Laurels

Best Catering Companies
2022

The Best Catering Companies
Here Are The Top Catering Companies
RAPT Hospitality

RAPT Hospitality

RAPT Hospitality offers a variety of hospitality services to clients in the New York City metro area. This includes luxury catering, in which it gives customers access to a wide array of culinary dishes. RAPT Hospitality's chefs specialize in American cooking and culinary cocktail craft, using ingredients from local and urban farms throughout the surrounding area. It is available year-round and provides its services for weddings and other private events.

New York, NY 10016

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Indiana Market & Catering

Indiana Market & Catering

Indiana Market & Catering, based in New York City for over 30 years, can provide simple food deliveries or full-service catering and event support. For clients’ events, the business provides deejays, décor, 3D lighting, and transportation, among other options. David Turk, the company’s owner and founder, has worked in the catering industry for over 30 years. He is a member of the Excalibur Society for Hospitality and Service Excellence.

New York, NY 10018

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Sweet Basil Catering

Sweet Basil Catering

A Bride's Choice Awardee of 2010, Sweet Basil is a woman owned full-service events and catering company in New York City. The company is known to create a variety of cultural and seasonal foods with beautiful aesthetics. They offer a wide range of catering and events services from private parties, galas, weddings, corporate events, and fundraisers. Its owner and creative director, Amy Aversa, aims to make special and unique events for its clients and guests. The company enjoys impeccable customer satisfaction ratings from its clients.

New York, NY 10023

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FCI Catering & Events

FCI Catering & Events

FCI Catering & Events, based in New York, is a catering service with dishes that incorporate seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients. It is the International Culinary Center’s exclusive in-house catering and event production provider. Notably, FCI Catering & Events has been featured in Martha Stewart Weddings, New York Weddings, and Rodale Wellness.

New York, NY 10013

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Neuman's Kitchen

Neuman's Kitchen

Neuman's Kitchen, based in New York for over 30 years, caters weddings, corporate gatherings, and other special events. The company’s President, Paul Neuman, is a Past President of the International Special Events Society’s New York Chapter as well as the Executives Association of New York City. For its high-quality food and customer service, Neuman’s Kitchen has received awards from Manhattan Bride, Martha Stewart Weddings, Leading Caterers of America, and Junebug Weddings.

New York, NY 11101

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Elegant Affairs

Elegant Affairs

Elegant Affairs is a full-service, off-premise caterer providing its services for corporate, social, and non-profit events in New York City, Long Island, and the Hamptons. The company is available for weddings, social soirees, and private celebrations, serving hors’ d'oeuvres, appetizers, innovative food stations, and entrees. Owner Andrea Correale has appeared in various media channels, including Fox, CBS, NBC, and MTV. She also contributes to Social Life Magazine and Hamptons magazine.

Glen Cove, NY 11542

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Abigail Kirsch

Abigail Kirsch

Abigail Kirsch is a New York City catering service that is named after its founder. The company operates a number of New York Metro area venues, and it can also provide catering services at clients’ own venues. Predesigned sample menus for lunches, dinners, corporate meetings, and other events are available on the Abigail Kirsch website.

New York, NY 10010

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CLOUD Catering & Events

CLOUD Catering & Events

CLOUD Catering & Events, in Long Island City, has been operating in the NYC Metro for over three years. The caterer’s Executive Chef, Tyler Lyne, has been living in New York City since 2006. He has worked at CRU Restaurant as well as Bouley, Momofuku Ko, Ciano, and La Esquina. The CLOUD Catering & Events menu includes vegetarian options as well as poultry, meat, and seafood. Mr. Lyne received recognition from Zagat as one of the publication’s New York City “30 Under 30” chefs.

Long Island City, NY 11101

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Above & Beyond Catering

Above & Beyond Catering

Above & Beyond Catering, located in Dumont, is a catering service that also operates in the New York City Metro. The catering team receives thorough Kosher certification from the Orthodox Union, and the staff chefs can prepare dishes suitable for vegetarians and vegans, as well as meat-eaters. Interested potential clients can browse Above & Beyond Catering’s website for detailed information about its bar mitzvah, bat mitzvah, and wedding packages.

Dumont, NJ 07628

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Amy Ruth's Harlem

Amy Ruth's Harlem

Amy Ruth's Harlem, founded in Harlem in 1998, is a chicken and waffles restaurant with catering service available for customers throughout the area. Carl S. Redding, the restaurant’s founder and owner, has populated the menu with soul food recipes that he learned from his grandmother, Amy Ruth. Catering clients can select from a range of food options, including breakfast buffets as well as lunch items such as fried chicken, catfish, ribs, and various side dishes and desserts.

New York, NY 10026

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Expert Answers To Common Questions:

  1. Introduction
  2. Can a catering company serve alcohol?
  3. Are catering tastings free?
  4. When catering for a party, how do you calculate how much food is needed?
  5. When should you reserve catering services before an event?
  6. Do you tip the caterer?
  7. What is included with catering services?
  8. How many different catering styles are there and what are they? 
  9. Do catering companies rent tables, chairs, tents, tablecloths?
  10. What is the best way to tell your caterer your event date has been changed or canceled?
  11. What are hidden fees that catering companies have?
  12. How do I start a catering business from home?
  13. How do I rent a kitchen for catering?
  14. How can I promote my catering business?
  15. What licenses are needed to start a catering business?
  16. How much do caterers make per event?
  17. Where can I find catering leads?
Q: Introduction
A:
Catering is a convenient service that brings restaurant-quality food and beverages to a variety of social gatherings. It's beneficial to weddings, workplace celebrations, and other events because it invites guests to relax and enjoy a festive meal. While there are many dedicated catering businesses that transport food and equipment to their clients, many restaurants also offer catering as part of their dining services.

For those interested in a career in catering, the flexibility to take your business anywhere is one factor that may make the industry attractive. Like traditional restaurants, caterers often specialize in one type of cuisine, and they can vary widely in price and capacity. Whether you're looking to hire catering services for your next event or you want to learn more about the profession, take a look at these frequently asked questions below.
Q: Can a catering company serve alcohol?
A:
Just like brick-and-mortar restaurants, catering companies need a liquor license to serve alcohol to patrons. If a caterer is serving alcoholic beverages, guests under the age of 21 are allowed on the premises, but they may not buy or consume alcohol.
Q: Are catering tastings free?
A:
If you're having a large event catered and expecting to spend a lot of money, having a tasting beforehand is often a good idea. Tastings are handled differently by catering companies; some may charge while others won't. In general, most caterers charge a fee, usually around the cost of a meal at a restaurant.
Q: When catering for a party, how do you calculate how much food is needed?
A:
Caterers usually help their clients calculate food by offering a recommended portion size per guest. Taking this into consideration, all you need to do is multiply this portion by the number of expected guests to determine the total amount of food needed.
Q: When should you reserve catering services before an event?
A:
The amount of time in advance needed to schedule catering services depends on the number of people and type of event. For weddings with 50 people or more, six to 12 months in advance is recommended. For smaller gatherings, a month or two should suffice.
Q: Do you tip the caterer?
A:
Some catering services include tips in the bill, so you don't have to worry about handling this aspect on the day of your event. If the tip is not included, a minimum of 15% of the total bill is recommended, while tipping 20% is not uncommon.
Q: What is included with catering services?
A:
In addition to the food you order, catering services can include delivery, linens, silverware or plasticware, plates and cups, a small heat source to keep hot dishes warm, and staff. When planning your event, it's always a good idea to confirm which of these items are included and necessary.
Q: How many different catering styles are there and what are they? 
A:
The three main styles of catering are buffet, plated, and family-style.
  • Buffet-style catering positions food on tables, and guests are encouraged to serve themselves.
  • Plated catering is usually for formal occasions where staff bring individual plates to each seated guest.
  • Family-style serves larger portions of food served placed on each table to be split between guests.
Q: Do catering companies rent tables, chairs, tents, tablecloths?
A:
Most catering companies provide the necessary equipment to serve food, such as serving utensils and chafing dishes, though not all have furniture, such as chairs and tables, to seat large groups of people. If you also want to rent dining equipment, a larger catering company is likely a good option.
Q: What is the best way to tell your caterer your event date has been changed or canceled?
A:
If your event date has changed or needs to be canceled, let the caterers know as soon as possible so they can make the necessary arrangements. A phone call is usually the best option so you can speak with someone directly to ensure that your cancellation is confirmed. If sending an email, be sure to get a written confirmation.
Q: What are hidden fees that catering companies have?
A:
When budgeting your event, it's a good idea to be aware of some of the common fees catering companies may charge. The most common include:
  • Hiring waiters and other servers
  • Cake-cutting or uncorking fees
  • Garbage clean-up fees
  • Tableware and linen rentals
  • Tax and service charges
Q: How do I start a catering business from home?
A:
After putting together a business plan and getting licensed, you need some basic equipment, such as plates, bowls, silverware, and garbage bins, to get started with your catering business. This should be enough for a simple operation, though if you want to serve more people, acquiring staff and a kitchen is a must.
Q: How do I rent a kitchen for catering?
A:
Renting a kitchen is an important step for caterers looking to expand their business. Look for a space in your area that is at least 70 square feet, and contact the owner for details on rent. Once you've signed the lease, the next step is outfitting it with the right equipment.
Q: How can I promote my catering business?
A:
There are many ways to promote a catering business, though the most cost-effective for small businesses is social media. Here you can target specific demographics based on age, interests, and location to reach out to the ideal audience for your services. A press release can be another good way to inform local media outlets of your new business, while a blog can allow new and establish customers to follow you over the long term.
Q: What licenses are needed to start a catering business?
A:
There are several licenses required to run a catering business. In addition to a basic business license (BBL), you may also need a county or city license for food handling and a safety certification. A liquor license is not a necessity but common for caterers who plan on serving weddings and other large parties.
Q: How much do caterers make per event?
A:
The amount your catering business makes per event depends entirely on how much you charge for your food minus the cost of expenses, such as staffing and materials. These are all details to be worked out in your business plan, but a good rule of thumb is to walk away with at least enough profit to cover the time you spent earning it. The average salary for a caterer is between $18,000 and $42,000 per year.
Q: Where can I find catering leads?
A:
Getting leads for any business can be tough, but there's no better asset than word of mouth. The best way to get new customers is to make sure you always offer top-level service to the ones you already have, so they recommend you to friends and family in the future.