How Much Caterers Actually Charge for Events in 2024

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Hosting an event involves a myriad of decisions, and choosing the right caterer is undoubtedly one of the most crucial. From the menu selection to their availability, the options can be overwhelming. However, the determining factor for many hosts often boils down to one key consideration: the price.

Caterers typically charge a population-based fee ranging from $10 to $30 per person at your event. Additionally, they may levy a base pay, averaging between $18 and $25 per hour. Extra charges for items like plates, linens, or special dishes may also apply, depending on the caterer. While these are general pricing guidelines, the costs can vary significantly based on factors such as location and the level of experience of the catering company.

Hourly Charges: Unraveling the Base Pay

The base hourly charge is one of the foundational expenses in the catering process. Rates can vary widely, from around $8.72 per hour for beginners to $25 per hour for top-tier caterers. The average hourly rate is highest in states like New York and California, hovering around $17.46 and $17.41, respectively. It’s important to note that this base hourly charge often excludes additional services like set-up, take-down, and planning.

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Head Charges: Understanding the Guest Count

Caterers also factor in the number of guests when determining costs. Whether you’re serving appetizers, entrees, and dessert, the caterer needs to know the expected headcount to prepare accordingly. Prices typically range from $10 to $30 per person, depending on the caterer’s price range. Keep in mind that if you opt for multiple entree options or a buffet-style meal, the costs may vary.

Extra Charges: Beyond the Basics

Beyond the essentials, additional charges may include set-up and take-down, linens, cutlery, plates, glasses, and transportation. Some catering companies may require you to provide your own space set-up, while others bring their own equipment. These seemingly minor charges can accumulate, so it’s crucial to factor them into your overall budget.

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Timeline Charges: When and How Matters

The timing of your event also influences costs. Weekday events are generally more affordable than those held on weekends (Friday to Sunday). Due to the higher demand for weekend events, caterers may charge more, and scheduling can be trickier. To secure the best rates and availability, it’s advisable to hire a caterer at least a month before your event.

Catering in Idaho Falls: A Closer Look

Classic Catering

Located in Idaho Falls, Classic Catering offers unique menus for weddings, business events, and general gatherings. With 11 bundled menus covering entrees, vegetables, rolls, salads, desserts, and beverages, they provide cost-effective options. Additionally, they offer rental services for linens, tables, chairs, and wedding supplies, streamlining the process for clients.

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Billman’s Catering

Serving areas including Ammon, Salt Lake City, Rexburg, Twin Falls, and Island Park, Billman’s Catering boasts a diverse menu for weddings, corporate events, and general catering. Offering 14 entrees, 8 appetizers, 9 desserts, and customizable options, they cater both indoor and outdoor events. Costs vary based on entree selection, appetizers, and hours required.


while catering can be a significant investment, it often translates to a memorable and hassle-free experience for hosts and guests alike. Understanding the breakdown of costs and carefully selecting a caterer that aligns with your preferences and budget ensures a successful event. Whether it’s Classic Catering’s bundled menus or Billman’s Catering’s diverse options, Idaho Falls residents have reputable choices to make their events truly special.

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