How Much Does Catering a Party in Melbourne Cost?

  • May 21, 2024
  • By Daniel Al-Safadi
  • 0 Comment

Planning a party involves several crucial decisions, and one of the most significant is choosing the right catering service. The cost of catering can vary widely based on several factors, such as the type of event, the number of guests, and the menu options. Understanding these variables can help you plan your budget effectively and ensure your event is a success. In this blog, we'll break down the costs associated with catering a party and offer tips on how to get the best value for your money.


Factors Influencing Catering Costs


Type of Event:


  1. Weddings typically have higher catering costs due to the formality and the need for multiple courses.
  2. Corporate events might require more specialized menus or services, such as a buffet or plated meals.
  3. Casual gatherings, like birthday parties or family reunions, often have simpler and more affordable catering optionss


          Number of Guests


          • The cost per person can decrease as the number of guests increases, but this is not always the case. Smaller events might benefit from personalized menus, while larger events might require more staff and equipment, increasing overall costs.


          Menu Choices


          • Buffets are often more cost-effective than plated meals because they require less staff and allow guests to serve themselves.
          • Plated meals involve higher labor costs as each dish needs to be prepared and served individually.
          • Finger foods and hors d'oeuvres can be a middle-ground option, providing variety without the high cost of full meals.


              Beverage Service


              • Offering a full bar with cocktails, wine, and beer will significantly increase costs compared to non-alcoholic beverages.
              • Some catering services offer drink packages that can be more cost-effective.


                Service Style


                • Full-service catering includes setup, serving, and cleanup, which adds to the cost but provides a stress-free experience.
                • Drop-off catering is cheaper as it only includes food delivery without any additional services.


                Location and Venue


                • The location of your event can influence costs due to travel expenses for the catering team and additional charges for setting up at certain venues.


                Average Catering Costs


                To give you a clearer picture, here’s a breakdown of the average costs you can expect for different types of events:


                • Weddings: $50 to $150 per person
                • Corporate Events: $30 to $100 per person
                • Casual Parties: $20 to $50 per person


                Ways to Save on Catering Costs


                Choose a Buffet Over Plated Meals


                • Buffets generally require less staffing and can be more cost-effective. They also offer guests the freedom to choose their portions and preferences.


                Limit Menu Options


                • Offering a limited menu with fewer choices can help control costs. Focus on a few high-quality dishes rather than an extensive menu. 


                Opt for Seasonal Ingredients


                • Seasonal produce is often cheaper and fresher, enhancing the quality of your dishes without breaking the bank.


                DIY Desserts


                • Consider providing your own desserts. A dessert table with homemade treats can add a personal touch and reduce costs.


                  Negotiate with Caterers


                  • Don’t be afraid to negotiate with your caterer. They may offer discounts for large orders or flexible menu options to fit your budget.


                  Book Early


                  • Booking your catering service well in advance can sometimes result in discounts and ensures you secure your preferred date.

                  Hidden Costs to Watch Out For


                  Service Charges


                  • Some caterers include service charges for staff, which can add a significant amount to your final bill. Make sure to clarify this upfront. 




                  • Tipping is often expected and can add 15-20% to your catering costs. Some caterers include gratuity in their service charges, so be sure to check.


                  Delivery Fees


                  • Delivery fees can vary based on distance and the complexity of the setup. Ensure you understand these charges before booking. 


                  Rental Equipment


                  • If your venue doesn't provide necessary equipment like tables, chairs, or linens, your caterer might charge extra for these rentals.




                  • Don’t forget to account for taxes in your budget, as they can add up quickly.



                  Catering a party can be a significant expense, but with careful planning and consideration of the factors above, you can manage costs effectively. By understanding the different elements that influence catering prices, you can make informed decisions that fit your budget and meet your event’s needs.


                  If you’re looking for an ideal catering service provider in Melbourne, Australia, look no further than R&S Sandwiches. We offer a wide range of options to make your event memorable. Whether you need a buffet, plated meals, or finger foods, R&S Sandwiches has the expertise and flexibility to cater to your unique requirements. Contact us today to discuss your event and receive a personalized quote tailored to your budget and preferences. With R&S Sandwiches, you can rest assured that your event will be a delicious success!