Professional Advice Needed

Joined Jul 21, 2016
Good Morning, 

My name is Winston & I have started my own catering company. I am in the process of developing a website to gain a clients. My only issue is how to price my menu, I do not want to over charge anyone and get any business. I would to be able to get fairly paid for my talents without having to feel cheated.  Thank you in advance for any suggestion I receive.


Founder of
Staff member
Joined Oct 5, 2001
Pricing can be one of the most difficult aspects of catering it really is the make or break. I would like to ask you how much experience do you have in catering? Have you worked for a professional caterer? Working for a profitable caterer for a year and learning how they price their menus might be the best option for you. I personally have done a fair amount of catering both high volume and for smaller intimate parties. One of the biggest mistakes I made was under pricing my product so I could get the business. Start out with the basics and have a solid understanding of how much your product costs you to make. Make sure you factor in your time and labor and over head costs (electricity, gas, water etc). Then figure out what your profit margin should be and go from there. Earn money on the products you can but be willing to break even on others so you can offer value and make a profit. It might be useful if you post a sample menu and your pricing. 
Joined Jul 21, 2016
I have been in the industry for about 12 years. I have worked for several places such as Olive garden, Le pen Qutiden, and apple bee's. They taught me the basic ideas on how to set up a kitchen and teamwork,I was moved up within those companies to a trainer based on what i was able to grasp. Now I work under an executive Chef at Iona College who is educating me on the business sense. I have been able to participate in large scale events that have required days of preparation in advice and I honestly love it. I have grown more within the past two years that i been there. My supervisor also has been educating me on the ideas of what i need to do for plating and question to ask for preparing for an event. I have created a menu that varies on what I know how to make and can do and learn how to and allow it to not only look good, but taste good as well. I have been in business for about 6 months as an independent and I have been getting gigs that have turned out great. I did a graduation for a Jr high school for 300 people and they were amazed at my work. I have been looking around different sites so that I can get somewhat of a formula for my fees. I can email you a copy of the menu so that I can be guided in the right direction.
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Its complicated.....

First things first, what are your costs for food, and what are your costs for overhead?  Next, figure out what you need to earn on a daily basis to cover those costs and a basic salary for yourself.

Once you know that, you have a starting point.

Next, what are your competitors charging?

If your product is unique, and something that no one is doing, you can charge what you want. 

If it isn't,  you will have to be prepared for the client comparing your prices to the competitor's. 

It IS complicated, and somewhere there will be a "sweet spot", but its going to take a bit of time and a lot of doing to get there. 
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