If you're fortunate enough to have the consistently Top 3 best-rated grocery store chain Hy-Vee near you, I've got even better news: That also means you've got Hy-Vee catering.
Hosting an event or getting lunch for the office doesn't have to be hard or super spendy with Hy-Vee's catering. They have a lot of options, but their online system helps you choose easily between a few main categories: sandwich and sub trays, shrimp and seafood spreads, hors d'oeurves, and catered meals.
Not only do they beat price leaders like Walmart and Costco, but Hy-Vee catering is sometimes even cheaper than making some of these trays and meals yourself!
First: What does Hy-Vee catering offer? Snack trays, casual meals, and fancy meals.
Like I said before, Hy-Vee catering has a TON of choices. So, whatcha looking for? A casual fruit platter for the big game? An entire wedding dinner for your guests?
To narrow it down, here are a few of the main categories you'll find in Hy-Vee's online catering catalog:
Hy-Vee offers veggie trays, sub sandwich trays, and meat and cheese charcuterie trays. These grazing trays come in all sizes and are great for events where you don't need a sit-down meal, but still want to provide food. Think birthday parties, graduations, or office happy hours.
These options fall into the middle tier of entertaining, where you want to provide a meal but it's not a fancy sit-down situation. Choose from chicken wings, seafood platters, and all kinds of salads and sides.
Fancy or sit-down meals:
Hy-Vee caters everything from charity events to weddings, so no matter how fancy your event is, there's a catered meal for you.
Hy-Vee catering starts at $1.30 per person, and most of options are less than $2 per person.
One of the best things about Hy-Vee catering is their low per-person price point. You have a good shot at getting something that costs less than $2 per person.
To give you an idea of what you can expect to pay for various options, here are a few of their bestsellers:
To order, visit the online catering menu to browse the options and add items to your cart.
TIP: If you're feeding a crowd, a larger tray is almost always cheaper than purchasing a-la-carte items. The individual items may have a cheaper out-of-pocket price, but you'll be spending more per person overall. A breakfast tray that feeds 24 people is $19.99, which means you'll only pay $0.83 per person. Individual donuts, muffins, and fresh fruit salad cups cost $1.50 each.
Big event catering is priced per person, rather than by item — starting at $9.
While a lot of the casual catering items can be ordered online, you'll have to contact your local store to plan a larger event like a wedding or banquet. Use the store finder feature on their website to get all the information you need, including the contact information for your local catering manager.
Here are some of the more popular main course options for event catering:
Pasta bar — $9 per person
Soup, Sandwich, and Salad bar — $9 per person
Two entree buffet — $14 per person
Three entree buffet — $16 per person
Black tie dinner buffet — market pricing, to be determined at the time of the event
Don't forget the beverages and desserts — they end up being as cheap as around $0.62 per person.
And for a fully catered event, you'll need to consider beverages, desserts, and other add-ons, too. Unlike the meals, these are typically priced per item, instead of per person:
Iced tea or lemonade — $10 per gallon (~16 servings, $0.62 per person)
Coffee — $14 per gallon (~16 servings, $0.87 per person)
Full sheet cake — (~16 servings, $0.87 per person)
Gourmet cupcake tray — (~16 servings, $0.87 per person)
Premium table service — add $1 per person
Let's say you choose the pasta bar, sheet cake, and iced tea — buffet style, so you can save on service costs. That puts you at $10.74 per person for a fully catered wedding meal. If you skip the iced tea and just serve food, dessert, and water, you'll come in at under $10 per person. (Speaking as someone currently planning a wedding, this is a fantastic deal! I have yet to find anything under $12 a person anywhere else.)
If you want more control over your catering order, look for the 'Shop Options' button online.
Hy-Vee offers hundreds of catering options that you can quickly order online. If you prefer to tailor your selections, you can do so without any additional costs.
You'll notice that some cheese trays have a red 'add to cart' button, allowing you to order them as shown. Others give you a "shop options" button to personalize your tray with your choice of meats, cheeses, and more, letting you build the perfect spread at a great value.
Hy-Vee catering prices beat Walmart, Costco, and making the meals yourself.
After checking out other stores, we found that Hy-Vee offers some of the best prices around, even compared to Walmart and Costco.
For instance, you can save on a veggie tray from Hy-Vee, costing only $1.45 per person, which is cheaper than Walmart's $2.05 per person rate. Also, their shrimp platter is slightly less per person than Costco's.
Moreover, opting for a Hy-Vee catering option like the Columbus Charcuterie Sampler Board, priced at $30, can be more economical than putting together a spread yourself with similar products.
Here's what we mean: Let's say you go to Hy-Vee to purchase those ingredients individually and assemble the board yourself. Even if you only need about 4 oz of each kind of salami, you're limited to what the store offers. (For example, the Genoa salami is only offered in a 10-oz package.)
4 oz Columbus Sliced Salame: $7.39
10 Columbus Genoa Salame: $11.59
1 Box Ritz Brand Crackers: $3.88
Total cost: $42.51
Even when substituting for Hy-Vee brand items, which are typically less expensive, making this board yourself would cost $12.51 more than the catering option. Not to mention the time you save NOT having to assemble it.
Your food will be ready in as little as two days after placing your order.
As you're scrolling through the catering options in be sure to check the "get it by" date included with each listing. Most of the casual options (charcuterie boards, veggie trays, and sandwi
ches) can be ready in as little as two days after ordering.
Looking to save money on wedding catering? Big meals like this take a little more lead time. For a casual dinner of around 20 people, order at least a week ahead of time. For something like a wedding, contact them at least six weeks before — although we recommend several months ahead of time, just for the peace of mind.
You can get your orders delivered, but delivery fees vary.
Yes, Hy-Vee delivers their catering goods, but the cost can vary based on the order size, total cost, and delivery distance. To get a precise quote, give your local store's catering department a call before you place your order.
Though some Hy-Vee locations offer catering items through DoorDash or Instacart, you'll definitely pay more, both due to those services' price markups, and additional fees. Ordering directly from Hy-Vee is much more budget-friendly.
NOTE: The prices you see online are for pick-up orders, and delivery prices are tacked onto that. As long as you meet a $24.99 minimum, Hy-Vee will hold your catering order at the store and help you load it into your vehicle when you come to pick it up — at no extra cost.
Hy-Vee will even cook your food at the event for a $75 flat fee.
Not only will Hy-Vee deliver your food, they offer table service and other add-ons as well. (All prices vary by location, so check with your local catering manager for exact costs.) If you're hosting a picnic, outdoor gathering, or any other event where you're serving grilled food, Hy-Vee will grill it fresh on-site for your guests! You just have to have a minimum of 75 guests, and pay a $75 grill rental fee.