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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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Unread 09-06-2011, 01:50 PM   #1
Bourbon Barrel BBQ
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Default Discounted price for large groups?

So I've noticed some people give a discount per person as the amount of people increase for a catering job. Is this pretty common? If so is there a ceiling to the discount? After X amount of people it's the same price? I've recently been asked if I can handle an extremely large job and have questioned how much I should give them a break over a normal 50-100 person job.
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Unread 09-06-2011, 06:44 PM   #2
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I don't, with the increace in group size comes additional labor, planning, time clean up and more. Now if it is a drop off yes I will discount.
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Unread 09-06-2011, 06:51 PM   #3
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If I remember correctly, we offered a discount because we were able to save a little on the costs of food raw materials for a very large group. Of course, we also limited the choices as the group got larger as well. So there was efficiency in cost and complexity. I am not so sure I would do that again, it was not my choice back then, I was not the owner. I agree with HBMTN
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Unread 09-06-2011, 06:54 PM   #4
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We use a sliding scale price list, with breaks at 50, 100, 250, 500, 1000. When I figured my costs, I based my price on a given profit margin at 50. I then figured the economy of scale to do the larger groups and split that difference to get my break so the margin goes up as does the group size. If they have 249, they pay the 100 price. I would disagree that planning get's harder. I contend it get's easier as you can ammortize more hired labor into the job and make your life easier.
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Unread 09-06-2011, 06:55 PM   #5
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BTW - This coming weekend we are doing 3 groups (145, 185, and 1000). The margin will be the best on the 1000, and yes, we cost out EVERY job, including depreciation on equipment and overhead. My wife is an accountant.
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Unread 09-06-2011, 07:34 PM   #6
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I'm sure you are correct JBrink but with me I do not as of yet have help that I can count on that is anything more than simply basic help from part timers and most are just doing it to help me. Given the right people helping me I think I could discount and delegate some of the responsibility/work.
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Unread 09-07-2011, 01:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrink01 View Post
BTW - This coming weekend we are doing 3 groups (145, 185, and 1000). The margin will be the best on the 1000, and yes, we cost out EVERY job, including depreciation on equipment and overhead. My wife is an accountant.
This is a pretty complex job of catering for two factories that are 10 miles apart serving all 3 shifts at each with a total of 1600 people between them. Half of me is screaming run away the other half is trying to rationalize what kind of price to quote.
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Unread 09-07-2011, 05:18 PM   #8
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Don't discount a job like that.

What you are doing is way tougher than serving 1600 people at once. It's really six jobs in twenty four hours.

I might even upcharge depending on the logistics. Not just anybody can pull that job off smoothly.
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Unread 09-07-2011, 06:29 PM   #9
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What Jeff Hughes ^^^^ said. No discount for that. Id actually charge a shift premium for after hours sevice.
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Unread 09-07-2011, 06:29 PM   #10
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We've done it for a Local Parker Hannifan plant. 3 shifts, 3 locations, 3 days. It SUCKS!
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Unread 09-17-2011, 12:59 PM   #11
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We try not to cater for anything smaller than about 500 people. We find the smaller groups have a much higher cost of labor per dollar of gross revenue earned. That labor cost will kill you especially for those who pay workers comp and unemployment. We find it just as easy to cater for 500 as it is to do 100 and much more profitable. We also don't discount either. We figure our variable costs, our fixed cost burden, and quote a price based upon a fixed margin number. We cost every job!
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Unread 09-17-2011, 01:13 PM   #12
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Any time I've gotten talked into a "discount" I've been screwed. They either then show up with "extra" guest or some other unexpected expense. After you are established you could possibly offer a courtesy 10% to repeat customers or such.
Figure your costs, quote it, and stick with it. If you have to "discount" to get them -- you don't need them.
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Unread 09-27-2011, 08:18 AM   #13
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I look at it a little different. My catering is not my source of income. It's my serious hobby. My price is cost x 3. I do not discount. Groups like churches VFD's and fraternal organizations who want a discount are usually told I'm busy that day. That may seem a little harsh to some people but I kiss my pork butts not people's butts.
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