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View Full Version : What are you charging for Brisket?


cynfulsmokersbbq
09-18-2012, 02:28 PM
Just curious what others are charging for brisket at vending events and caterings? I usually cater using a pre-set per plate price that depends on the number of meats and sides ordered.

Are you raising prices, lowering the amount served on a bun? Changing nothing at all?

I'm not seeing a lot of profit in Brisket right now, and I'm afraid it is due to get worse.

jbrink01
09-18-2012, 03:51 PM
$12 / #, assumes 4 servings per#.

HandsomeSwede
09-18-2012, 04:36 PM
Unless you're in Texas you'll never make enough money on your brisket. Cost is too high and the yield from whole packers is too much of a crapshoot in terms of yield to apply any normal pricing formula.

$12/lb. is giving it away - you're a saint jbrink1! I have been doing $16/lb. and I still have days where it doesn't work out on the profit side as I would like.

bosshawgs
09-18-2012, 05:40 PM
i sell brisket on a roll with some cold slaw for 7 bucks.i slice brisket real thin makes a nice sandwich

HBMTN
09-18-2012, 06:22 PM
I'm getting $6 a sammie, don't have many that want it by the lb. I am not feeling like there is much profit in brisket or ribs in my area.

bosshawgs
09-18-2012, 07:03 PM
how much are you guys paying for your brisket

CarolinaQue
09-18-2012, 07:28 PM
how much are you guys paying for your brisket


That's what I'm trying to figure out? At $3.19/lb for CAB Choice, a 10 lber cost me $31.90. At a 40% loss due to moisture, I get about a 6 lb yield of meat. That means that at $12/lb, you have $72 - the $32 for the raw product = $40 roughly. Take away another 20% for incidentals like fuel, rub and such and you're still left with $32. A pretty decent (about 75% by my calculations) profit IMO not counting your time. Or did I miss some thing? These are strictly rough #'s BTW. Just throwing it out there.

HandsomeSwede
09-18-2012, 09:17 PM
If you're not counting your time you're not doing yourself justice. And fuel to get there and back, and charcoal, smoke wood, utensils, napkins, sauce, foil, utility costs for refrigeration and hot holding, venue or organizer costs, sales tax and ...

CarolinaQue
09-19-2012, 04:13 AM
It's about doing quantity at that point though, isn't it? Are you going to make much profit off of one? Not likely, but you will off of several. If you charged an hourly rate just for the time it takes you to cook a brisket, no one would be able to afford it. The general rule of 3 X's your total cost for a gig should leave plenty of margin for profit. If it's a fair or other public type event, you have to charge per plate or lb and hope you sell it all to make your money back and then some.

CarolinaQue
09-19-2012, 06:34 AM
That's what I'm trying to figure out? At $3.19/lb for CAB Choice, a 10 lber cost me $31.90. At a 40% loss due to moisture, I get about a 6 lb yield of meat. That means that at $12/lb, you have $72 - the $32 for the raw product = $40 roughly. Take away another 20% for incidentals like fuel, rub and such and you're still left with $32. A pretty decent (about 75% by my calculations) profit IMO not counting your time. Or did I miss some thing? These are strictly rough #'s BTW. Just throwing it out there.

The part in red is all of that other stuff you were refering.

A couple of questions though...Are we talking about a catered, private event or a public event like a fair or such? Two different events that require two different price lists. Are you charging enough comparatively based on your expenses and what are you're expectations of a "fair" price for all of the factors involved? Are you looking at this from an hourly rate stand point or an over all price for product stand point?

HBMTN
09-19-2012, 07:03 AM
That's what I'm trying to figure out? At $3.19/lb for CAB Choice, a 10 lber cost me $31.90. At a 40% loss due to moisture, I get about a 6 lb yield of meat. That means that at $12/lb, you have $72 - the $32 for the raw product = $40 roughly. Take away another 20% for incidentals like fuel, rub and such and you're still left with $32. A pretty decent (about 75% by my calculations) profit IMO not counting your time. Or did I miss some thing? These are strictly rough #'s BTW. Just throwing it out there.


You are probbly right if you are in a area that you will sell a lot of brisket. Here in Virginia I will sell 24 butts to 1 brisket. My cost in a cooked lb is $5.72 if I use the cost X3 that has me selling at about $17.25lb.

I guess what I was saying in my first comment is that about the only big seller I have that I can do cost X 3 is pork because I sure can't do it with brisket and ribs.

CarolinaQue
09-19-2012, 07:46 AM
You are probbly right if you are in a area that you will sell a lot of brisket. Here in Virginia I will sell 24 butts to 1 brisket. My cost in a cooked lb is $5.72 if I use the cost X3 that has me selling at about $17.25lb.

I guess what I was saying in my first comment is that about the only big seller I have that I can do cost X 3 is pork because I sure can't do it with brisket and ribs.

I agree with you. I lived in Virginia before being transfered in Maine and I fully understand that pork is king there. I'm not saying that the end all be all formula is the X 3 approach and thing will have to be adjusted according to your market. However, $10 a lb is not out of the question and still gives you almost a %100 profit not counting your time, which is subjective to how you view it.

I personally don't look at the time it takes me to cook as an hourly rate approach. I look at it as an over all cost of raw product and charge accordingly and accept that it's not a short process and it's just part of the reality of choosing to take on a gig. I think that if we charged for every hour of time, it would be a very unreasonable and unrealistic expectation.

They way I see it, if it costs $500 in raw product (no matter what the protein), that's every thing included...food, plates, foil, cutlery, all incidentals including gas and taxes, charging $1500 for the event is what's paying for my time. And many events that have 100 people, it takes 3 or so days between purchasing all said incidentals, setting up, cooking and cleaning every thing up. Unless you have help and then you have to weigh the help to pay out ratio that cut's into your profit.

So, in reality, if you do a gig your self, that hypothetical $1,000 is split by 3 or however many days it takes to complete the full cycle. I'd say $330 a day, hypothetically, isn't all that shaby.

Granted, selling per/lb or per rack is different, and you may have to cut into that profit of that specific meat a little to satisfy clientel for the sake of keeping a positive light on you just by making it available. Kind of the "you have to spend money to make money" saying goes. It may be a smaller profit margin looking at it in black and white, but it may be benificial in the big picture by bringing in more customers.

big514
09-19-2012, 07:47 AM
Wow that sounds expencive but then again I am just starting out and not to sure what to charge I have done some catering and have had good feed back I was charging around 12 dollars a plate and that included sides Now that I think about it I guess that there is quite abit to take in and charge for. Just like you all were talking about.

CarolinaQue
09-19-2012, 07:58 AM
Wow that sounds expencive but then again I am just starting out and not to sure what to charge I have done some catering and have had good feed back I was charging around 12 dollars a plate and that included sides


How many and what types of meats and sides is this $12 plate? What is the cost to you per plate for raw product? You may be right in the ball park?

HandsomeSwede
09-19-2012, 08:18 AM
"They way I see it, if it costs $500 in raw product (no matter what the protein), that's every thing included...food, plates, foil, cutlery, all incidentals including gas and taxes, charging $1500 for the event is what's paying for my time."

Pretty arbritrary number, and to just make a sweeping statement that this is "all incidentals" doesn't really give an accurate picture. All sorts of things to consider: did you buy from Sam's or Rest Depot, if you did you're paying for a membership, equipment depreciation, travel costs (very few people, especially in the Northeast will have consistent business selling in their backyard every week or have events right around the corner), gas money spent driving to purchase product, insurance, water for washing, propane or whatever you use to heat water to wash; and again no one has even talked about Sales Tax - and the accountant you'll hire to do those taxes, and your LLC formation, routine trailer or truck maintenance, etc.

You're leaving too much out.

"you may have to cut into that profit of that specific meat a little to satisfy clientel for the sake of keeping a positive light on you just by making it available. Kind of the "you have to spend money to make money" saying goes. It may be a smaller profit margin looking at it in black and white, but it may be benificial in the big picture by bringing in more customers."

Already your formula starts to break down then if you're giving larger portions to please customers; but you're right - try charging somebody $6 for a 3-4 oz. portion of sliced brisket and see what kind of reaction you get, not that impressive on a plate.

So if you're giving larger portions to make it look good and bring in more people now you have to buy more raw product to feed those people and the initial numbers you cite are shot.

CarolinaQue
09-19-2012, 11:45 AM
"They way I see it, if it costs $500 in raw product (no matter what the protein), that's every thing included...food, plates, foil, cutlery, all incidentals including gas and taxes, charging $1500 for the event is what's paying for my time."

Re-read what's in red. That was a hypothetical # to show the "add every thing up + what ever % is necessary to cover all incidentals + raw product and X's it by 3 to get your # for to cover your time. You're right, you need to know many more details to get a solid #. I didn't see the need to cover every line item as I would venture to say that those #'s are different for every one and some one that knows their business and it's variable expenses should be able to adjust accordingly.

Pretty arbritrary number, and to just make a sweeping statement that this is "all incidentals" doesn't really give an accurate picture. All sorts of things to consider: did you buy from Sam's or Rest Depot, if you did you're paying for a membership, equipment depreciation, travel costs (very few people, especially in the Northeast will have consistent business selling in their backyard every week or have events right around the corner), gas money spent driving to purchase product, insurance, water for washing, propane or whatever you use to heat water to wash; and again no one has even talked about Sales Tax - and the accountant you'll hire to do those taxes, and your LLC formation, routine trailer or truck maintenance, etc.

You're leaving too much out.

"you may have to cut into that profit of that specific meat a little to satisfy clientel for the sake of keeping a positive light on you just by making it available. Kind of the "you have to spend money to make money" saying goes. It may be a smaller profit margin looking at it in black and white, but it may be benificial in the big picture by bringing in more customers."

Already your formula starts to break down then if you're giving larger portions to please customers; but you're right - try charging somebody $6 for a 3-4 oz. portion of sliced brisket and see what kind of reaction you get, not that impressive on a plate.

$6 for a 3-4oz brisket sandwich isn't unheard of really.

So if you're giving larger portions to make it look good and bring in more people now you have to buy more raw product to feed those people and the initial numbers you cite are shot.

Not trying to split hairs, just giving rough #'s to give an over all idea to help a fellow Brethren out. I think that there are many variables to this scenerio that factor in...mainly, the location. Beef costs less or more depending on where you are regionally. I was just sharing a way to help him figure out total expenses, see where he is, and adjust from there . Maybe he's charging to little? Maybe he's just right?

Bigmista
09-19-2012, 11:58 AM
$14/lb (Choice $2.49/lb), $6.25 for 5oz. sandwich. $8.25 for 8.oz sandwich.

Bbq Bubba
09-20-2012, 08:06 PM
$15.00/lb (choice $2.49/lb)

Make good brisket and they will come.

42BBQ
09-22-2012, 07:34 PM
$15.00/lb (choice $2.49/lb)

Make good brisket and they will come.

I agree with that. Ain't nobody vending brisket worth a dang around here...and pulled pork is seasoned with whatever sauce you have on hand. If I serve a good brisket and pork that actually has some smoke and rub on it. I think I can make a buck.

willbird
09-23-2012, 11:33 AM
Well just from the business side of things, many people just starting out do not have the FULL business expenses part refined down yet. You may be using your own vehicle to pull the cooker to the event, you may not have business insurance, may not have the permits/licenses full time business people do, etc, etc, etc.

They have started to add in some "prepared food license" over in Indiana that is really putting the hurt on some folks (Amish) that used to sell baked goods at the "farmers markets".

shaneholz
09-24-2012, 04:22 PM
$15.00/lb (choice $2.49/lb)

Make good brisket and they will come.

I agree with that. Ain't nobody vending brisket worth a dang around here...and pulled pork is seasoned with whatever sauce you have on hand. If I serve a good brisket and pork that actually has some smoke and rub on it. I think I can make a buck.
Where are you located?

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42BBQ
09-24-2012, 10:36 PM
Lancaster County PA. You can find passable eats but nothing like Texas style brisket sliced right before you eyes. A lot of places are doing pulled pork with little to no rub and just saucing the heck out of it. Nobody doing by the rack spares or Babybacks.

Some restaurants will do some of the above but nobody vending this way.

I think there is market for it to exploit.

shaneholz
09-25-2012, 07:47 AM
I was just wondering where you were located. We are doing all the above vending in Michigan but there isn't much money in ribs so we only sell them during "special" events.

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MattG
09-25-2012, 12:14 PM
I sell $6 sammies

42BBQ
09-25-2012, 03:31 PM
I sell $6 sammies

Are you getting 3 or 4 sammies out of a finished pound of brisket?