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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 06-22-2010, 05:29 PM   #1
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Default Am I out of line?

The local paper did a huge story on us opening our catering business this spring. I have been getting some calls the last two days since the story from people wanting pulled pork for drop off.

My question is about my prices and if they are out of line. For drop off service - 1/3lb pulled pork per person with buns and sauce I have been pricing $7.50 pp add 2 basic sides for a total of $8.95. Upgrade to our home made GOOD sides for $0.50 per side. Get it fully catered with BBQ pit on site for $125 set up fee and add sweet tea or lemonade for $1.00 per person.

All are for a minimum guest count of 50 people. How do you feel about my prices, am I out of line?
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Unread 06-22-2010, 07:36 PM   #2
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Looks good to me. YMMV based on region and competition. That would fly where I'm at. I try to bid a whole package and not too many ala cart options.
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Unread 06-22-2010, 07:46 PM   #3
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We never break pricing down. It's either meat only at $10/$12 a pound or packages.
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Unread 06-22-2010, 10:16 PM   #4
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GOOD sides????? If you are in the business to make money with a good product, never compromise your quality. GOOD sides should be always.
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Unread 06-23-2010, 06:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
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GOOD sides????? If you are in the business to make money with a good product, never compromise your quality. GOOD sides should be always.
I fully agree with this statement. Every gig you do is a "job interview" for the next job...you are serving potential clients with every sandwich and side dish. Don't offer them an option for marginal sides or you may be judged as a whole as being average.

Prices look about right though to answer your question.
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Unread 06-23-2010, 06:20 AM   #6
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for what you just said your giving them i charge 15 a person.. so i think your cheap...
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Unread 06-23-2010, 07:45 AM   #7
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GOOD sides????? If you are in the business to make money with a good product, never compromise your quality. GOOD sides should be always.
I'm with you, but I am in an area where other BBQ'rs are doing boiled potatoes and green beans out of a can cheap. If I price nothing but good homemade sides people just think I am hi and don't look at the difference so I thought I would try to upsell the homemade sides.
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Unread 06-23-2010, 09:12 AM   #8
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I can't help you on the pricing but the observation about the "GOOD" sides was right. How about offering Southern Style Sides and charge a little more for your Trademark Sides or Signature Sides?
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Unread 06-23-2010, 10:19 AM   #9
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I started out doing all homemade sides, but some people don't want to pay extra. For instance I quotes a guy a price with two sides and they were homemade mac and cheese and and a homemade potato salad. I lost the job because another bbq caterer gave them 3 sides for the same price. The 3 sides they did were green beans, boiled potatoes and corn that were all dumped out of a can and heated up. So that is why I added a selection of basic sides and try to upsell to homemade sides.
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Unread 06-23-2010, 02:32 PM   #10
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I haven't even gotten started yet, so my thoughts are probably not worth much on this issue, but here goes.

It sounds like a frustrating problem with competitors offering garbage sides and undercutting you, but that seems like the sort of thing that'll work itself out. If you are giving them quality at an honest price, you should position yourself as the BBQ caterer for those interested in a bit higher quality. If people want boiled potatoes and green beans, more power to 'em. If they are interested in treating their guests right, that's what you are there for.

Seems like it would be better to be thought of on the higher side of the scale on price and quality early than the opposite. Being thought of as a guy with a lower quality product seems like it would be a hard thing to come back from.

Finding some phrasing that doesn't make cheap sides sound "bad" seems like something worth pursuing.

I'll be right in line with your pricing when I get going. For now, I'm planning on $9/person for Pork BBQ, 2 sides plus slaw, buns, and sauce delivered. I plan on including slaw with all Pork BBQ orders because I think a good red slaw just goes well with Pork BBQ. My slaw feels like more of a topping than a side (I'll probably just buy the mayo-based slaw for those that want it, to make the HD a little happier). If they go with homemade mac'n cheese and beans, I think I can get it done for right around $3.50 per person. Maybe I'm out of my mind, but I'm still working on it.
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Unread 06-23-2010, 02:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PollardsVision View Post
Seems like it would be better to be thought of on the higher side of the scale on price and quality early than the opposite. Being thought of as a guy with a lower quality product seems like it would be a hard thing to come back from.

Finding some phrasing that doesn't make cheap sides sound "bad" seems like something worth pursuing.
If you had a basic price for a "Standard" plate, and a price to the side for a "Ramped Up" plate - avoiding the word good in association with sides...
You could always explain "Ramped Up" in the bid perhaps?
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Unread 06-23-2010, 09:57 PM   #12
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Yep, you need to show people why your "good" sides are worth the upgrade. For example,

Our "Signature Sides" are a perfect way to add that "little something" to a special occasion. Our Signature mac & cheese is made from scratch with real cheese, tender macaroni, and is slow cooked to perfection in the old time Virginia tradition. It's not from a can and is never frozen. It's made with the highest quality ingredients. Special occasions call for special attention. That's what you get with our BBQ and that's what you get with our very own signature sides.


Besides, isn't it cheaper to make mac & cheese from scratch than to use frozen?
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Unread 06-24-2010, 07:20 AM   #13
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I think your cheap. any restaurant will charge $8.00+ for a meal you eat at their place. your overhead is also there plus your time to deliver, fuel, wear on you car, fuel for smoker. I don't see why you are pricing to be cheaper than a restaurant. And maybe I am way out of line in pricing because i figure 1/2 pound per person.
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Unread 06-25-2010, 09:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boshizzle View Post
yep, you need to show people why your "good" sides are worth the upgrade. For example,

our "signature sides" are a perfect way to add that "little something" to a special occasion. Our signature mac & cheese is made from scratch with real cheese, tender macaroni, and is slow cooked to perfection in the old time virginia tradition. It's not from a can and is never frozen. It's made with the highest quality ingredients. Special occasions call for special attention. That's what you get with our bbq and that's what you get with our very own signature sides.


Besides, isn't it cheaper to make mac & cheese from scratch than to use frozen?
brilliant---
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Unread 06-25-2010, 03:05 PM   #15
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Just to clarify, I don't say regular or good sides to potential clients I advertise them a s standard sides or upgrade to our signature homemade sides. I was only say good to you all meaning the difference between dumped out of a can and quality good home cooked sides. That is unless you think dumped out of a can is good
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