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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 08-05-2013, 05:03 PM   #1
smolderingbbq
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Question Catering for first big wedding

I have catered in the past for 200 people but this one is a little different. They want pulled pork, pulled chicken, spare ribs, buns and rice, three sauces, appetizer, fruit tray (watermelon seperate) 3 hours of service, sweet tea, unsweet tea and lemonade, pasta salad, slaw, garden salad (three dressings), potato salad. All in disposable pans. What are your thoughts on pricing this and any other insight that might help? Thanks!
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Unread 08-05-2013, 07:09 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolderingbbq View Post
I have catered in the past for 200 people but this one is a little different. They want pulled pork, pulled chicken, spare ribs, buns and rice, three sauces, appetizer, fruit tray (watermelon seperate) 3 hours of service, sweet tea, unsweet tea and lemonade, pasta salad, slaw, garden salad (three dressings), potato salad. All in disposable pans. What are your thoughts on pricing this and any other insight that might help? Thanks!

This may sound oversimplified but calculate up your total costs (food, consumables, etc) and multiply by 3.

The most difficult part is deciding how much of each item to cook/prepare. We work these types of events off of a signed contract that details out portion size, number of portions, price of each, etc. This eliminates the guess work on your part and requires the customer to make the decision as to quantity.
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Unread 08-05-2013, 08:19 PM   #3
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I have to agree with bizznessman with the price. Unless they are close or personnel friends don't cut your self short. If you want to make the price more attractive pass on the cost of the sides and dressing if you don't make them your self.
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Unread 08-05-2013, 08:45 PM   #4
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Not from catering, but, from landscaping and video work, my experience, make sure you detail everything. You contract needs to be detailed x3, as the run up to something as important as a wedding, things get forgotten, or ignored.

And do not skimp on price, price the gig for what it is worth. It will be worth every penny, if you go low, and something goes wrong, or expectations mysteriously change, you are the one who will get a bad rep. Weddings are high dollar, one shot and done jobs, you need to be detailed and up front about everything.
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Unread 08-05-2013, 10:36 PM   #5
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Good luck on your first wedding smolderin!
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Unread 08-05-2013, 11:42 PM   #6
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As everyone has already said, this is a business, so it doesn't matter if it's 50 people or 500 people, you cost everything out and then price it accordingly so that you make money and is worth your time.

And as landarc mentioned, a wedding is a bit different because the bride and groom (usually the bride) has ridiculous expectations on their most important day of their lives. So don't skimp, don't cut corners, and price it like a big ticket venue. Provide more food than you usually would, do something special with the meat, or spend more time preparing than you would any other catering event, and price accordingly. Last thing you want to do is come up short.

Or, do as I do, both in my BBQ and my photography business. I simply don't do weddings. People beg, the money can be good, but I just don't do weddings. That may be a bit extreme, but personally I'd rather do anything but a wedding since expectations are so high, it's such a stressful time for the guests of honor and things can and do go wrong, etc.

Good luck!
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Unread 08-06-2013, 11:40 AM   #7
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Thanks for the info. If I have any doubt about being able to handle this should I just turn this job down? The money would be great but a bad rep would be catastrophic. I really do not have the capacity (kitchen space). I would be buying most everything from sams...what do you guys think? This is still a very small business for me as a do most of m work from my house...
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Unread 08-06-2013, 12:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolderingbbq View Post
Thanks for the info. If I have any doubt about being able to handle this should I just turn this job down? The money would be great but a bad rep would be catastrophic. I really do not have the capacity (kitchen space). I would be buying most everything from sams...what do you guys think? This is still a very small business for me as a do most of m work from my house...
I do not intend to discourage you but this sounds like a job that may be bigger than you can handle. As others have previously stated weddings are a whole other ball game when it comes to catering. Emotions run high with your clients for these events and tiny issues can balloon into huge concerns.

We only do one or two weddings a year and those are usually for folks we know personally and who are aware of our capabilities. The first one we ever did turned out okay but the stress level was 10 times what normal events are. But we learned a great deal and it made successive ones easier.

If you cover all your bases and are detail minded then you can give it a try. You have to start somewhere, right? I can't tell you to accept or turn down the event but can only tell you that you must be overly prepared for this type of event.

p.s. Are you insured and are you operating with a food license? Two must haves for doing business like this.
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Unread 08-08-2013, 08:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marubozo View Post
As everyone has already said, this is a business, so it doesn't matter if it's 50 people or 500 people, you cost everything out and then price it accordingly so that you make money and is worth your time.

And as landarc mentioned, a wedding is a bit different because the bride and groom (usually the bride) has ridiculous expectations on their most important day of their lives. So don't skimp, don't cut corners, and price it like a big ticket venue. Provide more food than you usually would, do something special with the meat, or spend more time preparing than you would any other catering event, and price accordingly. Last thing you want to do is come up short.

Or, do as I do, both in my BBQ and my photography business. I simply don't do weddings. People beg, the money can be good, but I just don't do weddings. That may be a bit extreme, but personally I'd rather do anything but a wedding since expectations are so high, it's such a stressful time for the guests of honor and things can and do go wrong, etc.

Good luck!
Gotta agree. I've shot two weddings (my cousin and my niece, 20 years apart), and there is no fun involved. I have to believe the catering aspect would be the same. Just not for me...
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