Budget Caterer suggestions

So I thought I had my caterer worked out... but I'm not sure anymore. Food costs came in where expected about 2k.... but I NEVER thought about staffing costs for the food and she wants 3k ADDITIONAL. I'm trying to work it out with her but I can't do 5k out of an 8k budget (once she added in the rental items it was my ENTIRE budget). So, either she is going to have to reduce her staffing costs or I have to go elsewhere. I'm so frustrated!

FYI-- its going to be 85-100 guests, buffett, NO mix drinks and I'm providing all the drinks. Reception will run from 3pm-1:30am-- but the only people who would have to stay till like maybe 10 or 11 would be the bartender... after that we will have a tiny crowd and we can pour our own drinks :P

So anyway, does anyone have any recommendations for a caterer that will work with a budget.

Re: Budget Caterer suggestions

  • edited December 2011
    I think the length of time is definitely affecting your costs. 3 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. is a long time for a reception IMO but I don't know what your situation is. They'll need to keep some light food and drink stations out. They are responsible for clean up which won't take place until after you're party ends.Keep that in mind. So,  what can you tweak? Party end time? Menu? Go stationary on hor'dourves even for cocktail hour. If you have a lot of food action stations, nix it and think buffet. That alone with cut down on staffing needs. How many bartenders did they quote you? One bartender is good for 75-100 people with a basic bar.  Provide your own alcohol if you can. Wine/beer and a signature cocktail.

    I am working on getting quotes from three different caterers: Edward's Catering, A Sharper Palate and Mosaic. Edwards Catering is very budget friendly and Sam quoted an excellent bartender rate per hour. He's got some basic linens to choose from and that he can use for his food tables. He came highly rated by my venue and is used frequently there along with A Sharper Palate. A Sharper Palate is a bit higher then Edward's, but I need a written proposal from Edward's to do a side by side. The menus are completely different.  I think Mosaic will come in at the highest, but they have some unique catering options like hot rock kebab station. It got my attention and I'm wondering if it's within my budget.

    Don't panic yet. There are absolutely other caterers out there willing to work with your budget. Others I've seen on here is White House Catering and Traditions. Check them all out.
  • klsheriffklsheriff member
    edited December 2011
    We are using IK Catering in Mechanicsville.  They are a family run restaurant and just started catering in 2008.  They were by far the most reasonable I found in the Richmond area.  We are getting everything (heavy hor's douvres, non alcoholic drinks, beer and wine, 1 bar tender, all staff, cake cutting fee, etc, etc, etc) for around $3,000 for projected 140 people.  If you are providing your own drinks, that would knock several hundred off that total.  I would definitely check them out if you are in the area.  
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href=" Wedding BoardsForum:607Discussion:86043b9d-db0e-4de6-8ffc-8a3b013aff32Post:ea0a138a-6b70-4b42-8517-c434445dde04">Re: Budget Caterer suggestions</a>:
    [QUOTE]I used Champagne Taste Catering for my wedding and they were phenomenal. Whitney (the owner) is really easy to work with and was within the budget we set. I would definitely give her a call.
    Posted by cfaszews25[/QUOTE]

    I thought I wrote this.  We had a buffet, but she and her staff plated food for us and made plates of the passed appetizers since we weren't there for the cocktail hour.  She also ran out to get more wine for us - twice.  No hidden fees like cake-cutting, which was really nice.
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