offsite catering & menus

7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
When you set a menu do you:

a) look at the site first to see what sort of kitchen/space is available?

b) have staff and equipment (or rental companies) that can fill in?

c) charge according to the deficulty you put yourself through?

d) talk the clients into more feasible menus?

This is a learning forum, if you have questions on a-d please ask....there's a whole bunch of people who have offsite catering experience that would be willing to share.
 
2,311
628
Joined Feb 8, 2009
I have never told a customer it couldn't be done, I have told them it will cost them alot if they want it that way. In most cases the customer hires me because they like what I do and how I do it. A caterer should build a reputation in his/her community that allows them enough respect that if they say, it will be the best, the job will be done.............ChefBillyB
 
5,516
183
Joined Apr 3, 2010
I agree with you both , I once told a boss in New York who was reluctant to take a party  of 2500 in Central Park ""We are caterers, we can do anything if they have the money and are willing to pay for it"'
 
Last edited:
37
12
Joined Dec 9, 2010
When you set a menu do you:

a) look at the site first to see what sort of kitchen/space is available?

b) have staff and equipment (or rental companies) that can fill in?

c) charge according to the deficulty you put yourself through?

d) talk the clients into more feasible menus?

This is a learning forum, if you have questions on a-d please ask....there's a whole bunch of people who have offsite catering experience that would be willing to share.

 A: Definately. There is no way to plan appropriately without good information and I will neve again trust a client about the availability or quality of equipment in  facility.

B. This reads a little unclear to me, but I do keep good relations with rental companies and temp agencies so they take my calls when I need them. Further, if a rental or temp employee does a good job, we treat them like royalty and always tell their offfices who did well for us. We don't use them a lot, put when we do call, we get the pick of the best people and great service.

C. P.I.A.  (Pain In A--) charge should be an industry standard. But on the other hand, a lot of times  I ask for it. I really try to be nearly an event co-ordinator when I can, just to avoid the head aches a coordinator brings. I have dealt with some real losers.

D. Our motto is we're easy, but we're not cheap. We will do anything a client wants, but I refuse to lose money on an event. So my answer is always, "Yes... but you know this is going to cost more."
 
7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
Newbies to offsite catering do not always understand the ins and outs of transporting food, having reliable staff to call on, knowing rental companies operating procedures, the importance of being in charge of a menu....and most important timing....timing is so key to limited stress.
 
5,516
183
Joined Apr 3, 2010
Mushroom Girl, As you and I both know the easiest part of the party is the cooking of it. The rest is harder.
 
7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
cooking....Ed, think about stopping and finishing dishes, how to manage a 200-300 person event  out in the middle of nowhere...cooking is not always the easiest thing.  The experience of knowing what will work or how to make it work is the hardest part.
 
5,516
183
Joined Apr 3, 2010
Thats what makes you a caterer, it's a constant challenge, and nothing ever the same twice.
 
2,311
628
Joined Feb 8, 2009
I have always used rental agency's as me picking up the needed items for the catering. I don't like handing out responsibility to people that send  a bunch of kids to set up the party. If I'm going to be 100% responsible for a function, then I will be 100% involved. I have been very successful in all of my catered functions, the reason I am successful is because I have always given my client what they expected and in most cases more..............Chefbillyb
 
7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
Billy, most of the temp agencys here have older experienced adults, or at least you request what you need and pay for that.
 
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Joined Jan 21, 2011
When you set a menu do you:

a) look at the site first to see what sort of kitchen/space is available?

b) have staff and equipment (or rental companies) that can fill in?

c) charge according to the deficulty you put yourself through?

d) talk the clients into more feasible menus?
I will always charge more if I know the job is going to be a Pandora's Box full of unknowns, or if I just don't want to do the job because of whatever reason.

If someone sent me a job for 500+ and the site was 30-miles into the wilderness or something insane - I just wouldn't take the job.

    - I WOULD call a competitor and offer-up the job to them.

If the site can support the menu that the client wants, then why down-sell your own menu?

Some things I just won't do. If there is an uncontrolled risk of FBI - or a chance the menu can't be sequenced and served at the same quality from start to finish - I'll suggest other options.

 
 
2,311
628
Joined Feb 8, 2009
When you set a menu do you:

a) look at the site first to see what sort of kitchen/space is available?

b) have staff and equipment (or rental companies) that can fill in?

c) charge according to the deficulty you put yourself through?

d) talk the clients into more feasible menus?
I will always charge more if I know the job is going to be a Pandora's Box full of unknowns, or if I just don't want to do the job because of whatever reason.

If someone sent me a job for 500+ and the site was 30-miles into the wilderness or something insane - I just wouldn't take the job.

    - I WOULD call a competitor and offer-up the job to them.

If the site can support the menu that the client wants, then why down-sell your own menu?

Some things I just won't do. If there is an uncontrolled risk of FBI - or a chance the menu can't be sequenced and served at the same quality from start to finish - I'll suggest other options.

 
500 people in town $25 per person, 500 people 30 miles in the wilderness $50 per person...........Money talks...........there is nothing that can't be done, once you tell the customer the price, it's fun to watch the conditions get more normal..................
 

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