View Full Version : Cook for hire prices

01-26-2014, 08:31 PM
So I am wondering what others charge to serve as a cook for hire. I have someone wanting me to cook for 175 at a wedding this fall and I really don't know what to charge. They want to buy the meat and provide all the sides. I would have 12-14 hours invested into this along with a partner and we would help serve and clean up as part of those hours. Remember I am in Northern California so prices are a bit higher than other places. Your thoughts please...

01-26-2014, 09:52 PM
The price I would charge has many things built into the price like taxes, insurance, equipment labor, advertising, business license, etc. I take all of these costs and then decide what my time is worth and ultimately that is the the charges will total. So basically if your are like a personal chef I think you should simply decide what 14 hour of your time is worth and charge accordingly. Just throwing this out there maybe $35-$50 an hour...

01-26-2014, 10:06 PM
The uncivil answer:
175 person wedding and you are asking this question? You need to really think if you are up for this gig and whether this is a good idea. That is a lot of risk, and an experienced caterer would have problems, and judging by the question, you are not an experienced caterer.

Now that I am done being an asshat...I have these questions...

1. Just two people, are you only cooking the meat, or all of the sides as well? There is no way I can see two people doing setup, cleanup, cooking of meats and sides at a single day event. If you have a few days to prepare, I can see it. But, in a single day, that is going to be flying.

2. Are you going to be in control of serving and prep, as well as holding? I ask, because each of those tasks takes time, and time means you are going to be working. If you have to also do setup and cleanup, what are your commitments during the wedding and cook, as those times will need to be spent with the meat.

3. Do you have a cooker that can handle 350 pounds of meat? Renting? Borrowing? That is a serious consideration, you aren't going to get it done with half a dozen UDS cookers.

4. What are you cooking? I would charge less for something like pulled pork, more for something like chicken and ribs as each requires a different amount of labor to cook.

5. Personally, I would not do it, and take money from a catering business, unless I was either a.) a real good friend of the groom or bride, or b.) it was a caterer hiring me just to cook the meat. If that was the case, my price would be around $45 to $50 an hour.

01-26-2014, 11:56 PM
Thanks guys, those are the prices I had in mind as well. FYI I am licensed and insured and I have a cooker that can handle this job no problem. I have done this size and bigger. The only reason I asked was because I have never just cooked and had the clients provide everything. I will still be in control of the meat from the butcher just not paying for it and getting any markup. Tri-tip and chicken are what I will be doing no sides.