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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 07-18-2013, 06:21 PM   #1
Meat & Heat
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Default How much to charge

So I have cooked for many family and friend events but now I have been asked to cook Pork Butts for my brother in laws family reunion.
Question is this
Aprox 50 people, they want it pulled for sandwiches, and I will have to take it to their site which will be aprox 160 miles round trip.
They insist that I charge for the whole thing as a Caterer would.
What would be a fair price. I feel a little guilty charging to much as I love to do it and it's not my living, but don't want to undersell.

Thanks in advance
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Unread 07-18-2013, 07:04 PM   #2
BBQPitt
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If you were going to the event anyway, then travel might be cut in half or eliminated altogether. If not, then I would absolutely add that to your tally.

I've seen on here that typical prices are 3x food cost. If you tell them to get a lot of the ancillary stuff like plates, buns, cutlery, etc. themselves, you could probably do it for a little less but unless that was your plan for the weekend anyway, there is no reason your time shouldn't be compensated.

I don't cater BBQ, but I do a lot of other business with people, and I've always felt like I should pay them what it is worth. That's not to say that I would want someone to overcharge, but it's not like they are asking you to hang out by the grill and cook hot dogs for an hour either.
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Unread 07-18-2013, 07:51 PM   #3
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As BBQPitt said, 3x food cost is a pretty standard estimate to start with, and then adjustments can be made up or down a bit depending on the event/circumstance.

So for example, say you only needed to bring the pork and they provided everything else. For 50 people you're probably looking at 1/3 lb per person, which means you'll need about 16.5 pounds of finished product, so round up to 17 for a little cushion. If you plan on 50% yield, that's 34 pounds of raw pork.

Obviously your pork prices may be different, but if you're paying $1.49/lb, your cost would be $50.66. Multiply that by three and your base price to charge would be $152.

Remember, this is just for the pork, so if you also had to provide the buns, sauce, etc. you'll want to do the same thing and calculate how much that will cost and tack on the 3x multiplier to your total. So say you bring 60 buns that cost you 20 cents each. That's another $12 cost, or $36 to add to what you charge.

Now, the real tricky part is the extensive travel. If this is an event you would not otherwise be attending, you absolutely need to factor this in. Going back to the example of just bringing the pork and nothing else, your would have a rough net profit of 100 bucks. But if you're talking 160 miles, depending on the gas mileage of your vehicle, that could eat up quite a chunk. If you get 25 mpg, with gas at around $4/gal, that's $25 right out of your $100 in profit, bringing it down to just $75.

Then you have to ask yourself if it's worth it for what you will make off the gig, your time, etc. Granted, this is family so obviously it's probably something you'd do for free anyway, but if they want you to charge like you would as a caterer would, this is the kind of thought process you need to go through, and it will prepare you for your next gig.

Good luck.
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Unread 07-18-2013, 08:18 PM   #4
Meat & Heat
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Thanks for the input guys.
I'm looking at about $70-$80 in food costs around here.
No I was not planning on attending just dropping off the food.
They will be supplying all other stuff I will just bring the pork and sauces.
I thought maybe around $300-$325 with travel.
At $325 that would be $6.50 per plate, is that about right for just meat.
I know most the caterers around here are $18-$22 per plate for the entire meal.
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Unread 07-18-2013, 10:15 PM   #5
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I agree with the 3x's food cost when it comes to regular food items, sides, apps, desserts, but when it come to bbq there is more time involved than regular Items. In my area most caterers get up to $10.00/lb for pulled pork, $18.00/lb for Brisket, and $25.00/ rack of ribs not including rolls or sauce. When we do pigs we pay $1.99/lb and charge $10.00/lb of starting weight. I know it's tricky when dealing with family when you 1st get started. But, remember this, they asked you because your food is good not cheap.
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Unread 07-19-2013, 12:57 AM   #6
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Do 20 lbs of pulled pork for $200.

If some one wanted me to pay more than $10/lb for pulled pork.... I would putz.
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Unread 07-19-2013, 07:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hather of Seoul View Post
Do 20 lbs of pulled pork for $200.

If some one wanted me to pay more than $10/lb for pulled pork.... I would putz.
I think that's fair, but then add a delivery fee. That's too far to go for free.
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Unread 07-19-2013, 08:48 AM   #8
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I'd say it depends on how much you like that side of the family....
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Unread 07-19-2013, 12:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marubozo View Post
So for example, say you only needed to bring the pork and they provided everything else. For 50 people you're probably looking at 1/3 lb per person, which means you'll need about 16.5 pounds of finished product, so round up to 17 for a little cushion. If you plan on 50% yield, that's 34 pounds of raw pork.

Obviously your pork prices may be different, but if you're paying $1.49/lb, your cost would be $50.66. Multiply that by three and your base price to charge would be $152.
.
This is the same starting point I came up with. Then factor in your buns, etc. If it is a first time customer, I will bake an easy pound cake for the person who contacted me. Just an added bonus for them.
Hand it to them personally as you leave.
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