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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.

View Poll Results: Times are hard. You have no other choices. Would you...?
Sell a lower quality product. 1 3.33%
Raise your prices. 29 96.67%
Voters: 30. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-04-2008, 09:50 PM   #16
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I say lower your quality

Come on, brother Neil! Did you really even consider this for a second? It's a no-brainer...do whatever else you have to do, but DO NOT lower your quality.
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Old 12-04-2008, 10:05 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Bigmista View Post
Times are hard and lots of businesses are struggling. If you had tried every other option and had no other choice would you sell a lower quality product or raise your prices?

Please state your reasons.

Raise prices - Over 25 years experience has taught me to "fire" the least profitable customers and work on cultivating additional profitable ones - They'll last and not drive you crazy with BS.
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:54 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Countryhb View Post
Come on, brother Neil! Did you really even consider this for a second? It's a no-brainer...do whatever else you have to do, but DO NOT lower your quality.
Of course I considered it. It's not me. I just wanted to start a conversation. It's Hyp...well you know.
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:04 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by C Rocke View Post
Raise prices - Over 25 years experience has taught me to "fire" the least profitable customers and work on cultivating additional profitable ones - They'll last and not drive you crazy with BS.

I like this! Add it to my response. You have to raise your prices. If you have to make cut FIRE the least profitable, least appreciated, sides or entrees.
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Old 12-05-2008, 03:20 PM   #20
somebody shut me the fark up.
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Kick up the prices... I did this to the guys that I sell package to... When I told them I would have to raise my prices their comment was "As long as the quality doesn't go down, that's fine with us"
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Old 12-05-2008, 07:57 PM   #21
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Lowering the quality of your product is the first step to failure, IMHO. We raised our vending prices this year and still did fairly well. but the numbers were down. Crowd attendance numbers were down at most of the events, so I know it wasn't just us. Happily, at some of our repeat events we had several customers who said they look for us now when the event comes along. Lower quality food would probably not bring back those customers.
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Old 12-05-2008, 09:22 PM   #22
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This thread has a sneaky coincidence to it.

I picked up sveral Holiday jobs this week that would have otherwise gone to my competitor (or was he?). These are folks that were lured to the other guy for his "great" prices. When they received their product, they were very disappointed.

I take many of these new customers to see Lola, and most are impressed that a real wood fire and charcoal is whats cooking their food, not propane. I explain that the care of the fire and proper handling of their food is what they are paying for. After that,most are very excited about my prices.

BTW: My competitor was charging $1 lb for ribs, my price is triple that.
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Old 12-07-2008, 10:06 PM   #23
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We have raised our prices in lieu of escalating costs. We also are selling more sausages and Kosher All Beef Franks, as the price point is lower, and the caterings are more "no frills".
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Old 12-07-2008, 11:03 PM   #24
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It may be arguing semantics, but there is a scenario where I would "sell a lower quality product". If you have steady sales, but the average ticket price is falling it is an indication that your customers have less money to spend. In that instance I believe you are better off looking for lower cost items to put on the menu. Better to keep your regulars coming in for an inexpensive veggie plate or loaded dog than lose them to fast food joints because your menu is full of twenty dollar steaks but no cheap meals.

I guess what I am saying is that while you never want to reduce the quality your dishes, you can offer "lower quality" ingredients that are well prepared without compromising your cooking standards.
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:11 AM   #25
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Raise prices. Period.

Here, I sell cookies. I charge P10 each (that's about US$0.20 right now). For the rural Philippines, that's a lot. And yet, I have people who keep coming back to me. Why? Because I use real butter, because I don't use preservatives, because there's 10 grams of chocolate in every 3-inch chocolate chip cookie, because I use artificial vanilla (hah! it tastes better in baked goods), because I care about the final product and my customers.

There have been times I could not make an item due to availability of good quality ingredients (welcome to the island of Leyte) ... I simply refused the order. I told them that I'd contact them when I was able to obtain the necessary ingredients.

Margarine is NOT a viable substitute for butter.
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Old 12-10-2008, 12:15 PM   #26
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being that the question is hypothetical......

I say keep the prices to where you can make a profit, if you can't... shut the doors. This goes for every type of business whether it be in the food industry or in auto parts.

technically you didn't give us much to go on. there might be some instances where the quality would have to be lowered. that said, how much lower can you go than bbq. I mean, brisket and pulled pork what can you subtract from that? maybe less spice or bbq sauce, ok you saved a few nickles there.

The answer is probably lies in changing the products that you serve. I have said it more than once, stay away from ribs, they are time consuming and labor intensive... compared to brisket and pulled pork I mean.

I would probably make the brisket and pp sammies bigger and get a sign that says "Worlds Biggest BBQ Sandwich" and charge accordingly. Hell if that doesn't work slam the doors shut, either you aint cooking good Q or the location sucks...or both.

I believe in marketing and advertising, keep it smart and keep the prices up.
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Old 01-02-2009, 02:54 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by barbefunkoramaque View Post
is there anything cheaper than select briskets?

Lets see... baked beans, nope has to be bushes or i will start from dried.

It would have to be raise prices... when you look at BBQ in the past... well... it was always about turning cheap cuts of meat into something special.


I would first turn to my paper prod... oh chit, I use Butcher paper so I can't get any cheaper there

look at stuff that takes other stuff to sell it... eg when you have a side that is hitting the trash... so is the fork and container it goes in.

I would also look at stuff to NOT make first.

A restaurant near me copied my Collards recipe. I let them... I mean I came in and taught them. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6u_owUBXxc

Went real well for them... but its labor intensive. But then... he cheapened it.... started macerating it in a freakin food processor or something. Ruined it. So he invited me to see what was up. As he was arguing with me about the bottom line I am chomping on his brisket. Very good Brisket from an electric cookshack... if there is such a thing, anyway I am watching his kitchen staff... four of them, pulling his pork.(the kind you eat)

Now those four farks took the ENTIRE MEAL of mine pulling and BSing. I asked, whats your least popular BBQ. He said the Pulled Pork. I added "because its too dry?"

He turned around to look at what I am looking at... I said you have four people picking through your pulled pork and pulling out every STITCH of fat. Bark too... I said...they have pulled 3 butts in 18 minutes.

I said get a set of Bear Claws (he likes his pork in Big Chunks like I do... Maybe its because if you don't do it in large chunks your wrong, as opposed to right..which is my way), use those claws to pull, then remove only the fat thats not attached to the bark, and only let one person do it, now you do that and have two to go back to making your sides like collards better. Plus, another body, I said, somebody to clear the tables for the customers and make note of what THEY throw away and either nix it of fix it.

Once it goes in the self serve trash can you lose the impression of what people do not like.

You have to really watch what happens AFTER you get in the swing of things. Loss of revenue will bury you as well as rising costs. And in the example of those collards... there's a huge difference in the taste of dumping collards in a broth thats made from simmering a hock or irregular FIRST and dropping them in water and adding that same Hock and simmering.

Its like the deli I had serving my Brisket and Pork that didn't understand why it took off at first then slowed down... I came in and where they used to keep it hot in a bath (where everyone can smell it) they simply Nuked it to order.

Can you imagine asking someone to pay 5 bucks for popcorn at a movie theatre while holding a bag of unpopped microwave corn.

You have to look at everything. EVERYTHING. Not just price and cost. You must find the WHY.
Well said. Great advice and at a reasonable price!
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