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BBQNUTT
05-27-2009, 03:48 PM
I've been asked to cater a friend's wedding next month. Pulled pork sammies, baked beans, tater salad, coleslaw, mac n cheese for 300 people. Everything homemade. After figureing my costs, I've come up with around $7 per per person as a charge. Sound reasonable? Too high, too low? This will be our biggest job yet. Till now our biggest was 120. Thanks for your help!

Bbq Bubba
05-27-2009, 06:09 PM
One meat and 4 sides for a WEDDING would go easily at 12-13 bucks per person!
Unless your just dropping the food off, ya gotta do it up nice for the happy couple!

Chuckwagonbbqco
05-27-2009, 07:23 PM
Since I have been BBQ Catering it seems I have a lot more friends. I have cheated myself out of money by being everyone's "Friend" I finally made out a price sheet and quote straight off of the price sheet---friends or not. I am not employed---I do not cater for fun. I cater to make a living, and my friend's realize this. I have enough experience--now I need money.

How big are the sandwiches going to be----on hamburger buns or on French Rolls?
If you have figured it out that you can make money at $7.00 you may have left something out when figuring cost. You have labor costs --food costs--transportation costs--fuel for BBQ pit costs etc. Do you need to pay helpers--or are they "Friends" that are donating their services. I think 7 dollars per plate seems low, but if your help is free maybe not.

The other problem that has cropped up with cooking for "friends" is that the "friends" do not keep special pricing to themselves, and the next person that you quote for the same meal will be angry with you.

What are comparable caterers in your area charging? I have been through these things the hard way---discounting to friends will cause trouble later.

I also look at other things--if someone is renting a hall for thousands of dollars and leaving for a honeymoon in France---and trying to get me to cater at a break even price, then something is wrong. Do not cheat yourself, but do not rip off the customer either---be good---be honest, and be fair. Please recheck your figures.

bbqbull
05-27-2009, 08:17 PM
I agree with the above comments!

Jacked UP BBQ
05-27-2009, 08:37 PM
You are at least half off what the job is worth. You never want to let a client go cheap on their wedding day.

Michael in PA
05-27-2009, 10:51 PM
Way too low. I would look for at least $13.50, more for a wedding. Even if you are not completely "professional" - Health Department compliant, insured, etc. - you should price yourself as though you are. And that includes paper goods, table decor, a payrate for your time and, believe it or not, profit.

tony76248
05-28-2009, 10:00 AM
Amen to all of that input. Make money or get in line at the soup kitchen!

BBQNUTT
05-28-2009, 11:38 AM
Normaly, I would agree with the "Make some money!" plan of attack. But this is a friend of mine that doesnt have a lot of money and I want to help him out by doing this cheaper than anyone else would. Based on all of your posts I have decided to increase my price to $8 per person just to be safe... Thanks!

Jacked UP BBQ
05-28-2009, 11:40 AM
if he is a good friend, tell him not to spread the word on the pricing, you will regret it. everyone will expect the treatment.

CivilWarBBQ
06-01-2009, 10:59 AM
if he is a good friend, tell him not to spread the word on the pricing, you will regret it. everyone will expect the treatment.

Absolutely. On the rare occasions we do a "brother-in-law" deal for someone we swear them to secrecy and let them know we will deny that we gave them that price if anyone ever asks us. It's too bad that the world works that way, but the worst thing that can happen to a caterer is to become known as the least expensive guy around. Then you get to work yourself to death and die broke!

ASUBBQ
06-02-2009, 02:45 PM
I have to ask, do you really know how much work it is to cater and feed 300 people??? A good friend shouldn't expect you to do that much work for so little pay, after you cover food cost, business expenses & labor whats left???

I'll probably get chastised for this but this is just another case of you really shouldnt be doing this if this isnt what you do for a living, someone else or even yourself if your a caterer could make a nice buck from a job like this.

Some people see kindness as a weakness and take full advantage of it, I think your probably a real nice guy and your buddy is taking advantage of you! You should be 3 times that price minimum! Bare minimum!

BBQNUTT
06-03-2009, 08:52 AM
I have to ask, do you really know how much work it is to cater and feed 300 people??? A good friend shouldn't expect you to do that much work for so little pay, after you cover food cost, business expenses & labor whats left???

I'll probably get chastised for this but this is just another case of you really shouldnt be doing this if this isnt what you do for a living, someone else or even yourself if your a caterer could make a nice buck from a job like this.

Some people see kindness as a weakness and take full advantage of it, I think your probably a real nice guy and your buddy is taking advantage of you! You should be 3 times that price minimum! Bare minimum!

Thanks for your advice, but around here, no body and I mean NO BODY would pay $21 per person to feed people pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, and potato salad. I couldnt imagine charging 3 times what I am charging for BBQ...

Bigmista
06-03-2009, 10:30 AM
I would be in at least the $12/person range just because they added the mac & cheese. Cheddar is damned near $4/# and you need a lot to do it right. And remember that your time is valuable. If you have a smoker large enough to cook all the butts in one shot, you are still looking at 10-14 hours of cooking minimum.

Lots of caterers would charge $20/head for rubber chicken and green beans. Don't sell yourself short.

big brother smoke
06-03-2009, 11:31 AM
I would be in at least the $12/person range just because they added the mac & cheese. Cheddar is damned near $4/# and you need a lot to do it right. And remember that your time is valuable. If you have a smoker large enough to cook all the butts in one shot, you are still looking at 10-14 hours of cooking minimum.

Lots of caterers would charge $20/head for rubber chicken and green beans. Don't sell yourself short.

You Would :twisted:

C Rocke
06-03-2009, 11:44 AM
You Would :twisted:

And has...

tony76248
06-03-2009, 12:26 PM
I hear ya all. This is gonna be a lot of work for you and all of your helpers. Perhaps outsourcing is the answer....J/K

My question is "who would do this if you didn't?"

Bigmista is right about the cost of that mac-cheese, to do it right is gonna cost you.

You might want to re-calculate. Figure out your cost and add 25%, that will be your true cost.... don't forget the money you choose to pay your help. The you can make a gift of your usual profits... just my two cents!

Divemaster
06-03-2009, 02:11 PM
I think we've all been there, done that, and have the t-shirts from it...

I personally would be in the $12-$14 range. The area that I live in can handle that kind of a price. Have I done it for less? Of course I have, where do you think I got the t-shirt?

If you feel you can do it for $8 a head, then that is the price you should charge you friend. We are just trying to give you our insight, nothing more, nothing less...

Please keep a full accounting of the job (I do this for any and all jobs I do) so that you can see where you went right and wrong on this gig and then learn from it....

I also agree that you should swear them to secrecy on the price or you'll be asked for it over and over again...

Good Luck!

BBQNUTT
06-03-2009, 02:19 PM
I think we've all been there, done that, and have the t-shirts from it...

I personally would be in the $12-$14 range. The area that I live in can handle that kind of a price. Have I done it for less? Of course I have, where do you think I got the t-shirt?

If you feel you can do it for $8 a head, then that is the price you should charge you friend. We are just trying to give you our insight, nothing more, nothing less...

Please keep a full accounting of the job (I do this for any and all jobs I do) so that you can see where you went right and wrong on this gig and then learn from it....

I also agree that you should swear them to secrecy on the price or you'll be asked for it over and over again...

Good Luck!

That is very good advice. I will keep track of all my expenses so I will have something to base off of later on. I don't do this for a living but have many times considered doing it professionaly on the side. When I do, I will definitly be charging more than I am my buddy. They have already been sworn to secrecy!