Forming a budget for your event is a crucial aspect in planning most events. In order for your event planner to be able to help you in making the appropriate arrangements for your menu, staffing, equipment rentals and additional services, we will need to know the location of your event, special aspects and logistics pertaining to the site, number of guests, type of event, estimated duration of the event as well as food and beverage requirements.


Menu prices vary depending on the size of the event, number of menu selections, types of dishes and specialty ingredients that may be needed for custom menus. The food costs are figured on a per person basis. Here are some general guidelines that will allow you to form a working food budget:

Light Hors d’oeuvres only $12.00-$22.00 per person
Cocktail Reception Hors d’oeuvres and Food Stations $19.00-$32.00 per person
Seated Dinner Menus (buffet and table service) $27.00-$67.00 per person.


Walter Burke Catering does not directly sell liquor to the public. However, we can order the liquor and mixers for you, deliver it to your event and then have our licensed bartenders serve it. We are able to help you in deciding on the quantities that are needed and to also make recommendations on specific varieties of wines, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages. Once you have determined what type of bar you want to offer, you can purchase the alcohol yourself or we can make the purchase for you by Credit Card or Check, supplied for the liquor purveyor. For the service of handling your liquor order, we will charge an additional $1.00 per person to the bar set-up fee. If you choose to purchase the liquor yourself, you can either have the liquor delivered to our facilities or to the event directly. We require that we have the liquor, the day before the event, if it is delivered to our facility, we will then deliver it to your event and have our licensed bartenders serve it. If it is to be delivered to the event, then we require that it be there no later than the scheduled arrival time of our licensed bartenders, generally at least 2 hours before the guests arrive in order to properly chill and set-up for service. Following is an estimated guideline to budget for beverages for a standard three to four hour event. Estimates are based on popular and call brands. Top shelf and vintage products will increase the cost.

Beer and/or Wine Service $6.00-$18.00 per person
Full Bar $10.00-$25.00 per person


Service fees can vary depending on the requirements of your event. For example, waitstaff for a buffet will cost less than a seated dinner because it takes less people to make a buffet function while table service plated dinners require additional kitchen staff to prepare, garnish and decorate plated dinners. These are estimated general averages that can give you an idea of how much to budget for your service staff costs.

Cocktail Party $10.00-$15.00 per person
Buffet $11.00-$17.00 per person
Seated Meal $20.00-$29.00 per person

These are general costs and could be less or more depending on the needs of each event. Gratuity is not included in these figures.


The expense of your equipment rentals can vary depending on what your event requires. As with service, however, there are some average rates that will give you an idea of how much an event with full rentals will cost. Full rentals generally include tables, chairs, china, flatware, glassware and linen.

Buffet $10.00-$17.50 per person
Seated Meal $15.00-$29.00 per person
These are general costs and could be less or more depending on the style of equipment and the needs of each event.