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Nov 12, 2007 10:52 AM

Average Catering Costs?

I am helping my husband with his company holiday party. Can anyone give me a guideline for cost per person for heavy hors d's? I want something elegant, but filling, and need to figure out what the budget should be.


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  1. Conversely, what do you want to spend? You can spend anywhere from $10 or less (deli trays that you pick up yourself) to several hundred dollars per person. If you have some specific set of hors d'oeuvres or a specific caterer in mind, you're much better off picking a price then asking for recommendations for caterers in that range.

    1. I will guess that you will be looking at $12-15 per person for decent and filling apps. that doesnt include waitstaff or set up fee. there are options if you have a small budget. some caterers allow you to order and pick up your items in disposable trays. you are responsible for plating and re-heating. I recommend scheduling very soon- a lot of caterers might be booked for the whole season through new years already!

      1 Reply
      1. re: fluffernutty

        I think for something elegant you are looking at 20.00-30.00 per person. That should maybe cover heavy hor's d'oeuvres and maybe some dessert which is a must for a holiday party. Most really good caterers will have a minimum that they expect you to spend. Service and set up is usually always a separate charge. Sometimes you can find an aspiring young caterer who needs clients and might charge a bit less but just make sure that they can give you what you are looking for.

      2. you're looking at this backwards. determine a budget, then contact caterers. they will offer you menus in your price range.

        if it's snacks but no meal served, figure 6-7 pieces per person. items like shrimp cocktail are a budget buster because people gorge on it. a crudite platter is mostly a waste, even though it looks nice, people don't really eat it.