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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 05-15-2009, 10:32 PM   #16
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If you charge per gig vs per person what difference does it make if 15 more people eat or 15 come back for seconds? Plan on 15% as your reserve and portion the first wave and you should always be fine.

Plenty of buffet tricks to be had, put all of your bread, pickles, beans and fluffy salads like mixed greens first in the line up, they take up plate room. Use 9" plates if you have a real big crowd and small serving spoons, most normal folk will take a bite and move on vs trying to use a small spoon to fill up their plate with a large portion.

If some absurd amount of extras show up unannounced that is certainly not you fault nor your responsibilty to feed them. As many parties as I have catered there is no magic to what people will eat on any given day, provide them what they pay for and your job is finished.

My best advice is to be very specific in your written agreement even if you have to specify exactly what quantity of each item you're providing. If the client signs of on 20 racks of ribs and they all get eaten but three people dont get ribs, oh well!

I have experienced that some people will jerk your chain so the deal is in their favor, not everyone but some. Many like to play the kid game, we dont charge for toddlers thats it. If they have a bunch of 8 year olds running around I suggest they buy hot dogs & buns and we will cook them and serve the kids an hour before we serve the adults.

Every gig has it's challenges! Sorry for rambling and straying a bit from your question.
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:05 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by big brother smoke View Post
If you roll your silverware in napkins it works better than plates. If this is not the norm for your customers, it may not be worth the stress to worry about. I have a problem like this about once a year and just hope the main check don't bounce. Chit, sometimes I go to their bank to cash the check before the event happens.

Ditto that
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:15 PM   #18
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I surprisedly ended up with about 150 folks last weekend. I based this on the number of forks that were in the box. I picked up the mixed box from sam's that had 390 (130 ea)pieces total, then I had to dig slightly into another box of just forks. I ended up spending about $675 on food, plates, utinsels, etc... therefore I ended up charging $1675. I prepared 6 brisket flats (averaraged 5lb), 15 racks st louis cut ribs, 16 half chickens (3 pieces each after halving the breast), 5 butts (10-13lb), 12lbs jalepeno sausage, 2 1/2 pans asian slaw, 6 1/2 pans of a variation on keri's beans, two 1/2 pans corn salsa, 6 1/2 pans variation on surprise taters. 4 1/2 pans bread pudding, 6lbs brownies, 4 loaves tx toast and @ 160 bacon wrapped japs (I might add that my wife was a machine in preparing these).

We began serving at 7PM and finished about 11PM. Normally we would have stayed later and consumed large quantities of beer but the daughter/helper made us responsible. The only thing I would do different would be, hire some more help next time. I could have charged more and gotten it, but this is the third job we have done for them since October and since I quoted them a $1500 minimum and only 40 folks showed up at one gig, my wife was a little peeved that I charged them more than $1500.... o well!

I may have gotten a few more jobs out of this one. Two definites anyway. Not that my schedule will allow me to do them though. I think it also secured my golf tournament again this year, since one of the folks said they want to give me a better location this yr.... not sure where that could be....

Didn't mean to hi-jack the thread, just sort of thought this went hand in hand with head count and what to charge and why..... what would others have charged for this gig?
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