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Find a caterer near Bellevue, WA

Find a caterer near Bellevue, WA

17 near you

Find a caterer near Bellevue, WA

17 near you

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Top 10 Caterers near Bellevue, WA

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 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 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 Bellevue caterers
Thumbtack Customer
Al and Pacific Northwest Catering did an outstanding job! They were very professional and easy to work with and they really know their stuff. Additionally, the food was outstanding and the servers they had on staff we very friendly and helpful too! We highly recommend this Caterer!
Pacific Northwest CateringPacific Northwest Catering
Ritika K.
There was some issue with my payment going through for an invoice that was sent a couple days ago. The caterer EMAILED me at 7:30am (3hours before my event) and cancelled. I tried calling and texting, but to date, there has been no response. Would not recommend this terrible caterer to anyone. Beware!
Thyme Well Spent CateringThyme Well Spent Catering
Debbie N.
Wonderful food and very efficient wait staff made for a lovely catered work event. Thank you , Chantel and Jackie!
Thyme Well Spent CateringThyme Well Spent Catering
Thumbtack Customer
Nancy Brown and her Extra Hands Catering team were great! The food and presentation were excellent. I will use this group and definitely recommend them. Duane Burke 425-985-3157
Extra Hands CateringExtra Hands Catering
Thumbtack Customer
Very positive experience. He met our budgetary needs and the food was wonderful. He was able to provide gluten free items which was an extra plus and he was very responsive. We will definitely use Pacific NW Catering again!
Pacific Northwest CateringPacific Northwest Catering
Reba W.
The best food, the best responsiveness, the most delightful catering crew I've ever worked with. We had the Caribbean food, Jerk Chicken & Tofu, red beans & rice, greens, and corn bread. Everything was vegan and Gluten free except the Chicken and corn bread! People were beyond pleased!
DayoSense CateringDayoSense Catering
Thumbtack Customer
These ladies were great. They showed up on time, got things setup on time and were quite personable throughout. All the attendees of the party raved about the food and asked where I found the caterers. Several of them inquired for their contact information as well. Thank you for doing such a great job and for helping my event come off in stellar fashion !! Dallas Stewart
Island Girls CateringIsland Girls Catering
Thumbtack Customer
The service provided by Bridgette Washington and her team was excellent. The food was divine. I can't say enough about what a wonderful experience we had working with Bridgette. Although it has only been a week, our family enjoyed the food and experience so much that we have recommended WithStyle Catering to multiple individuals. If you love food prepared with love, you can't go wrong!
WithStyle Catering, LLCWithStyle Catering, LLC
Samantha T.
I've had the pleasure of working with Mike for two events. Both times, Mike delivered delicious meals that he crafted within my small budget. He was responsive, on time, and delivered to wherever I needed! And, I would be remiss if I didn't talk about the food! It was delicious. Everyone raved about it. For the small budget I had, I was blown away at what Mike was able to create. He is a culinary mastermind and I would highly recommend him to anyone looking for a caterer.
Meals per DiemMeals per Diem
Thumbtack Customer
In trying something new, I found Navi's. Our first experience was a phone call and I was told of the many different ways to have my event serviced, this I never thought of. Sharing what I hoped to serve, I got more. Navi's is the most professional first class all the way caterer, I couldn't ask for more. Our guest was very impressed asking for Navi's contact info. The food was delicious, taking a look at his creations made us drool with anticipation. The early preparation was great...I did nothing, cleanup was his also leaving me with a clean house and a few leftovers. This young man I will use over and over again. Great job Navi's!!! L Harper
Navi's Catering KitchenNavi's Catering Kitchen
Thumbtack Customer
Paul and Stephanie of Emerald City Cakes and Chocolates (and their crew!) did an amazing job for our wedding reception in Seattle, WA on 4 October 2014! I would recommend them to anyone looking for a caterer! Our reception was held in a very small venue (with no kitchen) and they went above and beyond to provide hot and delicious food to our guests! They arrived at around 2 PM to get set up and worked almost until 11 PM that evening. We hired them to do everything: food, drinks, the cake, and bartending (no uncorking fee either!). Paul, Stephanie, and crew are the nicest people who genuinely enjoy their jobs and it really shows in the service they provide and their attention to detail. Their prices are also extremely reasonable and they were willing to create a menu that fit with our needs (some-what dairy free) and theme (Oktoberfest-fusion). We currently live in Chicago, so everything had to be arranged via e-mail and both Paul and Stephanie made a great effort to make sure all of our questions were answered in a timely manner. Now, here it is. The food. The food! Our guests are still raving about the food! There was plenty of food provided and it was delicious. Some of the highlights: The bacon-beer-cheese sauce for the potatoes (or for some guests: the sauce for everything), the potatoes themselves, the tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches, the pretzel bites, the bratwurst, the squash ravioli - I would probably just list the whole menu if I could remember it all. We also chose the Tuxedo cake and it was phenomenal! As a bride, I didn't have to worry about anything. When it was time for the toasts, they had the champagne flutes ready to go. When it was time to cut the cake, it was ready and waiting for us. There was more food than our guests could even eat (a feat of its own!), and Paul offered to donate the leftovers for us. Paul, Stephanie, and crew provided genuinely outstanding service for our wedding reception and allowed us to simply relax and spend time with our families and friends. I wish we could be more regular customers, but at least now we have a go-to caterer for any more events we may have in the Seattle area! Highly recommended! Such a great find! Thanks again, Paul and Stephanie, for making our wedding day fun and memorable!
Chomp! FoodsChomp! Foods
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