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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 05-25-2010, 09:02 AM   #1
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I am terrible at pricing catering events! Open house party for 200....drop off only. Food line open for 6 hours. Pulled pork, pulled chicken & beans (similar to Kerry C's). He also wants 2 briskets for him and the lucky folks who get to the party first.

Using SoEzzy's spreadsheet, I am planning on 83# of uncooked pork or 50# cooked, for 4oz sandwiches. I have been using whole chickens to pull. If I assume 75% yield I am thinking 68# of uncooked chicken or 50# cooked. I plan on $9/LB for each meat.

Doing 2 packer briskets around 12# each, and will charge $9/LB.

The beans are where I run into trouble. Not sure on the quantity or how to price them. Like I mentioned above, they are similar to Kerry C's beans....lots of ingredients. Any advice?

If you have the time, could you let me know your thoughts and what you would charge for something similar in your market for the entire menu?

THANKS!!
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Unread 05-25-2010, 09:28 AM   #2
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a half pan of beans feeds between 20 and 25 depending on the size of the spoon. Figure 10 - #10 cans with nothing added. If you add 2 cans worth of good stuff then buy 8 cans.

Drop off only? Are you supplying chaffers to keep it warm for 6 hours? If not I think you have a problem with food safety. No way I'd agree to this. I'd insist on being onsite to supervise.

pricing 200 people 2 meats and beans - at least $10 per person and that's on the understanding that it's only one serving per person. When food is gone it's gone. Extra helpings make this closer to $15. I'd take cost of 2 briskets and multiply by 4 and add it to the price. Your meat quantities are a minimum as far as I'm concerned and not adequate for a 6 hour buffet.
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Unread 05-25-2010, 09:38 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response Ford!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford View Post
a half pan of beans feeds between 20 and 25 depending on the size of the spoon. Figure 10 - #10 cans with nothing added. If you add 2 cans worth of good stuff then buy 8 cans.

Perfect. Just the info I was looking for!

Drop off only? Are you supplying chaffers to keep it warm for 6 hours? If not I think you have a problem with food safety. No way I'd agree to this. I'd insist on being onsite to supervise.

The food will be kept warm with chaffing dishes and roasters. The extra pans of meat will be held in the customer's oven until they need to refill the line.

pricing 200 people 2 meats and beans - at least $10 per person and that's on the understanding that it's only one serving per person. When food is gone it's gone. Extra helpings make this closer to $15. I'd take cost of 2 briskets and multiply by 4 and add it to the price. Your meat quantities are a minimum as far as I'm concerned and not adequate for a 6 hour buffet.

Wow, I am way under $10 per head. Glad I asked for some opinions! Ok so if you think the quantities are low should I base it on say 225-250 people so I have some extra meat?
The party is a graduation type open house. Not sure if everyone will be eating when they come by if that makes a difference.
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Unread 05-25-2010, 09:57 AM   #4
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Never pulled a chicken, but I'm told the yield is a lot less.

Use small plates to help manage serving sizes.
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Unread 05-26-2010, 12:00 PM   #5
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I might be at $10 lb. on this one Pat. That is a lot of work for you and you need to get paid. Are you supplying disposable chafers, sternos, plasticware and plates?

I'd also plan on a 60% yield minimally (pork). You do not want to a long cook as this and come up short.
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Unread 05-26-2010, 12:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pat View Post
Thanks for the response Ford!
The party is a graduation type open house. Not sure if everyone will be eating when they come by if that makes a difference.
Makes a big difference. A lot won't eat a sammy just take a little meat adn sure won't eat 2 types of meat at 4 oz each. General rule fo thumb is if you need food for 200 sammys at 4 oz or 800 oz give them 880. But it doesn't apply in this case.

My price is based on you not supplying the equipment for keeping it hot or any serving dishes, plates, forks, napkins, etc.

And that's an issue for me as people just don't know how to safely handle food for 6 hours. I would hope you are servsafe certified and if so you'd knpw what can go wrong. Best case is keeping meat in a oven and it will dry out especially chicken.

If it was me I'd be there looking after the food. It's your reputation if they just dry out the meat or beans.
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Unread 05-26-2010, 12:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
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I have been using whole chickens to pull.
I'm not a caterer - but I play one at my church. When I do pulled chicken I use boneless, skinless thighs and shred them. You can buy a bunch at Sam's and there is basically no waste. Check for stray bones, though!
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Unread 05-27-2010, 10:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big brother smoke View Post
I might be at $10 lb. on this one Pat. That is a lot of work for you and you need to get paid. Are you supplying disposable chafers, sternos, plasticware and plates?

I'd also plan on a 60% yield minimally (pork). You do not want to a long cook as this and come up short.
Thanks Steph! I agree...a lot of work. I hate pulling chicken I am supplying chafers and sterno but not the plasticware etc.

I thought I would bump up the number of guests some to cover some extra meat so I don't run short.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford View Post
Makes a big difference. A lot won't eat a sammy just take a little meat adn sure won't eat 2 types of meat at 4 oz each. General rule fo thumb is if you need food for 200 sammys at 4 oz or 800 oz give them 880. But it doesn't apply in this case.

My price is based on you not supplying the equipment for keeping it hot or any serving dishes, plates, forks, napkins, etc.

And that's an issue for me as people just don't know how to safely handle food for 6 hours. I would hope you are servsafe certified and if so you'd knpw what can go wrong. Best case is keeping meat in a oven and it will dry out especially chicken.

If it was me I'd be there looking after the food. It's your reputation if they just dry out the meat or beans.
Ford, again I appreciate your insight! I am not servsafe cert but plan on meeting that requirement this year. I am no expert, but certainly know what can go wrong. I have talked to the customer about keeping the food warm and we are on the same page. It is a coworker so I trust his word.


Quote:
Originally Posted by monty3777 View Post
I'm not a caterer - but I play one at my church. When I do pulled chicken I use boneless, skinless thighs and shred them. You can buy a bunch at Sam's and there is basically no waste. Check for stray bones, though!
Thanks for the suggestion Nate! I may try this to save on the labor of pulling a whole chicken. Plus it would take up a lot less room on the cooker
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Unread 05-27-2010, 10:50 AM   #9
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Pork is close.
Yield on chicken is 35% MAX! your looking at cooking 150 lbs of chicken? Offer pre portioned chicken breasts instead.
Fords good on the beans.
How do you figure 6 hrs serving if your not there?
Max hold time is 4 hrs so the food needs to be split up and brought out in batches.
I'd be at $10-11 pp for a drop-off.
Good luck Pat!
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Unread 05-27-2010, 11:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbq Bubba View Post
Pork is close.
Yield on chicken is 35% MAX! your looking at cooking 150 lbs of chicken? Offer pre portioned chicken breasts instead.
Fords good on the beans.
How do you figure 6 hrs serving if your not there?
Max hold time is 4 hrs so the food needs to be split up and brought out in batches.
I'd be at $10-11 pp for a drop-off.
Good luck Pat!
Thanks Bubba! I guess I am way off on the chicken then. Was going by SoEzzy's spreadsheet saying the yield is 75%. No way am I cooking 150# of chicken

THe 6 hour window is just the length of the open house. Not all the food will be out at the same time...split up like you mentioned. Actually, I don't think the food line will start right when the party does.

Another vote for $10 pp.......seems like I would be low balling myself at 6-7 pp! Thanks again.
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Unread 05-28-2010, 10:39 AM   #11
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Too many variables to drop off and leave. I don't think the host understands what is involved with temp. issues, refill issues and the time and effort it takes to keep things warm during a long serving time. It looks easy but it is a lot of work and the host will have to decide to be a host or a server. Guess what he will do? Meet and greet, have a few adult beverages and low and behold, the food gets out of the safe holding temp. and people get sick. Guess who gets blamed?
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Unread 05-28-2010, 01:02 PM   #12
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Exactly. I've got a neighbor that works for a local bbq establishment and they cater. They encourage customers not to do "drop off" orders for this very reason.

Quote:
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Too many variables to drop off and leave. I don't think the host understands what is involved with temp. issues, refill issues and the time and effort it takes to keep things warm during a long serving time. It looks easy but it is a lot of work and the host will have to decide to be a host or a server. Guess what he will do? Meet and greet, have a few adult beverages and low and behold, the food gets out of the safe holding temp. and people get sick. Guess who gets blamed?
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