What would you have charged?

Joined Dec 13, 2010
I ran across this forum the other day, and it is a fantastic resource, especially for people like myself who live in the hinterland of the culinary world!

I just finished off a small off-site catering, and I was wondering what other people would have charged for the same service.

The details are:

- venue 10 mins away, two trips each way (I don't have a van, but a dry box in a pickup. All the food could have fit in one trip, if my shelves were ready!)

- kitchen available

- tableware supplied

- buffet style

- 16 adults, and 14 children, two over 10

- Traditional Christmas dinner





  -Mashed potatoes

  -Peas and Carrots

  -Fancy tossed salad

  -Rolls and butter

  -Apple pie with ice cream

I was responsible for setting up the buffet, breaking it down, washing all the dishes, and leaving the kitchen the way I found it.

Trying to figure out what to charge for catering, and what the market will bear is a bit of a trick!

Sharon, in BC
Joined Sep 18, 2008
Figure out your costs, i.e.
  • Food
  • Rentals
  • Overhead (licenses, permits, insurance,etc.)
  • Any labor help (I'd seriously consider 1 kitchen and 2 to man the buffet, but that is me)
then add what YOU want to earn, for me, that's a day's work, maybe a long day, so I'd probably charge close to $600 in my area, about $20/person PLUS all other expenses, which, I'm guessing, will add up to, hmm, say $900.00 for a total of $1,500 or right at $50/person, BUT I WOULD NOT BID OR QUOTE IN $/PERSON, I would bid/quote $1,500 all inclusive ($600 Fee plus costs ) (Prices are based on my GUESS and subject to actual prices!!!)
Joined Dec 9, 2010
I generally agree with Pete about assessing your 'fee' on top of costs, but I think his side labor is hi. Showing up with four of you to feed 30 people is overkill. You as lead, a  cook that will help with dishes and a server that will help hump the stuff in and out shoud do it. Not having to transport china, glassware etc is a big plus.  But to Pete's main point, do not fail to charge for YOUR time. It's the most valuable thing you have to sell and only you can determine its value.
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