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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 06-06-2012, 03:55 PM   #1
twinsfan
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Default Cole Slaw cost?

Working the numbers for my first vending job and I was wondering how much does a portion of coleslaw weigh. I think we pay like $2/LB for cabbage, plus vinegar, etc, but how much does a portion yay (not the pork amount haha!) big weigh? Any input would be appreciated.
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Unread 06-06-2012, 03:58 PM   #2
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If serving 2 sides, I go with 4oz each. If 3 sides, I go with 3oz each. That is for catering. Vending, your portions may be a bit smaller.
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Unread 06-06-2012, 04:09 PM   #3
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Thanks! I've calculated this out. I'd be serving sandwiches on potato rolls.

Pork Butts- $1.59/LB- 60% Gain- $2.65 LB cooked
1/5 LB sandwich- 53 cents of meat
Rolls - $.12/each
Sauce - $.15 a sandwich I'm guessing?
Rub - $3 per two cups, 1/2 cup per butt, 25 per sandwich- 3-4 cents a sandwich?
Slaw - $.30 per sandwich, I'm looking for small portions.

Also would be selling sweet tea for $1. Maybe another side? I don't think ribs or brisket would be a good idea for my first event.

That's $1.13. Would $4 be reasonable and give me a little bit of room or should I charge $5? It's a fair on a holiday with a connotation with BBQ so I'm thinking people might be more generous.

$20 or 25 temp permit (I believe) and 4-5 dollars of charcoal. What else am I missing?


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Unread 06-06-2012, 04:19 PM   #4
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I use a 6 oz cup at the restaurant and put about 4 oz of slaw in it. There is a lot of air in coleslaw the way I make it. Check your sauce cost. Are you adding the sauce or is the customer. I found out that the sauce i use costs $.43 for a 2 oz serving. That is more that what my meat costs. People will pay the $5 for the sandwich and side.
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Unread 06-06-2012, 04:19 PM   #5
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From a real business point of view...

transit costs:
Fuel costs:
materials, non-food consumables (cups, paper, napkins, utensils):
ice:
handwashing soap and water:
food and water for staff (do not pull from what you are selling):
equipment costs:
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Unread 06-06-2012, 04:27 PM   #6
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Thanks guys! Knew you'd catch something.

Transit: We're fine there
Fuel: Like charcoal? I added that in there?
Very good catch on the plates.
Another good catch on ice.
We're using wet ones, as the health code lets us. We're covered there
Gonna just be my family and we'll split anything we make


@Pyle's , thanks, I do not use a store bought sauce, and my idea was handling the sauce myself for that reason to keep prices down. Basically brown sugar, cider vinegar, tomato paste, red/black pepper. Thanks for the tip on coleslaw.

From a pricing point of view. Does a $4 sandwich plus $1 for cole slaw push more business or $5 for the sandwich and slaw? Thanks again


Basically 14 sandwiches to break even. I'd imagine we could do that at an event wish several hundred and very little besides a cafe and a Chinese takeout place for food? Plus we'll be the closest and cheapest food to the races
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Unread 06-06-2012, 04:50 PM   #7
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I mean napkins to the people who buy them, not for your team. You are going to have napkins available for people who buy sandwiches right?

By fuel, I mean that there are costs associated with transit, essentially car maintenance etc...then there is the cost of fuel, that you burn to get to the vend site. I bring this up, more as a way of providing you a more complete view of how to cost out items. In the end, if you keep up with this vending plan, you will need to factor in all the costs, might as well do it right from the start.

Also, even though your family is doing the work, figure in a dollar amount you would like to make. It is good practive to do so. While I would bet a simple 5:1 price to cost would make sense, it is best to do business right.
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Unread 06-06-2012, 07:28 PM   #8
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1/5 LB sandwich- 53 cents of meat

That is a very small sandwich. I would normally figure 1/4 to 1/3 lb per sandwich.

I also figure 15 to 20 servings out of raw 2 lb bag of cabbage.
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Unread 06-06-2012, 07:51 PM   #9
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I agree with above. A 1/5th sandwich is small. I would go with a 4oz sandwich. $5 for a sandwich and slaw is very reasonable for vending.
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Unread 06-06-2012, 08:21 PM   #10
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Those potato rolls are small, though. And they don't hold much before they fall apart. I want a hearty serving, but I'd rather keep prices low and the portions reasonable for an early lunch crowd.

Thanks for the advice! Don't know if it's gonna happen but myswell get planning.
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Unread 06-06-2012, 08:28 PM   #11
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You could always throw sausages on the menu. Easy, quick, and you don't have to cook em if it looks like you won't need them.
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Unread 06-06-2012, 09:33 PM   #12
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I agree with Landarc. Those operating cost items can eat you alive if you don't recoup them. We have found that for our normal gig we tack on 25% to our total cost of goods to cover the operating expenses like fuel cost, consumables, etc.

We serve a 6 oz pork sammie on a 3" burger bun for $5 but will probably be moving up to $6 this season due to a rise in local cost of butts. Same size for pulled brisket but our brisket cost/lb has doubled over the last year so might have to bump the price of a brisket sammie to $7. We offer 4 oz sides for $1. I make the cole slaw from scratch and it packs well in the small styro containers we use (4 oz of product in a 6 oz cup). We throw in a handful of chips for FREE!
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Unread 06-07-2012, 02:15 AM   #13
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i am curious about the rule about charging 5x the cost-if the sandwich costs 1 dollar to make you charge 5$ in general is that a bbq thing or a general restaurant/catering rule.
Im asking because
I am thinking of getting into the restaurant business myself. Is there any good book you recommend reading about opening a restaurant business or catering business
thanks. the other question is do you figure in state or local taxes in yout calculations or is this an all cash catering which is what I woukd do no credit cards

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Unread 06-07-2012, 07:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacksedona View Post
i am curious about the rule about charging 5x the cost-if the sandwich costs 1 dollar to make you charge 5$ in general is that a bbq thing or a general restaurant/catering rule.
Im asking because
I am thinking of getting into the restaurant business myself. Is there any good book you recommend reading about opening a restaurant business or catering business
thanks. the other question is do you figure in state or local taxes in yout calculations or is this an all cash catering which is what I woukd do no credit cards

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The 5X seems to be somewhat of an industry standard (food service). The intention is to cover consumable, labor, operations, etc cost along with profit without calculating things out in detail. We find that this can set a price pretty steep for our customers so we have used a 3X model and have had good luck with happy customers. Lately we have been using Quickbooks to get a better handle on our business and it has really helped in tracking all costs. This has allowed us to tweak our profit by identifying what we call "sleeper costs" that can sneak up on you .

Regarding sales tax we don't add it on to the price. Our state allows us to back it out of the gross sales. i.e. sammie for $5 to Joe Customer and we send approx $0.28 cents to The Man and keep $4.72. All of our sales are festival events so it makes it so much easier to calculate order totals and make change by keeping the prices at even dollar amounts. And just one single calculation on the gross sales to back out the taxes at the end. You might want to check your local and state regs to see if this is allowed in your area though.
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Unread 06-07-2012, 08:22 PM   #15
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5x times cost of product is a standard of the food service industry but, it assumes restaurant service. As you change the dynamic, reducing labor (waitstaff, janitorial, bussers etc...) and real estate (lease, rent, land taxes etc...) you can change the multiplier. It gets tricky though, and it also figures in things like waste, excess purchasing needed for service (e.g. you don't close when you run out of food, you never run out of food, this costs a lot).

The romance of the current food truck trend has lured many folks into that business, but, one thing to be aware of, in most locales, food truck owners who own just one truck, and serve fresh cooked food, are not making a whole lot of money. In L.A., S.F., Portland and N.Y., recent studies have indicated that most food trucks are returning $25,000 to $40,000 a year in profit. That is the same as a line cook in a fine dining restaurant. Many of these trucks were selling at 2x or 3x food costs, assuming their costs were lower. It ends up being that the number has to crawl upwards, towards the 4x/5x number over the long haul.

Region also matters, out on the coasts, where incomes are higher, food costs and transit costs are often also higher, resulting in 5x being a very solid number. In other regions, where costs are generally lower, the multiplier can be adjusted. Out here, another bad trend (IMO) has been organizers of events asking for fees, in terms of 8% to 15% of gross sales be paid to them. Essentially, you are coming into a huge hole from the start.
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