Funeral catering options and costs

Good food and good company can often be two comforting elements of a funeral reception, which go hand in hand with an event where memories can be recalled and stories can be recanted. In every sense of the word, funeral receptions are then incredibly cathartic, and choosing the right catering option, which comes at the right cost, is a task that is not to be underestimated.

Step one: Thinking about your venue

An initial step which may immediately cut out an array of options is considering what may or may not be allowed by the venue of your choice (it may then be an idea to read our guide to choosing the right funeral venue before you forge ahead with reading this guide).

Step two: Get to grips with costs

Research has found that the average cost of catering for a Funeral Reception comes in at £370 (Money Advice Service); and the cheapest of options can be where the venue provides a complete package (particularly where they’re hiring you a room for free based upon a certain number of guests), although it’s almost always worth doing some research to ensure that this is the case as certain venues can be considerably more costly than others.

Nevertheless in the next section we provide some very rough costings for you to compare the prices supplied by your venue against (it’s also worth noting at this point that not all venues disallow outside caterers).

Step three: Weighting up the options

With budget and venue restrictions considered, now is the time to consider the options when it comes to your catering, here are some popular funeral reception catering options.
  • Cold buffet – From £10 per head; this tends to include items such as sandwiches, salad, quiches, finger food, and a selection of deserts.
  • Cold and Hot Buffet – From £13 per head; this mixed buffet may extend the cold selection to also include items such as chips, onion rings, soup and warmed oven snacks.
  • Afternoon tea – From £9 per head; this is a nice balance between an extensive cold buffet and something that’s a little simpler, yet retains a little charm.
  • Simple Finger Food – From £7 per head; this option may be the cheapest, although the selection of foods won’t extend far beyond sandwiches and around two to three additional items such as a quiche and sausage rolls.
  • Drinks – Tea and coffee from £1.50 per head; fruit juice and similar drinks from £1 per head.

  • A word upon alcoholic drinks

    It’s worth noting that no funeral reception attender ever expects there to be a free bar – so allowing your guests to purchase other drinks from the venue is perfectly acceptable and entirely expected.

    Considering going it alone? Why you may want to think again...

    If you’re considering handling a funeral reception’s catering yourself then you should take a moment to think about the task ahead of you. As a starting point the costs involved in this are often not that much cheaper than professional services if you undertake research. It’s also a tough ask without plenty of helping hands, adds to the complexity of finding a venue and likely involves a whole load of cleaning up afterwards. What’s more you might also need to factor in plenty of unforeseen dietary demands and considerations. When all things are weighed up, this option often doesn't seem so convenient, nor so affordable by the time you've visited each shop that you need to and paid for all the added items such as cups, trays, plates and covers.

    Find your ideal catheter – without the headache

    We've taken the time to scour the UK and source trusted, reliable providers of catering for even the most unique of funeral receptions. The providers listed within our directory are consummate professionals, and our quick search function cuts out the need for trawling through Yellow pages and phoning an endless array of companies for quotes.

    Search our director for Funeral Reception Caterers here.