A luncheon for 15-25 Church Ladies

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by deltadoc, Sep 9, 2005.

  1. deltadoc


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    The wife of my best friend Pastor Trent had him ask me if I would be interested in cooking a nice luncheon for 15-25 Ladies that she wants to hold in the near future. The rough guidelines are they're willing to pay me $8-10 a plate.

    I don't need to make a big profit since this is more doing this for my friends, but I want to do a bangup job, because maybe 2 ladies will tell 2 other ladies and they'll tell 2 more and so on and so on....and isn't that how you get a business off the ground?? :)

    So any suggestions on what might be possible meals that I could serve?

    I'm thinking starting off with soup or salad. For soup I could make a nice cream of cauliflower. They're in season right now. Or for salad, I was thinking a nice crisp Romaine with maybe a balsamic vinegrette sprinkled with some Wisconsin Feta cheese and maybe a teaspoon heap of currants in the center.

    I'm thinking maybe a chicken main course of some sort, with some sort of steamed vegetable like baby carrots or diced carrots and garden peas??

    Maybe a dessert like fresh fruit in a Belgian chocolate cup.

    Any other ideas from you more experienced folks?


  2. jenni belle

    jenni belle

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    Word of mouth is most certainly the best advertising.

    I think your menu sounds great. I just want to ask if you'll be making a profit though? Your menu sounds pretty big. I understand that you aren't concerned about making much money, but make sure you are making money. The last thing you want is to take a loss.

    And, don't give them too much of a good thing! If you make this elaborate meal for $8 and this lady's friend tells so and so and she tells what's her face and what's her face comes to you and wants a similar meal....You turn around and slap an $18 a plate (or whatever) meal in her face and she goes into shock. Do you know what I'm trying to say??? Don't give it away! Catering is hard work!

    Thats my two cents. Hope it helps! And good luck!
  3. sucrechef


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    Professional Chef
    How about a nice chilled pasta salad main course. Pasta is relatively cheap and with all the wonderful veggies in season right now it can also be very colorful as well as tasty. This would also stretch a smaller amount of protein like chicken which is more expensive.
  4. shroomgirl


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    Professional Caterer
    I agree, it'll come back to haunt you....(voice of experience).

    Salad is easy to prep/plate

    A baked dish....vegetable lasagna, canaloni, manicotti, spinach crepes....etc...something that you can either bring in hot or heat there.
    that needs no fussing.


    ....flourless chocolate cake or ice cream with a red wine syrup or apple strudels or .....

    **It's not just the food costs it's the labor that goes into in and think of how much last minute preparation you have.....15-25 chicken breasts? unless you have cambros or your baking them in their oven then it's gonna be a major pain....having the industrial size equipment on hand (or renting).....

    Are they providing a beverage or are you? What about waitstaff....2 is easier than one especially plating 15-25 3 course meals....my staff is $20-25 an hour 4 hour minimum....does she have all the plates, glassware, silver or are you renting? Is this buffet (easier) than served?

    *If your just starting out with catering remember, liability ins, sales tax, equipment purchases, PROFIT, all kinds of exspenses that no one sees but you and others that cater too.....advertising, print......
    Check out the Catering thread for more info....seems like this needs to be moved possibly?
  5. pjmomrunner


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    As a woman who attends (and sometimes hosts, but never prepares food for) catered luncheons for 25 in a group member's home monthly for $8, let me tell you what we typically get from the caterer:

    The caterer delivers and sets up a large bowl of salad (nothing so fine as what you mention--I like your salad idea), a large chafing dish of chicken breasts on a bed of rice pilaf, and a large bowl of rolls (all buffet style), a big percolator of coffee and accompanying sugar/splenda packets and tea bags (hostess provides hot water) and three pies or pound cakes with raspberry or chocolate sauce. All self serve. Hostess provides place settings at tables. Attendees arrive, choose a place to sit (and park their purses there), grab a plate and go help themselves to lunch. The hostess and two helpers (other members who volunteered at an earlier date) clear plates and offer coffee and dessert to the remainder (who sometimes serve themselves anyway). Helpers take care of clean-up. Caterer returns to take away remains.

    Hope this helps.