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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 08-31-2009, 12:00 AM   #1
Hank Daddy's Barbecue
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Default Help with numbers please

I've just accepted an offer to cook pulled pork sandwiches at an outdoor charity event.

Organizers are expecting 1000- 1500 people to attend the event. Burgers and Hot dogs will be sold as well but not by me.

How many butts should I prepare?

Thanks for your help.
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Unread 08-31-2009, 01:22 AM   #2
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Is this a vending gig where you set up and people buy sandwiches from you?

How many other vendors? How many people attended the event last year? Who cooked last year? Why is the old vendor not coming back? If this is a first year event it is a gamble. Organizer's expectations are usually not met.

How many hours does the event last? Is the event being held during normal meal times? Is this a one day event? Is this a charity that you would like to support?

These questions need to be answered in order to figure out how many people that you are going to feed. Do you have a place to sell any meat that might be left over?

Burgers and hot dogs cook in minutes from frozen product. Pulled pork is labor intensive in comparison and takes a long time to cook.

You can approach this 2 ways---#1 make pulled pork for 300 sandwiches and 300 buns and close if you sell out.
or #2 -cook enough pulled pork for 750 people and get 750 buns and take home leftovers instead of money--or maybe get lucky and go home with lotta money.

I would do more research about the event and increase your odds of making money
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Unread 08-31-2009, 05:48 AM   #3
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I did an air show once, as a fund raiser. We expected a big turn out. The morning of the show was so foggy hardly anyone showed up. We only sold about 40 sandwiches. Disaster. Chuck has the right idea, there is a lot of questions that need to be answered before planing can start. I would consider adding somthing quicker to prepare to the menu. Like pork chops or sausage, then cook as you go. That way unsold product could be frozen uncooked. You'd only be out some buns if sales floped.
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Unread 08-31-2009, 09:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckwagonbbqco View Post
Is this a vending gig where you set up and people buy sandwiches from you?

How many other vendors? How many people attended the event last year? Who cooked last year? Why is the old vendor not coming back? If this is a first year event it is a gamble. Organizer's expectations are usually not met.

How many hours does the event last? Is the event being held during normal meal times? Is this a one day event? Is this a charity that you would like to support?

These questions need to be answered in order to figure out how many people that you are going to feed. Do you have a place to sell any meat that might be left over?

Burgers and hot dogs cook in minutes from frozen product. Pulled pork is labor intensive in comparison and takes a long time to cook.

You can approach this 2 ways---#1 make pulled pork for 300 sandwiches and 300 buns and close if you sell out.
or #2 -cook enough pulled pork for 750 people and get 750 buns and take home leftovers instead of money--or maybe get lucky and go home with lotta money.

I would do more research about the event and increase your odds of making money

All good advice here - Pulled Pork is the way to go. Low cost, high margin, will hold well, and left overs are freezeable for future use. Based on the info you have to date, 300 would be a good number to plan for, if you have a 5 - 6 hour selling window.

300 would be something like 135 lbs of butt ($210), 25 dozen buns ($50), Sauce ($10), sternos ($, paper boats ($4), Napkins ($5), plastic forks (Somebody will ask for them $2). Don't forget to include the cost of any workers, permits or vendor fees in your overall costs.

So before you get there, you have $289 spent, plus any fees, insurance, gasoline, etc.

300 sandwiches @ $5 each = $1500. Figure all the additional costs, and see what you might make. Good luck!
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Unread 08-31-2009, 09:35 AM   #5
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What percentage of sales is the charity looking to receive?
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Unread 08-31-2009, 10:34 AM   #6
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Don't forget BBQ Sauce ;-)
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Unread 08-31-2009, 11:42 AM   #7
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Thank you all for your feed back, it is greatly appreciated.

I'll try to answer the posed questions, but let me say that pulled pork was my choice, as margins are higher than say ribs or brisket. Also, as mentioned, it does freeze well and I could easily use the leftovers for other gigs or kids' lunch, baked beans, etc.

The event goes from 1pm-7pm. The event is in it's 7th year and last year they had over 1000 people attend. They have only ever sold hamburgers and hot dogs. 2 ice cream trucks also vend.

Its a family affair from my standpoint as wife and kids can and will help out, so labor costs are minimal.

Is a 4oz sandwich the standard, or should I go bigger.

Once agian thanks for all your help.
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Unread 08-31-2009, 12:06 PM   #8
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4oz is a good size to serve. Here is my theory on vending. Never run out of food, I use to run out and it will never happen again. You lose money when you run out. The best way to do this is have plenty of product that you can freeze and use for another event. Purchase a decent amount of rolls, maybe 320 (20 - 16 packs). If you start running low, send someone to the store. You may have to slow down service for a half hour, but your line we still be built. DO NOT RUN OUT OF FOOD.
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Unread 08-31-2009, 01:52 PM   #9
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Totally agree ... Do Not Run Out of food. Also throw a few packs of hot dogs and buns for small kids. I have found assenbling and wrapping in the boxed pre-cut foil sheets is best.

Have fun ....
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Unread 09-01-2009, 11:21 PM   #10
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Lot's of great info here guys...
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Unread 09-11-2009, 07:56 PM   #11
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Default Thank you all VERY much....here are the results

It was my first time doing something along these lines, so there were many lessons learned.

I was able to get 17 butts on the cooker. I pulled 16 throughout the day and sold the last one whole (pulled) as the event was closing down. I sold 190 sandwiches, 12 or so per butt.

I was very happy with the fact that I sold out when the event was closing. I did however, underestimate the net number of sandwiches per butt. I thought I'd get at least 20 per butt.

As I said, I learned so much doing this that it'll only get better, more efficient and more profitable going forward.

I booked 2 new catering gigs as a result.

Once again, a great big THANK YOU to the Brethren.
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Unread 09-11-2009, 08:12 PM   #12
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Congratulations on a job well done.
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Unread 09-11-2009, 10:15 PM   #13
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Sweet!

You DO have pics....right?
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