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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 10-22-2011, 12:39 PM   #1
Fyrman_Mike
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Default Help with catering figures.

I am catering a small wedding of 125 people. Doing bbq pulled pork sandwiches, bbq baked beans, cole slaw, and potato salad. Planning 1/4 lbs meat per person, 3oz of each side per person. Does this sound about right?

Thank you in advance for the info.
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Unread 10-22-2011, 02:01 PM   #2
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You'd probably be better off planning 1/2 lb per person. A 4oz sandwich is fairly small especially if there is going to be alcohol. You're going to find folks are going to look for second helpings.
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Unread 10-22-2011, 04:00 PM   #3
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I always figure 1/3 pound (5 oz. and that allows 1 oz. of "slop" in the guestimate). Is this for the rehearsal dinner or post wedding? It makes a difference in how long people stick around. Also, alcohol will make a difference. Also, is there finger food and cake??
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Unread 10-23-2011, 08:45 AM   #4
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I had my wires crossed. This is for an Anniversary party not wedding. There will only be what I bring and another caterer is bringing cupcakes for the desert.
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Unread 10-23-2011, 03:45 PM   #5
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If it's a paid gig you give them what they want to pay for.
1/3 pound each is an estimate but if there won't be other food (cheese tray, veggie & dip, etc) you might need to look a closer to 1/2 pound - assuming the client will pay for it. But, remember that veggies are cheaper than meat - go with the appetizers instead of increasing the meat if you can.

I did a family reunion thingy (my in-law side) and did cheese & veg trays, grilled chicken (family recipe), beans, slaw, cake for dessert, and drinks. I charge family about $15 per head for that.
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Unread 10-23-2011, 06:59 PM   #6
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They are wanting to keep EVERYTHING at or below $1k. My wife's business is the one doing the cupcakes, so we are trying to finagle things out for them. I have it figured this way at the moment.
PER PERSON: 1/3 lbs Pulled Pork Sandwich, 3.5 oz of Potato Salad, 3.5 oz of Cole Slaw, and 3.5 oz of Baked Beans. All this for $7.00 per head. Planning now for 125 people.
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Unread 10-25-2011, 09:39 AM   #7
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For $7 p/p it must be a charity gig since there is no way you can do this for a profit. I don't understand how people do any gig without charging for their time plus a profit. There is more to it than covering your food costs, that's why most restaurants and caterers go under, they don't understand business. Like Chad, my price would start at $15 p/p, I don't need practice and my time is worth more to myself and my family than to spend all day cooking and serving for nothing. Find a good CPA with experience with restaurants and listen to what he has to say and his suggestions.
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Unread 10-25-2011, 10:45 AM   #8
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125 people on a 1K budget = Broasted Chicken and fries.
You take charity work now you'll be known as the guy who cooks for cheap.

YMMV.
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Unread 10-25-2011, 11:20 AM   #9
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I doubt if you could feed folks Burger King on that budget. You are going to be pissed in the midst of this event
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Unread 10-31-2011, 03:16 PM   #10
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Here's my breakdown for catering and vending as I charge the same. PP sam 4 oz = $.87, includes wood, time, bun and sauce as I buy Boston butts at $1.015 per # Pot salad 4 oz cost $.14 , mayo slaw $.075 per 4 oz vinegar slaw, cost $.081 per 4 oz, beans with PP, $.061 per 4 oz and to go container $.1533 per container and it totals $1.2243 cost I charge $6.99 for PP sammie and 3- 4 oz sides and turn a nice profit, 5.7 times cost. This according to my wife whom is a retired math teacher.
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Unread 11-01-2011, 07:56 AM   #11
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Hey OL' Timer,

First - congrats on getting butt for $1.015/#. Best I've done recently has been $1.39

That said, I am a bit curious about your base cost for the sandwich. With a typical 40% loss in cooking, your adjusted cost for the butt is $1.69 or 10.5˘/# or 42˘ per 4 oz. Guessing your bun is around 10˘. Hoping you're controlling sauce portion to an ounce & not letting the customer add sauce so will figure 6˘ for sauce. That makes meat, bun & sauce = 58˘ leaving 29˘ per sandwich to cover rub, injection (if you inject), wood & your time.

That seems a bit low to me...
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Unread 11-01-2011, 08:27 AM   #12
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Your wife's business is doing the cupcakes? Wonder how they are pricing this. When you start doing stuff cheap, and what you are doing is indeed cheep, it will be hard to raise your prices without everyone thinking you are sticking it to them because you did it for $7 for this wedding. Believe me, they will tell everyone what a great deal they got. If you are doing charity, charge for expenses but if doing catering charge like a business or you will end up doing everything for charity.
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