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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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Old 07-13-2010, 04:25 AM   #1
somebody shut me the fark up.
Norcoredneck's Avatar
Join Date: 07-11-06
Location: Norco, Ca.
Default Catering planner

What do you think of this estimater from the medow Creek site?

Low and Slow.....

The Prontologist is in...
Ok let's see your Butt!
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Old 07-13-2010, 06:05 AM   #2
is Blowin Smoke!
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Join Date: 04-14-07
Location: Lakeland Florida

I thinbk there are a lot of variables that you need to customize. That means a lot of info in white needs to be changed, especially in the sides.

I'd need to take time to figure out the logic of multiple meats and decreasing weights and ribs need to be by bones not weight.

It is a good starting point for a person to build their own.
Retired competition cook. BBQ mentor.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:05 AM   #3
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Join Date: 11-01-09
Location: West Des Moines, IA

This may be the accountant in me speaking, but I think that using a tool without understanding the underlying logic & mechanics is a formula for disaster. The model does look impressive, but as Ford says it would take some time to evaluate. I've built my own tools based on my experience and it's really not that hard. Always remember - Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment. Best of luck!
Brian Sweeney - CBJ #3691 - '77 Step Van Mobile Kitchen, Horizon Marshall, WSM with Pro Q Stacker, Weber Kettle & Smokey Joe GOLD.

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" - Clarke's Third Law
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Old 07-13-2010, 09:37 AM   #4
is Blowin Smoke!
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Join Date: 04-14-07
Location: Lakeland Florida

One other very important thing is meat and sides don't come in individual portions but in bulk and that's how you save money. If you are doing events 5 days a week then you can use up extra slaw, part cases of brisket, etc but if you are doing this part time or even every weekend you need to be figuring cost to you based on case and bulk prices.

Example - 120 people for green bean casserole. 30 lb case of cut frozen beans or buy 2 lb bags and need 13 bags. Case is cheaper for sure. Needed 4 bags of FF Onions either way. So I made 3 pans. If I thought I would get another gig with this in a month or so I would have kept 4 lbs of beans and done 2 1/2 pans instead of 3. As it was my servers had lots to take home with them.

The spreadsheet can't figure this out for you so it's not plug and play. Better to start with a blank sheet and ask the customer what they want.
Retired competition cook. BBQ mentor.
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Old 07-13-2010, 12:53 PM   #5
Is lookin for wood to cook with.
Join Date: 07-11-10
Location: Bennington, KS

I personally use this planner all the time. I just keep up on what prices are at sams and those types of places and put in the numbers. It is easy for me to use and follow plus I can see up front what my profit will be.
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Old 07-13-2010, 01:30 PM   #6
big brother smoke
somebody shut me the fark up.

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Join Date: 05-03-06
Location: Ventura, CA

Those catering calculators are nice starting out. I tend to use experience and pass work tickets now.
Peace and Smoke,

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Old 07-13-2010, 03:31 PM   #7
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Join Date: 12-02-06
Location: SLC, UT

I think it's great... then again I am SoEzzy so it's my calculator, it's also posted here in other forms and on other forums.

AKA SoEzzys catering planner.

The latest version was 3.06 it is pretty accurate straight out of the box, but if you want to tweak it after you've tried it out you can do.

If you want to spend all the time deconstructing it to build your own, there's no one to stop you, but as wheels go for the average Joe it's about as good as it can be and stil cover the basics.

There are things I'd change when a new version is due, at the moment the ribs are set as 1/2 a rack / person, but you can do the rib calculations based on ribs per person B25 allows for the reverse calculation.

There are lots of folks that think it does a good job and who use it from time to time, but if you've got a better wheel that will work country wide, I'd be interested in seeing it.
"There is no such thing as a little garlic." A.Baer
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Old 07-13-2010, 03:45 PM   #8
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Join Date: 09-21-09
Location: MambyPambyLand, Ca Ya Jackwagon

I just used this planner for my first catering job last weekend. It worked great for what I needed. I changed top round to tri tip and plugged in the price per/lb and it added it all up for me. Once I get more experience and business focused I will use Quicken to keep track of the exact profits but for now this will get me in the ballpark. Thanks SoEzzy for putting this together.
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Old 07-17-2010, 10:00 AM   #9
Got rid of the matchlight.
Join Date: 07-11-10
Location: Iloilo City, Philippines
Default Catering planner

The catering planner should know or have a strategy to fulfill their service for the guest.

Last edited by dagulskie; 07-17-2010 at 10:01 AM.. Reason: erase signature
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