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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 04-02-2019, 05:42 PM   #1
HBMTN
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Default What Are Some People Thinking?

I got an email from someone I know who works for a company and is handling the annual picnic. She requests a quote for the below menu for 350-500 guests and wants 2 hours of buffet service with staff to maintain everything. Luckily before spending a bunch of time on this I wrote her back and asked what per person budget she had in mind so I know what I'm working with Her response "We have maybe $4000 so we need it between $10-$12 Per Person" What shocks me is that she used to own a catering company many years ago.

Menu

Hamburgers and Hot Dogs with the fixings (buns, lettuce, tomato, onions, ketchup, mustard, mayo, pickles, chili, relish).
Pulled Pork
Slaw
Mac Salad
Potato Salad
Variety of sauces
Buns
BBQ chicken
Baked Beans
Mac and Cheese
Chips
Brownies (this was a simple dessert for a large group).
Tea (sweet & unsweetened) & Lemonade
Paper products
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Old 04-02-2019, 05:55 PM   #2
ynotfehc
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No brisket, ribs and whole hog?
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Old 04-02-2019, 06:23 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ynotfehc View Post
No brisket, ribs and whole hog?
They probably wanted all that but didn't have the extra $0.25 per person they thought it would cost to add that to the menu I guess.
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Old 04-02-2019, 09:28 PM   #4
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I've had a baker's dozen of those low ball inquires for a collegiate game event next weekend.

Instead of declining the jobs, I bid one eight foot table service with basic condiments and paper products and chips along with ice chests and one Alto Sham to serve the dogs from.

~No takers yet lol.

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Old 05-07-2019, 08:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HBMTN View Post
I got an email from someone I know who works for a company and is handling the annual picnic. She requests a quote for the below menu for 350-500 guests and wants 2 hours of buffet service with staff to maintain everything. Luckily before spending a bunch of time on this I wrote her back and asked what per person budget she had in mind so I know what I'm working with Her response "We have maybe $4000 so we need it between $10-$12 Per Person" What shocks me is that she used to own a catering company many years ago.

Menu

Hamburgers and Hot Dogs with the fixings (buns, lettuce, tomato, onions, ketchup, mustard, mayo, pickles, chili, relish).
Pulled Pork
Slaw
Mac Salad
Potato Salad
Variety of sauces
Buns
BBQ chicken
Baked Beans
Mac and Cheese
Chips
Brownies (this was a simple dessert for a large group).
Tea (sweet & unsweetened) & Lemonade
Paper products
I get these types of requests all the time. One woman wanted 4 apps, 4 sides and 4 proteins for a 200 count wedding for $15/per. I politely replied that I would provide pulled pork, coleslaw, buns, sauce, and doctored up beans. No drinks, no dishes or utensils.

I’ve found that once you set your price in the basement, you will be forever trying to climb out because that first client tells their friends how cheap you were and how good the food is. I refuse to do that.

I have a $1,000 minimum due to the time involved to do it right. Have a party coming up on 4JUL - 10 adults 10 kids renting a lake house for a family vacation. They all chipped in to meet my minimum, and the $1.50/mile round-trip travel cost.
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Old 05-08-2019, 05:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
I’ve found that once you set your price in the basement, you will be forever trying to climb out because that first client tells their friends how cheap you were and how good the food is. I refuse to do that.

This is basic business, I preach to anyone who starts a business the idea.
I ought to know, I MADE THIS MISTAKE.
Not one of those early cheapskates, and friends of cheapskates, are my clients any more.
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HBMTN View Post
I got an email from someone I know who works for a company and is handling the annual picnic. She requests a quote for the below menu for 350-500 guests and wants 2 hours of buffet service with staff to maintain everything. Luckily before spending a bunch of time on this I wrote her back and asked what per person budget she had in mind so I know what I'm working with Her response "We have maybe $4000 so we need it between $10-$12 Per Person" What shocks me is that she used to own a catering company many years ago.

Menu

Hamburgers and Hot Dogs with the fixings (buns, lettuce, tomato, onions, ketchup, mustard, mayo, pickles, chili, relish).
Pulled Pork
Slaw
Mac Salad
Potato Salad
Variety of sauces
Buns
BBQ chicken
Baked Beans
Mac and Cheese
Chips
Brownies (this was a simple dessert for a large group).
Tea (sweet & unsweetened) & Lemonade
Paper products
Did she own the catering company in the 50's and think the prices were still the same?

I have a guy that's getting married in September. He wanted brisket, chicken, baked or mashed potatoes and green beans for 350 people. He wants buffet service with us bussing the tables. Budget is $2500.

After reading your post, he almost seems reasonable.
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medic92 View Post

I have a guy that's getting married in September. He wanted brisket, chicken, baked or mashed potatoes and green beans for 350 people. He wants buffet service with us bussing the tables. Budget is $2500.

After reading your post, he almost seems reasonable.

I'd tell him you can drop off a Mcdonalds kids meal per person but that might even be out of his budget LOL
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:11 AM   #9
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Never ceases to amaze me... Professional wedding planners will tell you food and beverage is 40% of the wedding budget. Anything less than $25 per person is typically rubber chicken, frozen veg, instant potatoes, and salad.

Annual Picnics are an employee appreciation event, so I guess these folks mentioned above only appreciate their folks @ $10 a head. I'm sure this sort of "investment" shows in other parts of their business and employee relations.

Have the number for Taco Bell or Mc Donald's ready for these folks...
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medic92 View Post
Did she own the catering company in the 50's and think the prices were still the same?

I have a guy that's getting married in September. He wanted brisket, chicken, baked or mashed potatoes and green beans for 350 people. He wants buffet service with us bussing the tables. Budget is $2500.

After reading your post, he almost seems reasonable.
I certainly hope you didn’t take that job for that price.
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Old 05-18-2019, 09:43 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by CT-Mike View Post
I certainly hope you didn’t take that job for that price.
No. I did take great pleasure in recommending he call a few other barbecue caterers in the area and check their prices. I'm not sure he's recovered yet. My advice to him was to serve appetizers. Nobody really wants to eat a big heavy meal at a wedding, they want to eat something so they can pretend they're being responsible by eating before drinking themselves into a coma. I told him to have a few small items like wings and things like that, and use the money he saved for the honeymoon. He's marrying WAY out his league so he should really impress her.
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