Pricing for a Buffet Wedding

Joined Oct 17, 2017
Hi All,

I've been asked to cater a Wedding for 200 people and I'm trying to get some feedback to ensure I price this event out accurately. They have asked for it to be buffet style. The menu is as follows:

Appetizers (during the cocktail hour/this is for 1 hour)
Chicken Salad
Fruit Salad

Buffet Menu (Meal is for two hours)
Fried Chicken
Mac and Cheese
Potato Salad
Green Beans
Vegetable Medley
Sweet Tea

The event is for four hours in the same location as the wedding. I will need to hire staff members (I'm thinking I will bring about 10 for this day with it being in one location to help make the transition process a lot smoother). How would you price this event?
Joined Jan 11, 2018
Take whatever you spent on Food and multiple it by 3 and that is what you should charge for food.

Make sure you factor in Disposables, Rental, etc.

Figure out how many people you are going to need to help you and for how many hours. Figure your hourly rate and add that to the food and that is what you should charge.

Food cost $500 x 3= $1500
number of employees 10 x 6 hours x $12 an hour= $720

You should charge them around $2250
Joined Feb 8, 2009
I'm figuring this is in the South. $15 a head s/b ok there isn't all that much expense in the menu. You need to figure out if there needs to be a kids price and how many kids are attending. I'm not sure what your doing with the Chix salad and fruit salad. I think 10 people is two many to have at the function. You really only need to have set up and replenish for the foods. This doesn't take very many people for 200 people. Like Chef Araron said, don't forget the disposables and butter for the rolls. Make sure the palate are good quality to hold up to the weight of the foods your catering. You could also throw on a 15% tip and also check if you need to include tax.
Joined Jan 4, 2011
My suggestion would be to check out what any general "chicken" place such as "Browns Chicken" or "KFC" or even "Portillos" would charge for the same menu. If these places are not in your area ... find those that are. I've done weddings such as this and it's really hard to charge the same as they do. It's even harder to charge more ... unless you're really that much better. You pretty much got to undercut them to be of any value. Believe me ... it's hard.
Joined Jun 23, 2015
Again I quote:


COSTS = Labor (including your own, if applicable) + Food + Utilities + Rent + Licenses + Tax reserve + Insurance + any other costs of doing business, including interest, depreciation, and all the hidden costs.

PROFIT DESIRED is up to you, what return on your investment do you want?

Do you have a kitchen inspected by the health department?
Joined Feb 8, 2009
Selling a catering is an art. If I'm competing with KFC or any chain I don't even bid the party. When I sell a catering, I explain to the client, we are here to take care of all their concerns. It's up to us to give the clients guests more than they expected. The caterer becomes an extension of the host. If I don't have people walking up to me after a catered affair bragging about the food, then I haven't done my job. I need to serve a meal to impress the guests and make the host look good. The better the food the more compliments the host gets. The host doesn't even realize this until it happens. I explain this to my potential clients. I build up a trust that all will be taken care of. In my case if I just met their expectations I didn't do my job. I'm out to impress the client. I've had people call me and say "We need to feed them just put something out" I tell them I'm not interested in just putting something out. In other words, call me when you give a shit about the people your hosting......This isn't being cocky, it's just wanted to always do the best you can for your client and their guests.......ChefBillyB.....P.S. in your cases it may be, " Your Daughter only gets married once, Don't you want to serve your guests the best fried chicken in town" If the answer is no, your dealing with the wrong people.
Joined Jun 27, 2012
What are you basing staffing number on?
You mention everything will be at same hall.
Does this include the vows?
Who is responsible for turning the space over?
If she is working with a planner get with that person re timelines and who is doing what....rearranging and dressing the tables and what not.

If it is all on you be sure to visit and map your room for flow...even if you have worked there before every gig is different.

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