Planning a graduation party can sometimes be more challenging than getting your kid to the point of graduation. Between finding the food, the venue, the decorations and getting out those invitations, pre-party life can get pretty stressful. Which is why we here at Metro Parent put together a list of catering companies in Michigan’s metro Detroit region and beyond that can help keep you out of the kitchen and with your grad on their big day. Whether you’re looking for a barbecue-style cookout or a taco bar, these spots can help you with your graduation party catering needs.
- Address: 27167 Greenfield Road, Southfield
- Phone: 248-559-8222
- Costs: Buffet bars: Range $6.50-$9.50/person; Build your own: deli selections: $4.95-$7/person; entrees: $3.95-$9.95/person
Alia’s specializes in traditional American and Mediterranean food. Choose from a variety of buffet-style menus (a taco and fajita bar and burger bar are among the options!) or build your own. Prices are modest and start around $5 per person per entrée and go up from there based on selection. Add sides, too.
- Address: 36217 S. Gratiot Ave., Clinton Township
- Phone: 586-226-4310
- Costs: Start at $9/person and goes up based on selection
Choose from barbecue, taco bar, pasta bar, buffets – you name it! One of their most popular picks for the buffet? Chicken Piccata. Browse the menu options online.
- Locations in Clarkston, Clawson, Clinton Township, Detroit, Grosse Pointe Woods, Lincoln Park, Livonia, Macomb Township, New Baltimore, Riverview, Rochester, Royal Oak (2 locations), Southfield, St. Clair Shores, Sterling Heights, Warren (2 locations) and Westland
- Costs: party of 25: $130.45; party of 50: $260.90; party for 75: $391.35; party for 100: $521.80
Looking for some delicious chicken or seafood food for your shindig? Chicken Shack, celebrating 60 years in 2016, has built up a national franchise known for great chicken. Choose from shack original or premium grilled chicken, ribs and sides to create the menu best for your needs, or choose from one of the party packs, priced at $5.22 per person.
- Address: Located inside the St. Aiden Activity Center, 17500 Farmington Road, Livonia
- Phone: 586-596-7002
- Costs: luncheon buffet (one meat): $11.95/person; dinner buffet (two meats): $19.95/person; graduation party special: two-meat buffet for $9.95/person (75 person minimum)
Classic Catering offers to customize the service and menu to fit your party and expectations. Buffet-style catering cuts the need to order (and pay for) individual plates for each guest, and the catering company offers to deliver, for $25 extra, and set up your food before the event. Delivery comes with two attendants for three hours, who can watch over the buffet so you can worry about having fun with your grad.
- Address: 46915 Hayes Road, Shelby Township
- Phone: 586-247-3800
- Costs: the “Graduate” BBQ package: $8.95/person; the “Honor Roll” BBQ package: $13.95/person; the “Valedictorian” package: $17.95/person
Planning a party can be hard. Take away some of the stress by hooking up with the largest off-site catering company in the country. Whether your grad is planning a picnic in the park or a black tie affair, one of Crank’s professional party planners can you help prepare – and not just with the food. Their planners can also help with tent, table, chair, moonwalks and DJ rentals. Note: 100-person minimum on all graduation party packages.
- Address: 22740 Woodward Ave., Ferndale
- Phone: 248-591-3466 (ask for Tanya)
- Costs: Backyard BBQ: $21.50/person; Taco bar: $14/person; full catering menu available upon request
Planning an outdoor extravaganza for your grad, but looking for more than chicken and burgers? Dino’s in Ferndale may have what you’re looking for. Of course they have the standard baked beans, burgers and chicken, but they also offer kabobs, sliders, pasta and award-winning mac ‘n cheese. You can even have Dino’s Smokin’ Butts Food Truck come to your backyard grad party. Contact Tanya at Dino’s to put together a memorable (and tasty!) event for your teen.
- Address: 115 E. Main St., Northville
- Phone: 248-344-1550
- Costs: $28-plus/small appetizer platters, $40-plus/medium appetizer platters, $65-plus/large appetizer platters; Note: small platters serve 10-12 people, medium serves 15-18 and large serves 20-24.
Whether you want a hand in every aspect of your catering experience or want to sit back and let the work be done for you, Edwards Cafe and Catering has you covered. Edwards offers two options to get your catering done: The do-it-yourself option allows you to just fill in the menu – or simply provides you food – while the staff-does-it-for-you option allows you to kick off your shoes and enjoy the event. Edwards will do as little or as much as you want them to do. Food delivery and pick-up, buffet staff, bartenders and even on-site chefs are all options when you cater with Edwards.
- Address: 33610 Seven Mile Road, Livonia
- Phone: 248-476-3080
- Costs: sandwiches: $8.95/person; salads: $8.95/person; soup: $2.50/person; Hot specialty bars range $7.95-$10.95/person
As the name may suggest, Elite Catering is great at what they do. Chef Craig Brown started catering events while he was still in culinary school at Schoolcraft College in Livonia. Menus from Elite can be customized to fit your specific needs and a full-service catering staff can be hired to keep your hands free on the big day. Menu items range from simple sandwiches and salad to hors d’oeuvres, hot specialty bars and barbecue.
- Locations in Novi, Rochester Hills, Taylor, Roseville, Westland
- Phone: 855-783-8646 (catering line)
- Costs: vegetarian options: $9.99-plus/person; Piggy Party Pack (serves 8-10): $64.99; Just the Meat Please package (serves 8-10): $119.99; BBQ Blowout package (serves 18-20): $269.99
Don’t let their barbecuing style fool you, Famous Dave’s food is just as good for an inside party as it is for an outdoor one. The finger-licking chicken and ribs will satisfy the carnivores at the party and sides like coleslaw, baked beans and bread will keep your guests full for hours. Plus, they offer vegetarian options. Pick-up, full-service and delivery and set-up options are available.
- Address: 2011 Oak St., Wyandotte
- Phone: 734-341-9313
- Costs: BBQ rib and seasoned chicken combo: $16/person; 6 oz. sirloin or BBQ ribs: $11/person (plus, full vegetarian menu available)
Named after himself, his wife and their love for Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, Chef Stan has made Frank n Dean’s Catering a true family business. For more than 20 years, Frank n Dean’s has brought everything from seasoned chicken and slow roasted pig to vegetarian burgers and chili to parties downriver. Chef Stan promises attention to detail and quality service to deliver a party to make both you and him proud. Note: They book up fast; call ASAP.
- Address: Based in Brighton
- Phone: Contact event coordinator Michelle Lockwood at 734-658-5591
- Costs: Delivery packages: $8.99 and up/per person; Onsite/full-service: $15 and up/per person
This local catering company specializes in delicious barbecue foods, including dry-rub spare ribs, slow-smoked pulled pork or beef brisket, barbecue and Swedish meatballs, bratwurst and polish sausage – even vegetarian burgers and pasta. Don’t forget the tasty sides, including barbecue spicy baked beans (a vegetarian version available, too), potatoes and so much more.
- Address: 1203 S. Main St., Royal Oak
- Phone: 248-543-4390
- Costs: DIY celebration kit No. 1: $9.95/person; DIY celebration kit No. 2: $14.95/person; DIY celebration kit No. 3: $18.95/person
What a better place to satisfy your party needs than from the people that satisfy your daily needs? Holiday Market is first and foremost a grocery store that also specializes in catering. The staff is guided by executive chef Shawn Mac and is as skilled at putting together lunches as they are dinner events. Choose from a multitude of party themes, as well as vegetarian and Kosher options.
- Address: 16981 18 Mile Road, Clinton Township
- Phone: 586-416-3500 (ask for Anne Treichel or Gabriella Rodriguez)
- Costs: Gold Barbecue: $18/person (buffet style); Platinum Barbecue: $20/person (family style)
J Baldwin’s Catering promises to be open to all of your party ideas and adapt to your needs the best they can to help you create a unique party. Their experienced event planners will plan every detail of your party – and the food is award winning. Looking for a place to host your grad’s party? They have a venue that can be rented and decorated for your party. Note: Decorations must be pre-approved by the catering manager.
- Address: 359 Metty Drive, Suite 4, Ann Arbor
- Phone: 734-930-4270
- Costs: That’s a Wrap: Starting at $12.75/person; Brunch Bunch: Starting at $15.50/person; Trip to the Southwest: starting at $14.50/person; Lucky Grad Celebration: $14.50/person; BBQ Grad Party: $14.50/person; Commencement Comfort Food: $12.50/person
For more than 25 years, Katherine’s Catering has provided full-service catering for any event. They will help you with everything from food to venue options, set-up, teardown and much more. But their graduation celebration packages are only offered now through August. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call with any questions.
- Address: 22000 23 Mile Road, Macomb Township
- Phone: 586-443-1005
- Costs: $7.95-plus/person
Want an extraordinary experience from your food this summer? Kristina’s Catering promises to deliver just that. Kristina learned to cook in her Nona’s (grandma’s) kitchen. She loved it and turned that love into a business. Chicken, barbecue, pastas and cooked vegetables are a few of her culinary masterpieces available for a catering order. Drop-off service and full-service catering available, as well as servers and staff.
- Address: 154 N. Saginaw St., Pontiac
- Phone: 248-392-2100
- Costs: $125-plus/signature platters, $55-plus/lighter selections, $89.99/deli sandwich platter; $34.99/each for sides, $54.99/each for salads; Note: platters serve 10-12 people
Lafayette Market caters everything from large events to intimate gatherings. The event coordinator works with you to create your perfect menu and they even offer alternative vegetarian options. Customize platters and more with this company.
- Address: 27475 Groesbeck Highway, Roseville
- Phone: 586-775-7427
- Costs: Backyard Picnic Basket: $9.50/person; Pit Smoked Plate Package: $11.50/person; Que Times Two Package: $14/person; Three’s Company Package: $16/person; Pig Roast Full Service (100-person minimum): $11.50/person
If your grad is a carnivore, Lazybones Smokehouse might be the caterer for you. All of the food from Lazybones is made fresh and never reheated. They pride themselves on creating a backyard barbecue experience at your event. Still not sure they are the right caterer for you? Fruit, veggie and cheese trays are offered outside of the party packages at additional charges.
- Address: 29730 Groesbeck Highway, Roseville
- Phone: 586-772-1000
- Costs: Corporate Drop Off Special: $9.75/person (100-plus); $10.49/person (25-99 people); $12.59/person (15-24 people); Drop Off Special: $12.59/person (50-plus), $13.91/person (25-49 people), $15.74/person (15-24 people); Graduation Special: $11.99/person (pickup or drop-off only; set menu)
For three generations, the Spagnuolo family has prided themselves on delivering the best possible food with Soprano’s Catering. Produce used is hand picked from Eastern Market, salad dressings are made fresh and all bread is made from scratch. You won’t get any heat-and-serve-food from these guys.
- Address: 29125 Six Mile Road, Livonia
- Phone: 734-525-5610
- Costs: the valedictorian BBQ package: $14/person, cum laude honors package: $13/person, the graduate package: $12/person
For your graduation party, are you planning a huge formal dinner, a lunch or maybe a big old-fashioned picnic? If you know what your theme is or even if you don’t, the staff at Thomas’s Catering can help. They will help plan a theme, choose the menu, select a date and share money saving tips so that your budget goes farther. Thomas’s offers party rental packages that include tents, tables and chairs – and will handle the set-up and tear down for an additional charge – so that you can truly kick back and enjoy your grad’s big day.
- Address: 2441 Fort St., Trenton
- Phone: 734-671-9005
- Costs: $45-$65/fruit platter, $45-$65/vegetable platter, $65/buffalo wings (50-60 wings), $65/meatballs, $80/lasagna tray, $700/slow roasted pig (feeds 100)
In 1995, Tracey Wipp and Victor Stroia, the T and V behind TV’s, set out to find good food from scratch near their home – a search that led to the opening of TV’s. Today, the deli and diner has gained a reputation for serving up fresh, unique foods and great demand for its catering business. Stroia has put together catering meals that can include everything from a simple cheese tray to a Hawaiian-style pig roast to an elegant dinner and everything in between and, for an additional minimum charge of $25, will even drop off and set up for you!
- Address: 422 Detroit St., Ann Arbor
- Phone: 734-663-3400
- Costs: complete graduation party-to-go: $24/person, grillin’ for the grad: $25/person, complete classic deli tray: $80-$510
The people at Zingerman’s Catering are all about excellent customer service and they’ve written the book to prove it, literally. Since its opening in 1982, Zingerman’s has been catering to food lovers across the Midwest. Get a complete graduation party-to-go graduation package, which includes deli sandwiches, potato salad, fruit salad, a veggie tray, cookies and brownies and Coke products – and grillin’ for the grad gives you a choice of barbecue beef and chili lime chicken. Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and vegetarian options are available.
This article was originally published in 2014 and has been updated for 2016 by Megan Krueger.