Charging for a 'Fine-Dining' 5 course meal for two ppl

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by akasly, Nov 8, 2016.

  1. akasly

    akasly

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    Culinary Student
    I have recently been asked to do a private 'fine-dining' dinner for two. Most of my experience is in Larger corporate parties and kids events.. so i am not sure how to value my personal skills in a upscale environment. 

    The event i am hosting is a 5 course, 2 person meal. We are bringing it all to her home and will be serving each course as it is ready. 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     ​
    HERE IS THE MENU​
     ​
    {START IT OFF}
     ​
    [if !supportLists]o    [endif]Maple Roasted Tomato Toast w/ Goat Cheese And Mint

    [if !supportLists]o    [endif]Mint Lemonade
     
    {ANTIPASTA}
    [if !supportLists]o    [endif]Tortilla Soup w/ Cilantro and Grilled Lime
     
    {MAIN COURSE}
    [if !supportLists]o    [endif]Slow roasted pork and belly w/ cilantro pan sauce

    [if !supportLists]o    [endif]Tuscan Porterhouse Steak w/ ‘red wine peppercorn’ au jus

    [if !supportLists]o    [endif]Homemade Pico De Gallo w/ citrus marinated tomatoes

    [if !supportLists]o    [endif]Homemade Guacamole w/ jalapeno oil and red onion

    [if !supportLists]o    [endif]Lime Salted Fresh Crèma

    [if !supportLists]o    [endif]Soft/Crisp Corn and Flour Tortillas

    [if !supportLists]o    [endif]Homemade Lime Chips

     
    {CLEANSER}
    [if !supportLists]o    [endif]Classic Italian Bruschetta w/ Mozzarella and Fresh Basil
     
    {DESSERT}
    [if !supportLists]o    [endif]Champagne Poached Peaches w/ Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
     ​
     ​
     ​
    ANY HELP WOULD BE GREAT NI TERMS OF PRICING AND ECT.​
    EndFragment
     
  2. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Tough one.  Two people.  I would tell them to get 4-6 more people together.  :)
     
    flipflopgirl likes this.
  3. peachcreek

    peachcreek

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    I am working as a private cook right now. I charge for my time. If I have to go shop for food for my clients' meal? I get paid for my time. I'm not a restaurant. I do not make a margin on my 'dishes'. I make my money by how much time it takes for me to do what they ask.

    What is your time worth? Only you can answer that question.

    Good luck!
     
    flipflopgirl likes this.
  4. jimyra

    jimyra

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    You are a culinary student not a chef or professional.  Do it for free.  The menu looks like it was created by someone watching to much reality TV.  Why would you have toast, Tortillas, and  Bruschetta on the same menu.  Is this a cruse around the EU?  Do you have a business or are you just playing chef? Don't leave your house for less than $300 profit.  Welcome to Cheftalk.

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    COSTS = Labor (including your own, if applicable) + Food + Utilities + Rent + Licenses + Tax reserve + Insurance + any other costs of doing business, including interest, depreciation, and all the hidden costs.
     
    millionsknives likes this.
  5. capecodchef

    capecodchef

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    "Do it for free but don't leave the house for under $300?"  Huh???!

    Listen to Peachcreek instead, I'd say.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
  6. french fries

    french fries

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    That's either a typo or it's not described correctly???
     
  7. chefboyog

    chefboyog

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    Just charge the value of the ingredients + time. Easy peasy. Dont cut yourself too short. Pay the server 15$/ hr. Yourself similar perhaps 20. Add all that up and voila. Easy way to do it.
    Split the tip. Charge the tip. Invoice them and collect payment before service.

    You shouldnt have shown your menu :p

    Bruschetta is cleanser? Ok.

    Porterhouse tacos? SIGN ME UP!
     
  8. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    You need a better menu. This one makes no sense. Is it Tuscan, Mexican or ??? Have you had a chef you know review it? 

    Charge as the others have suggested but come up with a better menu first.
     
  9. peachcreek

    peachcreek

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    When I was doing my many coursed meals my framework was app/fish/salad/entree/dessert/cheese. I also owned a restaurant and had all of my appliances, time and space.

    No repeats!

    No bread till the cheese course.

    Tiny bites.

    It really helps to imagine what all of everything looks like plated; then imagining a 135 lb person trying to enjoy every bite. Palate fatigue and eating while full both detract from the experience. What I see is citrus everywhere and a carb overload. I'd probably be happy with the soup, app and dessert.

    Good luck!

    Peachcreek
     
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  10. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    I thought it was kinda heavy (re number of dishes and over garnishing) as well but maybe the client requested all this?

    With that many dishes something is sure to not come out..... lookin' at the huge number of dishes in the main course and the odd palate cleanser.

    Pare it down and simplify.

    Fine dining refers to smooth and gracious service...nicely set table and good beverage pairings.

    As long as your guests feel comfy and have an "experience" they will be very happy...

    mimi
     
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  11. akasly

    akasly

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    I see a lot of criticism of what i'm doing wrong, but not a lot of help going forward. I own my own business and was given a sample menu of what they wanted. They wanted the experience of going to a taco bar... in italy.. in the 1940's. So i did the best i could to make that happen. I really just wanted to know how much is too much, and how much is too little. 

    If you wanted a 2 person meal in your home, with a menu that looks similar to this. How much would you be willing to pay? Max/Min
     
  12. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    If you are new to the industry, get used to that because it will happen a lot from all corners and directions. Everybody has an opinion and are usually pretty to happy to share them with you for free. I say "if" because I am a little confused because in your profile you listed yourself as student but in your second post you mention that you own your own business...so...the first sentence is just another example of the subject matter of the second sentence...but I digress...

    I would never pay enough for a two person dinner in my house to make it worthwhile for the person putting forth the business proposition, so I can't be of much help there, but people constantly amaze me at how much they will pay. Off the top of my head, anything less than $300 will be a losing proposition and I ain't sure that it can be done for $300, but I ain't punching the numbers to find out. FWIW, as a chef, I wouldn't touch it for $300...way too little pay scale for moi.

    It would probably have to be at least $500 for me to even consider punching the numbers to see if it had any validity, and I am not sure if even that is enough, but it was just a quick spitball figure off the top of my head.
     
  13. iceman

    iceman

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    I'm sorry, but I must be missing this whole idea. The dinner is for just 2 people? The dinner is in the client's home? They gave you that menu? Is that all correct or are there different and/or adjustable details details? I don't understand why this is all so difficult. 
     
    I'd charge them $50 each plus the food cost. There are half a dozen franchise places they could go to for < $20 each + drinks, out the door. NO ... you are not that good to be charging crazy cheflayne prices for that menu, or you would not be asking us here. There is nothing on that menu that requires a Michelin-quality chef to put out. I also don't see why you'd need any server or assistant ... unless you don't need to get paid. It's just two(2) people. You're in-out in less than 3 hours.    
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2016
  14. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif   /img/vbsmilies/smilies/rollsmile.gif   /img/vbsmilies/smilies/chef.gif   /img/vbsmilies/smilies/bounce.gif   /img/vbsmilies/smilies/crazy.gif   /img/vbsmilies/smilies/peace.gif  
     
  15. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    I wouldnt shop, come to their home, cook and serve all that
    for 50 bucks plus FC either. Below my minimum, for
    the shopping and work involved. 300.00 plus FC.
    And I wouldnt need a helper either. Its just cooking for 2.

    I will say that the diversity of answers above does strengthen
    what we often tell people asking about what to charge for their
    time.....that its ultimately up to you--it's YOUR time, and one Chef's
    200 bucks is another's 5.

    Your menu is an unusual request, it makes it kind of...unbalanced.
    But in the end you do whatever the customer wants.
     
  16. iceman

    iceman

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    For that menu ... NOBODY is going to get more than $50/seat + food cost unless some it's done by some big-name celebrity chef. You hot-shots can forget your major-league pay scales. You have to know what going rates at regular establishments are and then determine how much extra people will pay for personalized service. There is nothing on that menu that any journeyman line-cook can't do in the middle of a rush. This type of thing is exactly what I do. Trust me here ... unless we're talking a Thomas Keller type ... it ain'te gonna happen. 
     
  17. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    The menu doesn't factor into what my time is worth. I also didn't say the dinner would happen for the price. Actually, I would be shocked if it did, but that is up to the client.

    And...I do know what the going rate is for chefs and waiters doing private dinners in my area. I actually did a five course private dinner (sans waiter) for 10 people just last weekend.

    The reason in this case that it approaches asinine status is because it is for two people. If it were for 10 or so people, the labor cost would remain about the same because the time element involved would not be greatly changed. The food cost would of course go up, but the overall price when divided by 10 people, would make it seem much more reasonable.

    There is no way in hell paying my labor rate and that of a waiter, for a dinner for two is ever going to seem reasonable. It is going to remain in the realm of the absurd...but stupider things have happened.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2016
    flipflopgirl and meezenplaz like this.
  18. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    Iceman im not saying i think that particular menu
    is worth 3 bills plus FC, just saying its a minimum.
    And once the minimum deck is reached, price perJohn
    just goes up n up til like Cheflayne says, it gets ridiculous.
    On the other hand Ive done dinners for 8 in the
    banquet room at 150.00 per person.
    But it was pretty high end cuisine, and about 50percent
    fund raiser.
     
  19. jimyra

    jimyra

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    Cheflayne is not making crazy prices he is making sense.  Perceived value is very important in marketing a 'Fine-Dining' 5 course meal.  The customer wants more than a franchise take out.  They want to feel special.  It may make them feel important to spend a lot of money on themselves.   Not all people are low paid hospitality workers.  To do this for $100 and food cost your working for minimum wage and taking a risk.  It may be easier to sell a $500 'Fine-Dining' 5 course meal than a cheap $100 meal. 
     
  20. iceman

    iceman

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    OK ... What I'm saying is is that you need to be aware of the basic standard competition. Portillo's, Brown's Chx and every other Choke&Puke catering place for that, and TGI Friday's, Hooter's, Chili's et al for eats/drinks go-out. There is where your competition is $$$-wise. Believe it or not ... $$$ trumps everything else 98.6% of the time. Particularly for 2-people w/ the given menu. Unless you're a "Top Chef" type chef, you're not in the game for the big $$$ stated. Take off your ego caps and welcome to reality. I'm not sure of the true definition of "fine dining" ... but for Me ... and My clients ... it's the best whatever I put on their plates than they've ever had anywhere else. People actually hire me to make them home-cooked "comfort food" because that is what I do better than they can find anywhere else. Just this week I did 2 couples serving them an amuse, a killer over-the-top chopped salad, delicious "Red Lobster" style rolls, butter poached lobster tails "French Laundry" style and a knock-out dessert (which is a miracle for me). I got $70/seat std.chg. and I charged dbl. cost on the wine. Out the door. I did also get a healthy tip. 

    Now if I'm wrong ... and you can charge the $$$ you all want to claim ... GO FOR IT ... I'm happy for you. MY EXPERIENCE   (Chicagoland) doing exactly this says good luck.