catering a 3 day event

1
10
Joined Jan 23, 2016
  I  have a 3 day event coming up in need of help getting it priced out serving 250 people steaks salad and bake potatoes and dessert then breakfast for 75 ppl twice buffet style grits eggs sausage  bacon toast then 300 ppl a low country boil and 50 ppl burgers hot dogs bake beans and slaw what a fair price to prepare serve and clean up I don't have to purchase food its provided but I will have to shop for it your help greatly appreciated need answer now
 
1,489
249
Joined Jan 31, 2012
Assuming they want the price up front....if all youre providing is labor, and you're a professional cook,

then I would think you able to estimate the amount of time required to complete it, including shopping and planning.

Once you have that number, just multiply it by your desired rate per hour.  
 
984
212
Joined Jun 23, 2015
what are your cooking facilities?  How much labor are you going to need?  What type of serving pieces do you have?  Do you have a business license?   What about taxes?  Transportation? Shop for the food,  are you going on a shopping trip or meeting with purveyor?  You may not be prepared for this event if you need help right now with pricing.  Do you have standardized recipes?  What size and type steak?  What count potato are you using?  If you can't answer these questions don't quote it.  These are just a few considerations.  I'm not trying to bust your rear but trying to open your eyes.
 
2,528
807
Joined Feb 8, 2009
If your asking how much to charge for all your time including shopping, prepping, cooking and time during the even. I would say $100 an hour. If you worked about 12 hrs a day for 3 days you should make $3600 for the catering. Well! this is what I would make........
 
1,489
249
Joined Jan 31, 2012
Thats about 14 to 15 dollars per head, without food cost. Sounds about right, Chef Billy.
 
Last edited:
984
212
Joined Jun 23, 2015
 
If your asking how much to charge for all your time including shopping, prepping, cooking and time during the even. I would say $100 an hour. If you worked about 12 hrs a day for 3 days you should make $3600 for the catering. Well! this is what I would make........
I have done hundreds of 3 day events.  You need a minimum of 150 man hours to do this event.  Planing and shopping you will need thirty to thirty five hours.  You will need at least six people to be on hand for cooking, serving, and cleanup for steaks and low country boil.  Ithink you may be in trouble if you think your going to make 100 per hour but good luck.  Every one has to learn.
 
2,528
807
Joined Feb 8, 2009
 
I have done hundreds of 3 day events.  You need a minimum of 150 man hours to do this event.  Planing and shopping you will need thirty to thirty five hours.  You will need at least six people to be on hand for cooking, serving, and cleanup for steaks and low country boil.  Ithink you may be in trouble if you think your going to make 100 per hour but good luck.  Every one has to learn.
Jimyra, how much would you want to make on a 3 day catering ???? When I look at this I look at costing it as if I was buying the food and making money and markup on that food. I know I wouldn't waste my time doing it for less. If I was quoting this function I would probably make a lot more than $3600 net profit......The $100 quote would be my minimum.
 
1,489
249
Joined Jan 31, 2012
Yeah, thinking of it now as A 3-day, and considering the menu, perhaps our previously discussed rate is a bit low. 

But I've done multiple day events too, and i wouldve been ok with 3600, not having to buy the food. 
 
Last edited:
2,528
807
Joined Feb 8, 2009
250 steak dinners $26 a head   = $6500

Breakfast for 150  $ 8.50           = $1275

Low county boil $26 a head       = $7800

59 burgers and dog $8.50          =$400

                                      Total......= $15975

Labor = 20%                              = $3195

Food cost 40%                           = $6390

8% tax                                         = $1277

tip                                                = $1597

    Total                                        = 12459

Net profit                                     = $3516
 
984
212
Joined Jun 23, 2015
I must have misunderstood the original question.  I thought you all were just charging 3600 for all planning, shopping, prep, cooking, and cleanup.  For this I would expect my profit to be around 4500-5000.  If your dealing with a committee you need to plan on several extra hours in dealing with that.
 
1,489
249
Joined Jan 31, 2012
Agreed, looking closer and thinking about it, 3 days but 5 meals with various head-counts, 

top of my head I would need 2 helpers for the dinner serve, 1 for the breakfasts, unless we're

cooking things to order, like the eggs, 2 for the boil, 1 for the burgers and dogs, unless CTO, then 2. 

Dont know what kinda steaks or how theyre being prepped and cooked (or where) but I would say 

a thumbnail would be: 

Steak dinner for 250 @ 21.95 = 5487.00 (no food buying) 

Breakfast for 75 @ 12.95 (no food  buying) = 971.25....times 2 = 1942.00

LCB:  300 @ 9.95 (no food buying) = 2985.00

Burgers/Dogs 50 @ 11.95 (no food  buying) = 597.00

Total = $ 11,011.00 

Or thereabouts. 

But again, OP (if still around?) needs to plug in their own numbers to render accurate pricing.
 

kuan

Moderator
Staff member
7,132
555
Joined Jun 11, 2001
Labor at 20% would be on site.  This is off site right?  Make that 30%.  Also on call labor is expensive if you don't have your own staff.  
 
984
212
Joined Jun 23, 2015
 
Agreed, looking closer and thinking about it, 3 days but 5 meals with various head-counts, 

top of my head I would need 2 helpers for the dinner serve, 1 for the breakfasts, unless we're

cooking things to order, like the eggs, 2 for the boil, 1 for the burgers and dogs, unless CTO, then 2. 

Dont know what kinda steaks or how theyre being prepped and cooked (or where) but I would say 

a thumbnail would be: 

Steak dinner for 250 @ 21.95 = 5487.00 (no food buying) 

Breakfast for 75 @ 12.95 (no food buying) = 971.25....times 2 = 1942.00

LCB:  300 @ 9.95 (no food buying) = 2985.00

Burgers/Dogs 50 @ 11.95 (no food buying) = 597.00

Total = $ 11,011.00 

Or thereabouts. 

But again, OP (if still around?) needs to plug in their own numbers to render accurate pricing.
There is no way I would try to cook, serve, and clean for a party of 250 with 3 people.
 
1,489
249
Joined Jan 31, 2012
 
There is no way I would try to cook, serve, and clean for a party of 250 with 3 people.
I've done it with 4 people cooking steaks AND chicken on site for 600. Lot of work agreed, but with a

good team can be done, so my comment was based on experience.  But it was also intended as a minimum,

and a guideline for pricing--not necessarily a recommendation for the  event, about which we know little.

Im basing everything on the assumption that everything is being done as an 

action station /self service buffet, and c ooking at the event site

This is why it's so important when asking questions, to give as much pertinent info about the event as possible. 

If the steak dinner is to be plated, and table served, thats a whole new ball game and certainly 

would rate a lot more money. 

On the other hand, I see nothing wrong with using as much help as one can get away with--just makes it easier....

but only to a degree. There comes a point where too many helpers just clog the machinery, and 

that's a fact. 

.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom