Catering question

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by Angelkist, Aug 18, 2018.

  1. Angelkist

    Angelkist

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    CHEF (8 years)
    I am just starting a catering business. I have been requested to provide food for a small wine tasting party of 13 people. There will be 5 food selections
    1. Chips & Salsa (Made from scratch)
    2. Caprese Skewers (26 skewers) 2 tomatoes, 2 balls mozzarella and fresh basil with balsamic glaze)
    3. Savory meatballs in Marinara sauce. (Freshly made meatballs, 3 per person)
    4. Bacon wrapped Jalapeno poppers (26, 2 per person)
    5. Miniature cupcakes. 24 vanilla with vanilla buttercream and 24 lemon with pink lemonade buttercream ,(freshly baked not bought)
    My food cost was 48.00. What would be a fair price to charge. I do not have to serve it just set it up? I do not want to cheat myself.
    Thank you in advance!
     
  2. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    Sous Chef, Event Manager
    Your food cost doesnt really matter when determining price.
    Its just another expense to plug into the formula along
    with shopping time, delivery time, setup time, labor to
    MAKE those 165 appetizers, plus chips n salsa, vehicle
    and insurance costs etc, plus desired profit percentage.

    You either charge that or your minimum whichever is greater.
    In my case it's $300 on an app drop off which comes to $23 per person,
    approx 1.80 per app. Which sounds about right given the amount of time a
    and work going into 165 apps.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
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  3. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    I agree with Meezenplaz. The $300 min is the way to go. If it was a pick-up you could do it cheeper and figure a 25% food cost and charge $200 if shopping and prep was easy and fast. When it comes to small parties they aren't getting the true value of the food. They are getting a service that in most cases is misunderstood. You'll run into clients that will will say " I could have gone to Safeway and ordered trays of food for $300". My answer back was, yes you could have but you wouldn't have impressed your guests with that would you.....You have to pay to play.....Good catering isn't cheep and cheep catering isn't good.......Good luck.....Chefbillyb
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
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  4. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    "Good catering isnt cheap, and cheap catering isnt good."
    Words to remember, and I shall.
    Oh and thats Meezy to you, Chef Billy. :)

    It continues to amaze me how people dare to compare using
    a personal chef, a professional caterer, hell even a restaurant
    banquet room, with what they can buy at costco or vons.
    Now if I, as a caterer showed UP with store bought food,
    set it out and charged high prices for having run to the
    store, that attitude might be justified. But to expect the
    similar price for a chef to make and deliver custom food is...
    is....... ARRRRGH....thats what it is.
     
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  5. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    Hi Meezy, Off premiss catering is an art. It's all about being good at logistics. My crew would ask me why I'm so calm during a big event. My answer was, I've already gone through the catering in my mind a thousand times. All I need to do now is go through the motions.

    I learned early in this business that it's up to me to control the client. If my client requests something that impedes my ability to accomplish something I tell them it's not possible or it will cost a lot more for me to do it. I don't let them set me up to fail. I figure they hired me because they aren't able to do it. If that the case then let me do it....

    I learned catering in Hawaii and got a chance to see and work a lot of different catered events. I was good at detail and logistics. It was also drummed into me by upper management. I remember one catering that we had six different catering's going on at the some time. These were all five to seven course dinners with 50 to 60 staff per event. They were located in mansions around the Island of Oahu. I stopped to see how my manager was doing on the way to my event. I drove up and saw him running like crazy parking cars. He's event offered a valet service. He brought two people with him to help park the cars. The only thing he forgot was to ask those guys if they knew how drive. Needless to say he never lived that one down. It did make me realize how important to focus on detail and let nothing go unnoticed....Take care.............Bill
     
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  6. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    Haha, ever arrive at an event, say while running a wee bit behind schedule,
    your mind is focused on getting into the zone and getting your set up done
    in record speed...only to have the client walk up to you smiling and say,
    "relax its fine, we have all your buffet tables set up for you and covered."
    Those dreaded words....we all helped you out.
    You close your eyes, not wanting to look. You finally do and there it is--
    all tables bunched together, bottle necks, restricted aisles, in a set up
    that you know from experience will never work for the 180 youre
    serving.

    It would be fun to exchange horror stories sometime. For some reason
    i cant seem to forget them. lol
     
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  7. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    Meezy, The exact reason I didn't do weddings. I did mostly Corporate events and they always make sure everything is on time. I Always stressed to them the importance of keeping a good schedule for the event to insure a good quality of food being served to their clients and guests. If my food is good they get the credit for hiring a good caterer.

    Meezy, I found off premiss catering to be the most difficult to accomplish. I was good at it so it didn't make to much of a difference to me. I did get the most satisfaction and feeling of accomplishment from my off site events. As far as horror stories, I don't have many. I worked to had to make sure they didn't happen. I do have a lot of stories on some close calls that got my heart racing a bit.......Take care......
     
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  8. Cdp

    Cdp

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    working on at least $3.70 ea per unit

    remember what is your time and craft worth.
    make sure to tart it up with micro herb or petite bouche or something red vein sorrell this show attention to detail
    165x 3.70
    approx $600


    everyone eats with their eyes within .5 of a second a judgment is made on a visual aspect of your product sub consciously and or consciously


    wether your buying cars eating food or checkign out ass the decsion has been made make sure the verdict is in your favor.
     
  9. Cdp

    Cdp

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    also to add this look at what gourmet products from seriously big players would charge for these similar items you will think mine asr ebetter look better and taste better,
    remember
    don't be bitter be better