Order Now
0406 141 682
The ultimate office & conference catering budget table

New to the office catering budget? If you’re ordering catering for your office or organising a conference for the first time, fear not! This article will arm you will the information that seasoned organisers already know. 

  • Work out how many meals periods you must organise. Will you have morning tea? Or morning tea and lunch? Or just lunch? Or all-day morning, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner?  
  • Work on a cost per person. Caterers work out the price of meals for each individual person.  

Why do we do this? Because you only want to pay for what people will reasonably eat, in the style that you want to eat.  

Office catering budget ideas

A typical corporate catering budget scenario

A great example of this is a $1,000 budget for lunch catering.  

  • If you have 10 people, $100 per person of food will get you smoked salmon, kale and imported fruits (maybe some gold leaf decoration too!)
  • If you have 100 people, $10 per person of food will get you sandwiches, wraps and seasonal fruit. 
  • Set a realistic budget. The only way you can keep within a $5 per person lunch is to get pizza or Subway. The following table will give you a rough idea of what you should be budgeting for office catering in Queensland, Australia for 2019. After that, you should expect the price to increase by about 5% per year. 

For different budgets you will be able to get different food options. For ease of understanding I have split catering budgets into three types: 

  • Basic catering = scones, fruit, sandwiches, wraps
  • Decent catering = two options for morning/afternoon tea, fruit and something other than sandwiches for lunch 
  • Premium catering= antipasto platters, artisan baked goodies, hot savoury snacks and hot lunch options.

NOTE: The more on-site service and staffing you require, the more it will cost you. These figures are based on minimal drop and go style catering with disposable plates. 

Office catering budget table

Morning tea (MT) Lunch (L) Afternoon tea (AT) All day (MT, L & AT) Dinner (main meal ONLY) 
Basic $5.00 $7.50 $5.00 $17.50 $15.00 
Decent $8.00 $14.00 $8.00 $30.00 $25.00 
Premium $12.50 $25.00 $12.50 $50.00 $35.00+ 
Add for drinks $5.00 $5.00 $5.00 $15.00 $15.00 

  • Ask for quotes. It is absolutely acceptable to request a quote from caterers. Ask away! 
  • Hot food. Accept that hot food is going to cost you more! If you want it, increase your budget. 
  • Own your budget. Budgets are important! Any caterer who does not ask for your budget or isn’t able to respect a reasonable budget it isn’t someone you should be working with.  
  • Dietary meals. Any Coeliac/Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Fructose or Diabetic meal you order will have an additional cost to it. Keep in mind that these dietary meals will be between $1-5 extra per meal (if you are feeding your people morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea this can be an extra $15 per person). 
  • Location matters. The reality is, if you are after delivery and/or are not centrally located you will be charged for the service of getting your food to you. If you have ordered food for more than 15 people, it is usually worth the money to get it professionally delivered. Food always takes up more room than you think it will!  

Monkey Business Catering offers free delivery for orders in Toowoomba Central over $100. For those in Highfields, Charlton, Wellcamp and even further out we have to charge $2.20 per kilometre to cover our costs. 

Happy catering!

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *