Off Premise Catering Fees

Discussion in 'Professional Catering' started by kareng, Jul 12, 2016.

  1. kareng

    kareng

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    I'm wondering how other caterers apply fees for off premise catering taking into consideration the time for packing, loading, unloading, transport, set up, breakdown, reloading, cleaning/washing equipment and restocking.   I'm looking for a way to apply and display those fees in a Proposal/Contract.
     
  2. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Quote:
    How do you apply and display these fees " set up, breakdown, cleaning/washing equipment and restocking" in a proposal/contract for your on site work? Probably use those as guidelines.
     
  3. Iceman

    Iceman

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    How long have you been a caterer?
     
  4. kareng

    kareng

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    We usually include in our per person pricing but wanted recommendations on fair fees to be applied and broken out in the quote that reflect the additional labor and time for off premise.  Is there a fair standard that applies?
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016
  5. kareng

    kareng

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    What does that have to do with it?  The industry is ever changing and clients tend to not understand the additional labor and time involved in off-premise, custom catering. Hence, I wanted to know how other caterers handle this.
     
  6. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Never mind then.
     
  7. Iceman

    Iceman

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    I asked a simple question so that I would have an understanding of your experience. Now being that I have been cooking since 1966, I have different ways that I discuss topics with other seasoned professionals and out-of-the-box rookies. I can't myself see how any type of veteran caterer would ask the questions that you have ... in two(2) different threads. I've got a feeling that you are brand-new. I could be wrong. I felt that asking how long you've been a caterer was simple polite way to ask. There are people all over the place that don't have much of a clue that would like help and simple answers. There is nothing wrong with that at all. Just being up-front in asking gets it done so much easier and speedier.





    Was that better?!?


    We work in kitchens ... It ain'te rocket surgery."
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016
  8. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    A Caterer quotes a price on logistics. a Turkey dinner catered to a gazebo in a local park near my kitchen would be $9.95 per person. A turkey dinner catered on Mount Kilimanjaro is $42,624.95 depending if they wanted hot tea or not...... I always told my customers I can cater any place they wanted. The only difference is cost. No offsite catering menu is set in stone unless all the conditions and logistics  are  the same.......Chef Bill
     
  9. kareng

    kareng

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    Thank you, Bill.  We typically figure out those costs on an event basis but wanted to know if there was an easier way to calculate rather than reinventing the wheel each time.  
     
  10. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    [/quote]
    I agree, experience has a good bit to do with it--if we assume a new member is experienced, our answer may be misunderstood or confusing.
    Conversely, if we assume newness we risk offending them with a simplistic answer (has happened!) not to mention the wasted time/effort.

    I personally feel, despite the trend of customers wanting more detailed info, that trying to list out details that went
    into your "workup" just confuses most people, leading to misunderstandings. When I work up a proposal, aside
    from spelling out obviously expensive variables (like Mt Kilimanjaro--sounds like fun though!:p) I just incorporate
    the variables like travel etc into the end price. The extra labor variables like extra prep methods, having to go to
    more stores, etc, I work into my personal fee, (if Im showing that as an invoiced item.) Simple is usually best, and
    if they want more info, I give it to them....via my clear and intriguing voice. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016
  11. kareng

    kareng

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    Thank you.  
     
  12. kareng

    kareng

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    Thank you for your response - I now understand why you asked.  We have been catering for over 30 years on and off, owning restaurants in between.  Our current business started as a side thing and has grown tremendously in a short period of time and landing exclusivity agreements at some venues.  We have a very good reputation in our area, hence the growth.  Our business processes and systems need to be streamlined.  We are just starting with catering software to help with this and one thing I fumble with is calculating additional charges for labor and time involved in off premise. I thought maybe there was a simple formula or something, but apparently not.  I just want to make sure we continue to be fair with our clients while profitable for our business.
     
  13. ginamiriam

    ginamiriam

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    Do you charge a "service charge?" We call it a catering fee since it goes to the house and we want to be clear that it is not a gratuity. Our wording is as follows

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    Catering Fee
    Pennsylvania state law requires that 6% sales tax be charged on all of the above items and service. There is an 18% catering fee on food, beverages, rentals and service which covers expenses incurred to produce your event. They include but are not limited to logistics planning, administration, recycling, trash removal if needed, liability insurance coverage, dishwashing, sanitation, food prep & storage, equipment maintenance, travel time, vehicle expenses (gas, insurance). Gratuity is graciously left to your discretion

    If the logisitics of the venue are extremely difficult, we up the catering fee or add a line item to account for additional staff time.

    Hope this helps.
     
  14. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

    Messages:
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    Exp:
    Sous Chef, Event Manager
    Gina i like your explanatory paragragraph. It would help
    the client to understand what kind of work goes into catering.
    (its also a good work guideline for all these noobs who ask
    how to determine pricing)
    2 problems ive experienced personally with the "charge". First, the minute
    they see the word "service" they think its a mandatory gratuity...despite you
    insisting it isnt. Also despite your written "gratuity not included".
    And once they've convinced themselves of that they simply dont tip.
    (Sure, its also an excuse for cheapskates sometimes.)

    In your case you've substituted "catering fee" . Nicely done, however...
    the 2nd and even bibgger hurdle is basing it on percentage. Here again,
    I've even been told their accountants are insisting this is a legal gratuity.
    Apparently no one seems to notice, or care, that there is no other charge
    in there for all that work you describe so well in your catering fee.
    Do they not realize if thats removed thats like, dirt cheap catering?
    No they dont, I've have several who, once they get it stuck in their
    heads, there's no changing it, and our people who work so hard get no tip.
    Sure you can avoid future business with that client, but that sort of defeats
    the purpose.lol Have you continued to have misundertandings regarding
    this fee, vs gratuity?
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2016
  15. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Meh, we always factored in a 15% gratuity into the bill, and had that clearly stated on the bill and contract.  The ones that balked were never concerned with the quality of service, or even the food, for that matter.  Mind you we were full service, owned our own china, glassware, eqpt., trucks, etc, and charged the same price for this as the rental companies, so there was always "wriggle room" when negotiating.
     
  16. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

    Messages:
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    Exp:
    Sous Chef, Event Manager
    Well, stating it directly like that is far better than client mistaking
    a valid charge for one. Downside being that it can limit the tip that
    they would normally award, at least on small parties.
     
  17. ginamiriam

    ginamiriam

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    We personally do not have any issues. But if you think you will, instead of line iteming a service charge or catering fee or administration fee or whatever you want to call it, just up your per person price to include a gratuity and catering fee which would include all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. Whatever you call it, in our state, it is always taxable whenever you add a charge that the client must pay. If a client tips staff themselves, it is not subject to tax.

    I personally like to line item everything so the client knows what they are paying for. That may not work for every caterer though.

    Gina