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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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Unread 06-19-2013, 04:54 PM   #16
kadQ
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I checked out a flyer from restaurant depot this morning about freaked out over the cost of spare ribs, much cheaper!!!!! Already looking into a business liscense. I would like to go a browse just to see what prices I'm looking at. Spices etc.
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Unread 06-19-2013, 04:57 PM   #17
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I looked at an ad from restaurant depot this morning looks like it would be well worth getting a business license to save that kind of money. spare ribs $1.79 a pound thats just a start!!!!!
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Unread 06-19-2013, 07:24 PM   #18
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You need to figure out what you want to be? The low cost guy on the block offering the cheapest meat and sides in order to make a profit or a higher priced caterer who only uses the best meats and sides? A caterer can not compete with a restaurant that does drop off and make any money at all. You can't be everything to all, pick your market. Get a website, add pictures, lots of content and pages and some special deals as your min.

I have a few packages, the one for chicken includes cole slaw, baked beans and rolls. Min price is $13.95 per person plus 15% gratuity and sales tax with a 50 person min.

Pricing is really something that is driven by the area you are in. I am in an affluent area so my prices work, I'm not the cheapest and not the most expensive. I cook on-site and provide servers to dish the food at a buffet table and I include plates, utensile, napkins and condiments.

I have a friend in an even more affluent area and has been in business longer and his min price is $17.95 per person with 75 people min.
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Unread 06-20-2013, 10:49 AM   #19
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"I'd rather be hungry than tired and hungry"-anonymous
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Unread 06-20-2013, 06:25 PM   #20
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PorkQPine do you mind if I pm you????
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Unread 06-21-2013, 03:41 AM   #21
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I list and price my drop offs as Party Packs. In my pricing/menu document it states that each will feed between 25-40 depending on the appetite of the eaters. Each contain 3 pounds slaw (fit perfect in 1/2 pan and that's how I buy it) and around 9 pounds beans (1 #10 can of doctored beans). Customers can group a few together to get a varied menu and feed more.

The cheapest one is $200 and has 8 pounds of pulled pork and 32 buns (buns come in 16 packs). Others include chicken beef and ribs. It's an easy to cook and especially package the food for delivery and is profitable. I sell pork for $11 per pound my cost for slaw $3, beans $6 buns $5. That's less then $100 cost (I know I need to add the slaw and bean juice with a few foil pans) easy profit!

During the week at my stand I usually sell 1-2 and last weekend for graduation weekend I delivered 4 to different parties with 2 of them being double PP'S
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Unread 06-22-2013, 07:52 AM   #22
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When you put the expense vs the profit I can see it. Folks have some really good pricing. When it comes to labor I guess making 20.00 an hour is out of the question but need to keep in mind paying the help.

This is my first time going down this road I do have tons of questions about pricing keeping in mind I will not be the cheapest or the most expensive. Have had a couple of people offer to go into a partnership to open a small resturanant/ catering business but I am not even close to thinking about a small restuarant. there motives were not mine (trying to put out the local bbq joint)....
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Unread 06-26-2013, 06:47 AM   #23
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+1...
We start delivered @$12.00 and serviced @$17.00.
PorkQPine is right, find your market, dont sell yourself short. Realize if you create a quality product, many places are now corporate & commercialized & don't smoke on site because you need experienced staff & time / something they cut out when the "economy" wasn't great ..... Only the local guys around us actually smoke in house anymore.
if it helps check out our site.
www.smokeitupbbqkitchen.com
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PorkQPine View Post
You need to figure out what you want to be? The low cost guy on the block offering the cheapest meat and sides in order to make a profit or a higher priced caterer who only uses the best meats and sides? A caterer can not compete with a restaurant that does drop off and make any money at all. You can't be everything to all, pick your market. Get a website, add pictures, lots of content and pages and some special deals as your min.

I have a few packages, the one for chicken includes cole slaw, baked beans and rolls. Min price is $13.95 per person plus 15% gratuity and sales tax with a 50 person min.

Pricing is really something that is driven by the area you are in. I am in an affluent area so my prices work, I'm not the cheapest and not the most expensive. I cook on-site and provide servers to dish the food at a buffet table and I include plates, utensile, napkins and condiments.

I have a friend in an even more affluent area and has been in business longer and his min price is $17.95 per person with 75 people min.
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Unread 06-28-2013, 06:13 AM   #24
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I want to provide an excellent product at a fair price. Now do I want to go cheap on the meat I am having a hard time doing that But in the same breath I would be almost double to triple the price of the locals that are doing this. As far as the sides go well it can be done but there is no access to a commercial kitchen so Meat only for me and so far it's worked out. Started the licensing process this week meeting with the local health inspector next week to look my pit over.

I need to focus on the reviews I've recieved so far just put together prices and not worry about the other competition.
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Unread 06-28-2013, 10:15 AM   #25
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I just lost a "job" due to others doing it on the cheap. I was approached to do pulled pork (meat only). As it's a not for profit I am very familiar with and they said to price it so I'd make something (as opposed to donating time and meat) I quoted $3 per person. This way they could determine a rough cost to them closer to the event as the numbers firmed up. That actually comes out to about $9 per pound delivered - pretty reasonable.
I just got notified yesterday they found "someone" to do "full meal" for $4 per person, not including paper products. I'll be interested to see what is served and how much.
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Unread 06-28-2013, 10:16 AM   #26
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You cant work for free. I have caterers around me that charge super low prices. Are they busier than me, yes. But I make in one party what they make in three to four. They are not three times busier then me. Price per person should not go up when doing on site or off site. The price per person is paying for food. If you want to charge them for on site, do exactly that. Charge them per employee and whatever else you are going to charge them for, grillman, tents, tables, whatever it might be. I get 35 per hour 4 hour minimum for servers. A grill man for four hours includes the grill is 500. See where I am going with this?
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Unread 07-02-2013, 11:49 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HBMTN View Post
I am not charging a $245 fee for on site. Basically based on 100 people that is all the more I am grossing and then the costs come out of that. Here in rural Va ya can't get away with much higher prices I started out 3 years ago charging $12.50pp for pulled pork and 2 sides. It was not until I dropped the price that I started getting busy. That is kinda what I am wondering, I ask more for on site but still sell them on the drop off if they think the on site is too much.
Hmm, if that is the most you feel you can charge for drop off than I would make that my standard offer and way of doing business, and then if somebody really wants to value added services of on site service then I would make it a pretty decent sized upcharge. Don't make it just a small nominal charge. For a 2.50 upcharge like you have that includes the help you brung, paper products, sternos, setup, and cleanup, there is no way I would not go that route, and in the end you do a few more hours work for very little if any extra gain. Make the upcharge more, the people who really want it will spring for it, and those cheapskates will think they are getting a bargain with just dropping off.

Obviously I don't know your market but fwiw overall your numbers just seem too low to me. I am a big believer in knowing your worth, and letting others know your worth. Whenever I quote anything, I ALWAYS include a prepared paragraph with my story, awards, training, media exposure, as well as what separates me from the crowd. I pretty much say "hay I ain't the cheapest option you will find for your event, BUT....." and I say how we make everything from scratch, source the best products from the top vendors, use top of the line equipment, been doing this how many years, don't use anything premade, its a labor of love and passion, etc. I am letting them know I am worth what I charge, and also putting in their heads in a subtle way why the other quotes she may get may not be as good a deal and why are they so cheap, all without actually talking trash on anyone which I would never do. Also, as professional as possible pics of some of your food, one thing that is pretty much a sure thing, the cheap guy will also have a cheap presentation of himself and his food.

Just some random thoughts fwiw. Good luck!
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Unread 07-12-2013, 02:41 AM   #28
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Im just curious to find out what most are profiting when everything is said and done. Most of the events I do are on average 125 to 200 people. When everything is said and done I would say a average profit is 200 to 250 I cook mostly for private partys. Chicken thighs and pulled pork usually are my biggest requests.
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Unread 07-12-2013, 09:13 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cooknhogz View Post
Im just curious to find out what most are profiting when everything is said and done. Most of the events I do are on average 125 to 200 people. When everything is said and done I would say a average profit is 200 to 250 I cook mostly for private partys. Chicken thighs and pulled pork usually are my biggest requests.
That is tricky to say profit when done, I mean when taking into consideration cost of doing business, advertising, etc. I may have a weekend where I profit $800 but my business did not make that. I am making money but my business is not and what I mean by that is if the business paid me say $12 per hour wage for every hour I work to manage it then it would be bankrupt. So therefore I need to find a way to make the business turn a profit or else all I have done is created a 2nd job. Make sense?
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Unread 07-15-2013, 07:08 AM   #30
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I Would have to agree. Think you need to find a different supplier. No price break for buying larger quantities. To pay the same price as the rest of the public. Up here western nyy Boston butts are 1.29# and once in a while you can get whole ribs for under 2 a #.
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