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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 04-01-2009, 07:09 PM   #31
BBQchef33
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ok.. step one, I have my insurance guy looking into personal chef insurance. First quote I got was $590 for 1,000,000 liability and he is writing up a policy. thanks strikeagle!

Now I check Boh to get my trailer certified. Going down next week during spring break. does anyone know if a portable handwash sink would fit the bill for the forth sinlk? or does it have to be mounted? I already have the SS 3 bay, and thats all Im missing.
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Unread 04-01-2009, 07:22 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQchef33 View Post
ok.. step one, I have my insurance guy looking into personal chef insurance. First quote I got was $590 for 1,000,000 liability and he is writing up a policy. thanks strikeagle!

Now I check Boh to get my trailer certified. Going down next week during spring break. does anyone know if a portable handwash sink would fit the bill for the forth sinlk? or does it have to be mounted? I already have the SS 3 bay, and thats all Im missing.
Phil,

I am sure that answer will be different county to county. Here you could get a temporary certification. Make a call to the BOH!
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Unread 04-01-2009, 11:55 PM   #33
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Oh Mighty Grand PooBah,

PM me an e-mail and I'll send you some very specific information and coverage questions you want to make SURE you get addressed with your PC insurance.

Anyone else wanting the same info can feel free to contact me as well.

To address the hand wash sink question. It's going to depend on the local HD rules in place where you are going to be. In most CA jurisdictions, you'd be fine with a portable hand wash set up. However, there are at least a couple of counties that would likely give you grief about it, given that you have mounted facilities for everything else. Metro counties in CA just seem to like to be PITAs to everyone.
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Last edited by StrikeEagle; 04-01-2009 at 11:59 PM.. Reason: Added some info.
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Unread 04-02-2009, 03:28 AM   #34
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Some rural counties in Calif can be a PITA also. State laws governed by counties can be a real experience from one county to the next.
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Unread 04-02-2009, 08:22 AM   #35
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First let me thank you for the education. While I'm doing this as a part time gig, the experiance of others is critical to avoid the many pit-falls that are out there. Thank you again...

Quote:
Originally Posted by StrikeEagle View Post
My goal is it give my prospects and clients the best service and food available at the best dollar value possible. For me, accurate estimates and billing clarity are, in fact, part of providing the highest quality service available.
I agree, in fact I have burned myself on price rather than give sub-par food. I, personally, think that the hardest part is the estimating (both food and cost) especially as far out as you do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StrikeEagle View Post
IME most clients want flat rate, or at least a firm estimate of what an event is going to cost. "Time and materials" billing does not give that sort of firm estimate.

I use a "fee plus" formula for billing. I give the client a firm cost for my services, and a "not to exceed" estimate on the cost of food. With 'Fee Plus' the client knows exactly how much they are paying for my services. They retain the freedom to choose the quality of menu that fits their tastes and needs. And, they can choose to upgrade the menu quality without worry about me skimping on quality in other areas to fit a preset budget. Many clients ASSUME that a 'catering service' will use a certain quality of ingredient. (Most people falsely seem to presume that a catered affair will use average quality ingredients, but not the best available.) Yet, that same client may want to ensure use a certain grade of food for their event. "Fee Plus" lets that happen without any concern that there's some sort of overpayment going on since the client gets the actual grocery bill, so they KNOW how much that Prime Beef REALLY cost.
I too break out the quanties of each food item on my estimates. I've found that this gives my clients a chance to change any ratios of items that they have requested. It is then that I can come up not only with a per-person rate, but also a cost on each item based on the estimated quantity.

I also agree that an educated customer is often more understanding when it comes to costs. Maybe I'm unique, but if a customer has misgivings over a price, I like to break it down and explain it all to them. I had one customer that didn't understand how long it took to cook brisket... I invited him over for a cook I was doing for my neighboor; he was there from trimming to slicing... Best comment I got was "we're not paying you enough" I told him next time I would make up the difference... I since had 3 gigs with his family.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StrikeEagle View Post
Some Personal Chefs use an all inclusive formula for their pricing, but I don't like that method. Here's why I don't. With fixed pricing, I'm stuck with the original estimate. If there is a market shift in actual food costs, I have to find a way to adjust my costs elsewhere to keep within budget, or I end up eating the additional cost. (Often, I book events MONTHS in advance, so fluctuating ingredient prices can bite me in this way.) IMHO this is not fair to the client or to me. I would much rather my client be assured of the quality they are getting, without concern that I'm cutting corners on food quality just to stay in budget.
Again, I like your idea on estimating and billing on a 'Fee Plus' basis.


Quote:
Originally Posted by StrikeEagle View Post
One last note on the two billing systems. Fee Plus service is just that; a SERVICE. And, is treated as such by the tax laws in most states. As a service company, in CA, I do NOT have to charge sales tax on the price of my service to the client. They ONLY pay tax on the grocery items that would normally be taxable in my state. The same can NOT be said for the all inclusive billing option. Since there is no way to separate out the service cost vs. the cost of food and materials, legally tax must be charged for the ENTIRE FEE billed in an all inclusive system. In my county of CA, that would cost the client an additional $200-$300 for the event we've been discussing in this thread, and no one gets any benefit from those additional dollars paid.
I can see your point on the taxes.. I like the way you look out for your customers!
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Unread 04-04-2009, 10:26 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqbull View Post
If I cook the food on my own property and deliver it to another site Im covered under my home owners policy.
Thanks for that little bit there Bull. That is how I have been doing my under the table gigs, cooking at home and delivering. I need to see if my Homeowner's policy covers me on that...
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Unread 04-04-2009, 10:44 AM   #37
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Well, i got the policy draft from my insurance guy and said thanks but no thanks. Strike eagle sent me some great info, of more enlightenment and I will be going to the proper source to get the PC insurance. The policy draft i got was more towards a caterer that did most stuff offsite and delivered the product to the site. it was missing alot of liability coverage details of working at the customers site.

But as far as this job goes, what I did NOT realize is that there is another graduation party going on that weekend.

Its my daughters. Shes graduating too. Oops.

It just came up while we were discussing the job, so she hasn't decided what or when her party is, but that may be a show stopper.
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Unread 04-04-2009, 12:34 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQchef33 View Post

But as far as this job goes, what I did NOT realize is that there is another graduation party going on that weekend.

Its my daughters. Shes graduating too. Oops.

It just came up while we were discussing the job, so she hasn't decided what or when her party is, but that may be a show stopper.
With all due respect, you sir, are a dumb arse!
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Unread 04-04-2009, 03:14 PM   #39
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Dumb arse? HA! He'd been called worse if he had forgotten altogether.
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Unread 04-04-2009, 04:03 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Dweller View Post
Thanks for that little bit there Bull. That is how I have been doing my under the table gigs, cooking at home and delivering. I need to see if my Homeowner's policy covers me on that...
Bo, I can all but guarantee you that your homeowners policy does NOT cover you on this. Same goes for Bull.

Unless you have it in WRITING, don't risk it. In addition to not being covered, you'll be in violation of Health Code. I know that there is NOT a single state that allows someone to cook in an un-inspected home kitchen for delivery to a remote site. And, let me tell you, once you've broken a major rule like that, you can be assured that the HD will become your shadow for quite some time.
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Unread 04-04-2009, 08:05 PM   #41
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in my defense,.. i was not aware of any graduation dates until last night when discussing parties for the summer.. its going to be my 50th birthaday, and my daughters 18th birthday a week apart and we may have one big arse bash.. it was in THAT conversation, graduation came up too.. So at time of booking.. i wasn't being a dumb ass...

not to say that it would be out of the ordinary if I was. ;)
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News Flash:
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You know your getting older when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy


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Unread 04-04-2009, 08:30 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQchef33 View Post
in my defense,.. i was not aware of any graduation dates until last night when discussing parties for the summer.. its going to be my 50th birthaday, and my daughters 18th birthday a week apart and we may have one big arse bash.. it was in THAT conversation, graduation came up too.. So at time of booking.. i wasn't being a dumb ass...

not to say that it would be out of the ordinary if I was. ;)
If you need a "Personal Chef" for that dual bash, I will make myself available to give to piece of mind and to enjoy the day............................
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for $5K
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Unread 04-04-2009, 08:41 PM   #43
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I'd do it for $4999, and a plane ticket.
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Unread 04-04-2009, 08:42 PM   #44
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$4950 and a reenactment of the DP "farking FWOOOSH". Last offer.
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"Bring it on, you bananna thong wearing killer of brisket!"-Chambers

If you really care about this place, you'll show some respect for it.

Finally got my dream cooker, Runaround Sue.

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Unread 04-04-2009, 08:45 PM   #45
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On a more serious note, though. Isn't your trailer on a policy umbrella of your HO policy? Could you "rent" your equipment to this cat?
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If you really care about this place, you'll show some respect for it.

Finally got my dream cooker, Runaround Sue.

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