how to price a catering job ?

Discussion in 'Professional Catering' started by sweetpea06, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    Just because you like to cook at home does not make you a caterer. I would decline, your friend is just looking for a deal which can end badly.
     
  2. tenteki

    tenteki

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    Hey everyone. I manage a kitchen at a bar & grill and recently we've been asked go cater a holiday party of 60 people.

    I haven't finished figuring the food cost yet but I'll have a final number in an hour or so, but so far with all of the major items it's $180. (don't worry, I'm not ignoring the small stuff, I know it adds up, I just need to pull invoices to get pricing for a few small ingredients)

    Now, it's a bit odd for me since I've never priced an event and have no clue what people charge in the area. We've never catered a party in the past so I want to make sure it goes smoothly.

    The menu is relatively simple but I'm having a hard time landing on a good price. My goal was to keep food costs around 20% then land on a number after I've tallied all the other fees, but reading the thread it seems like using percentage as a guide isn't the best way to go. I also feel a but odd trying to land in the going rate for catering businesses in the area since we, ourselves, are not a catering service.
     
  3. tina95

    tina95

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    Hi.. I have been asked to offer a wait staff for a wedding of 300 it's a buffet style dinner. They are providing all the food.. I work as a catering lead server but have never priced a job my self. . The job wood consist of beverages such as tea and water at a station. And pick up of dishes (plastic) not rented.. And refills of course garbage removal... The wedding begins at 1pm and I'm estimating from my experience with eventsFor it to last until 7 or so... aproximatly 7 hrs including getting there 45 mins away.. Thanks for and help with quotes for this event
     
  4. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    *bump*

    Yes this is an old thread that wanders all over the place but IMO this advice never goes out of date.

    Take heed all those who are sitting at home planning your first outing as a caterer for someone's wedding or golden anniversary.

    These sort of events are important dates in people's lives.

    How would you feel if the second most important part (the first is always the cake lol ;-) of your very special party came thru as a disaster ?

    Stop and think before putting yourself out there as a professional ....

    mimi
     
  5. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    I started out on my own doing this very thing for caterers who didn't like to deal with the variables that come with the service end of an event (way back in the day).

    This little side job that started off as a favor for a few friends grew into a nice little extra money maker.

    Pricing (plus tip) are different in different locals.

    How much do you usually make?

    How much are your PT servers wanting/expecting?

    Treat them (your staff) right and you will find they won't mind coming out for a last min job in the middle of a tsunami ;-)

    Good luck and OBTW...welcome to Chef Talk!

    mimi
     
  6. nellybelly

    nellybelly

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    Charge by appetizer usually is about 2-4 pieces per person about 600 pieces and depending on what you are making is about between $1.50 to $3.00 per piece
    And then you charge for a chef, chef assistance if you need one gratuity and taxes
    I hope this would help you
     
  7. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    @Mimi, no prob with your thread regurgitation girl, certain points cant seem to be

    stated enough. Also add a gold star to your paper, for having quoted me. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif

    Properly pricing appetizers in an event catering situation can be a tricky thing,

    reason being that from the customers standpoint they're like .....

    "Wait--you want like, a THOUSAND dollars to serve my 100 guests appetizers??

    Its not like its a dinner, theres hardly any food there! We may as well do steaks!" 

    (Uh yeah...riiiiight.) 

    What they dont understand is how much work goes into making apps--most 

    of them, even cold ones, can be  labor intensive, due to having to stand there and

    assemble  the dang things. And cute lil things like stuffed cucumber cups, 

    stuffed peppers, stuffed mushroom caps (arrgh!) etc are very time consuming to do. 

    What you (and by extension, they) are saving in food costs is easily made up for by

    added labor. 

    And when stuffing with things like crab and lobster for instance, even the food cost can

    add up much quicker than a lot of people realize. 

    And its the clients that are choosing to do appetizers because theyre trying to go cheaper, 

    who are fthe biggest problem. 

    The tendency to "see their point" and give in, must be resisted--you always regret it if you dont. 
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
  8. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    You are most welcome monkeyman....

    I was thinking about my past business life last nite and got a bit melancholy (baby ;-).

    So much done so much learned so many great memories.

    I was into writing menus for a while in the mid 80's.

    This started out as a favor and like so much other STUFF I have done there came an avalanche of "friends" wanting their menus redone lol.

    How do you charge for that ??

    Decided the "account" could be tendered with a closed end tab at the places I worked for (NBD as I used down time at the FT job mostly lol)

    Was cleaning out the attic after Christmas and found some old receipts for the above.

    Great memory (if not a bit Donald Trumpish).

    Like I said before .... melancholy baby ... should have called up some old friends and gone for drinks.

    mimi
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016
  9. sisters for foo

    sisters for foo

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    At home cook
    this is the meau

    deep bit beef

    fried chicken

    green beans

    salad

    dinner roll

    rice pilaof
     
  10. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Is there a question in there someplace?

    mimi
     
  11. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    You are supposed to be a mind reader Mimi./img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif
     
  12. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Right?

    Plus....I sat and stared at goats /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif   (oops I mean the bit beef) and for the life of me cannot suss that one out.

    Worse than a ticket written in short order by truck stop Flo (still half drunk from her Sat nite binge).

    Sorry if I have offended anyone named Florence......

    mimi
     
  13. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    I am going to take a flyer here and guess "deep pit beef" as in BBQ.
     
  14. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Ahhhhh.... thanks Chef.

    mimi
     
  15. cheflo

    cheflo

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    whats the appropriate cost for a catered AFFAIR
     
  16. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    A lot like asking for the answer to the universe.
    Which ive heard is "42", but Ive never been able to confirm it.

    Welcome to Cheftalk.

    Are you asking from a provider or a consumer viewpoint?

    Foodcost + fixed expenses, + rentals + variablecosts + your labor, help labor,
    desired profit, divided by number of people gives you price per person.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
  17. zahair9256

    zahair9256

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    I have been asked to cater a small book reading event which will include 6-10 people ...she wants me to do coconut rice with curry chicken with sauteed veggies ..She also wants devil pesto eggs ..I'm kinda clueless what to charge?
     
  18. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    $15 per person.
     
  19. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    Do I hear $17.50?
     
  20. lagom

    lagom

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    I'll cater any affair for 99.95 😆

    God I'm an old cynical crank.