the ultimate catering budget guide for 2023

Display for a catered event wedding

The New Year is finally here, and with that comes many special events looming right around the corner! If getting organized and saving money are some of your New Year’s resolutions this year, we’ve got your back.

As you know, food is one of the most memorable parts of a wedding or other get-together. Of course, costs can add up fast. That’s why we put together a complete catering budget guide for 2023 to help you keep catering costs as affordable as possible. Let’s get started!

Pizza served at a catered event

your catering budget guide for 2023

Here’s how to approach catering in 2023 if you’re on a budget:

#1: get the info you need upfront

Our Portland catering company provides a detailed breakdown of costs so you can know exactly what you are spending on food and what the service will cost. Additionally, we make sure everything is included–from gratuities to food costs–so that you know how to plan.

#2: get creative with the menu

You have tons of options for menus when you choose Mundo Catering. For instance, you could opt for breakfast for dinner or a full vegan menu. You might even go for something like salmon or steak (though this can cost more than other dishes). The key is to choose foods that mean something to you or might be more enjoyable for your guests.

Depending on the schedule of your wedding day, you may consider serving lunch or brunch rather than dinner. These dishes are often served in smaller portions, which further reduces catering and bar costs. Guests are also likely to drink less, which reduces the bar bill. This is a good option even if you want to serve more elaborate meals.

Champagne being served at catered event

#3: offer fewer options

A more extensive menu will result in a higher caterer’s bill. Offering two primary options, such as chicken and fish, is a better idea. If guests speak up in advance about dietary restrictions, be prepared to offer a suitable meal. Mundo Catering accommodates any and all dietary restrictions, so let us know beforehand if you will require dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan substitutions. We’re happy to help.

You may even get away with just one entrée selection if the attendees don’t have any dietary restrictions. It’s possible to offer one option that will please everyone, even meat-eaters. It just requires some planning with your caterer and input from your guests about allergies and other dietary restrictions.

#4: stick to three courses–max!

After the appetizers from the cocktail hour, the main course and dessert should be enough to satisfy your guests. The more courses, the more the catering budget will go up–especially if each course has multiple options.

You can skip the salad course during dinner if you serve it during cocktail hour, or you can impress your guests with a fancier salad (even if your main course is less expensive).

Desserts at a buffet style set-up

#5: consider the serving methods

Cut your catering costs by serving appetizers on tables rather than passing around hors d’oeuvres. This can cut down on the number of servers who will likely be needed during cocktail hour.

#6: ask your caterer for ideas

It can be difficult to discuss budgeting with your caterer, but it’s essential to make sure that everything is within your target price range. We’re happy to suggest foods that would work well for your event and keep costs down.

#7: skip the elaborate cake

It is becoming more and more common for couples to opt for a small, decorated cake rather than an over-the-top display. For guests, the couple will have sliced sheet cake, cupcakes, or a self-serve dessert bar.

On a budget, elaborately decorated cakes can break the bank. When choosing a cake, stick to more common flavors and fillings. In addition, avoid fondant for the cake. With a dessert buffet, use bite-sized desserts as opposed to full-size desserts. More people prefer a taste rather than a full dessert anyway.

Simple table display for catered wedding

about us | portland catering services

In Portland, OR, there is no other catering company quite like Mundo Catering. We provide a variety of customized menus to suit any taste, tolerance, or preference.

Our vegan and vegetarian menu choices, dairy and gluten-free options, and complete menu options will surely meet your needs and impress your guests. Just tell us what you’re looking for, and we’ll craft an incredible menu that’s sure to exceed your expectations.

Our catering schedule is filling fast for 2023, so don’t wait! Let us know today so that we can put your name on our calendar. We can’t wait to serve you this year!

You can see some of our past events, delicious foods, and a peek behind the scenes on our Gallery. You can also read our Blog for insider tips and tricks from our team.

Schedule with our Portland caterers now: (971) 302-5041.