How to Properly Budget for Your Next Catering Event

When you’re hosting an event, large or small, food is often the centerpiece of the day. This makes event catering a no-brainer! This guarantees you and your guests will enjoy fresh, delicious food and takes one extra task off your to-do list. The best part is that catering is relatively customizable depending on what you need or want for your event. If you’re looking for tips on how to properly budget for your next catering event, you’ve come to the right place!

Get Organized

Important details like the total number of guests, food allergies, length of the event, location and the like will all help establish what your catering budget is! Once you have those factors more or less in place, you’ll be able to get a better idea of how much your event catering will cost overall. By getting organized early, you may even be able to save money rather than saving it for the last minute or not having the information your caterer needs.

Consider Alternative Menu Options

While the standard chicken, beef, and fish are common for a catering menu, meat can add up quickly. Consider moving away from this type of menu and instead try a theme that can save excess costs. For example, Italian dishes consisting of pasta, salad, and bread are generally less expensive yet still pack a punch. Another option is Mexican, which is not only inexpensive but fun and unexpected!

If you do want to stay with a more “classic” menu, try to get an idea of the cost of each type of meat – seasonality can play a role in cost, as can quality and cut. Keep in mind that swapping in a vegetarian option can help keep expenses down while expanding meal options for your guests.

Learn About Each Service Level

When working with a catering company for your event, inquire about the types of service they offer – often you will find that you have several options! If you’re having an upscale event, you may want to have wait staff working the floor, serving food and drinks. This can get pricey, particularly if you have a larger group, but may make sense for the ambiance. Typically, each server will be compensated hourly, which is a cost that can often be overlooked during the planning process.

Another alternative if you are having a more casual event is to offer buffet-style or family-style catering services. This requires guests to either stand up and get their own food or pass around large dishes for each to take what they’d like. This takes the need for servers out of the equation and can save on that extra cost.

Don’t Forget About Extras

Catering doesn’t just involve the main meal – you are also going to want to think about including desserts and drinks. Adding coffee or tea is often much appreciated by guests and doesn’t break the bank while having alcoholic drinks can increase your budget substantially.

If you do want to include alcohol, consider your options. Will you have an open bar or will guests be required to pay for their own drinks? Do you plan to offer an open bar for the entirety of the event or just a few hours? Should the bar include cocktails, or just beer and wine? All of these are questions you will want to discuss with your caterer.

Consider the same for desserts. Having something sweet after dinner is a nice touch, but it can also lead to extra food and waste if guests are too full. Your caterer will be able to help you come up with a plan that makes sense for your event!

Contact Stone Cove Catering

At Stone Cove Catering, we understand that each event we cater is a one-of-a-kind celebration, which is why we tailor our menus and services to reflect that uniqueness! Whether you’re planning a wedding or a corporate event, family reunion, or baby shower, we will work with you to craft an event that will be an unforgettable memory for years to come.

To learn more about our event catering services, please contact us at Stone Cove Catering today!