Explaining that fewer head count means higher head price.

Discussion in 'Professional Catering' started by tcatering, Dec 30, 2016.

  1. tcatering

    tcatering

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    Hi there, 

    Looking for advice...

    Heres the situation: 

    Client originally asks to cater a private dinner (in house chef) for a party of 8-10.

    We agreed (more as a favour to accommodate guests budgets) on $50/head (budget of $400 which is already very minimal but feasible) 

    Upon confirmation client informs that head count is now 6.

    How would you go about explaining that reducing the budget by 100$ makes the gig not worth it...
     
  2. chefross

    chefross

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    Welcome to ChefTalk tcatering.

    Say to the client what you just said to us..

    Your original agreement was for 8-10 people, that you budgeted and planned for 8-10.

    Now that there is only 6, it becomes less financially feasible to do this function.

    If you stay with the original intent of $50.00 a head, you'll know have $300.00 to work with.
     
  3. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    What Ross said.

    NYE favor for a friend?

    mimi
     
  4. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    I completely understand and empathize with you in this particular case. However, if I found myself in a similar situation, because I hadn't made it abundantly clear to the client about my policies concerning head counts and minimum amounts, prior to agreeing to do the event; I would just suck it up and proceed with the event.

    If you leave the client high and dry, not matter how logical of a financial decision it might be, no matter how right you are in your own mind, etc. It will come back to bite you in the backside. Word of mouth advertising can be a small business's best ally or it's worst nightmare. Negative experiences travel the gossip highway much faster and more often than do positive ones.

    Chalk it up to a learning experience and use this knowledge before talking to future clients.
     
  5. jimyra

    jimyra

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    What does your written contract say when you got your cash deposit?
     
  6. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    I'm with cheflayne on this. Your contract needs to state your minimum. Our minimum was 45 people. If the count fell to 15 on the day of, client still paid the minimum.
    You need strong language in your contract so there's no mistake about your policy.
     
    flipflopgirl likes this.
  7. tcatering

    tcatering

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    no contract no deposit yet, just emails
     
  8. tcatering

    tcatering

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    Thank you to all who replied.

    I emailed the client stating that with the head count drop it wouldn't be feasible.

    She replied saying that she totally understood and offered to pay the difference, extra.

    Party is on!

    Great forum, happy to be a part of this community.

    Cheers all and Happy New Year :) 
     
  9. zeppo shanski

    zeppo shanski

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    Simple honesty works wonders.
     
  10. jimyra

    jimyra

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    Good you made it through this one.   A professional and business like approach can help avoid these problems.  I  suggest that you purchase a book on catering.  Here is one that is pretty good and if you buy used you can get it for less than ten bucks.   Good luck.  
     
  11. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    Sounds good!  Communication and honesty really is important.  Best of luck with the dinner.
     
  12. mlejeune

    mlejeune

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    I totally agree with cheflayne, but I would add this.  In the future, break out the costs so they can see what is going on.  Have a minimum "labor" charge for the event.  You can call it "personal chef" or "customer service" or whatever, but building in a minimum cost category let's them see what's going on.  This way you are still making a base profit on the event.  More heads just means more profit if they add people, but a base charge protects your overall break even or profitability if they dip below a certain minimum.

    Michael

    Head Blogger and Content Creator

    Catering Champaign