catering question

9
10
Joined Dec 1, 2003
I'm starting to have people ask me about catering their events! Cool!
I have a couple of questions.
1 How do you figure out how many hors d'euvres would you need for a housewarming party for 20 people.
2. How do you figure out how much to charge for your time, over and above the cost of the food?
thanks in advance
 
732
10
Joined Dec 12, 2000
Well, I would plan on between 7-10 HDO's per person. As for figuring out what to charge, estimate or do a practice run to figure out how much labor hours are required, then figure out your food cost. Total that number up, divide it by the number of guests and multiply by at least three.
 
9
10
Joined Dec 1, 2003
"estimate or do a practice run to figure out how much labor hours are required, then figure out your food cost. Total that number up, divide it by the number of guests and multiply by at least three."
okay, I might be having a brain fart, but I add hours to dollars? Can I do that?
So, say it takes me 12 hours labour and $100 food costs (just making up numbers here), do I add 12 and 100, getting 112, then divide by 20 and multiply by three? Which gives 16.8, 16.8 what? I'm soo confused. lol
The 7-10 per person sounds about right, thanks!
 
94
10
Joined Mar 10, 2004
hi, ther is a problem with your math.

Your food cost(x3) is in dollars.
Your time is in hours.

You must change your time to dollars.

Your actual food cost is $33 dollars, triple it. We arrive at $100.
100(food etc.) + 120(12hoursx10dollars)= 220
220/20 people= $11/person

you cant say what 16.8 is because the numbers represent different meanings.
 
18
10
Joined Mar 19, 2004
I like that pricing method.

If you would like more information, a book that I found helpful when I started doing events for my clients is
"How to Start a Home-Based Catering Business" by Denise Vivaldo. Very helpful. If you're working out of a commercial kitchen, I found the "Catering Handbook" by Edith and Hal Weiss. This is a little more dry/old fashioned, but a WONDERFUL guide of proper catering procedures and practices. They do costing sheets, etc.
:bounce:
 
846
11
Joined Nov 29, 2001
Cost x 3 for a cater.
Cost x 4 for a restaurant with overhead.

About the per-person food amounts. There are many factors to consider.

* What time of day is the gig? Is it during the regular dinner hour? (Diners will consume more.) Is it an evening thing after the dinner hour? (Diners will eat less and won't be looking for substantial food.) Will there be alcohol served? (You've got to feed them more than sprouts in this case or they'll all be blotto.)

* The guests - a diverse mix of people? Grandmothers? Lumberjacks? If it's the Harley Davidson Club of Detroit, you'd offer different quantities and food types than if it was the Rotary Club of Cleveland or the Grandmother's Guild of Portland.

Some people might offer that this is none of your concern, just use a formula and stick with it. Unfortunately that doesn't work. The last thing you want is for the Harley riders to leave hungry and unsatisfied or the grandmothers to be sleeping because of heavy fare. These scenarios wind up with you not getting additional jobs and that's part of catering - Promotion.

Don't forget wads of business cards at every gig - from the smallest offering of a cooky basket to the largest spread at a wedding. Business cards everywhere.
 
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