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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 01-11-2010, 11:14 PM   #1
Hank Daddy's Barbecue
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Default Catering Menu Pricing

Hoping to get some feedback on ways to advertise pricing, say on website or marketing materials.

Should I advertise price per person, price per pound or "inquire for pricing".

Is there a preference from the vendor standpoint and prospective client standpoint that I should not overlook.

As always, input is appreciated.
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Unread 01-11-2010, 11:55 PM   #2
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I never talk price over the phone. I set up an appointment, bring them a sample. Then go over pricing and contract.
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Unread 01-12-2010, 12:19 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grillfella View Post
I never talk price over the phone. I set up an appointment, bring them a sample. Then go over pricing and contract.
That's exactly what I do, as well. Unless the customer has a set price per person in mind, then we work backwards from there.
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Unread 01-12-2010, 12:44 AM   #4
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Do a google search for bbq joints in your area...see what and how they are pricing...it'll give you a ballpark. Even better...go taste the competition and pick up one of their catering menus...
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Unread 01-12-2010, 06:11 AM   #5
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grill fella ... next time I'm in LA, I'll give you a call to bring over my free lunch .. er, I mean catering sample. You visit hotels? :)
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Unread 01-12-2010, 07:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank Daddy's Barbecue View Post
Hoping to get some feedback on ways to advertise pricing, say on website or marketing materials.

Should I advertise price per person, price per pound or "inquire for pricing".

Is there a preference from the vendor standpoint and prospective client standpoint that I should not overlook.

As always, input is appreciated.
If you advertise price per pound you need a certified scale.
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Unread 01-12-2010, 08:15 AM   #7
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Basically you need to charge enough to make it worth your time and energy. Everyone in town could be $10 and you could charge $15 and it still not be worth your time and energy.

What are you worth per day?

The reason I ask that is because while you may feed 25 folks or 125 folks it still takes a day of your time. This is where the restaurants have the advantage, they are gonna be cooking regardless, therefore you are not competing with them. If you are beating their pricing you need to walk in front of a speeding truck because you are killing yourself anyway.

I keep seeing folks asking about pricing on this site. Unless you need to do a catering job to keep your car or keep the heat turned on it's not about pricing, it's about marketing. We really can not set your price because we do not know what your overhead is gonna cost. The biggest mistake I see most folks making is they fail to put in the cost of wear and tear on their pit and other equipment.

I use a vacuum sealer and have samples I give out and if I get the business fine, if not that is fine too.... most folks do not do this so you will be surprised at how many jobs you will get.

I price differently than most folks on this site. I go for $1k profit every job, heck I already know that the day is going to be consumed. what is another $100 in food. I can buy 10 pork butts for $70 or 15 racks of ribs for the same $70. Also remember that it's always more than a one day job unless you have a warehouse of food in your pantry. Build a spread sheet and shop with it. I have three/four stores I shop at, SAMS or COSTCO, wallyworld and Restaurant Depot. I actually don't shop any more I buy, I did my shopping a long time ago.

Also remember that if you are the low bidder and you do this part time, then you are just stealing from the businesses that do this for a living. It drives the whole industry down too. Charge what it is worth.... If you do a job on the cheap in hopes of getting additional jobs at a profit.... there is a saying "You are only a good as your last low bid!"

As always my $.02.....
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Unread 01-12-2010, 11:14 AM   #8
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well said
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Unread 01-12-2010, 11:38 AM   #9
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A pricing approach can not be done in a vacuum as there are too many variables - customary approach in your area for your type of catering, are you full time or part time, do you want to weed out clients, what's the easiest to understand and communicate, which creates no headach for you, etc.

I've experimented with all 3 approaches mentioned above and settled on price pp as that works best for me in my situation.

A few things I've learned:
1) pp pricing reduces the clients that think you can serve 100 people for $500
2) pp pricing allows me to profitably charge the client that wants 10 different menu items in 10 half-sized food pans.

All of my pricing and options are posted on my website, and prospective clients like and appraciate it (though I still need to simply it more). I love it when a prospective client is pre-sold when they contact me.
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Unread 01-12-2010, 02:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KuyasKitchen View Post
grill fella ... next time I'm in LA, I'll give you a call to bring over my free lunch .. er, I mean catering sample. You visit hotels? :)

You got it I get booked 99% of the time with my tri-tip sample
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Unread 01-12-2010, 02:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony76248 View Post
Basically you need to charge enough to make it worth your time and energy. Everyone in town could be $10 and you could charge $15 and it still not be worth your time and energy.

What are you worth per day?

The reason I ask that is because while you may feed 25 folks or 125 folks it still takes a day of your time. This is where the restaurants have the advantage, they are gonna be cooking regardless, therefore you are not competing with them. If you are beating their pricing you need to walk in front of a speeding truck because you are killing yourself anyway.

I keep seeing folks asking about pricing on this site. Unless you need to do a catering job to keep your car or keep the heat turned on it's not about pricing, it's about marketing. We really can not set your price because we do not know what your overhead is gonna cost. The biggest mistake I see most folks making is they fail to put in the cost of wear and tear on their pit and other equipment.

I use a vacuum sealer and have samples I give out and if I get the business fine, if not that is fine too.... most folks do not do this so you will be surprised at how many jobs you will get.

I price differently than most folks on this site. I go for $1k profit every job, heck I already know that the day is going to be consumed. what is another $100 in food. I can buy 10 pork butts for $70 or 15 racks of ribs for the same $70. Also remember that it's always more than a one day job unless you have a warehouse of food in your pantry. Build a spread sheet and shop with it. I have three/four stores I shop at, SAMS or COSTCO, wallyworld and Restaurant Depot. I actually don't shop any more I buy, I did my shopping a long time ago.

Also remember that if you are the low bidder and you do this part time, then you are just stealing from the businesses that do this for a living. It drives the whole industry down too. Charge what it is worth.... If you do a job on the cheap in hopes of getting additional jobs at a profit.... there is a saying "You are only a good as your last low bid!"

As always my $.02.....
well said tony
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Unread 01-12-2010, 07:06 PM   #12
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I do what Tony says for a on-site cook (Cost Plus Profit Contract). I do what Jerk Pit Master does for a Pick-Up Order (Price per pound or pan). The key is not to get jobs by low bid, but get jobs by GREAT product. When you have a GREAT product, the high cost is never the issue for the Customer, and the Customers tend not to be the azzholes you deal with on low bid bargin hunters.

Good Luck...
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Unread 01-12-2010, 07:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony76248 View Post
Basically you need to charge enough to make it worth your time and energy. Everyone in town could be $10 and you could charge $15 and it still not be worth your time and energy.

What are you worth per day?

The reason I ask that is because while you may feed 25 folks or 125 folks it still takes a day of your time. This is where the restaurants have the advantage, they are gonna be cooking regardless, therefore you are not competing with them. If you are beating their pricing you need to walk in front of a speeding truck because you are killing yourself anyway.

I keep seeing folks asking about pricing on this site. Unless you need to do a catering job to keep your car or keep the heat turned on it's not about pricing, it's about marketing. We really can not set your price because we do not know what your overhead is gonna cost. The biggest mistake I see most folks making is they fail to put in the cost of wear and tear on their pit and other equipment.

I use a vacuum sealer and have samples I give out and if I get the business fine, if not that is fine too.... most folks do not do this so you will be surprised at how many jobs you will get.

I price differently than most folks on this site. I go for $1k profit every job, heck I already know that the day is going to be consumed. what is another $100 in food. I can buy 10 pork butts for $70 or 15 racks of ribs for the same $70. Also remember that it's always more than a one day job unless you have a warehouse of food in your pantry. Build a spread sheet and shop with it. I have three/four stores I shop at, SAMS or COSTCO, wallyworld and Restaurant Depot. I actually don't shop any more I buy, I did my shopping a long time ago.

Also remember that if you are the low bidder and you do this part time, then you are just stealing from the businesses that do this for a living. It drives the whole industry down too. Charge what it is worth.... If you do a job on the cheap in hopes of getting additional jobs at a profit.... there is a saying "You are only a good as your last low bid!"

As always my $.02.....
I agree with you. Plus if you are competing with business you should be providing a better bbq than they are. All bbq here in CA has sat for hours before they serve it. How else can you get fresh ready to go tri tip, brisket, and ribs.
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Unread 01-12-2010, 07:50 PM   #14
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by the pound.
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Unread 01-12-2010, 07:55 PM   #15
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Per plate per choice (2 meat 3 side, 3 meat 4 side, etc) with adders for premium items, desserts, soup, etc. If you aren't priced at raw goods x 3, don't do it.
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