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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 05-27-2009, 03:48 PM   #1
BBQNUTT
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Default Need a little advice...

I've been asked to cater a friend's wedding next month. Pulled pork sammies, baked beans, tater salad, coleslaw, mac n cheese for 300 people. Everything homemade. After figureing my costs, I've come up with around $7 per per person as a charge. Sound reasonable? Too high, too low? This will be our biggest job yet. Till now our biggest was 120. Thanks for your help!
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Unread 05-27-2009, 06:09 PM   #2
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One meat and 4 sides for a WEDDING would go easily at 12-13 bucks per person!
Unless your just dropping the food off, ya gotta do it up nice for the happy couple!
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Unread 05-27-2009, 07:23 PM   #3
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Since I have been BBQ Catering it seems I have a lot more friends. I have cheated myself out of money by being everyone's "Friend" I finally made out a price sheet and quote straight off of the price sheet---friends or not. I am not employed---I do not cater for fun. I cater to make a living, and my friend's realize this. I have enough experience--now I need money.

How big are the sandwiches going to be----on hamburger buns or on French Rolls?
If you have figured it out that you can make money at $7.00 you may have left something out when figuring cost. You have labor costs --food costs--transportation costs--fuel for BBQ pit costs etc. Do you need to pay helpers--or are they "Friends" that are donating their services. I think 7 dollars per plate seems low, but if your help is free maybe not.

The other problem that has cropped up with cooking for "friends" is that the "friends" do not keep special pricing to themselves, and the next person that you quote for the same meal will be angry with you.

What are comparable caterers in your area charging? I have been through these things the hard way---discounting to friends will cause trouble later.

I also look at other things--if someone is renting a hall for thousands of dollars and leaving for a honeymoon in France---and trying to get me to cater at a break even price, then something is wrong. Do not cheat yourself, but do not rip off the customer either---be good---be honest, and be fair. Please recheck your figures.
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Unread 05-27-2009, 08:17 PM   #4
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I agree with the above comments!
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Unread 05-27-2009, 08:37 PM   #5
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You are at least half off what the job is worth. You never want to let a client go cheap on their wedding day.
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Unread 05-27-2009, 10:51 PM   #6
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Way too low. I would look for at least $13.50, more for a wedding. Even if you are not completely "professional" - Health Department compliant, insured, etc. - you should price yourself as though you are. And that includes paper goods, table decor, a payrate for your time and, believe it or not, profit.
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Unread 05-28-2009, 10:00 AM   #7
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Amen to all of that input. Make money or get in line at the soup kitchen!
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Unread 05-28-2009, 11:38 AM   #8
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Normaly, I would agree with the "Make some money!" plan of attack. But this is a friend of mine that doesnt have a lot of money and I want to help him out by doing this cheaper than anyone else would. Based on all of your posts I have decided to increase my price to $8 per person just to be safe... Thanks!
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Unread 05-28-2009, 11:40 AM   #9
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if he is a good friend, tell him not to spread the word on the pricing, you will regret it. everyone will expect the treatment.
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Unread 06-01-2009, 10:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OC PIG ASSASSINS View Post
if he is a good friend, tell him not to spread the word on the pricing, you will regret it. everyone will expect the treatment.
Absolutely. On the rare occasions we do a "brother-in-law" deal for someone we swear them to secrecy and let them know we will deny that we gave them that price if anyone ever asks us. It's too bad that the world works that way, but the worst thing that can happen to a caterer is to become known as the least expensive guy around. Then you get to work yourself to death and die broke!
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Unread 06-02-2009, 02:45 PM   #11
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Default You have got to be kidding!

I have to ask, do you really know how much work it is to cater and feed 300 people??? A good friend shouldn't expect you to do that much work for so little pay, after you cover food cost, business expenses & labor whats left???

I'll probably get chastised for this but this is just another case of you really shouldnt be doing this if this isnt what you do for a living, someone else or even yourself if your a caterer could make a nice buck from a job like this.

Some people see kindness as a weakness and take full advantage of it, I think your probably a real nice guy and your buddy is taking advantage of you! You should be 3 times that price minimum! Bare minimum!
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Unread 06-03-2009, 08:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASUBBQ View Post
I have to ask, do you really know how much work it is to cater and feed 300 people??? A good friend shouldn't expect you to do that much work for so little pay, after you cover food cost, business expenses & labor whats left???

I'll probably get chastised for this but this is just another case of you really shouldnt be doing this if this isnt what you do for a living, someone else or even yourself if your a caterer could make a nice buck from a job like this.

Some people see kindness as a weakness and take full advantage of it, I think your probably a real nice guy and your buddy is taking advantage of you! You should be 3 times that price minimum! Bare minimum!
Thanks for your advice, but around here, no body and I mean NO BODY would pay $21 per person to feed people pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, and potato salad. I couldnt imagine charging 3 times what I am charging for BBQ...
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Unread 06-03-2009, 10:30 AM   #13
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I would be in at least the $12/person range just because they added the mac & cheese. Cheddar is damned near $4/# and you need a lot to do it right. And remember that your time is valuable. If you have a smoker large enough to cook all the butts in one shot, you are still looking at 10-14 hours of cooking minimum.

Lots of caterers would charge $20/head for rubber chicken and green beans. Don't sell yourself short.
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Unread 06-03-2009, 11:31 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigmista View Post
I would be in at least the $12/person range just because they added the mac & cheese. Cheddar is damned near $4/# and you need a lot to do it right. And remember that your time is valuable. If you have a smoker large enough to cook all the butts in one shot, you are still looking at 10-14 hours of cooking minimum.

Lots of caterers would charge $20/head for rubber chicken and green beans. Don't sell yourself short.
You Would
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Unread 06-03-2009, 11:44 AM   #15
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Quote:
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You Would
And has...
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