BASIC CATERING COSTS

 

When you choose to have your event catered, there are many options and some unexpected costs to be considered. The following information is designed to provide a general definition of basic catering terms and a reasonable price range for each service to give you a better idea of  your total costs .

 

SERVICE DESCRIPTION COSTS
     
SIT-DOWN This is a formal meal where guests are seated and are individually served by the wait-staff From $25 
per guest
BUFFET This is a less formal type of service where the food is displayed on large tables or various stations and guests are served by staff behind the tables or they choose to serve themselves and are then seated.  From $18 
per guest
HORS D' OEUVRES This type of service is suitable for an open house, corporate event, cocktail party or light dinner. Small pieces are either tray passed by servers, have a stationary display or a combination of both.  From $12 
per guest
BEVERAGE This service can include all alcoholic beverages; beer, wine and champagne only; a non-alcoholic "soft bar"; or full cappuccino coffee service. You can choose to purchase all your own beverages or you can choose a complete bar service package. $2.50 - $20 per guest
CORKAGE This is a fee charged by some companies to open and serve your bottles of alcohol and wine. 0 - $20 
per bottle
LABOR  Event managers, wait staff, chef, kitchen staff, porters, bartenders, bar backs. Depending on the company you choose there is usually a 4-5 hour minimum per staff member. $20 - $32 
per hour
SERVICE CHARGE Charges should be on food and beverage only. There should be no service charge on tax and labor. 15% - 20%
SALES TAX Mandatory in California, it varies from county to county. 7.75 - 9.75%
STAFF GRATUITY This is a charge that is solely at the discretion of the client. TBD
RENTALS Depending on the venue you have selected rentals may include tables, chairs, linens, china, glassware, flatware, serving items, bar equipment etc.. $12 - $35 
per guest
EQUIPMENT Tenting, flooring, lighting, audio/visual, heating, air conditioning etc.. TBD
     



ADDITIONAL SERVICES: During our 40 years in the hospitality business we have developed a very reliable group of vendors that we highly recommend. Charges are paid directly to them and we refer them as a courtesy to our clients.

Locations Flowers Photographer
Themes Entertainment Travel
Props Music Invitations
Valet Security Transportation

 

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