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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 09-12-2013, 09:58 PM   #1
Pyrotech
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Default Help-I was asked to bid on a catering gig

A few months back I shared some leftover pulled pork with one on my neighbors. She must have really like it, since toight she stopped by and asked to bid on catering a BBQ lunch for 100 people.

I have never cooked for a group anywhere near that size, 10 to 12 people max is all I have ever done. I have a food manufactures license, and the food managers certificate, along with a commercial insurance. I know I would have to check with my insurance agent to verify it will cover me cooking for something like this. and I will need a temporary food estabishment permit.

This is something I have given thought to doing, but in the future. this request caught me off guard a bit. I am not sure I can pull this job off as a first timer, but it has me thinking a little harder about pursuing my dream of catering / vending.

I know there is a ton of information here on catering, I think I am going to be spending alot time reading through the past questions and advice, taking some notes. and doing a "tabletop cook" and see what happens. I think it would be good to practice to try and figure out menu, food cost, pricing per head, and so on. this is one of those times where I don't know, what I don't know. and that makes it hard to ask the right questions.

advice or suggestions? is this a worth while exercise?
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Unread 09-13-2013, 08:39 AM   #2
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Do you have the smoker capacity to do 100 lbs of butts?
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Unread 09-13-2013, 08:52 AM   #3
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Do you have the smoker capacity to do 100 lbs of butts?
why would he need to do 100 lbs of butts?
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Unread 09-13-2013, 09:03 AM   #4
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why would he need to do 100 lbs of butts?
We always plan 1lb raw per person for pulled pork.

Yeah, there will be some extra, but that is better than the alternative.
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Unread 09-13-2013, 09:40 AM   #5
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Yeah, there will be some extra, but that is better than the alternative.

Ain't that the truth
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Unread 09-13-2013, 11:47 AM   #6
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Do you have the smoker capacity to do 100 lbs of butts?
Not currently... 40 - 48lbs would be the pushing the upper limit.
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Unread 09-13-2013, 12:20 PM   #7
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For pulled pork, you are fine. doing a three load run on butts will more than suffice for 100 people.

My advice on stepping up.

1. Try and get a handle on the composition of the crowd, in terms of adults/children and male/female. I like to figure on cooked amounts and back out. For most cooks, men will be figured at 1/2 pound cooked, women at 1/3 pound cooked. Unless there are upgraded sides.

2. What is your menu. Once you have the crowd sized, the next thing you need to know is what is the menu. That controls a lot of your costs. Pulled pork, then work the menu from there, bread, sides, sauces, etc...I always figure servings by weight, served. Then back out for waste and loss during cooking.

3. Number three, what are the expectations in terms of tables, chairs, settings, utensils etc...nothing like thinking you are serving food, only to find that the host forgot the plates. Make sure everyone is on paper, understanding what they are supposed to be bringing.

4. Location matters, can you drive up, do you have to ferry stuff in, will you need a helper or extra cook. All of this matters, if you have to go up stairs, or down a lawn, that all adds time, which is money.

5. Once you have all your food costs, look at your estimate, it should be 3x food costs, plus, if you are providing hard goods, that costs 2x at least.
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Unread 09-16-2013, 07:27 PM   #8
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I get 60% yield for pork butts and plan on 1/3# per person cooked weight.
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Unread 10-05-2013, 02:23 AM   #9
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I get 60% yield for pork butts and plan on 1/3# per person cooked weight.
I am more picky than you are. He needs to know what his percentage is before hand or plan on overshooting a bit.
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Unread 10-05-2013, 05:20 PM   #10
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I budget for 50% yield and 1/3lb per person and I feel I'm easily on the safe side. 100lbs of pork butt is way overkill IMO unless you are feeding a highschool football team. The only time I budget 1lb per person is if I'm doing a whole hog.
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