How much should I charge?

Discussion in 'Professional Catering' started by laneybug, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. laneybug

    laneybug

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    I have been hired to cook at a hunting ranch for this year's hunting season and am unsure of what I should charge.

    The ranch is privately owned and I will be preparing meals for the owner and his guests. ( mostly his clients; Presidents, VP's, CEO's etc of large companies). 5-20 ppl at a time, no breakfast, just some "grazing" luches (everyone staggers in from their hunt at different times) and then sit down dinners.  Lunches are to be light.  Dinners are up to me and should have an appetizer and 2 or 3 dessert choices.  They are looking for creative things and have a cooler and freezer full of food. Lots of seafood, quail and beef.  I will not have to provide the food, just my services. 

    I need to price lunch only, dinner only and both lunch and dinner on the same day.  I will also have about a 12 mile drive to the ranch.  Please help.  I'm just not sure what to charge for just my labor.
     
  2. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    I do that for a living and I would be hard pressed to quote anything less than by the day as even a single meal time basically destroys any opportunity for another client.

    So, I'd quote a $/day, prepping a buffet lunch you'd probably start around 9 am and by the time dinner is over and you've finished cleaning, it will be 10 pm to midnight. that's 13-15 hours or 8 regular hours and 5-7 overtime hours, the equivalent of 15.5 to 18.5 regular hours. From your post, you'll have NO help in the kitchen, correct?

    I wouldn't bid less than $350/day, maybe even $450 depending on the economics of the area and clientele.
     
     
  3. laneybug

    laneybug

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    Thanks for the feedback, Pete. I have been fretting over this for awhile now.  I had worked for years managing a restaurant that did large caterings and I always handled the sales aspect.  But I was on a salary.  This is just a bit different, However, we are on just about the same page.  I was thinking $125 for lunch, $225 for dinner and $300 for both (on the same day, of course). I am in South Texas, just south of the Texas Hill Country.  You are right, 5 dinners or 20 will still consume the same amount of time.

    I will have some help.  There are three ladies that work at the ranch full time.  Primarily cleaning ladies, but will be at my disposal for prep and clean up .  I am told they follow instructions well.  Thanks again!
     
  4. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    menu planning, sourcing food, etc takes time too.....

    are they committing to certain days?
     
  5. laneybug

    laneybug

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    Yes, they are committing to certain days.  Primarily the weekends, as I work with my husband at our business weekdays.  Food sourcing is basically handled.  The owner has a fishing vessel of some sort and keeps the freezer full of seafood. And as it is a hunting ranch, quail, dove and deer are at my disposal as well as a local meat market for beef, pork and chicken.  We are limited to two local grocery stores, one being Wal Mart of all things.  The other, not much better.  I can use Sysco Foods, however, I will not need such large quantities.

    I am thinking of bumping up prices just a bit from what I previously stated above.
     
  6. laneybug

    laneybug

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    Thanks for the input Pete.  I bid $300 for dinner only and $400 for lunch and dinner and I start next weekend.