Cost to hire a Caterer on Bidvine

£747 - £2263

National average price

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£747 - £2263  National average range
£747 - £2263
Your estimate

How much does buffet event catering cost?

Nov 25, 2020

Buffet event catering in the UK costs an average of £500 to £1175. This rate can vary depending on the type of meal prepared, the number of guests, length of the event, and the number of courses.

Planning a big event requires the right amount of attention to every detail. And when it comes to your meal, attention to detail is even more important! Catering can help you ensure this part of the event goes on perfectly.

The cost of a catered meal will depend on the type of plans you have for the meal itself, the number of guests, and other additional factors. To help you start planning your budget we explore the top considerations you need to take into account when hiring a buffet event caterer.

Event Catering Costs

UK National Minimum Cost£500
UK National Maximum Cost£1175
UK National Average Cost£850
Average Range£500 - £1175

Included in This Price Guide


The decisions that go into planning your event’s meal can influence how much your event will cost to host. When you communicate the event type, preferred cuisine, and what type of meal you are catering, you are going to get the best and most accurately detailed cost information.

Type of Event

A meal can make any event more delightful for your guests, and it doesn’t have to be difficult to plan. An anniversary dinner can be a great way to celebrate with friends and family in a relaxed and enjoyable setting. It can also make a birthday gathering feel even more special, whether it’s a formal sit-down or a more casual standing meal.

Many corporate events include meals as well. It’s a great way to say thank you to those who attend and make sure your event is one to remember. Whether it’s a breakfast meeting or lunch at a workshop, a catered meal at your corporate event can enrich the experience for all those involved. 

Providing a meal at a baby shower can also make the event more fun for all those involved!

Type of Cuisine

To make your event perfect, you will want some say in the type of cuisine that is served. Whether you fancy a traditional British feast or the decadent tastes of French dishes, you can get the right meal for your event. Perhaps you want to offer a wide selection of Italian pasta and pizzas.

If spice is on order, why not choose a mix of Indian dishes that are created to suit a crowd? Or perhaps you want to explore your favourite Chinese food. Japanese cuisine is also a great choice that is sure to please. 

Keep in mind that the type of food you select may influence the cost. Ask your event caterer for more information as prices can fluctuate according to the base cost of food. For example, some spices or meats like fish can vary in price so this will affect your quote.

Type of Meal

Most caterers will need to know whether you require breakfast, lunch, or dinner in addition to the type of cuisine you wish to serve. It’s important to communicate when your event is happening to be sure your meal options are offered accordingly. After all, you won’t want to have a three-course meal for a corporate breakfast!

There are a few standards that may be on offer, such as pastries for breakfast or sandwiches for lunch. Dinners tend to involve a warm meal that may be served to your guests or offered as a buffet. This is not a rule, of course! You can choose the right selection of foods at any time of day to make your guests happy.

Once you’ve chosen the type of cuisine, you can explore the different options for each time of day with your caterer. Working with your caterer to create the perfect meal is sure to give you a wonderful experience, no matter what time of day you are running your event. It also ensures that all of the details are lined up to be delivered on time.


Hiring a caterer is usually based on the time you need them, so you will want to have this information when you start your search! It’s also important to start your search well in advance of your event for the best results, and to keep your event planning stress-free.

Most events will require a caterer’s help for at least several hours. This includes time to cook, serve, and clean up afterwards. Some meals will require more preparation, others more time to serve in a buffet or to the guests.

Depending on the type of cuisine being served, your caterer may need to arrive early to prepare the food. Some meals may be able to be prepared beforehand, but others will be cooked onsite. So you may need to include information about the type of meal and the expected menu to ensure you have enough time.

Caterer’s Experience

Make sure to find a caterer with experience to handle your event. This way, you will know that they can handle each step required to make your meal a success. This can include setting up, cooking and serving, and cleaning up the food after the event is over.

Check out the caterer’s experience on their Bidvine profile. They may share details of events they have handled such as the size or type, to help you make your decision on whether they will be a good fit. You can also read reviews from people who have worked with the catering service. This will give you even more information that you can use to make the right choice. If someone says they loved the service they received, chances are you will love them too!


You’ll also want to consider your event’s location when selecting a caterer. If you are holding your event in the city, look for someone local. They will have the connections and suppliers needed to pull the event together. While you can choose a caterer in another location, they will have to travel to your event location. This can add travel costs to your total so it is something to keep in mind.

The rates will be set according to the caterer’s location, so costs may be higher or lower in some locations depending on the cost of living. It can be helpful to work with someone close to the venue of your event to ensure the best fit for your budget.   

Event Services Cost Comparison

Planning to book other services for your event? Then check out our handy cost comparison chart below to view prices for popular event services.

Event ServiceAverage Hourly Cost
Buffet Event Catering£20
Event Photography£100
Event Videography£100
Event Hair and Makeup£50
Wedding Planning£30


You will want your catered meal to pull your event together and make it one to remember. With the right decisions about the type of food you serve, your meal will be the talk of the morning, noon or night — no matter whether it’s a personal event or a corporate one.  

Want some help to find a great caterer to pull your meal together? Bidvine can help! Just answer a few questions about the event and your plans for the meal when you submit a free request to get bids from top caterers!

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