Pricing Guide for Event Catering

With catering events you’re paying for a lot more than food; you’re paying for the labor of the cooks and
servers and the cost of ingredients. The cost can vary from $20 per person for an informal appetizer
plate to well over $200 per person at a formal dinner party with a five-course meal. Like with most
things, the cost of catering is relative.
Buffet and cocktail styled events are often the cheapest. The former has on-site supervision by catering
staff, but not full-fledged survivors per the rules of buffets. Still, this kind of service can cost a potential
event planner approximately $23 per person.
Meanwhile, formal and corporate events caterers often involve more sophisticated cooking techniques
and specialty meals. This is where caterers tend to be more adventurous in their menu curation and that
adventure often means a pricier meal. According to Thumbtack, a typical cost for these events can range
from about $70 per person to $145 per person for multi-course meals.
Essentially, informal events like a barbecue, graduation party or picnic will generally run you $20-50 per
person, but more formal events can go anywhere from $70 to well above the $1000 mark for highly
specific and luxurious service. There’s something for everyone in the world of catering. On both the low
end and high-end range you’ll get a quality service by people who love what they do. Just make sure you
vet the catering company before you employ them.
While you might be thinking that it would be cheaper to cook the food yourself, nothing can top the
quality of properly catered events. The real cost of a catered event comes from the labor of servers,
cooks and under staff members. It’s also a great stress reliever if your plate is already full (no pun
intended). No one needs the added pressure of cooking for a potentially picky patron. Save it for the
caterers, what you spend in money you’ll save in your sanity.