Wedding Caterers

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  • Wedding Caterers
  • Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Our bill from last year.

    Basic options were:

    Canapés x 4, 3 course wedding breakfast & coffee from £46.95 per head
    Canapés x 6, 2 course wedding breakfast & coffee from £40.95 per head

    With all costs of staff, glass hire, food for band, cookers etc:

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/nZDYPY]Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 21.24.14[/url] by brf, on Flickr

    NB Knock off the VAT at the bottom as the item prices were inclusive of VAT, then someone added VAT again, which they then removed when I pointed this out! We paid £2k up front, so all in £4k ish.

    Food was excellent. We provided all the drinks and they ran the bar for us.

    the hustler
    Member

    How many staff are they saying?

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Holy shit!

    Our whole wedding didn’t cost that much.

    Yeah it was a little while ago but not that long.

    project
    Member

    There is a baker in northern ireland, that will do you a nice cake if your marrying a woman.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Our bill from last year.

    That’s brilliant Ben, ta.

    Our whole wedding didn’t cost that much.

    Mmm, hence our surprise!

    How many staff are they saying?

    One said:

    2 x chefs
    1 x kitchen assistant
    1 x manager
    8 x waiting /bar staff

    The other one doesn’t specify the number of waiting staff.

    JonEdwards
    Member

    I don’t do weddings in the conventional sense, but I work lot alongside event caterers.

    85 guests, so call it 9 tables (usually of 10), that’s 4 waiting staff if you want average service, 8 or 9 if you want it done well.
    1 maitre’d
    3 or 4 chefs of various ranks (even if the food is prepped off site, plating up takes time)
    2 kitchen porters
    1 project manager.

    So that’s between 11 and 15 guys for the day…

    (the weddings I usually get involved in are usually in the £500-£1k/head, for catering only, range…)

    JonEdwards
    Member

    crosspost – not a bad punt though!

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    the weddings I usually get involved in are usually in the £500-£1k/head, for catering only, range…

    I assure you we’re not interested in spending £85k on the catering…! This is based on the recommended caterers of the venue, we’ve not gone looking for ‘top class’ service! Good guess on staff though!

    andyl
    Member

    (the weddings I usually get involved in are usually in the £500-£1k/head, for catering only, range…)

    crikey! Do you hand feed the guests?

    sorry, I just don’t get this spending on weddings, but then I guess if the money is no problem then why not.

    Premier Icon wiggles
    Subscriber

    I can do it for £2.50 a head…

    (happy meals are still £1.99 right??)

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    sorry, I just don’t get this spending on weddings, but then I guess if the money is no problem then why not.

    I’d love to know what the hell £1k/head gets you!

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    So… me and miss njee20 are getting married next year, and we’re looking at caterers.

    Venue doesn’t really have adequate cooking facilities, so caterers will need to bring ovens and what not (fully accept there’s a cost there). We are providing all the drinks; toast, arrival, meal, evening, the lot. 85 guests. Looking at the usual stuff, canapes on arrival and 3 course wedding breakfast.

    We’ve had a couple of quotes at £7000 and £9000 so far – the former based on advertised cost of £22/head and the latter for £45/head for the meal. The ‘stuff that isn’t food’ seems sutterly exorbitant frankly – both are £2,500 on staff, £1,500 equipment etc. That excludes any evening food too.

    Is this normal? I’m amazed that a caterer advertising £22/head for catering actually ends up costing £82/head by the time you include ‘stuff’.

    Getting more quotes and that, but both a little taken aback by quite how much they’re coming to. Failing that, anyone got any advice for a wedding caterer in Sussex…?

    JonEdwards
    Member

    I’d love to know what the hell £1k/head gets you!

    Well the last proper big one I did, the menus were all in the form of 8″ dia chocolate coins (like the ones you give kids at christmas, but bigger) with the text moulded into the chocolate. I assume it was to prevent the punters getting peckish between courses… (the poor dears had to get chauffeur driven from the reception in an adjoining palace to the marquee where the dinner was, which must have been tremendously difficult, energetic work for them)

    Then start thinking about how much you can spend on champagne, red & white wine, dessert wine, port & brandy…

    sorry, I just don’t get this spending on weddings, but then I guess if the money is no problem then why not.

    I had 10 guys on site for 7x 12 hour days doing nothing but installing lighting. Then there were 12 carpenters for 5 days, 6 sound guys for 3 days, a couple of site power bods, a plumber. Between 6 & 20 humpers each day, and I have no idea how many marquee boyskis were involved in the erection/removal of the structure, but it was easily 20+. Then there was the management team. And that’s just the technical side…

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Mmm, hence our surprise!

    I was talking about footflaps, just read yours fully. 😯

    andyl
    Member

    Always remember a friends dads retirement do as it was a fantastic evening. The caterers did have a couple of Brabus Mercs though.

    iolo
    Member

    OP, go to a venue that can cope?
    Do you really need 85 guests for food?
    Can’t you invite some for the evening do?

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    85 is worst case, big families and that, but likely some won’t come, which is good. The venue isn’t really the issue, yes there’s a small additional cost in equipment, but it’s not making a massive difference.

    johndoh
    Member

    Problem is – you want a cake, that’s £25. You want a wedding cake, that’s £75.

    Ask for prices without telling them it’s for a wedding, that’s all.

    timber
    Member

    From working in marquee and event hire industry, £1500 sounds right for kit.
    If there is no space for a kitchen that will be a marquee for starters, electrics and lighting, 6 to a dozen trestles, 6 ring stove and gas, turbo oven, hot cupboards, coffee machines, refrigeration (lot of cold stuff = trailer) and then all the glass, china, cutlery, and linen. Well over £1500 in that, so depends how much kit your caterer has invested in.
    Delivered orders for the last 4 items in excess of £1500.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    If there is no space for a kitchen that will be a marquee for starters, electrics and lighting, 6 to a dozen trestles, 6 ring stove and gas, turbo oven, hot cupboards, coffee machines, refrigeration (lot of cold stuff = trailer) and then all the glass, china, cutlery, and linen. Well over £1500 in that, so depends how much kit your caterer has invested in.
    Delivered orders for the last 4 items in excess of £1500.

    There is a small kitchen, and there is space to house equipment, no marquee should be required, no one’s specifically said that’s what they’re doing.

    If you include glasses/crockery/cutlery the equipment costs are more like £3000 for one and £4000 for the other, way way above £1500. That’s what’s surprised me!

    Moses
    Member

    Arrange a hog-roast: the wedding I went to cost £650 for 180 guests, plus industrial salad, wine, beer etc: probably £2000 all in. It was in a cleared out barn on a farm 🙂

    Premier Icon Yak
    Subscriber

    As Drac said!

    Moses has the right idea. That or a BBQ with really nice bbq food and a buffet style service. Went to a bbq one a few weekends ago and it was great.

    No need to tick all the ‘usual’ boxes. Do what you want to do.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Agreed, trouble is that we want to do a sit down meal!

    I knew it wasn’t going to be the cheap option, but just didn’t particularly expect £7000!

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    There is a small kitchen, and there is space to house equipment, no marquee should be required, no one’s specifically said that’s what they’re doing.

    That’s what our venue had. So they hired an extra oven and hot plate to boost capacity – £200 delivered.

    batfink
    Member

    I’ve just got married, and TBH, based on nothing more than a finger in the air….. 7-9K for a sit-down for 85 people sounds about right, particularly if the caterers have to essentially bring their own kitchen 😀

    squirrelking
    Member

    Well, here’s a benchmark to hold your quote against:

    1 Wedding with 20 dinner guests in a castle plus accomodation for 12
    Evening reception
    Dresses, kilt, trimmings etc.
    2 week honeymoon in Hong Kong

    £8000 four years ago.

    Go speak to bistros, delis and such that do catering, DO NOT include the word wedding or I guarantee neither of you will be virgins before the day.

    luke
    Member

    Speak to friends, family, network a bit and look for personal catering recommendations.
    If the venue suggested you try the ones you have there is a good chance that there is some kick back in it for the venue between 10-20% is normal (Well it is for the service we provide to wedding venues)

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Thanks guys, appreciated. Will carry on as planned and get more quotes, strenuously avoiding the use of the word wedding!

    project
    Member

    Dont get to upset at the cost and burn the place down,

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17463133

    or 6 years in prison

    Premier Icon surroundedbyhills
    Subscriber

    Weddings are big chunk of my business, 35+ per year, for a quality catering operation £7-8K is average. Check out their testimonials and speak to previous brides/grooms there can be quite a variance in the quality of service and food.

    spacemonkey
    Member

    Give these people a call – they do different setups for weddings, including BBQs. I know the MD (shared connections through our kids but only in passing). He’s done a v good job of building up the company and their service is excellent by all accounts. Free quote etc, so no harm in asking.

    If you want something less formal then give me some more details as one of my mates is a caterer and is bloody good.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Recognise that website Spacemonkey, looked at them before, will get a quote! Thanks.

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