low cost - high volume catering

Discussion in 'Professional Catering' started by tigerwoman, Oct 30, 2002.

  1. tigerwoman

    tigerwoman

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    Hi there folks -


    Could use some help with ideas for a large event. Of course the proposal is due tomorrow afternoon.

    This time it is a holiday party for 600 plus city employees
    very low budget - around $20 per head for everything. Think diversity and ease of preparation and service.

    they want:
    hors d'ouerves (probably both passed and stationary)
    5-6:30

    main course
    6:30 -8

    dessert
    8-9

    here's some of the things we were considering (this is brainstorming - would not include everything of course)
    what do you think - what has your experience been. It is being held in a very large conference area so space is not an issue. How do you suggest setting up?

    Hor D’Ouerve
    Stations:
    Assorted Domestic and Imported Cheeses, Fresh Fruit and Crudite Vegetable Station
    Ethnic Breads and Spreads
    Hummous
    Baba Ganoush
    Dolmatis
    Guacamole
    Salsa
    Black Bean Dip
    Black and Gold Tortilla Chips
    European Crackers
    Breads
    Flatbreads

    Nacho station
    Tortilla chips
    Cheese sauce
    Chili
    Salsa
    Guacamole
    Sour cream
    Onions
    Pickled jalapenos

    Italian Station
    Mini Meatballs in Sauce
    Tortellini in Vodka Sauce
    Baked Ziti
    Antipasto Spread
    Grilled Vegetable
    Sausage and Peppers
    Chicken Marsala
    **Michaelangelo Pasta
    with Roasted Tomatoes, Smoked Mozzarella and Roasted Garlic
    Served Hot
    **Tortellini Verde
    Four Cheese Tortellini in a Pesto Cream Sauce
    Served Hot


    Passed h-d
    ** Sassy Shrimp Tartlets
    Mini Shrimp, Spinach and Feta Tartlets

    **Lotus Cups
    Thai Chicken Satay in Crispy Lotus Cups

    **Martini Olives
    Vermouth and Vodka Soaked Giant Olives Encircled in Flaky Puff Pastry

    **Mushroom Truffle Risotto Bytes
    Luxurious Flavors in a Crisp Phyllo Flower

    ** Golden Triangles
    Indian Spiced Potato & Veggie Triangles with Cilantro Coconut Dip

    ** Tiger Shrimp Cocktail
    Tiger Shrimp Passed Floating on Cocktail Sauce





    Main Course Stations

    Asian Station
    **Auntie Dai’s Dumplings
    Asian Dumplings with Wasabi- Soy Sauce
    Served Hot
    **Spring Rolls
    **cold sesame noodles
    **broccoli in garlic sauce
    **Mao Chicken in orange sauce
    **Vegetable Fried Rice
    **Steamed Pork Buns
    **Chinese Mandarin Chicken Salad

    Down Home Harvest Station
    Roast Turkey – sliced and carved at station
    Spiral Ham
    Ranchhand BBQ Beef
    Tex Mex Macaroni and Cheese
    Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
    Cowboy Caviar Bean Salad
    Confetti Coleslaw
    Rosie’s Potato Salad

    Mashed Potato Station (ala shroomgirls recent proposal)
    Mash potato
    caramelized onions
    chives
    sour cream
    blue cheese
    bacon bits
    Belgian beef and ale
    cheddar
    sauteed mushrooms
    tomatoes with herbs

    **Miami Vice Meatballs
    Miniature Meatballs in Orange BBQ Sauce
    Served Hot

    **Caribbean Critters
    Coconut Island Spiced Boneless Chicken Satay
    Served Hot on a Bed of Julienned Carrots

    **Bow Thai Salmon Wreath
    Teriyaki Grilled Salmon, Bow Tie Pasta, Broccoli & Cherry Tomato Babbles
    Arranged in a Holiday Wreath

    **Capri Chicken Roulade
    Roulade of Chicken Breast, Spinach and Mushrooms Served Over Rice
    **Med Rim Dolmatis
    Grape Leaves Stuffed with Aromatic Rice

    **Gourmet Goodies Dessert Bar
    Chocolate Drizzled Cream Puffs
    Nut and Fruit Filled Rugelach
    Assorted Holiday Cookies
    Assorted Cakes and Pies
    Cheesecakes
    Sheetcakes??
     
  2. chef david simpson

    chef david simpson

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    Wow! Sounds good to me. Is this "make a space" or will you have access to the kitchen? If it's make a space than leave as much hot foods as possible. that way you can aleaveate your overhead by cutting rental cost.
     
  3. tigerwoman

    tigerwoman

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    There is no kitchen - but we have a full 27 foot mobile kitchen- so should help tremendously. Still I agree to keep as much as possible room temp or bulk chafing - especially in the hors d'oeurves section.

    I need to par this menu down - it's really too much.

    Any thoughts on which items should go or other suggestions you have done that are easy but effective.

    And I need to figure out how to execute properly and staffing needed without blowing the budget.
     
  4. marmalady

    marmalady

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    Hmmmm, This isn't a knock on city employees, but - what is their palate sophistication? I'd knock off some of the more 'exotic' things, and maybe pare down the # of items in the stations.

    Whew! Sounds massive!
     
  5. tigerwoman

    tigerwoman

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    Totally agree with your take via "city employees" however as always how do we make ourselves stand out from other bids. So I always like to throw a few interesting off beat items in. I have found it effective with groups like this. I had a retirement party for transit workers where the woman ordering liked some of the different offerings but ending up going the traditional route - basically it got her attention.

    Anyway, thanks for the feedback - I have definitely eliminated many items - and some are "garnish" too so to speak.

    We combed over the choices and picked ones that are easiest to execute for that type of event. Plus of course supplemented with stuff like sally sherman... this is not haute cuisine for sure...

    Now let's see if we get the bid...
     
  6. chefdude1

    chefdude1

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    That’s an incredible menu!!

    Although for that kind of money I think you would be prudent to scale it back, when you think of all those selections, to compute the usage of each item will be a nightmare.

    When money is tight and the budget doesn’t support that broad of a menu, I like to offer fewer items this will help in assuring that you have enough of each food group to go around.

    You have some awesome selections and with any of them you cant go wrong!! (just a few less)

    ChefDude1
     
  7. tigerwoman

    tigerwoman

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    The final proposal was scaled down - but we still haven't heard back about the bid. Que sera sera

    Meanwhile busy busy -both working on jobs and proposals. Tis the season to make money....
     
  8. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    I've got one for $20 next Sept. for 350.....simple/local food
    tomatoes
    black beans and corn or rice salad
    green salad
    slaw
    chicken
    pork
    rolls
    bars/cookies
    tea
    lemonade
    cash bar/rentals ontop

    All local good ingrediants I don't need to monkey around too much with.....