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Catering, Vending and Cooking For The Masses. this forum is OnTopic. A resource to help with catering, vending and just cooking for large parties. Topics to include Getting Started, Ethics, Marketing, Catering resources, Formulas and recipes for cooking for large groups.


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Unread 03-03-2010, 09:30 AM   #1
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Default Profit per person

Does anyone analyze their catering operation and pricing so they come up with a profit per person? At the end of the day, what do you think you need to come away with per person? Do you adjust that according to the number of people served? I know my food cost, my labor cost, my misc. costs and want to plug in a profit number per person and was wondering if there is a common number that most use? Is $5 per person about what you end up with at the end of the day?
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Unread 03-03-2010, 10:21 AM   #2
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How do you determine what your labor cost is? I'm curious how that is figured.
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Unread 03-03-2010, 10:55 AM   #3
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Labor cost is variable according to the number of help and hours needed for the job. I use $10/hr per person, that pretty well covers min. wage and other payroll costs for my costs and add to that another $5/hr. so the client ends up paying $15/hr. in my calculations.
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Unread 03-03-2010, 11:00 AM   #4
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what's the extra $5 an hour for? is this the same calc you would use if its just a one man job?
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Unread 03-03-2010, 08:08 PM   #5
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The extra $5 is for the house. Can't only charge the cost of the personnel. When a service guy comes to your house and charges by the hour the guy is not getting it all, some or most goes to the house. Car expenses, phone, etc. need to be picked up and the extra for the house helps that. If I am the one man, then I am really expensive!!! Seriously, you have to charge for your time if you are doing the work, just like you would charge for an employee.
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Unread 03-03-2010, 08:38 PM   #6
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Makes sense. I misread your reply about what the 10/hr was. Originally I thought it was including your time. Now i understand it. Thanks!
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Unread 03-03-2010, 08:57 PM   #7
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I take the total cost of goods sold. Now that does not include rubs, pans, etc. Then I multiply by 4 and see how itworks out. If the gig includes a buffet or table service it an go up. If I supply tables, cutlery, etc the price goes up. At the end of the day my time is not included. It's part of the profit. If I don'd get 4x plus then it's probably not worth my time.

Only you can decide what your times worth. I can sell $4k a day at a Fair if it's a good day with only 1 helper but I can also get stuck with $500 with bad weather, What's my time worth. It's not what it's worth it's what you can live with.
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Unread 03-03-2010, 10:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I take the total cost of goods sold. Now that does not include rubs, pans, etc. Then I multiply by 4 and see how itworks out. If the gig includes a buffet or table service it an go up. If I supply tables, cutlery, etc the price goes up. At the end of the day my time is not included. It's part of the profit. If I don'd get 4x plus then it's probably not worth my time.

Only you can decide what your times worth. I can sell $4k a day at a Fair if it's a good day with only 1 helper but I can also get stuck with $500 with bad weather, What's my time worth. It's not what it's worth it's what you can live with.
Like Ford sez, by the job is the best way to work the numbers. I do know what I make per item on acouple of basic vending items (Sandwiches for example), but usually more concerned with what we net by the event.
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Unread 03-04-2010, 06:38 AM   #9
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I use the "what are you worth" per day approach.... I guess I have said this a few times before on this forum... It takes as much time to cater for 100 as it does for 200. If you can't make money on it, then why do it. The meat and sides at some point become the cheapest portion of the job. Some folks on this forum worry about getting the job, others give thought to making the profit and not cheapening the industry.

Another thing I see is folks in California comparing what they charge to someone in the Midwest....
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Unread 03-04-2010, 10:15 AM   #10
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I use the "what are you worth" per day approach.... I guess I have said this a few times before on this forum... It takes as much time to cater for 100 as it does for 200. If you can't make money on it, then why do it. The meat and sides at some point become the cheapest portion of the job. Some folks on this forum worry about getting the job, others give thought to making the profit and not cheapening the industry.

Another thing I see is folks in California comparing what they charge to someone in the Midwest....
Yep, you have to undestand your local marketplace, and develop your own pricing model. Some move pricing around to get the job, and some sell the "value" of their service and product (price is secondary). I'm a value kind of guy.
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Unread 03-04-2010, 11:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C Rocke View Post
Yep, you have to undestand your local marketplace, and develop your own pricing model. Some move pricing around to get the job, and some sell the "value" of their service and product (price is secondary). I'm a value kind of guy.
Same here. Somethings aren't worth my time. Luckily, I have the option of having people come to the market and pick up food for smaller events. I'm going to be cooking anyway so it doesn't hurt to add in extra. And I don't have to deliver or setup. I love those jobs.
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Unread 03-04-2010, 01:38 PM   #12
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I generally stick to 33% mod (food, labor, profit). It works for me!
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