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BBQchef33
03-30-2009, 01:10 PM
I was asked to cook at a graduation party.

They will supply all the foods, the sides, the service, etc..

I show up and cook the meats on the pits. They want "The BBQ Show'. Stickburner, Clanging steel, Trailer, Trophies, etc..

briskets, butts, chicken, ribs for 150, plus burgers and dogs.

they want it to go on all day. 1PM to 8PM.

What would a decent fee be for "personal chef".

The Anchorman
03-30-2009, 01:15 PM
$500 or if they can't afford it $50 an hour CASH.

big brother smoke
03-30-2009, 01:16 PM
$50 per hour is minimal for me to do this plus fuel and prep stuff. You are increasing your liability by letting them provide the meat though.

I was asked to do one of these and I charged a flat fee of $500. I did not get the job though.

ASUBBQ
03-30-2009, 02:09 PM
$50.00 hr (8 hr min) plus expenses, truck fuel, wood, charcoal, rags, pit cleaning, etc.

oceanpigassassins
03-30-2009, 02:16 PM
Are you cooking for seven hours plus your set up time. Also the pork and brisket are you going to pre cook

drbbq
03-30-2009, 02:38 PM
Realistically it's three days work with prep, moving in and out, cooking and cleanup. So what would you expect to earn for three days work?
I wouldn't let them get the meat because it's unlikely they'll get exactly what you want and when you want it. Typically people do that because they're looking to save money. I'd offer the meat at cost but charge three days pay. I doubt they'll pay it.

smokinit
03-30-2009, 02:51 PM
Realistically it's three days work with prep, moving in and out, cooking and cleanup. So what would you expect to earn for three days work?
I wouldn't let them get the meat because it's unlikely they'll get exactly what you want and when you want it. Typically people do that because they're looking to save money. I'd offer the meat at cost but charge three days pay. I doubt they'll pay it.


If I am showing up on site with all my equipment it's going to be 100/hr

Bigdog
03-30-2009, 02:56 PM
For me, it would depend on how well I know the people.

Divemaster
03-30-2009, 03:22 PM
$50.00 hr (8 hr min) plus expenses, truck fuel, wood, charcoal, rags, pit cleaning, etc.
I think 8 hours is still to short... You've got loading, transporting, cooking, and then cleaning...
Are you cooking for seven hours plus your set up time. Also the pork and brisket are you going to pre cook
I'm assuming that you would need to at least partially cook the bigger cuts... That too adds time (and costs)

Realistically it's three days work with prep, moving in and out, cooking and cleanup. So what would you expect to earn for three days work?
I wouldn't let them get the meat because it's unlikely they'll get exactly what you want and when you want it. Typically people do that because they're looking to save money. I'd offer the meat at cost but charge three days pay. I doubt they'll pay it.
I agree with Ray to a point (I'm thinking two days to your three). I do agree that you don't want them to get the meat... You could end up with chuck roasts & pork loins when you ask for Brisket & Butts...

For me, it would depend on how well I know the people.
BD, hit the nail on the head.... Figure out what you should charge and then work backwords based on friendship....

oceanpigassassins
03-30-2009, 04:50 PM
I would say a thousand

Jeff Hughes
03-30-2009, 05:21 PM
I would say a thousand

I agree, you would be making at least 1500.00 if you(or at least if I) were catering it.

But, they may be good friends, and you are not really a caterer, you might go less, but a grand is fair...

PS, you will need a helper too...

Yakfishingfool
03-30-2009, 05:47 PM
For me it would be free, I don't have a certified kitchen or health department certification and therefore am not allowed to get paid. Now a tip jar....Hmmmmmm. I would get the meat and give them the receipts to pay. Scott

BBQchef33
03-30-2009, 08:47 PM
He is fully aware I am not a caterer.

Hes a business associate of my wife. Thats the extent of it. I told him I am not a caterer, and theres a liability involved. He asked if I would come as an 'invited guest and help do the cooking' wink wink. He just wants a 'real BBQ' guy and not someone flipping burgers.

They are buying all the sides and will supply servers/helpers.

He(Husband) is coming with me to resturant depot to purchase all meats supplies. So I will be picking the stuff out.

I will cook butts and briskets the night before. Chicken and ribs to be done on site.

He suggested that he and his brother(they both want to learn BBQ stuff) be involved in the cooking too, since I am only 'helping'. He said he can do the work and I can be the consultant. :)

I told him $1500 plus fuel, rubs, sauces, supplies. 2 days work, 8 hours on site/2 people. Me and a team mate)

He didn't flinch and wants to sit down to work on the full menu. I'll take that for a weekends work.

I think I need MOAB back. ;)

Bigdog
03-30-2009, 08:57 PM
I think I need MOAB back. ;)

Rat Bastaige. :-P

bbqbull
03-30-2009, 09:03 PM
Phil, I hope you have some type of caterers insurance policy.

I dont/wont and flat arse refuse to cook off site of my own property without it.

Turn down work all the time and thats ok.

If I cook the food on my own property and deliver it to another site Im covered under my home owners policy.

BBQchef33
03-30-2009, 09:15 PM
Phil, I hope you have some type of caterers insurance policy.

I dont/wont and flat arse refuse to cook off site of my own property without it.

Turn down work all the time and thats ok.

If I cook the food on my own property and deliver it to another site Im covered under my home owners policy.


You're right, and I know that.

This guy has worked with sharon for years and she thinks feels hes on the up & up.. Talking to him, and expaining my liabilities, he said just come and show me what to do.

The plan would be to pull my trailer right into his yard, unload the cooker, put on the show.

I usually turn these things down just for the reasons u mentioned. Think I'm going to look into the BoH stuff for 'personal chef' type things.

Bigdog
03-30-2009, 09:27 PM
It sounds to me that he is hiring you as a consultant then.

StrikeEagle
03-31-2009, 01:06 AM
Sorry I missed this one yesterday as it's RIGHT up my alley. I have run a personal chef service in CA for the past three years.

First off, unless the laws in NY are far different from CA, which may or may not be the case, your homeowners insurance will NOT cover you in ANY form of food service liability. I would get it IN WRITING from your insurance if they tell you otherwise. Homeowners insurance is just that, for a home owner. Coverage of ANY sort of commercial enterprise (i.e. you getting paid for work output) is strictly NOT covered.

Personal chef insurance is NOT all that expensive. I have a $2M/$4M liability policy for my personal chef business and pay less than $500 per year. Note that this type of coverage (PC insurance) is VERY specialized, and 99% of agents have NO IDEA how to cover a PC or write a policy that will even begin to cover this type of business for under $2500 per year. (And, even then, when all is said and done, you and your business may still not be covered correctly.)

Secondly, again, based on the Health and Safety laws in CA, which are NOT dis-similar to most states with which I am familiar, cooking in ANY not state inspected kitchen for delivery to an off site event is STRICTLY FORBIDDEN. Almost all states require that food prep be done either on the site of the event, or in some sort of state inspected commercial kitchen environment. You can get by with cooking in your outdoor smoker, or BBQ equipment, but all of your prep work must be done either at the site of the event (following HD regulations), or in a commercial facility. Again, in most states, you CAN prep in a commercial facility, transport the food to the event site for cooking on your equipment, and then do the food service work at the site of the event. An example of this would be prepping your butts, chicken, and ribs with rub etc. would be done in a commercial kitchen. You could then refrigerate the prepared product in refrigerators or in ice chests with thermometers to confirm the internal temps of the coolers. The product could then be transported in the coolers to the site of the event, and cooked on site. Once cooked, the food can be processed and served on site, and you are still legal. Of course all along the way, you are required to adhere to the HD requirements in place for the jurisdiction in which you are working.

To answer your original question as to how much to charge, I would generally charge somewhere from $1700-$2500 plus the actual cost of food and supplies for this sort of event. (I give each client a "not to exceed" budget estimate for the cost of food and supplies, and I guarantee that rate. The client gets the actual receipts, so they know I'm not skimming them on those dollars. Fact is, 99% of the time, I come in under budget on the cost of food and supplies.) For that fee, I own the responsibility for shopping and getting all of the food to the event (liability requirement for my insurance), and having it all cooked, prepared and ready for service. I clean up and deal with the food related trash at the end of the event as well. Tables, service equipment, dishes and silverware are all at an additional charge. If the client wants actual table service (i.e. with wait staff) that also is an additional charge. For 150 people, I normally will use 1-2 additional people besides myself, and that staffing IS included in the base price quoted above. (again, my insurance requires these people to be on my 'staff'.) Oh, and just for reference, that price is NOT considered to be high for this sort of service. And, yes, I get this sort of business on a regular basis, though I admit that events of this size are NOT in my 'sweet spot'. (I generally specialize, by choice, in events for fewer than 50 people.)

I'd be happy to address any questions you may still have. I will always be up front that what I know to be true will be from the rules and laws I have to follow in California. I may, or may not, know what the rules and laws of other states, and will freely speak to that whenever I address a question. (If I KNOW the law in your state, I will tell you. If not, I'll tell you that, too.) As a member of a national professional chefs association, I have access to the practical experience and knowledge of my peer personal chefs from all over the country. So, often times I can ask them to share with me the challenges they deal with, and what their rules and laws may be.

Hope this helps.

timzcardz
03-31-2009, 06:28 AM
You're right, and I know that.

This guy has worked with sharon for years and she thinks feels hes on the up & up.. Talking to him, and expaining my liabilities, he said just come and show me what to do.

The plan would be to pull my trailer right into his yard, unload the cooker, put on the show.

I usually turn these things down just for the reasons u mentioned. Think I'm going to look into the BoH stuff for 'personal chef' type things.

Phil, screw the personal chef stuff. Write up an equipment rental agreement, and make sure that you get a written invitation to the party, addressed to you, so that you are officially there as a guest. Your equipment, your advice, his work, your peace of mind.

I would run this by a lawyer though ... if you happen to know one!

FatBoyz
03-31-2009, 06:38 AM
as much as i hate to say this i agree with ray the last 150 person cook i did i got $2300 for it you have your time involed... plus all the time you took to lern to do it! you have prep rub cutting triming pullin. dont scimp on your price... not to mention thay always say one thing and crap comes up and it becomes another!

Jacked UP BBQ
03-31-2009, 08:37 AM
Aren't there any friends of yours in the area that have catering insurance and a company and you can do it under their name??? Just to cover your arse.

BBQchef33
03-31-2009, 10:34 AM
As usual, the headache and liability involved has me second guessing.

Strikeagle, great info.. thank you. It opens ones eyes to the details.. Even with any precautions and promises of 'informal'.... when that one guest gets a belly ache and blames the "pink, undercooked pork" (that was cooked for 16 hours and was 200*), its all said and done with and I'm the one on the hook.

Im going to look into the Personal Chef insurance. The certified kitchen is not a problem, i have access to several of those and I was planning on having my trailer certified. (all it needs is a hand sink).

thanks for the ideas.. wow, sure am glad I found this place.. :)

Jacked UP BBQ
03-31-2009, 10:46 AM
Call Steve Raab from Fat Angel, he is an insurance broker and sells me my insurance for catering - 1-646-823-3247.

ZBQ
03-31-2009, 11:11 AM
thanks for the ideas.. wow, sure am glad I found this place.. :)


Now that's some funny chit!:lol::lol:



Good info from Strike Eagle.

The HD strangles so many good things before they even get out of the gate, it's
a wonder anyone ever gets a food service business off the ground.

One thing I found out about working with the HD and getting Serv Safe certified is
that food safety is about 5% of the subject matter........the other 95% is nothing more than liability issues.

FatBoyz
03-31-2009, 11:25 AM
I hate to say this but Dive had me get a million doller rider on my inshurance and i am starting the corp pappers this week... i am not going to lose everthink i oun for someones party.... and i know well hes a friend of mine. Big deal his friends art your friends and thay will sue you { i know i cant spell sue right sorry }

ASUBBQ
03-31-2009, 06:48 PM
I think 8 hours is still to short... You've got loading, transporting, cooking, and then cleaning...

I'm assuming that you would need to at least partially cook the bigger cuts... That too adds time (and costs)


I agree with Ray to a point (I'm thinking two days to your three). I do agree that you don't want them to get the meat... You could end up with chuck roasts & pork loins when you ask for Brisket & Butts...


BD, hit the nail on the head.... Figure out what you should charge and then work backwords based on friendship....

I suggested 8 hrs as the minimum, I expect he would charge for as many hours as he works

Yakfishingfool
03-31-2009, 08:46 PM
Phil there may be a one day thingy you can get from the health department. I have only cooked for friends as a guest of their party. Getting certified up here, on water wells is very very expensive. Scott

leanza
03-31-2009, 10:09 PM
Go , do the show and have a good time.

Divemaster
04-01-2009, 08:00 AM
I think 8 hours is still to short... You've got loading, transporting, cooking, and then cleaning...

I suggested 8 hrs as the minimum, I expect he would charge for as many hours as he works
I understand that, but based on the conversation at the time he was using a flat rate...

A number of my customers want a flat rate... How much, I'll write you a check kind of thing... There are others that want to go hourly plus expenses... For them I do more of a Time and Materials not to exceed thing...

StrikeEagle
04-01-2009, 04:57 PM
....
A number of my customers want a flat rate... How much, I'll write you a check kind of thing... There are others that want to go hourly plus expenses... For them I do more of a Time and Materials not to exceed thing...

IME most clients want flat rate, or at least a firm estimate of what an event is going to cost. "Time and materials" billing does not give that sort of firm estimate.

I use a "fee plus" formula for billing. I give the client a firm cost for my services, and a "not to exceed" estimate on the cost of food. With 'Fee Plus' the client knows exactly how much they are paying for my services. They retain the freedom to choose the quality of menu that fits their tastes and needs. And, they can choose to upgrade the menu quality without worry about me skimping on quality in other areas to fit a preset budget. Many clients ASSUME that a 'catering service' will use a certain quality of ingredient. (Most people falsely seem to presume that a catered affair will use average quality ingredients, but not the best available.) Yet, that same client may want to ensure use a certain grade of food for their event. "Fee Plus" lets that happen without any concern that there's some sort of overpayment going on since the client gets the actual grocery bill, so they KNOW how much that Prime Beef REALLY cost.

Some Personal Chefs use an all inclusive formula for their pricing, but I don't like that method. Here's why I don't. With fixed pricing, I'm stuck with the original estimate. If there is a market shift in actual food costs, I have to find a way to adjust my costs elsewhere to keep within budget, or I end up eating the additional cost. (Often, I book events MONTHS in advance, so fluctuating ingredient prices can bite me in this way.) IMHO this is not fair to the client or to me. I would much rather my client be assured of the quality they are getting, without concern that I'm cutting corners on food quality just to stay in budget.

One last note on the two billing systems. Fee Plus service is just that; a SERVICE. And, is treated as such by the tax laws in most states. As a service company, in CA, I do NOT have to charge sales tax on the price of my service to the client. They ONLY pay tax on the grocery items that would normally be taxable in my state. The same can NOT be said for the all inclusive billing option. Since there is no way to separate out the service cost vs. the cost of food and materials, legally tax must be charged for the ENTIRE FEE billed in an all inclusive system. In my county of CA, that would cost the client an additional $200-$300 for the event we've been discussing in this thread, and no one gets any benefit from those additional dollars paid.

My goal is it give my prospects and clients the best service and food available at the best dollar value possible. For me, accurate estimates and billing clarity are, in fact, part of providing the highest quality service available.

BBQchef33
04-01-2009, 07:09 PM
ok.. step one, I have my insurance guy looking into personal chef insurance. First quote I got was $590 for 1,000,000 liability and he is writing up a policy. thanks strikeagle!

Now I check Boh to get my trailer certified. Going down next week during spring break. does anyone know if a portable handwash sink would fit the bill for the forth sinlk? or does it have to be mounted? I already have the SS 3 bay, and thats all Im missing.

big brother smoke
04-01-2009, 07:22 PM
ok.. step one, I have my insurance guy looking into personal chef insurance. First quote I got was $590 for 1,000,000 liability and he is writing up a policy. thanks strikeagle!

Now I check Boh to get my trailer certified. Going down next week during spring break. does anyone know if a portable handwash sink would fit the bill for the forth sinlk? or does it have to be mounted? I already have the SS 3 bay, and thats all Im missing.

Phil,

I am sure that answer will be different county to county. Here you could get a temporary certification. Make a call to the BOH!

StrikeEagle
04-01-2009, 11:55 PM
Oh Mighty Grand PooBah,

PM me an e-mail and I'll send you some very specific information and coverage questions you want to make SURE you get addressed with your PC insurance.

Anyone else wanting the same info can feel free to contact me as well.

To address the hand wash sink question. It's going to depend on the local HD rules in place where you are going to be. In most CA jurisdictions, you'd be fine with a portable hand wash set up. However, there are at least a couple of counties that would likely give you grief about it, given that you have mounted facilities for everything else. Metro counties in CA just seem to like to be PITAs to everyone.

Chuckwagonbbqco
04-02-2009, 03:28 AM
Some rural counties in Calif can be a PITA also. State laws governed by counties can be a real experience from one county to the next.

Divemaster
04-02-2009, 08:22 AM
First let me thank you for the education. While I'm doing this as a part time gig, the experiance of others is critical to avoid the many pit-falls that are out there. Thank you again...

My goal is it give my prospects and clients the best service and food available at the best dollar value possible. For me, accurate estimates and billing clarity are, in fact, part of providing the highest quality service available.

I agree, in fact I have burned myself on price rather than give sub-par food. I, personally, think that the hardest part is the estimating (both food and cost) especially as far out as you do.

IME most clients want flat rate, or at least a firm estimate of what an event is going to cost. "Time and materials" billing does not give that sort of firm estimate.

I use a "fee plus" formula for billing. I give the client a firm cost for my services, and a "not to exceed" estimate on the cost of food. With 'Fee Plus' the client knows exactly how much they are paying for my services. They retain the freedom to choose the quality of menu that fits their tastes and needs. And, they can choose to upgrade the menu quality without worry about me skimping on quality in other areas to fit a preset budget. Many clients ASSUME that a 'catering service' will use a certain quality of ingredient. (Most people falsely seem to presume that a catered affair will use average quality ingredients, but not the best available.) Yet, that same client may want to ensure use a certain grade of food for their event. "Fee Plus" lets that happen without any concern that there's some sort of overpayment going on since the client gets the actual grocery bill, so they KNOW how much that Prime Beef REALLY cost.

I too break out the quanties of each food item on my estimates. I've found that this gives my clients a chance to change any ratios of items that they have requested. It is then that I can come up not only with a per-person rate, but also a cost on each item based on the estimated quantity.

I also agree that an educated customer is often more understanding when it comes to costs. Maybe I'm unique, but if a customer has misgivings over a price, I like to break it down and explain it all to them. I had one customer that didn't understand how long it took to cook brisket... I invited him over for a cook I was doing for my neighboor; he was there from trimming to slicing... Best comment I got was "we're not paying you enough":eek: I told him next time I would make up the difference... I since had 3 gigs with his family.

Some Personal Chefs use an all inclusive formula for their pricing, but I don't like that method. Here's why I don't. With fixed pricing, I'm stuck with the original estimate. If there is a market shift in actual food costs, I have to find a way to adjust my costs elsewhere to keep within budget, or I end up eating the additional cost. (Often, I book events MONTHS in advance, so fluctuating ingredient prices can bite me in this way.) IMHO this is not fair to the client or to me. I would much rather my client be assured of the quality they are getting, without concern that I'm cutting corners on food quality just to stay in budget.

Again, I like your idea on estimating and billing on a 'Fee Plus' basis.


One last note on the two billing systems. Fee Plus service is just that; a SERVICE. And, is treated as such by the tax laws in most states. As a service company, in CA, I do NOT have to charge sales tax on the price of my service to the client. They ONLY pay tax on the grocery items that would normally be taxable in my state. The same can NOT be said for the all inclusive billing option. Since there is no way to separate out the service cost vs. the cost of food and materials, legally tax must be charged for the ENTIRE FEE billed in an all inclusive system. In my county of CA, that would cost the client an additional $200-$300 for the event we've been discussing in this thread, and no one gets any benefit from those additional dollars paid.

I can see your point on the taxes.. I like the way you look out for your customers!

Desert Dweller
04-04-2009, 10:26 AM
If I cook the food on my own property and deliver it to another site Im covered under my home owners policy.

Thanks for that little bit there Bull. That is how I have been doing my under the table gigs, cooking at home and delivering. I need to see if my Homeowner's policy covers me on that...

BBQchef33
04-04-2009, 10:44 AM
Well, i got the policy draft from my insurance guy and said thanks but no thanks. Strike eagle sent me some great info, of more enlightenment and I will be going to the proper source to get the PC insurance. The policy draft i got was more towards a caterer that did most stuff offsite and delivered the product to the site. it was missing alot of liability coverage details of working at the customers site.

But as far as this job goes, what I did NOT realize is that there is another graduation party going on that weekend.

Its my daughters. Shes graduating too. Oops. :redface:

It just came up while we were discussing the job, so she hasn't decided what or when her party is, but that may be a show stopper.

timzcardz
04-04-2009, 12:34 PM
But as far as this job goes, what I did NOT realize is that there is another graduation party going on that weekend.

Its my daughters. Shes graduating too. Oops. :redface:

It just came up while we were discussing the job, so she hasn't decided what or when her party is, but that may be a show stopper.

With all due respect, you sir, are a dumb arse! :biggrin:

txschutte
04-04-2009, 03:14 PM
Dumb arse? HA! He'd been called worse if he had forgotten altogether.

StrikeEagle
04-04-2009, 04:03 PM
Thanks for that little bit there Bull. That is how I have been doing my under the table gigs, cooking at home and delivering. I need to see if my Homeowner's policy covers me on that...

Bo, I can all but guarantee you that your homeowners policy does NOT cover you on this. Same goes for Bull.

Unless you have it in WRITING, don't risk it. In addition to not being covered, you'll be in violation of Health Code. I know that there is NOT a single state that allows someone to cook in an un-inspected home kitchen for delivery to a remote site. And, let me tell you, once you've broken a major rule like that, you can be assured that the HD will become your shadow for quite some time.

BBQchef33
04-04-2009, 08:05 PM
in my defense,.. i was not aware of any graduation dates until last night when discussing parties for the summer.. its going to be my 50th birthaday, and my daughters 18th birthday a week apart and we may have one big arse bash.. it was in THAT conversation, graduation came up too.. So at time of booking.. i wasn't being a dumb ass...

not to say that it would be out of the ordinary if I was. ;)

MilitantSquatter
04-04-2009, 08:30 PM
in my defense,.. i was not aware of any graduation dates until last night when discussing parties for the summer.. its going to be my 50th birthaday, and my daughters 18th birthday a week apart and we may have one big arse bash.. it was in THAT conversation, graduation came up too.. So at time of booking.. i wasn't being a dumb ass...

not to say that it would be out of the ordinary if I was. ;)

If you need a "Personal Chef" for that dual bash, I will make myself available to give to piece of mind and to enjoy the day............................
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for $5K :biggrin: :icon_blush:

txschutte
04-04-2009, 08:41 PM
I'd do it for $4999, and a plane ticket.

txschutte
04-04-2009, 08:42 PM
$4950 and a reenactment of the DP "farking FWOOOSH". Last offer.

txschutte
04-04-2009, 08:45 PM
On a more serious note, though. Isn't your trailer on a policy umbrella of your HO policy? Could you "rent" your equipment to this cat?

BBQchef33
04-04-2009, 10:49 PM
the trailers is on my car insurance policy... and only covered for vehicle type stuff.

and vinny.. thanks for the offer.. but I can order from Famous Daves same as you would.

:tongue:

Coz
04-04-2009, 10:56 PM
and vinny.. thanks for the offer.. but I can order from Famous Daves same as you would.

:)[/quote]


Now that is FARKIN HARSH

txschutte
04-05-2009, 08:52 AM
How do you think Phil gets those spares to fall off the bone??

BBQchef33
04-05-2009, 09:37 AM
How do you think Phil gets those spares to fall off the bone??


Easy.... I just use YOUR brisket technique.... and overcook it. :mrgreen:

Michael in PA
04-05-2009, 10:51 PM
Hey - no flame wars please....

Divemaster
04-06-2009, 11:26 AM
Easy.... I just use YOUR brisket technique.... and overcook it. :mrgreen:
In the bathroom??????