Due to COVID-19 prices may be subject to change

How to Budget for Catering




Do you provide lunches for your staff? Are you interested in throwing a birthday bash for that special someone in your life? Whatever your reasons, catering services are often going to be needed, especially for larger or routine parties, gatherings or meetings. However, before you hire a caterer for your event, you need to understand your budget and how to make the most of it.


Consider Your Needs

First, consider what your expectations are for your event and how food will play into that environment. For example, if you are looking to have a lunch meeting, then you likely want to have foods that are quick to eat and not too distracting. On the other hand, if you are looking to enjoy a night of personal connections, then a three-course meal may be more practical. Beyond figuring out food choices, understanding what your event looks like will help you establish a realistic budget.


Understand When You Can Be Flexible

Food costs vary from caterer to caterer, and while it is often possible to get the majority of what you want out of your budget, some items may be too pricey. Therefore, make sure you have a list of what you want—the must-haves and the could-do-withouts—before contacting the catering company. Any reputable caterer will do everything in their power to make you happy, but sometimes the budget you have won’t allow for everything.


Know Your Maximum Allowance

Once you figure out what you want, it is time to settle on a maximum budget. If you have experience with caterers in the past, then this part of the process may be simple, but if you have no frame of reference, then you may need to do a little research. You can contact several caterers with a broad inquiry to get a ballpark figure. However, remember that a ballpark is not the same as an estimate or price quote.


Talk to Your Caterer

Last, it is time to contact the caterer of your choosing. You will want to share with them your desires and expectations for the event and provide them with your list of wants. In addition, you will need to provide them with several specifics to help them establish a fair price for your event.


You will need to provide the precise location. There may be surcharges for some venues because of time restrictions and possibly distance. Although, the location may not contribute to price much if it is close with limited time restraints.


The more time you can give a catering business, the better. Often services are booked months in advance. However, caterers will try to work with you, but if you expect rapid response times, then prices will likely increase. 

Cuisine and ambiance

The type of cuisine and the ambiance of the venue or event will play a role in pricing. Fancier food and the need for multiple servers will inevitably increase the costs. However, lunch meetings or casual buffet-style dinners may be less expensive.

Number and type of people

The main contributor to overall costs is the number and type of people being served. For example, a vegetarian lunch will probably cost less than a meal requiring different meats and main dishes. Also, the price varies greatly when feeding 20 people to 100.

Number of available options

Next, how many options are you wanting. Costs increase with each additional option, especially when it comes to main courses. 

Contact Chef Raymone Catering

It is not easy to estimate catering costs without specific details about the event and food options. Therefore, if you are having trouble coming up with a catering budget, consider contacting Chef Raymone at (586) 465-0299, we would be happy to help.

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