Maybe you are thinking: “is it cheaper to cater or cook?”, “How much food do I need and how much does it cost to cater a buffet for a large group of people?”, “Are there any cheapest options when it comes to catering and feeding a crowd?”, etc.
Bear in mind when it comes to calculating the total price for a catering event be aware that you will not only pay for food items, but you will also pay for the great staff (both cooks and servers), time (spent shopping for food items and setting up the venue)
This does not mean everything will be so expensive and not affordable. There are many options to reduce the cost of a catering event. We will share some tips about keeping the costs down later in this article. But first, let us start with this, even most people think of calculating the cost of a catering event by the hour, the correct way is based on headcounts (per person pricing). But this does not mean a caterer could not request any payment for extended hours. For example, you will be organizing a lunch event at an outside venue for your employees. Typically a lunch event should be around 2 hours long. If your lunch event exceeds this time range, the caterer has the right of requesting payment for the extended service hour since the staff will continue to work for you and not for someone else.
As the calculations depend on the headcount; before meeting and hiring a professional caterer, you should know how many people you would like to invite to your event. You should also request proposals from different local catering companies before meeting face-to-face. Even though we think that catering companies offer only food & beverage, they may have additional services such as flower arrangements, video camera and photographer service, table arrangements and general decor of the venue. If you would like to minimize your budget, ask caterers what you can bring as well. In this way, you may only pay for vital things and make an arrangement for the rest by yourself.
On average, catering for a seated dinner event costs RM600 per person including alcoholic beverages. This price might go up regarding your wishes or all the way down up to your own preparations or by alternatives. Here are some tips for saving money for a seated dinner event by negotiating;
1) Bringing beverages from outside
As caterers have to keep their beverage options rich, they offer expensive drinks as well. You may ask them to narrow down the alternatives or ask permission to bring some or all drinks from outside or even think of serving only beer and wine added to one signature drink! In this way, you may save up to 50% as drinks have tremendous markups.
2. Creating alternatives
You may change the type of catering from a seated dinner to a happy hour with drinks and finger food or to a buffet dinner. In this way, less staff will be needed and the price per person will go down immediately. This option will not make your event looks cheaper but will make your guests enjoy tasty food alternatives with not seating on a chair for 4-5 hours and have a chance to talk to more people rather than seated.
3. Choosing the ingredients
The menu does not have to be made up of organic or off-season items to be tasty. You may ask your caterer to use regular and seasonal items to lower the price.
4. Making the guest list
Does not matter if you are planning a small or a big event, you may always invite fewer people if needed.
Professional caterers are committed to their service and can manage everything in order; by handling the menu, service staff, and any other service/equipment requested. A catering company offers you time to relax and enjoy your event with your special guests instead of dealing with endless work.
Planning for an event? Get a free catering quotation today! Let Smartbite create an original menu for your special event along with your expectations and within your budget! We will make sure of wowing your guests and creating an unforgettable event.
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