Need help with flambe/ice cream station

Joined Jun 28, 2001
I'm doing a vegan wedding cake for a young couple who are also having an after party later that evening with 100 guests. They are ordering a small version of the wedding cake to serve only 40 people for the after party and I will be doing a dessert buffet of minis. I am charging separate for the after party cake and $5.25/head for the minis. I will swing by, set it up, then leave.

Since they wanted something different, I suggested a flambe station and they were very excited with the idea. I would stay for a set number of hours (not sure how long yet, any suggestions?) and refill the desserts on the buffet. I would have pre-chilled bowls of vegan ice cream and guests can order which fruit topping they would like and I flambe it in front of them. It would be served with vegan whipped topping and roasted chopped nuts. I would also clean up my own mess. They haven't picked their venue yet b/c they need to find the space to have live bands so it could be a club or a large restaurant. I will probably have to rent the plates, bowls, etc. and obviously clean and return those as well. I can figure out the cost for ingredients and rentals, but the part I am having trouble figuring out is how much to charge for the labor so I can work that into a per head cost.

How do you price labor for a service like this?
Joined Mar 4, 2000
Somewhere between 20 and 30 an hour sounds about right.

There are places that won't allow open flames, and rightly so. To keep yourself and others safe, make sure you are at least on a concrete surface, to avoid any mishaps.
Joined Jun 28, 2001
Thanks for posting. :)

Once the bride finds the venue for the after party, I'll make arrangements to take a look at the space to see if it's possible. They had it set it that they could use her uncle's restaurant for free, but some family strife happened and the offer was taken back. So with 6 months to go, they are still looking.

I asked this question on another board and one woman charges $50/hour just to stay to cut and box the cake. Another woman who's husband is the chef of a restaurant said for catering jobs, he won't send out a waiter for less than $50/hour. I had no idea!!! I'm charging more. :D
Joined Aug 11, 2000
My staff ranges from $15-25pp per hour. 4 hour minimum. 40 people your looking at multiple folks. I would have one just doing desserts, one doing minis and possibly another to help clean up.

The last party I did , finally I learned that I have Great kitchen staff and I STAY out front smoosing. I also add to the rental bill to take care of breakages, and the chore of checking in the order and ordering period. If you use your own chafers or equipment charge rental for it...that is what you use in the future to buy new equipment.
Remember you are providing a premium service when it is out of the ordinary.And Vegan is!
Joined Jun 28, 2001
I'm not doing all of the catering. Just the desserts. It's 100 people and live bands are playing. At first they just wanted everything to be self-serve finger food on paper plates since it's pretty informal (parents are spending the big bucks on the wedding/formal reception; the couple have to pay for the after party themselves), but as soon as I mentioned flambe, etc. they got excited and are now open to the idea of it being a bit nicer than a paper plate event. I think I should be ok with 1 person helping me. While s/he refills minis, I'll flambe. After the 3 hours (or however long they hire me for), we'll break down, clean up, and go home.

How much do you factor into your rental bill to cover breakages? That part completely slipped my mind. I'm not sure how that works since I am not the main caterer. Do rental places usually cut a deal for caterers? I've looked at a couple of websites of places in my area and they used to give prices (3 years ago, I saw prices), but now, none of them give that info. Two places said to call for a quote b/c the prices change daily. What's up with that? Maybe I should move this thread to the catering section?
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