How Much to Set Aside for Your Catering Service

Generally, a catering service not only provides the food and beverage for your wedding, but your reception setup as well. It consumes a big part on your wedding budget. It is important that you estimate your budget for catering service carefully because it is the food that will keep your guests in good mood. It is the beautiful wedding set-up that will feed their eyes. But the question is, how much do you need to set aside for your catering service?

Estimated cost of menu

Your budget for your catering service is the menu rate per person, plus any additional charges multiplied by the number of your guests.

A menu rate ranges from P750 to P2, 000 per person depending on the type of service and menu. A basic buffet menu ranges from P750 to P1, 000 per person while an upgraded buffet menu ranges from P1, 000 to P1, 400. A plated menu or a sit-down meal can go from P1,500 to P2, 000 per person. A plated menu is more expensive due to a higher demand on manpower.

Ask your caterer and take note of any additional charges including the service charge (10%), out-of town fee charge (5%) and value-added tax (12%) that might not be included yet on the initial menu rate. These additional charges may vary depending on your caterer.

If you want to add a complete mobile bar set-up for your alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages to complete your beverage needs, it can costs P150 per head or more within a limited time.

In addition to this, a lechon—one of the famous Filipino dishes—is not usually included on the catering menu packages. So if you want this to be a part of your dishes, you will need to request this as an additional menu and pay P12, 000 or more.

There are caterers who give an inclusion of additional amenities on their package rates like a wedding cake, a bottle of wine or a 3-hour use of a bridal car which you can consider when deciding for your catering service.

We also advise you to set an allowance for your food and prepare for an additional 10% from the total number of your guests. If you have 100 guests, book for 110 guests to ensure availability of food for all of them.

Choice of Menu

These are the examples of menu packages.

  • A basic buffet menu includes an appetizer, soup, salad, 4 main courses (fish, pork, and beef), vegetable dish, pasta, dessert, rice, and refillable drinks (juice and iced tea).
  • An upgraded buffet menu includes an appetizer bar (5 choices of appetizer), soup, salad, 4 main course (fish, pork, and beef), vegetable dish, pasta bar (2 kinds of pasta and sauce), plain rice & special rice, dessert bar (8 kinds of dessert), and refillable drinks (juice and iced tea).
  • A standard plated menu can be limited to 2 soup, 1 salad, 1 main course, rice, 1 dessert and drinks (coffee or iced tea), but if you want to add more–like a main course–the rate will be much higher.

There are added on-the-spot food stations included on different menu packages that you could choose from like Crepe station, Quesadilla station, Pasta station and Mongolian grill station.

Moreover, be aware that salmon, angus beef, prawns, lamb and other seafood dishes are more expensive than others. Expect a higher menu rate if you want these included on your wedding menu.

Wedding set-up

A catering service usually includes a thematic floral dress-up of the wedding reception area. The set-up includes an elegant table setting with end-to-end floral arrangement and floral centerpieces for guests’ table, couple’s table, and presidential table. It also includes the couple’s backdrop, linen, lights and decors following your color motif and wedding theme.

Wedding set-up varies on the flowers and decors used. For example, flowers like Malaysian mums, Gerbera, Calla lily, and Carnations have cheaper prices than Roses, Tulips, and Stargazers. If you have a special request for flowers, decors, and designs, expect that it can really affect the rates of your menu. Usually, if a client wants a grand set-up but wants to stay on the same menu rate, the choice of menu will be adjusted to give priority to the reception set-up.

We advise you to allot the highest percentage of your wedding budget to your catering service. A delicious food with an excellent quality of service and a beautiful reception set-up will set the mood of your guests. These will keep them active, happy, and full during your wedding reception—making the food and the set-up the most memorable part of your wedding reception.

We also recommend you to do one important thing before deciding on your wedding caterer. See more at this blog, Do This One Thing First before Deciding on Your Wedding Caterer.

Co-author:  Maricar Alcobendas, Sales Supervisor at Hizon’s Restaurant & Catering Services, Inc.

About Hizon's Catering

For more than 30 years , we have been blessed to be a part of thousands of weddings, debuts, kids parties, corporate events, and private celebrations. In all these events, we make sure we are not only your caterer but more importantly your partner in every step from conceptualizing, budgeting and planning up to final execution.

Find out how we can help you in your wedding

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