Food Costing Programs, YOUR THOUGHTS?

Discussion in 'Professional Catering' started by everydayevents, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. everydayevents

    everydayevents

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    Professional Caterer
    I've been operating my catering for the last two years and have been skimming by with my costing skills from culinary school. I have been researching two programs to purchase that can streamline my costing, but I'm unsure of them. All of my computers are mac and both websites don't specify if they are mac compatible. So my questions refer to these two systems...

    CostGuard

    and

    EatEC

    1. Do you know which is mac compatible, if at all?

    2. What is your experience with them?

    3. What are your PRO's and CON's about the program itself?

    4. Are there any other programs that is more suitable for catering that you can recommend? 

    -Thank you!!!

    -Chef Charles
     
  2. thetincook

    thetincook

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    I use a spread sheet I made in OpenOffice.
     
  3. thetincook

    thetincook

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    Are you looking for a plate/recipe costing thing, or some kind of inventory and cost control system?

    The later might be a bit of an overkill.
     
  4. everydayevents

    everydayevents

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    i'm looking for more of a plate/recipe costing thing. Yeah, I agree, inventory and cost control system is a bit over the top. I've been using a spread sheet in excel and it works but It's overly complicated. I was thinking of something that is more streamlined. Something that I might be able to train someone on rather than having them go through a class similar to what I had to do when I was in culinary school.
     
  5. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Food costing as a caterer is a bit more difficult then average as you are working with what I term displacement factors. Meaning you sell a package for $60.00 a head with standard good liquor. Now on final arrangements you sell them premium liquors at lets say 6 00.. more a person. Since you first package was 60.00  your new one is 66. but you did not give credit for original liquor that they are not getting.
     
  6. everydayevents

    everydayevents

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    Chef,

    Thank you for your reply. I agree with you, is it possible to completely separate liquor from the package? Rather than combining it with a food package, leave it separate for those that may choose the "premium" choices without liquor. That way, if the client decides to purchase liquor of any kind, it is already an additional fee. So if the package was lets say, $50.00 (just food) and a separate "optional" list for liquors that can be tacked on after the food cost?

    Would this method/menu organization be more challenging and thus more labor intensive? 
     
  7. chefedb

    chefedb

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    WE were a multi room volume caterer 7 ballrooms under 1 roof we grossed 17 million per year with a volume so big that we averaged in season an unbelievable 12% food cost  Over 12000 covers a week ..Everything was from scratch and not 1 thing wasted. It was unreal. We  told purveyors what we were willing to pay they didn't tell us.
     
  8. everydayevents

    everydayevents

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    wow! Chef, that's amazing!! Although my business does not cover such volumes. With volumes that high would the cost lower due to the large produce orders made? I mean, 1x50# sack of onions is going to cost more when compared to the individual cost of 100 sacks of onion would it not?