Doing set menus

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Joined Aug 11, 2000
HMMMPH~ walked into it again.....one of the reasons I do what I do is to have a creative outlet....so "every event is new and the menus are designed for the people, place, budget,theme."
I got nailed....from 50 @$30 to [email protected]$20.....the difference in what I provide will be significantly different because the volume allowed for a larger more labor intensive menu.
Normally I work the parties with my fee under the food costs. Labor is paid directly to the staff. But in the 22 @$20 scenerio I'm not making the amount necessary for working the party for 6 hours....
I also got jammed on a request for cheap and I mean really cheap lunch for 100. The response that came back was "I now know your rates", so to accept a low job as a filler was not in my best interest.
***Now to come up with set menus to publish and have available when people call.****
Sooo guys ever done pricing that came in too low or run a deal that you got burned on?
 
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Joined Mar 6, 2001
Boy, you don't have enough space here for me to reply to that last question. Yes, we got burned OFTEN catering. It always started as one thing and turned into another, some party consultants are masters at doing this but after a while you get to see that coming and know who to avoid spending time on. It was the business guy who was best at the bait and switch party actually (they did their homework). From what I understand we were doing pretty much the type of work you like, detail and gourmet. The soul satisfying kind of stuff.

I'm delighted to read your want to get a planned menu down. I really believe it's essential to survival in catering. :)
 
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Joined Sep 21, 2001
What I do.
First, I agree on a menu and price. I also make a comfirmation date for the number of guests, and get a deposit. Non refundable. Also, You pay for every confirmed guest, show or no show. I cover myself on the menu by pricing. Don't underestimate your real costs! I also charge separately for servers, equipment, or anything else they may want. I have a set policy for how many servers per # of guests, transportation, and gratuity. And the customers go along with that arrangement just fine.
On the other hand, If the customer wants to haggle over price, or want to do it on an unrealistic budget, I say no. Its easier to send them to a Costco or Sams' Club for cheap party food. Then I usually will give them 15 minutes of my time to tell them how they can do it cheaper themselves, and save their money for when they can really afford a caterer! Most people I find appreciate my honesty.
 
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Joined Oct 16, 2001
i take 50% OF THE JOB ONE MONTH OUT THEN AS OF 7 DAYS OUT IF THE CLIENT HAD MORE THAN EXPECTED WE ADD THAT ON IF LESS THEN TOO BAD .WE CANNOT BE EXPECTED TO DEDUCT FOOD AND LABOR.THATS CRAP. ALSO IF YOU SET YOU GOALS ON WHAT MUST COME IN ORDER FOR EACH JOB TO WORTH THE EFFORT AND COST FOR PROFIT THEN YOU DON'T ACCEPT JOBS OF LESSER VALUE. THERE IS ALWAYS SOME ONE WHO WILL DO THE JOB FOR LESS AND IT WILL BE OF LESSER QUALITY.AND WITH THE STORES THAT SELL THAT STUFF LET THEM BUY AND SERVE IT . IF YOU GET PIECE OF MIND KNOWING THAT YOUR WORTH WHAT YOU COMMAND THAT IS ALL THAT COUNTS.
 
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Joined Dec 24, 2001
I'm so happy I have found this site, I'll be back often to read some of the great advise that you'all have to offer and you never know, I might even be able to field one or two questions myself..

take care
Roger
Little & Large Barbecue
 
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