Over 1 thousand people Google search “Buffet Catering Near Me” each month, but only a small proportion of people find what they are looking for. This article will save you searching for hours and save you money when it comes to looking for local buffet catering.
4 things to remember when looking for local buffet catering near you
Your Budget and Guests
The problem most people encounter when looking for local buffet catering services is having an unrealistic budget in comparison to their catering wants and needs.
Remember, The number of guests will have an impact on your budget. The more people you cater to the more it will cost, meaning your budget per person maybe smaller. The fewer number of guests you have may also mean you can afford a larger budget per person.
Large guest numbers may also work to your advantage, some caterers may provide pricing discounts based on large guest volumes. With guest numbers over 100, many caterers are open to set pricing negotiations.
If you have a more conservative budget per person, for example, £5 to £9 per person, you should be looking more towards cold buffets. If you have a larger budget per person (upwards of £10 per person) you can look at different hot buffets options, BBQ’s and cold buffet catering.
Type of buffet catering, hot or cold buffets?
Your budget will often dictate the style of catering you can afford. Generally speaking, hot buffets cost more than cold buffets because they require more time, preparation and staffing. Whereas cold buffets have less catering requirements, and as such, can cost considerably less.
When looking for local buffet catering near you, you’ll need to be clear on the style of catering you want. If you are looking for cold buffets, are you wanting modest and simple, or a lavish spread? More modest buffets tend to be cheaper, with more lavish buffets being more expensive to your overall cost.
Similarly, larger and more lavish hot buffets the cost can increase drastically relative to your budget. You must be mindful that the more food you want on your buffets, the more expensive it can become.
BBQ buffets also need to be well thought out, the UK is known for its bad weather, and if your event is outdoors you will need to find out if your caterer can facilitate this, e.g. gazebos or canopies. If the weather conditions are not manageable outside do you, or the event organiser have access to an indoor space for your guests?
It is important to know what style of buffet catering you are looking for as some catering companies may specialise in a certain area. If you know what type of local buffet catering you are looking for this can save you time as it whittles your options down to only caterers that can provide what you need.
How local are your buffet caterers?
Location plays a large part in the cost for catering due to; travel costs, staffing, food and logistics. Using a local caterer can sometimes be significantly cheaper to use a more local buffet caterer because these additional costs are reduced significantly.
When you are Google searching for “local buffet catering near me” be sure to check where the company is located, and not where there office is based. Many catering companies have companies registered in different cities to appear as if they are local caterers but their production facility can be in a completely different part of the country.
Staffing for buffet catering
It is important to remember if you require additional serving or cleaning staff you’ll need to add this into the cost for your buffet catering services.
Ask yourself “will your buffet catering require additional staffing, or can your buffet be dropped off?” Staffing may include waiting staff, serving staff, cleaning staff and/or chefs.
Depending on the occasion, cold self-serve buffets can be dropped off, this means you’ll incur minimal cost for staff. For occasions such as weddings and funerals, you may want to have servers manage the food dining experience for your guests. This may be for many reasons such as; your guests dining experience, quality and food control. For parties and gatherings, you may find drop-off self-service works fine.
Due to health and safety, hot buffet catering and BBQs will require you to have food serving staff to ensure your guests do not burn or injure themselves or others.
The general rule of thumb for number of food servers for hot buffets and BBQ’s is 1 chef or server to 25 guests. For example, if you have 50 guests you’ll need a minimum of 2 hot food servers. If you have 150 guests you’ll need a minimum of 6 servers.