What is the Average Cost Per Person for Catering

Posted by Damian Roberti on

What is the Average Cost Per Person for Catering




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What is the Average Cost Per Person for Catering


Redefining Event Catering: Types and Average Pricing

The type of caterer you choose for your event depends on the event itself and the atmosphere you wish to create for your guests. Here are five types of catering to consider for your event, along with a table chart to recap the information:








What is the Average Cost Per Person for Catering

  1. Drop Off Catering - $12-$20 per person Suitable for: corporate meetings, small private parties

  2. Buffet Style Catering - \$25-\$50 per person Suitable for: corporate events, weddings, large events, indoor events

  3. Food Truck Catering (Mobile Catering) - \$20-\$40 per person Suitable for: outdoor events, non-formal corporate events, private parties, large events, weddings

  4. Traditional Catering - $50-$120 per person Suitable for: formal events, large events, sit down dinners

  5. Private Chefs/Custom Catering - \$120+ per person Suitable for: high budget events, when everything needs to be absolutely perfect, What is the Average Cost Per Person for Catering

Event Catering Prices by Party Size and Type of Caterer:

Number of People Dropoff Catering Food Trucks (carts for under 50) Buffet Traditional Catering
20 people $240 $320 $500 $1,000
30 people $360 $480 $750 $1,500
40 people $480 $640 $1,000 $2,000
50 people $600 $800 $1,250 $2,500
60 people $720 $960 $1,500 $3,000
75 people $900 $1,200 $1,875 $3,750
100 people $1,200 $1,600 $2,500 $5,000
150 people $1,800 $2,400 $3,750 $7,500
200 people $2,400 $3,200 $5,000 $10,000

Catering Service Type and Average Cost per Person:

Catering Service Type Average Cost per Person
Sit Down Service (Traditional) $70-$85
Food Truck Catering $20-$40
Cocktail Service $24-$60
Buffet or Stations $25-$65
Private Chef (Custom Menu) $120 and up

Average cost per person by cuisine type:







What is the Average Cost Per Person for Catering

Cuisine Type Average Starting Cost per Person
Tacos $8-15
Burgers $12-20
BBQ $15-25
Pizza $14-24
Pasta (Italian) $10-20
Sandwiches $8-15
Asian $14-25
Indian $14-25
Mediterranean $14-25
Dessert $5-15
Drinks (Coffee, Smoothies) $4-13

Factors affecting catering prices include add-on menu items, staff and supplies, driving distance,

Additional Details That Affect Catering Prices:

  1. Add-on menu items: Extra menu items, such as drinks, sides, or desserts, can increase the price per person by \$1-\$10. For special items like hors d'oeuvres, ensure the caterer can prepare them.

  2. Staff and supplies: If the caterer needs to provide additional staff or supplies, like tables and chairs, there may be a rental or hourly rate added to the catering cost.

  3. Driving distance: Events outside the caterer's service radius may incur additional fees, which typically vary based on the caterer and are charged per extra mile.

  4. Event date (holidays): The timing of your event can impact catering costs. Weekends are generally more expensive than weekdays, and holidays can significantly affect availability, leading to increased pricing.

  5. Extra time: Some caterers, like food trucks, are usually on-site for a set time (typically 2-4 hours). If you need the caterer to stay beyond their standard service time, expect to pay an hourly charge. For multiple meal times (e.g., breakfast and lunch), expect custom pricing that accounts for extra food, prep, and staffing costs.




What is the Average Cost Per Person for Catering

Remember that the prices mentioned in this guide are starting and average prices. Catering costs can vary greatly depending on your event requirements and the type of food you order. For instance, pasta dishes will generally be less expensive than lobster dishes. The more specialized the cuisine, the higher the cost. With traditional wedding catering, prices can reach up to $180 per person or more.

Food trucks and pop-ups also have varying prices. Taco trucks can range from $8-$20 per person, depending on the catering package you choose. Burgers and BBQ might start around $12-$15 per person, and lobster rolls can cost $20 and above. Drinks typically add $1-$3 per person.

These prices are based on experiences with food trucks and mobile caterers. Prices can be much higher if you hire a traditional caterer or a private chef who creates a custom menu, What is the Average Cost Per Person for Catering