When it comes to buffet catering prices, the range can be quite broad. It all depends on the number of guests, range of dishes, and choice of catering services. From dietary restrictions to decorations, there is a lot to take into account. In our guide below, we will take you through some key considerations when it comes to buffet-style events. Planning Ahead. Before enquiring about buffet prices or even contacting catering services, there are several things you need consider. Firstly, how many people will be attending and do they have food preferences you need to know about? Many caterers across the UK are willing to offer catering using Halal foods, for example, but you must bring these dietary restrictions to their attention f prior to booking any food services. We suggest asking guests to RSVP in advance. Add a section within all invites called “dietary restrictions”. Once you have all information gathered, you can proceed to discussing menu items with your caterer and tailoring dishes accordingly. Another important thing to determine is the time and date of an event. Depending on the style of the occasion, a party may take place late at night; what you are not aware of is that this can alternate the final price drastically. Avoid planning events around public celebrations unless absolutely necessary - the costs can skyrocket around holiday season. How Much Will it Cost? A buffet menu can range from very simple to fancy, depending on the occasion. If you are hosting a wedding with hundreds of guests, for example, the buffet dishes can be a lot more elegant than if you were catering for little children. Depending on the style, prices of buffet items per person vary quite drastically. For evening dishes that include some form of meat or fish, the cost may be as high as £25 per head. For starters and canapes, however, the price ranges between £5 and £7. Get an accurate price quote by contacting several caterers in your area; it will all depend on your chosen date and event size. Unfortunately, most catering services don’t post prices online exactly for this reason; catering costs vary too dramatically from event to event, so most averages posted online are not necessarily accurate. Saving Tips Hosting a party on a smaller budget? There are a few money-saving tips that will come in handy for planning of your event. Unless you’re hosting a children’s birthday party, skip themed decorations. More often than not, caterers charge extra for more complicated setups, but if you just stick to them setting up the buffet, avoid extra costs for little details. Check reviews of potential caterers online, and read up on whether their portions are typically lighter or heavier than expected. By checking this sort of information, you’ll know whether you need to order for the exact number of guests or aim lower. Skip printed invites. It can cost anywhere between £0.50 and £2.50 per invite. We recommend you create a website and ask your guests to RSVP and fill out all the necessary information online. It will save you the hassle of waiting for response letters and store all the info in an organized way. Putting Together the Menu Planning a buffet menu can be the most fun you have planning an event. If you are hosting a casual event earlier in the day with fewer guests, just choose any catering package that has a wide selection of appetizers. Some services even offer buffet options based on hors d’oeuvres alone. For a more formal occasion, select between 4-5 appetizers but choose more hot dishes for some elegance. Buffet options like salmon steak and beef roast will also give your guests a feeling like they just ate a multi-course meal. Want specific examples of dish options for inspiration? After comparing several buffet catering packages, this is a list of best, most common menu options: A variety of canapes (olive, goats cheese, sundried tomato fillings) Cheese platter Sandwich platter - simple cheddar with chutney; York ham/smoked salmon; Hog roast, beef steak, duck, or fish fillet; Desserts - cheesecake, profiteroles, and mini cupcakes. For an evening buffet with more sophisticated dishes, such as gourmet sausages, duck and an expensive selection of cheeses and pâtes, prices can be as high as £48.00 per person. -- To summarize: Make sure you are set on a date and time for your event, and are aware of any dietary restrictions your guests have prior to discussing the menu with your caterer. Prices for buffet dishes can vary, but opt for more vegetarian dishes or smaller appetizers if you are looking to save. Avoid spending money on small details like themed decorations or paper invites. You can basically go as basic or fancy with your food stations as you want! It all depends on how much you are looking to spend. Want to contact us for a consultation or learn more about our terms of service? Visit us at catery.co.uk for further information.