need pricing help

Discussion in 'Professional Catering' started by chef luey, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. chef luey

    chef luey

    Likes Received:
    Professional Chef
    trying to price out an athletic banquet for 150-200 the menu is as follows baked and fried chicken, yellow rice, roast beef, green beans, rolls, assorted cakes, tea and water if charging per plate what should I charge or how is it best to charge this is my first plated event
  2. perfectbrunoise


    Likes Received:
    Professional Chef
    When there are choices, I find that people will generally go with the "higher priced" item, in your case the beef.   Plated dinners are always going to cost you more because of the labor involved, especially for serving that many people and getting the last guest fed before the first is finished.  I used to do catering at a hotel and we wouldn't plate down for less than $50 per and that was for only one main course.   My advice would be to cost out the most expensive option at 25% and go from there.  
  3. petemccracken


    Likes Received:
    Professional Chef
    Figure out all of your costs:
    • Food
    • Rentals (china, tableware, glasses, tablecloths, napkins, etc.)
    • Labor (cooks, helpers, servers)
    • Kitchen rental (if any)
    • Insurance and other overhead expenses
    Then add 10% for things you missed and add on the profit you want to make.

    Divide the total by the expected head count and you have your cost in $/person, the minimum you can charge without losing money.

    Check the competition, if they quote higher, there is room to increase your price. If they are lower, look for places to trim your costs or take less profit.

    If you use a guideline such as dividing your food cost by 0.25 (same as multiplying by 4), one of three things will happen:
    • You'll lose money because your other costs are too high
    • You'll lose the job because your quote is too high
    • You'll be fine
    For me, the risks associated with rules of thumb far outweigh the simplified calculation, I figure out all my costs so I don't lose money!
    brandon odell likes this.
  4. meezenplaz


    Likes Received:
    Sous Chef, Event Manager
    I have formulas, but for a quick cost out I often work the numbers by event. Listing out what i need in

    materials, eg, plate rentals, paper goods, gas, extra far distance, etc. Subtract any inventory on hand,

    like that case of left over napkins, (already paid for by the last event) .

    Then food estimate, add 50% profit and see where I'm at.

    That said, Ive done hundreds of these sports banquets (kind of cut my teeth on em). The first question is,

    what kind of sport? This makes a significant difference in how they eat. Footballers are on a protein quest,

    so if youre serving beef you'd better up your bumper by 30%. (and incorporate into price if possible)

    Tennis players are shoppin for carbs, like potatoes, rice, 2 or 3 rolls each lol.

    And also significant is the ratio between althlets and "regular" people.

    Now of course this is all much more controllable with plated service as opposed to chaffer service.

    A quick rule of thumb for chicken beef, 1 or 2 simple sides, rolls, butter, salad & condiments, basic drinks,

    basic desserts like brownies or cake, for 150 to 200 ppl would be say 13.95 per person. Assuming one helper,

    and some integrated profit. Add 2 bucks or so a head for plated service, that's another 3 to 400.00, but plated

    is more work, more time, more helpers, more bussing, more everything.

    (And BTW, Ive done 200 guest sports banquets with just me, myself and I, and that included all the setup

    plus cooking the meats fresh on location. In 2 hours. But that was buffet-line with me manning the meat chaffers

    plus being my own runner. Tough but doable. )

    So  ballpark figure, 14 + 2 = 16,   @ 150 ppl = 2400.00

                                                      @ 200 ppl = 3200.00

    Of course it also depends on your area for costs, the local going rate, etc, and whether that's out-the-door or

    not is up to you and how you do your billing.

    Too many variables to be very accurate here--that's based on my own experience with athletic events--you generally

    have to keep their cost down and focus on repeat business--which can be a substantial bread-and-butter income.

    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
  5. swampkitchen


    Likes Received:
    Home Chef
    Price by volume instead of by ingredient