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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 07-20-2010, 05:46 PM   #1
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Default Anyone done a Chamber Event like this?

In my area the Chamber of Commerce puts on a business after hours once per month at a business location in the area. It is meant for people to see what the business is all about. Anyhow the people who are putting one on in a few months called me wanting a price to do BBQ. They said it would need to be finger type foods as everyone was walking around talking. She also requested beef of some kind on the menu. They usually have 75-100 guests at these events according to the director of the chamber. I was thinking some brisket and pulled pork sliders, a large batch of moink balls and some fruit trays. This event could get me great connections for future work.

My questions 1) What you you charge for something like this? 2) How much of each item would you prepare? Don't know exact guest counts plus will they eat much or be drinking the spirits. 3) Do I need to have more 3-4 item to choose from?

Thanks for your advice!!
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Unread 07-21-2010, 09:21 AM   #2
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I would only do PP sliders with slaw, but would add more apps like pig candy and a dessert like brownies or something they can carry around, drink and talk with. If there are this many people coming I would join the chamber, you might be able to do this lots of times during the year and since you are a chamber member you will probably get first call for other jobs where you can make some money. For this gig I would put on the 'dog' (chef coats, linen on the tables, great table scapes etc.) and make sure I was at a reasonable price. This is an 'interview' for more jobs to come.
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Unread 07-21-2010, 09:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PorkQPine View Post
I would only do PP sliders with slaw, but would add more apps like pig candy and ...
And that would immediately eliminate the portion of the potential market that doesn't eat pork for religious reasons.

You need good choices to cover as broad of a portion of the demographic as you can.
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Unread 07-21-2010, 10:06 AM   #4
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I'd consider PP and brisket sliders, possibly some kind of chicken skewer, and grilled fruit kabobs. If the chamber is willing to foot the bill, I'd join the chamber. They encourage other members who have events to use other members for the catering. Food cost x at least 3 for pricing. I also agree that this is an event where you wear your chef whites and go all out with the tablescapes.
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Unread 07-21-2010, 02:07 PM   #5
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Would you pre make the sliders or have the buns in a basket and chaffers with the meat and let them assemble? I'm thinking the brisket might dry out on a bunn for a while.
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Unread 07-21-2010, 03:10 PM   #6
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We do several every year in our Chamber. Appetizers, Appetizers, Appetizers. Most folks will be there having a cocktail, talking, and may pick up a small bite. Go heavy with Moinks, ABT's, pig candy etcetera, PP sliders are ok, but don't overdo the meats. We find that we pull in many larger catering events this way KISS is the way to go.
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Unread 07-22-2010, 09:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txschutte View Post
We do several every year in our Chamber. Appetizers, Appetizers, Appetizers. Most folks will be there having a cocktail, talking, and may pick up a small bite. Go heavy with Moinks, ABT's, pig candy etcetera, PP sliders are ok, but don't overdo the meats. We find that we pull in many larger catering events this way KISS is the way to go.
Agreed 100%. This is not your average catering job. PP sliders are just a larger appetizer and for those who don't eat pork there should be other appetizers they can eat. Two meats/sliders is too much, this is a meet and greet event and appetizers with one larger appetizer is on the mark.
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Unread 07-22-2010, 09:56 AM   #8
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I have done a few of these and I dont charge anything. I do it gratis as I always get something in return in the form of a catering gig or even a drop off. Great way to get your name out in the community. I am also a Chamber Member and I would recommend becoming a member, most offer a lot of services that you might not even be aware of...
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Unread 07-23-2010, 01:22 AM   #9
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A couple of observations, having been to dozens of similar types of events in the past, and having eaten pretty much everything you could serve at a cocktail gathering. There is lots of hand shaking going on, so people are constantly setting down and picking up either their drink or their plate. People will always pick up their drink, they'll abandon a plate anywhere.

I'd serve your PP sandwich/slider assembled. I agree with only 1 sandwich offering considering the occasion, but if you have to serve beef, I'd consider pulled or chopped, unless you want to slice brisket and assemble sandwiches to order to keep it moist. With a helper, you can assemble a tray of sandwiches at a time, and bring them out so they don't sit too long. Since sandwiches are your spotlight food, you may also want to tray them, and walk them around room offering them rather than letting them serve themselves out of a chafer.

if you decide to serve from a chafer, assembled sandwiches will keep people moving if they don't have to set their drink (or plate) down to assemble their sandwich. That very minute they set their drink down, someone will see their hand free and approach them to shake hands and say hello. And then they stand and chat right in front of the food, and that slows service.

Go light on your sauce. Remember, it's being held at a member's location, chances are, there will be a spilled or dropped plate. They don't want to remember you for the big sauce stain on their carpet. Same with their nice blouses/shirts/suits.

Think about when you eat a sandwich sitting down, you subconsciously lean forward so if it drips, it drips on the plate. Standing up, it drips right on said clothing. Sauce available at the end of the line for them to spoon onto their plate allows them to take some sauce if they choose. Believe it or not, if they put their own sauce on and then drip on themselves, they'll blame themselves. If your pre-sauced sandwich drips on them, they'll blame you. Offer a choice of a sweet and lightly spicy sauce. And make sure you distinguish between the two. No one like a fire breathing surprise.

Any idea how many of the attendees are women? Women are very conscious of what they snack on in the presence of potential clients, peers, competitors, or other professional women. (We men are pigs, we don't care) Sorry if it sounds sexist, but my BIL in the restaurant business agrees. Women are more likely to eat a fresh vegetables, a chicken skewer, or moink balls rather than a sandwich. Make sure you offer a fresh veggie tray, along with fruit. Some will want something very light to nibble on while they drink. Others may be going on home or out to dinner afterwards and prefer not to eat too much. It also offers something for those who don't necessarily care for smoked food.

Good luck. Hope you get some good business out of it.

Chris
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Unread 07-23-2010, 03:06 AM   #10
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We are doing one in sept for chamber of commerce. We paid $50 for the spot and have to provide 300 to 400 samples. have not decided menu either
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Unread 07-23-2010, 10:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Learnin Querve View Post
A couple of observations, having been to dozens of similar types of events in the past, and having eaten pretty much everything you could serve at a cocktail gathering. There is lots of hand shaking going on, so people are constantly setting down and picking up either their drink or their plate. People will always pick up their drink, they'll abandon a plate anywhere.

I'd serve your PP sandwich/slider assembled. I agree with only 1 sandwich offering considering the occasion, but if you have to serve beef, I'd consider pulled or chopped, unless you want to slice brisket and assemble sandwiches to order to keep it moist. With a helper, you can assemble a tray of sandwiches at a time, and bring them out so they don't sit too long. Since sandwiches are your spotlight food, you may also want to tray them, and walk them around room offering them rather than letting them serve themselves out of a chafer.

if you decide to serve from a chafer, assembled sandwiches will keep people moving if they don't have to set their drink (or plate) down to assemble their sandwich. That very minute they set their drink down, someone will see their hand free and approach them to shake hands and say hello. And then they stand and chat right in front of the food, and that slows service.

Go light on your sauce. Remember, it's being held at a member's location, chances are, there will be a spilled or dropped plate. They don't want to remember you for the big sauce stain on their carpet. Same with their nice blouses/shirts/suits.

Think about when you eat a sandwich sitting down, you subconsciously lean forward so if it drips, it drips on the plate. Standing up, it drips right on said clothing. Sauce available at the end of the line for them to spoon onto their plate allows them to take some sauce if they choose. Believe it or not, if they put their own sauce on and then drip on themselves, they'll blame themselves. If your pre-sauced sandwich drips on them, they'll blame you. Offer a choice of a sweet and lightly spicy sauce. And make sure you distinguish between the two. No one like a fire breathing surprise.

Any idea how many of the attendees are women? Women are very conscious of what they snack on in the presence of potential clients, peers, competitors, or other professional women. (We men are pigs, we don't care) Sorry if it sounds sexist, but my BIL in the restaurant business agrees. Women are more likely to eat a fresh vegetables, a chicken skewer, or moink balls rather than a sandwich. Make sure you offer a fresh veggie tray, along with fruit. Some will want something very light to nibble on while they drink. Others may be going on home or out to dinner afterwards and prefer not to eat too much. It also offers something for those who don't necessarily care for smoked food.

Good luck. Hope you get some good business out of it.

Chris
Great analysis and on point. I've been to many of these over the years as a guest and what you say is correct.
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