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Catering, Food Handling and Awareness *OnTopic* Forum to educate us on safe food handling. Not specifically for Catering or competition but overall health and keeping our families safe too.


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Old 05-24-2014, 04:35 PM   #1
paoutdoorsman69
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Default What to charge for time and labor when catering?

New to catering and have been asked to cater a lunch for 50 people. How to I figure out what to charge for my time? Will be doing either brisket or pulled pork with a couple of sides.

Thanks in advance for your input!
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Old 05-24-2014, 06:13 PM   #2
Chuckwagonbbqco
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brisket is time consuming to cook---pulled pork is not as bad----but time is time

Are you using your BBQ pit? Are you supplying the fuel for the BBQ pit--charcoal, wood, etc cost money.

How many miles will you be putting on your vehicle, and how many hours of work---these hours include shopping, prepping, transporting, cooking, slicing , serving and clean up.

Chances are if you quote what this job is worth---they will balk at the price. It is hard to divide the cost among 50 people---they will think that the cost per person is too high. However cooking for 200 people is not much more work---not much more time and more people to spread out the cost.

Estimate your total hours----determine what your time is worth per hour----add in a BBQ rental fee---if you didn't supply the pit, they would have to rent one. Charge for fuel, firewood, charcoal, sterno or anything else you use.

Even if you charge minimum wage----quoting for only 50 people causes people to look at you funny----they do not realize the time and costs that you are working with.
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Old 05-24-2014, 07:32 PM   #3
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If you serve 4 oz servings of PP and Brisket for 50 you will need 2-14lb briskets and 3-8.5 pork butts. At today's prices (here anyway) the total meat costs will be approximately $100.

If your sides are 4 oz and you serve two sides (say baked beans & coleslaw) you are looking at an approximate food cost of approximately $50 (calculated from a $0.50/serving cost which again is assuming cost of goods in my locale).

As Chuckwagon stated then you need to add up all of your ancillary costs. Let's say that the ancillary costs add up to $200 (hard to pin this down without more data as to your operation). The total cost of your gig so far is around $350.

Now, how much is your time worth. We figure $20/hr for our labor. One run with our Pit takes, on average, 10 hours. This $200 per run is our standard for calculating labor cost, just for the cooking part. Now you are at $550.

If we were doing this gig our quote, based on just what is listed above, would be in the neighborhood of $800 total ($16/person). If there are any other costs not covered above then that price would start edging up toward $1,000 ($20/person)

As Chuckwagon stated, pricing for volume usually holds the per person cost down. The smaller the event your overhead costs drive that cost higher.
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Old 05-25-2014, 07:56 AM   #4
skullleader1
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Hummm...interesting post...very helpful to me. Now I know what to do at smaller events.
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Old 06-01-2014, 04:16 PM   #5
Smoke House Moe
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Good advice guys.

Do you include your service fee in the quote, or do you give the quote and tell them the service fee is on top of that?
Or don't you use a service fee? Shame, shame if you are not.
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Old 06-01-2014, 06:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoke House Moe View Post
Good advice guys.

Do you include your service fee in the quote, or do you give the quote and tell them the service fee is on top of that?
Or don't you use a service fee? Shame, shame if you are not.
Smoke House is correct. I was assuming this will be a "drop off". (I should not assume things )

If this is a "service" event then we would add our service fee into the quote. My initial reply was just calculations for cooking/preparing the food stuffs.
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