I've decided to cater "party trays" ....HELP with FINAL COSTS!

Discussion in 'Professional Catering' started by bevrox, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. bevrox

    bevrox

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    Entertaining and cooking for guests has always been my passion!  I guess thats why I finally decided to go into business for myself from home.

    I've gotten all my figures on paper, costs per tray and covers, deli meats per pound, cheeses per unit as sold, produce fluctuates according to season, etc....so that varries.

    I know ecactly what each serving per person per item is, etc....

    What I'm having a difficult time coming up with is my FINAL cost per tray, including my expenses.  I'm SO STUMPED....ANY ADVICE would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you for taking the time to read my post.  :)

    Have a great day!
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2012
  2. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    YOU CAN'T CATER FROM YOUR HOME!..... IT IS ILLEGAL!

    Where's your HEALTH DEPT PERMIT?, Insurance, Business License?
     
  3. foodnfoto

    foodnfoto

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    Ditto what Bubba said-PLUS-

    If you consider catering without at least $2,000,000 of liability insurance, one incident and you could lose your house.

    Please-leave it to professionals and stop undercutting all of us who do business by the books.
     
  4. bevrox

    bevrox

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    When I say from home, should have clarified I don't actually have my own space, I will be renting!  I will be taking orders from home.

    Thank you.
     
  5. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Ah, different game then!

    My approach to pricing: Calculate ALL your costs, variable and overhead, add your desired profit and that is the MINIMUM you must charge.

    Sounds simple and straight forward right?   It is NOT!

    The variable costs are easy, you've already done that, the overhead is where it gets tough.

    Apparently you're already renting the kitchen facilities and you probably already have your business license(s), food safety manager certification(s), liability insurance, and numerous other monthly or annual costs and can calculate you daily/weekly/monthly overhead amounts. Translating that to a per tray or per person figure is tricky. Let me illustrate.

    Say your annual costs, i.e. licenses, insurance, etc. total, oh um, $4,800, that's $400/month or, say $20/day if you make tray(s) every day!

    You kitchen rental is a little difference and depends on your specific arrangements, I'll assume you pay daily and only as you need it and you pay, um $100/day and you work, um, 3 days per week. Your overhead cost for the three days is now 3x$100 plus $100 for your annual costs or $400/week.

    Leaving aside the cost of food and labor, your overhead charge per tray works out to:
    • 200 trays per week = $2.00/tray
    • 100 trays per week = $4.00/tray
    • 50 tray per week = $8.00/tray
    • 30 trays per week = $13.33/tray
    • and so forth
    The same occurs with your desired "in your pocket profit".

    If you charge too much, nobody buys your trays, if you charge too little, you go broke.

    You HAVE to know your costs and your market, no one can give you the magic answer!

    If you cannot figure out what to charge, DON'T DO IT!
     
  6. bevrox

    bevrox

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    Thank you so much for this valuable information, it will surely be a useful tool in my future endeavor!  :)