How Much are You Paying Per Person For Food?

Choosing to cater an event rather than try to manage the work alone is often the best approach. When considering different offers, it makes sense to determine what the average cost per guest happens to be. This involves considering the costs associated with every service that the caterer provides. Here are some examples to keep in mind.

The Food

There is no doubt that the cost of the food is a key element in calculating the average cost per person. What sort of entrees, side dishes, desserts, beverages, and other foods will be provided at the event? Use this as the starting point to come up with that average per guest expense.


Someone has to shop for the food, take care of the preparation, deliver it to the site of the event, and make sure everything is arranged and served according to the client’s wishes. Even with some type of casual event where the catering team will set up a buffet, there is still a fair amount of labor involved. All labor costs should also be factored into that per person expense.


It’s not unusual for catering services to include transportation fees of some type. This is especially true if the event will take place some distance from where the food is prepared and all the equipment and supplies are stored. If there is a flat fee for transportation, make sure to add it back into the average cost per guest.

Cleaning Up

Once the event is over, someone has to clean up the place and make sure everything is packed up for the return trip. Having staff on hand to take care of washing dishes, packing chafing dishes, and putting away the tables and chairs also must be considered.

When looking over the details of a quote for a catering job, always make sure it’s itemized. There should be no question about what is and is not included as part of the service. Doing so ensures that the bill received after the event will not include additional fees and charges that come as a surprise. By knowing all the costs up front, it’s easier to calculate the cost per person and determine if the quote is really the best of all the ones offered by the local catering companies.