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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 07-24-2018, 03:55 AM   #1
SmoothBoarBBQ
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Hey All,

Just got a request to do a surprise birthday party for 100 people. They requested brisket, chicken legs, and chicken quarters. This will be my first job of a larger size and I'm a bit shaky on a solid price. Since he wants the meat in the afternoon I'll have to forego my vending job for the day, so I'll need to make enough money for this to be a worth while job.

I'm currently getting brisket for $3.29/Lb at Restaurant Depot, and they have chicken quarters for $.50/Lb. Since it's a surprise party the guy wants to pick the meat up from me so I'm not catering or even delivering the food...just smoking it up.

I'm figuring I'll need about 85Lbs brisket (pre cooked weight) for a cost of $280 and probably 100Lbs of chicken at a cost of about $50. So add in wood and I'm at about $350 out of pocket just to do the cook. I don't want to over-quote the guy but I'm thinking $750 feels about right. Am I out of line or is that about right?

Thanks for the input!
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Old 07-24-2018, 05:37 AM   #2
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I see you mentioned chicken legs and chicken quarters but had no cost for the legs in your estimate. ?you also had no cost for other items such as rubs, injections, sauce, pans etc.



figure the cost of everything. right down to salt and pepper and triple it and you should make a little.


Not sure if it would be worth giving up a day of vending if you have a steady gig going.
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Old 07-24-2018, 09:36 AM   #3
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Don't give up a regular gig for a flash job. If you can't do both keep the regular job.
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Old 07-24-2018, 09:52 AM   #4
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We'll usually try to do both and have the customer pick up the food where we're set up.



For brisket only we charge $7.00/person and would add another $2.00/person for the chicken. If it's all meat we have on our regular menu we'll usually give them a break if they're picking it up on a regular day because it's just adding extra food to the smoker that I was already cooking.
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Old 07-24-2018, 01:01 PM   #5
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First off, for whatever it is worth I think you are under valuing your self and your time, like way too cheap but I don't know your market. Second, are you recommending those amounts for the party or do they want that much food, as I think it is a lot of meat for 100 people.

I get around a 45 to 50% yield on the briskets, so at 45% you are looking at 38.5 lbs of cooked meat, which is almost 6.2 oz per person. Then the wild card of chicken, as I am not clear if they want just quarters or leg and thighs or quarters and drums??

Lets figure quarters. and chicken is cheap, but takes up a lot of room on the smoker. you get approximately 30-35 quarters in a 40 lb case. So I think you will need 3 to 4 cases to make sure you have a quarter per person. But now we are back again to quantity, as that is a lot of meat for 100 people.

I get $18 a lb for my brisket in the restaurant (and I think I am too cheap) and $16 lb for pulled Chicken (we use leg meat) and I only have quarters on my combo plates so i am just guessing on pricing. So, using our best guess on cooked meat, you will 38.5 lbs of brisket which is $693 and a wild guess on the quarters equaling about 40 lbs meat so that is $640 and then I would up sell my homemade sauce. So, we are all in around 1,400.00 for that amount of food, but again I think they have too much food.

I am assuming that you are licensed, insured and legal and given those facts, don't under cut yourself. Trust me, it is tough to move the bar when you set it too low. Just my opinion and good luck
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Old 07-24-2018, 03:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toys4dlr View Post
First off, for whatever it is worth I think you are under valuing your self and your time, like way too cheap but I don't know your market. Second, are you recommending those amounts for the party or do they want that much food, as I think it is a lot of meat for 100 people.

I get around a 45 to 50% yield on the briskets, so at 45% you are looking at 38.5 lbs of cooked meat, which is almost 6.2 oz per person. Then the wild card of chicken, as I am not clear if they want just quarters or leg and thighs or quarters and drums??

Lets figure quarters. and chicken is cheap, but takes up a lot of room on the smoker. you get approximately 30-35 quarters in a 40 lb case. So I think you will need 3 to 4 cases to make sure you have a quarter per person. But now we are back again to quantity, as that is a lot of meat for 100 people.

I get $18 a lb for my brisket in the restaurant (and I think I am too cheap) and $16 lb for pulled Chicken (we use leg meat) and I only have quarters on my combo plates so i am just guessing on pricing. So, using our best guess on cooked meat, you will 38.5 lbs of brisket which is $693 and a wild guess on the quarters equaling about 40 lbs meat so that is $640 and then I would up sell my homemade sauce. So, we are all in around 1,400.00 for that amount of food, but again I think they have too much food.

I am assuming that you are licensed, insured and legal and given those facts, don't under cut yourself. Trust me, it is tough to move the bar when you set it too low. Just my opinion and good luck
Very good points... I'm still transitioning from a consumer/"pitmaster" to a business person. I feel like my product is very good but my brain is still screaming at me that $10/person is too high. I know it's not because people are paying it every day now that I'm vending, so it's just a mental hurdle that I need to overcome.

I felt like that was way too much food as well so sent out a probe and got clarification. They want brisket for 50 people, along with 50 legs, and 50 quarters. So I'm thinking 75Lbs brisket (pre-cooked) along with 50 drumsticks and 50 quarters. This should put me right at about $1000 for the job and that's what I've quoted the customer.

Thanks for the help everybody...slowly coming along.
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Old 07-24-2018, 03:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medic92 View Post
We'll usually try to do both and have the customer pick up the food where we're set up.



For brisket only we charge $7.00/person and would add another $2.00/person for the chicken. If it's all meat we have on our regular menu we'll usually give them a break if they're picking it up on a regular day because it's just adding extra food to the smoker that I was already cooking.
I'm vending on the Marine Corps bases and most civilians don't have access, so having them pick it up where I'm vending would likely cause an issue. I'm pretty close to what you're saying with a quote of right at $1000, so that's $10/head with two meats.
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Old 07-24-2018, 04:46 PM   #8
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Haha, turns out the customer was a credit card scammer.
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Old 07-24-2018, 08:00 PM   #9
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Curious, what were they trying to do and how did you know they were running a scam job?
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Old 07-24-2018, 08:06 PM   #10
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Just saw your last post about the scammer...... But food for thought in the future.



Quote:
Originally Posted by poorolddan View Post
Don't give up a regular gig for a flash job. If you can't do both keep the regular job.

I agree....

In NJ, a vending license differs greatly from a catering license.

Not to discourage you;

But another area of concern is that you will lose control over the safety of the food once it leaves your hands. Secondly it appears as if you are cooking the proteins and others might be bringing other food as well?

It may be a one in a million case that someone becomes ill, but we live in a litigious society today. People make false claims all the time in an effort to sue for personal gain.

It might be difficult to prove with a single case, but what if someone who handles the food in the chain accidentally contaminates something. Add the fact that food from other sources will also be introduced.



https://www.syracuse.com/news/index....ently_ill.html
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Old 07-25-2018, 04:30 AM   #11
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Curious, what were they trying to do and how did you know they were running a scam job?
It started out with a text to my personal phone, not my work phone, and the guy only wanted to communicate via text because he said he was hearing impaired. I had no issues, put together a quote (with the help of the Brethren), and he was happy with the quote and wanted to pay IMMEDIATELY. I was worried about him sending his credit details over text, but he said it was fine and that was how he often did things with his hearing issues. So he sent me the details, and then asked for a favor. That's when my hackles went up a bit...he wanted to have a driver pick the food up (we live in the same town) and take it to his house. I thought that was strange but he wanted me to charge the credit card for the food I quoted, as well as $800 more and give that extra money to the driver. I said no way I was doing that, and I offered to deliver the food, but then came the sob story about how it's all a surprise and it has to be this way and only this way.

Then something from an earlier text jumped out at me and he asked if I take "all kinds of credit cards." So alerts started going off and I politely declined to move forward. Looking online there's a couple of key things that can be identified as a card scammer :

1. An unsolicited text out of the blue where they only want to communicate via text

2. An overwhelming want / desire to pay immediately

3. Asking about "all kinds of credit cards"

4. Asking the business to over-charge and then distribute that money out to a 3rd party.

No worries as my vending job is really coming together and I'm having a good time. Some posters brought up good points about possible issues and I'm much more at peace with just writing this one off as an unfortunate incident.
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Old 07-25-2018, 05:41 AM   #12
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Glad you dodged that bullet.
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Old 07-25-2018, 06:08 AM   #13
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Glad you dodged that bullet.
Thanks...I feel kind of silly for letting it go as far as it did now that I look back on it. Guess I was too eager and I think that's the kind of naivety upon which these kinds of people prey.
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Old 07-29-2018, 08:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmoothBoarBBQ View Post
Hey All,


I'm figuring I'll need about 85Lbs brisket (pre cooked weight) for a cost of $280 and probably 100Lbs of chicken at a cost of about $50. So add in wood and I'm at about $350 out of pocket just to do the cook. I don't want to over-quote the guy but I'm thinking $750 feels about right. Am I out of line or is that about right?

Thanks for the input!

85lbs of raw brisket will yield roughly 38lbs cooked meat @ $18lb Brisket Price $684.00 Chicken cost of $50 sell price of $150.00. Total sale price $834.00 plus tax and a local delivery fee of $25-$40 unless they are picking it up.
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