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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 01-29-2014, 07:55 PM   #1
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Post Catering Question: New to catering need help pricing.

Hey guys I'm new to this catering business and I have a graduation party to do in June and was wondering if u could help me out with figuring out how to price a party. I use an offset stick burner. I live in Western Pennsylvania if that helps any. They want pulled whole chicken and ribs for 100-110 people with 2 sides: red parsley potatoes and steamed green bean salad. I'm not quite sure how much of each food and what to charge. They will have other foods there aswell that I will not be providing. Please help...
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Unread 01-29-2014, 09:14 PM   #2
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I'd reconsider catering where other food is serve along with yours, there are liability issues there that could haunt you. That said your are looking at probably 3 bones per person and 3-4oz of pulled chicken per person. I don't do pulled chicken (though I am considering it) so I can't help there. Maybe cook one up and pull it to see what the weight is on the pulled meat and that would give you a close idea how much you would need. As for price are you catering or dropping it off? Will you be cooking spares or baby backs?
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Unread 01-29-2014, 09:33 PM   #3
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I do pulled chicken. I use the whole ones from Sam's. They run about $.99/# and are generally over 5#. I get between 40-43% yield. That will make your cost about $2.40/#. 110-4 oz servings is 27.5# of cooked meat. So you will need about 69# of raw chicken.
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Unread 01-29-2014, 09:41 PM   #4
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the best thing to do, in any cooking for money situation is to break everything down by serving weight, then start to create a list. From the shopping list, you can find your raw materials cost. Don't forget hardware and consumables, such as sterno, travel, wood etc...from there figure what you are willing to work for.

I do agree on 3 bones, 3 to 4 ounces of chicken, lots of folks seem to really go for it.
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Unread 01-29-2014, 09:59 PM   #5
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@HBMTN they r not sure what type of ribs they want so I'm going to price both of them and let them know. This party is at some city building so they need to find out if I'm allowed to cook on site or not. What r the issues that might haunt me?

@ Pyles BBQ. Thanks for the info on the chicken. That will help alot.

@ landarc. What would the serving sizes be for the sides?
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Unread 01-29-2014, 10:03 PM   #6
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is it self serve, or are you serving, pre-portioning? If you are controlling the servings, 3-4 ounces. If it is self-serve, 6-8 ounces. People tend to over-serve themselves, these is more waste on self-serve jobs
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Unread 01-29-2014, 10:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capsmear View Post
@HBMTN they r not sure what type of ribs they want so I'm going to price both of them and let them know. This party is at some city building so they need to find out if I'm allowed to cook on site or not. What r the issues that might haunt me?

So consider a scenario where you are asked to cater an event and to bring pulled pork and baked beans and then there will be other food there. You show up and set up a buffet and your food for the event and then 10 other people bring in food let's say a family reunion or something. Aunt Judy brought her famous mac n cheese and she lives just up the road. Uncle Bob brought his family favorite Cole Slaw and he had a 3 hour drive and put it in the car 30 minutes before he left thinking about other things he had to get for the trip. It's mid July 95* and by the time everyone arrives and eats Uncle Bobs slaw has been at room temperature for 4-5 hours. Later that night everyone starts to get sick and ends up in the hospital. Guess who is getting the blame the caterer. You could be sued for huge amounts of money that even if you got out of it would cost a fortune in attorneys and bad publicity.

If you do it at least have them sign a waiver that they take full responsibility for the food and accept responsibility for any issues.
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Unread 01-29-2014, 10:27 PM   #8
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Oh, it is at a building in the city? you might want to see if there is a kitchen and if you have access to it. Also check if there is refrigeration and the ability to heat food.

I got a friend a catering gig this year, and we found out, no stove, no oven, one plug, no refrigeration, one hour access to site. He nailed it, but, haul in was a bitch, and he kept looking at me as if to say 'no stove, really?'
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Unread 01-30-2014, 03:12 PM   #9
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One trick I use to limit the amount of meat on a self serve line is to use smaller buns. I use slider type bun. Most people won't take two if there are other options. It is really tough to get more than 3 oz on a bun without making a mess. You can also have extra buns available for very little cost. My buns cost me $2.08/12.
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Unread 02-09-2014, 06:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HBMTN View Post
So consider a scenario where you are asked to cater an event and to bring pulled pork and baked beans and then there will be other food there. You show up and set up a buffet and your food for the event and then 10 other people bring in food let's say a family reunion or something. Aunt Judy brought her famous mac n cheese and she lives just up the road. Uncle Bob brought his family favorite Cole Slaw and he had a 3 hour drive and put it in the car 30 minutes before he left thinking about other things he had to get for the trip. It's mid July 95* and by the time everyone arrives and eats Uncle Bobs slaw has been at room temperature for 4-5 hours. Later that night everyone starts to get sick and ends up in the hospital. Guess who is getting the blame the caterer. You could be sued for huge amounts of money that even if you got out of it would cost a fortune in attorneys and bad publicity.

If you do it at least have them sign a waiver that they take full responsibility for the food and accept responsibility for any issues.
Great example of what could go wrong, are these legal waivers available somewhere online? We too have been ask to provide meats for various parties, but we would not have control over other foods.
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Unread 02-11-2014, 01:34 AM   #11
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Great example of what could go wrong, are these legal waivers available somewhere online? We too have been ask to provide meats for various parties, but we would not have control over other foods.
Due to the differences in State civil/tort laws it would be a good idea to obtain one through an attorney. "Generic" waivers could leave you open to legal exposure the same as if none were signed.
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Unread 02-11-2014, 11:49 AM   #12
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Due to the differences in State civil/tort laws it would be a good idea to obtain one through an attorney. "Generic" waivers could leave you open to legal exposure the same as if none were signed.
Thanks Biz, that sounds like the right thing to do
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