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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 04-08-2010, 05:31 PM   #1
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Default What would you charge for travel?

What is a fair price in addition to the regular per person charge. I have a client wanting me to travel on a holiday weekend 160 miles round trip total drive time of 3 hours 25 minutes to cater an event for 50 people. I am looking at truck expense (gas, wear and tear) pulling the pit and paying a fair wage to myself and one employee for the seat time.

I am planning to quote the meal as if they were in my area and then list the travel time and expense seperate. What is a fair price?
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Unread 04-08-2010, 06:06 PM   #2
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1st 30 miles free x 2 (Out and back) @ No Charge

100 Miles @ $.50 per mile = $50

Helper Windsheild Time = $30 total

Your Windshield Time = $100 total

We list this type of charge as a Site Fee - Total here for us would be $180 - $200
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Unread 04-08-2010, 07:45 PM   #3
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I'd help them find somebody closer unless it's a good friend or something like that.

Agree with $200 shown as an additional charge. That's $4 per head. No way you can compete with somebody local.
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Unread 04-09-2010, 02:35 AM   #4
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what Ford said
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Unread 04-09-2010, 07:50 AM   #5
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Either you cover the area or you don't. You cannot charge to travel. You can charge more per person, but traveling time is very tacky.
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Unread 04-09-2010, 04:01 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone, I did a combo of Ford and Rocke's suggestions. I quoted her $200 for the travel time plus the per person rate I would charge if she were close and I told her we would be glad to do it but if she were to find someone closer she could save the $200.

Jacked Up-If a local person calls me and wants a rate to cater at his lake house the distance away I stated and I give him $4.00 pp higher rate because of the travel distance with out telling him why then perhaps he may think the rate would be the same if he had the party at his house here and I loose out on local catering in the future for this reason, and he also spread the word of the rate I quote. If I tell him it is because of the distance then maybe he understands the rate. This is my thoughts anyway. You could very well be right though, they may think it is tacky.
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Unread 04-09-2010, 06:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacked UP BBQ View Post
Either you cover the area or you don't. You cannot charge to travel. You can charge more per person, but traveling time is very tacky.
We charge to travel all the time. For us up here there are not a lot of BBQ caterers. The customers certainly seem to understand the costs of transportation if we are going a few hours away.
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Unread 04-09-2010, 08:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacked UP BBQ View Post
Either you cover the area or you don't. You cannot charge to travel. You can charge more per person, but traveling time is very tacky.
I don't agree. We add for travel, but not as a line item. We ammortize the travel into the per plate price. I sell overhead cranes by day, and travel is an accepted cost associated with service. BBQ service or crane service is irrelevant. You want me, you pay for me. I'm worth it and would be happy to tell you why Mr. Customer.
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Unread 04-09-2010, 10:24 PM   #9
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I move cars all over the state of NJ I understand that travel for hauling items, that is how you make your money.. As far as catering goes, I charge more for longer trips, like I said, it is just tacky to charge for travel expense, add it to the per person. It almost along the same lines as charging administration fees at car impounds.

My thing is this, if you claim to cater that area, you cater that area, your menu is your menu. My prices set me up to where I will make money if it is 20 minutes from my kitchen or four hours. Nickel and diming people will get you nowhere in business. Explain to them that it is out of your area. If they really want you they will offer to pay!
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