjoy the party as a Host and made it look "easy!"
Arcodoro & GourmetSardiniaArcodoro & GourmetSardinia
Thumbtack Customer
Kevin was able to provide a meal for 30 people with only three days notice. We had an awards party for our football team and he was able to provide a hearty and delicious meal for us. He also provided delivery, plates, napkins, and disposable food warmers at no extra charge. Kevin was great to work with and he returned my emails and calls promptly. Mason's Creative Catering met all of my needs and exceeded my expectations. I will definitely use their services again.
Mason's Creative CateringMason's Creative Catering
Thumbtack Customer
We hired Arcodoro to cater and service a 4 hour housewarming party. They did a great job!! The food was great (everyone loved it!!), and Lori spent time ahead of the event customizing the menu with me. Our captain Juan was awesome - he took care of replenishing the food, providing drinks to guests, and cleaning. If I ever tried to service guests or clean up plates, Juan was instantly by my side taking over so I could enjoy my own event. We had ~60 adults, 30 children, and I couldn't have been happier. My friends have been giving me rave reviews -- great job by Lori and her team.
Arcodoro & GourmetSardiniaArcodoro & GourmetSardinia
Thumbtack Customer
I can not say enough to recommend Lori Farris of Arcodoro and Gourmet Sardinia. I recently used their catering services for a very important Saturday evening, 80th birthday soiree, at my home; Lori helped me every step of the way. She was incredibly patient, innovative and creative as she worked within my budget; her recommendations were spot on!! She was calm in crisis (the party was almost canceled when the guest of honor was hospitalized the day before). She could not have been kinder and more professional! The food (sweet and savory hors d'oeuvres) was outstanding and server, Juan, was simply Superman! If you're having a gathering of any kind and want exceptional service and food, call her!!!
Arcodoro & GourmetSardiniaArcodoro & GourmetSardinia
Carina M.
Chef Keif and his help are very nice and eager. We were looking for a sophisticated catered diner party of appetizers and sides (more than $50 pp, with us providing 12 pounds of meats off the grill separately) for 25-30, and largely got what we were looking for. The food was abundant, perhaps twice what was needed but bit hit or miss on quality and taste. Tuna tacos, lamb, and crab cakes were just fabulous. But thin Pizza was too thick and chewy and bacon-wrapped shrimp didn't work at all. A couple other appetizers were just OK. Desserts were completely top notch. Overall, guests gave great reviews. Keif can be a good chef, you just need to work with him on exactly what you want, how you want it, how you want it to be displayed, and if you want the food carried around or stationary. Taste everything beforehand and work out all of the details.
Keif's CateringKeif's Catering
Bella B.
When I submitted a request for services for a double birthday celebration, I had a very small window of time between my request and the date of the event. Of the 4 vendors that I reached out to via Thumbtack, Knotty Pine was the quickest to engage. They were very professional and responsive. The owner, Lyndall Locke, was very accessible, flexible. and easy to work with. There were lots of options for the menu and the price for full catering was competitive. I appreciated that I could be comfortable naming my budget and Knotty Pine's was very agile in turning menu changes around promptly. In the end I had a Mediterranean menu that covered all preferences and nuances of my guest: nut allergy, vegetarian options, at least two (meat) protein choices, and a balanced starch dish. I had my event on 10/18 for 50 guests. Whatever was going on in Houston that afternoon would have put a damper on my timeline, considering everyone was running late, Knotty Pine included, due to traffic! However, Lyndall and his assistant Stephanie, maintained professionalism and worked speedily to set up and serve the food quickly. Everyone, including the kids loved the selections: margherita sushi roll (big hit with Grandma and the aunts and uncles), quinoa cakes (packed with nutrients and oh so delicious--my favorite!), Cornish hen (brined and seasoned with herbs, cooked just right to be tender and infused with flavor), two choices of hearty meatballs (lamb or beef) in an awesome tomato based sauce, pasta primavera packed with veggies with choices of olive oil or marinara dressing. The chef and his assistant, I'm sure, had every intent to attend to all the details. The only drawback I could see from the experience was the time and a few minor elements, but I planned dinner to be an hour after guests were set to arrived and had other food items for guests to munch on so, dinner itself happened 30 minutes later than planned, but did not feel late at all. In the ideal situation (Houston rush hour traffic factored in), I would picture the guests arriving greeted by a beautifully laid out buffet style table with chef on hand, relaxed and ready to engage. Nonetheless, I, my husband, and my co-celebrant brother-in-law, were quite pleased with the whole experience and would gladly recommend Knotty Pine for your special occasion. I believe Mr. Locke earnestly sets out to please his customers and his dishes are worth noting. I normally stress over my parties given that I typically handle all arrangements myself, but having Knotty Pine to cater and provide chef service, made my 50th birthday celebration relatively stress free! Thank you Knotty Pine! Hope to have you celebrate with us in another occasion soon! Bella Belleza-Bascon
Knotty Pine CateringKnotty Pine Catering
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