What Is The Average Cost of Production Catering in Los Angeles?
The script is written, the actors are cast and the production team has been assembled. It’s time to fine-tune one of the most important parts of the entire film set — the food!
Having good meals on set makes the difference between a happy crew and a grumpy crew. Not only does food add a social aspect to a film set, but it keeps everyone energized and ready to handle the hard work on set.
Film catering in Los Angeles ranges in prices depending upon what you’re looking for and how many guests you’ll be feeding. If you’re wondering how much catering costs for an entire film team, you’ve come to the right spot!
We’re going to break down this question and give you the scoop on production catering in Los Angeles.
What Are The Averages?
In their article for Pricing Trends for Los Angeles Catering Requests, Thumbtack Journal notes the following averages:
- $14-18 per person for drop-off, which includes buffet or individual packaging with no service, no staff and disposable supplies. Sample cuisine is BBQ or Mexican food.
- $22-$27 per person for a buffet, which includes a buffet with service, chef and buffet servers, formal staff and tables and chairs. Sample cuisine is Italian or American.
- $25-$32 per person for full service, which includes plated service, chef, assistant chef and servers, formal staff and tables, chairs and glassware. Sample cuisine is Asian or Mediterranean.
What Are The Factors?
When it comes to production catering in Los Angeles, there are a number of factors that impact overall pricing. From cuisine choice to staff numbers, here are some crucial elements to keep in mind.
Number of Crew
Pricing can vary depending on how many people are in the crew. If you’re serving a smaller crew, for example, the price per head might be more and may decrease once you reach a certain point (for example, $20 for the first 25 crew members then $20 for each crew member thereafter). Don’t forget to factor in each part of the crew — like the lighting assistants, the makeup artist, and the on-set producers.
Time of Day
Time of day is another factor that impacts film catering in Los Angeles. Catering a breakfast or lunch spread will typically be cheaper than an evening dinner. Alternatively, caterers may charge more if they are required to get on set super early (say, before the sun rises) or stay past midnight for a late dinner. Timing can often be a struggle on film sets, as the crew tends to work long and arduous hours. If you plan things ahead of time, you might still run into scheduling issues, but at least you’ll be on the same page as the caterer.
Cuisine choice is important to note, as not all cuisines are priced equally. Just like a grocery store, organic catering tends to be more than non-organic. Certain cuisines tend to be on the less expensive side, as the ingredients are not as costly. Mexican food with big trays of rice, beans, and tortillas is a good budget-friendly option, especially when served buffet style. For a film crew, this is a good choice, as tacos and burritos fill people up, give them fuel and still taste good even if they’ve been dropped off and are sitting out for a bit. In addition to the cost of ingredients, caterers consider how much preparation goes into each dish. If they’re creating something entirely from scratch, the preparation takes longer and the price tends to increase.
Amount of Staff
If you’re opting to not do a simple catering drop off for your production catering, Los Angeles prices go up based on the amount of staff that is required. A large buffet spread for a big and hungry crew will require more staff than a small breakfast spread for a tiny crew. If you’re choosing to do a sit-down dinner, you’ll need at least a chef, assistant chef and catering staff who will run the food out and serve the crew. Ensuring that your crew is well-fed and happy is an important component of production. The last thing you want is to experience is a hungry director with brain fog who is unable to work up to his or her usual standards!
If there are dietary restrictions that come into play, this is something you’ll want to take note of, too. Caterers often will charge more if there are certain restrictions they have to comply with. If a drop off pizza caterer needs to include gluten-free pizza, they might up the price a bit — and if a sit-down caterer has to keep certain restrictions in mind (like vegan, gluten-free or dairy intolerant options), they’ll probably charge more, too. Get this conversation started with your catering team from the beginning to alleviate any confusion. If you’re going to be dong film catering in Los Angeles with a crew, make sure to have a production manager reach out and get the conversation going to learn about any dietary restrictions that may be prevalent.
If you’re planning to hire production catering in Los Angeles, keep the above ideas in mind as a good starting point! Once you reach out, companies will work alongside you to fine-tune the menu and create something that works best within your own budget and situation.
Film sets can be stressful — but having delicious meals for the crew will keep the set running smoothly. Nothing beats a good meal after a long morning or afternoon of hard work.
We focus on sustainable full service catering, organic ingredients and fresh seasonal food that will keep your crew nutritiously balanced. Feel free to reach out to us today and we’ll work together to craft your dream menu with a customized quote.