Myth Busting: Catering Costs

Myth: A heavy hors d’oeuvres reception is a great way to save money and will always be cheaper than a plated dinner!

Reality: So not true!  Catering costs have several different components – the largest of the two would be food and labor. While half a red skin potato roasted and stuffed with blue cheese and sprinkled with herbs is smaller then a steak or chicken breast think about what goes into making each of them.  You have to halve the potato, roast them, scoop out the center without tearing the outside shell, fill it with blue cheese, put the right herbs on it and broil it to melt the cheese. Now repeat that 175 times.  Pretty labor intensive, right?  That would be why they tend to be a more expensive component of catering costs.

To get the same amount of food that a plated dinner would afford your guests, you will easily spend as much if not more on hors d’oeuvres!  If you don’t plan to give your guests a full meal, hors d’oeuvres can be a good way to cut costs but honestly, it won’t be by much.

Myth: Buffets are always cheaper than plated dinners.

Reality:  It really depends on the caterer and what meals you choose.  A plated dinner means more staffing is needed to ensure everyone is taken care of but a buffet means more food is needed to ensure that they don’t run out.  Plated dinners are portion controlled and the caterer knows that each person is getting one meal – a buffet is generally serve yourself and the caterer must account for the people who take extra servings of items including the main dish!

Check with your caterer to see what the costs really work out to be – you might be surprised!

What other myths do you see floating around regarding catering?  Any comments?  Feel free to chime in!

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