Pricing Catering

Joined Aug 6, 2016
Ok, So my family opened up a little restaurant using traditional recipes that have been passed down from previous generations. Our customer volume has been increasing considerably in the few years. We had just been asked about catering for an event so I wanted know how we would price it. 

They wanted us to just provide noodle soups in individual takeaway bowls. They wanted the soup in a pot so they could heat it up themselves. We would assemble the meals and they would serve it themselves. We were told that they needed 50 servings. A serving of the particular soup they wanted was $12.50. So in total it would be $625. I assume that you'd give them some sort of a discount in this situation, but I'm curious about how much.

I'd very much appreciate some insight on how to appropriately price catering jobs.
Joined Jan 31, 2012
Welcome to cheftalk Kitty, and your little bird too. :)

Why would you give them a discount?
You could, but do you feel you need to?
You do have some extra effort and time involved
in prepping for transport, getting it there, setting it
up for them, a few other things.
On the other hand, at 12 and a half per person for soup
your product seems already priced for a decent profit.
Your price might be close to fine as it is, since this is
essentially a pack-n-drop. Also depends how far away
and other factors. Youll just have to sit down and work
with your own numbers a little. With catering, it always
come down to that.
Joined Feb 8, 2009
I agree with Meezenplaz. I figure you are putting in other ingredients than noodles. Do the bowl have to be refrigerated until service ? and I know the broth needs to be hotter than heck. Do they need hot sauce or other condiments for the soup. As far as the discount  I'll leave you with this "Good good ain't cheep and cheep food ain't good" $12.50 is fine........Welcome to Cheftalk............ChefBill
Joined Aug 6, 2016
Thank you so much for your responses. We offered a $50 discount, because we are happy to share the recipes that have been kept and developed in our family for generations. But the customer refused unless we dropped the price (from the original price of $625) to $500. Since it takes a minimum of 12 hours for the broath alone, we decline and got an earful of not so kind words.

Its good to hear that we weren't being ridiculous.
Joined Jan 31, 2012
Kitty Im glad to hear you stood your ground and
refused to be taken advantage of. That can be hard to do at first,
the tendency is to give in to get the client. But you know your
product, and the time involved, so look in the mirror and tell
yourself you did right. Unfortunately the world of catering is
replete with propects who want something for nothing, or expect
you to bend backwards to accomodate THEIR too-low budget, and
be grateful for their business. So this is not the last time youll
encounter this. Establish your policies now, and stick with them!

Joined Sep 8, 2016
Hello everyone. A friend wants me to cater a wedding for 350 people. The menu is a summer salad, garlic herb roasted chicken breast with a white wine reduction, fresh green beans, and mashed potatoes. How much food will I need and how much per person should should I charge? Is there a formula I could use always that would help me come with proper pricing and food amounts? Help me please
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