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Managing your Ottawa Catering Budget:

You’re having a party or reception, and you have your guest list ready and probably some notion of how much money you want to spend on this gathering. Now it’s time to determine just when to have this event and what to have catered. The budget you have in mind, should guide you.

All too often, the food and beverage seems to be the last item on the host’s list to determine, and, that’s when the budget and reality collide. Maybe the venue, decorations and or tables and chair rentals are all a bit more than you expected, and now, there’s little left for food and beverages. Here are a couple of ideas to consider doing to adjust the event to the budget.

Time of Day

If you have a conservative budget, and a large guest count, then adjusting the time of day you plan to host your event is your only option to make the best use of the funds you have available. Since mid-afternoon events do not have to include a full meal and numerous drinks per person, you can treat your guests to some very fine appetizers, party trays and sweet treats and still have a great time. If you have a theme in mind, ask your caterer to create menu items to compliment that theme and you’ll impress your guests for sure.

Guest Count

If you have limited funds, and want the grandest of special events, then the guest count may have to be revisited. You simply can’t host hundreds of people without the money to do so. The guest count impacts the reception venue size, the amount of money you’ll need for that venue, the catering you’ll need, the professional wait staff and bartenders you might need and host of other expenses. Even just centerpieces for your guest tables will be impacted by the number of people you’re planning to host.

Take a second look at the guest list and see who absolutely needs to be there. You may be able to trim some names from the list.


If you’re planning to serve alcohol at your event, consider having beer and wine, and a signature drink instead of an open bar. Open bars can get quite expensive depending on what is offered but a signature drink would require one or two types of alcohol instead of your typical inventory for a full bar. To show off your creativity, make up small signs about the drink and put them in small picture frames at the bar areas to let guests know all about them. You’ll still have a bar, you’ll still have alcohol, but you won’t have the expense of a fully stocked bar, mixers and drink accessories.

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