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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 07-08-2010, 11:20 AM   #1
chambersuac
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Default Upcoming fundraising Questions

Dear Brethren,

I need some advice, please. Some of you may have read a couple of weeks ago about my purchase of a new smoker and our plans to use it to raise money to help out some people overwhelmed by cancer-related medical bills. The date for the fund raiser has been set for August 7th, here in Manito, IL. We are going to be serving pulled pork sandwiches - smoking between 250-300 lbs (depending on what we can afford).

Now my questions:
1. What would you serve with the sandwiches? I am thinking easy, like bags of chips - or a bit harder, like beans.
2. How many people do you recommend having to help pull the meat, and/or serve the sandwiches?
3. What kind of time line would you serve? 11AM -2PM, or what?
4. What other advice can you give me that will help us do a good job?

The people we are hoping to help are former members of my congregation. They moved out of town about a year after we arrived in town and they befriended us and helped us a lot. He was given early retirement (either that or be laid off again) and then they moved to MO to be close to their daughter. Soon afterward, they found out that the wife is eaten up with cancer - in the skull, organs, bones, etc. This was two years ago and they have very little help from insurance. His pension is not much and at his (not so old) age, can't find a decent paying job, but does work security - however, he must take off often to care for her. It breaks my heart on many levels. If we could help them a bit financially, it would be a great blessing to them - and to us. So, please, any help you can send my way would be greatly appreciated.
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Unread 07-08-2010, 11:31 AM   #2
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something you may consider as an alternative. Our church, as well as others in my community, do butt sales. They presale smoked butts, smoke them, and then people come and pick them up on a given day. Our church does this a few times a year and sales 150 at a time. The only reason they do 150 is because thats the most they can smoke at a time. Sale for 20 or 25 bucks, I think 25.

Whats nice is they presale the tickets so there's no guessing as to how much to cook. Also, people buy them because everybody likes butts and you can freeze them once cooked.
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Unread 07-08-2010, 11:48 AM   #3
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AU, that's a great idea - will keep it in mind for next time - this one has already been run by the Church Council "as is" - meaning sandwiches. Not enough time, I'm afraid, to change it now. But, great idea - thanks!
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Unread 07-08-2010, 11:55 AM   #4
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good luck. we were going to do a sandwich plate for the 4th of July but it fell through. I was asking the same questions. Unforuntately, can't help you much. I think we were going to go with chips and then wrapper sheets for the sandwichs. Beans are dirt cheap, but you have to have a plate and forks/spoons. Like you said, chips are easy.
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Unread 07-08-2010, 12:05 PM   #5
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I say pulled pork sandwich, slaw, beans and a drink.

all relativley easy and inexpensive

approximate cost per serving:
pork .55
sauce .10
bun .15
slaw .20
beans .25
plate .10
fork & knife .14
napkin .04
drink .25

that's about $1.78 per serving but I'm sure you can get some things cheaper

it wouldn't hurt to throw in a cookie or brownie also

what are you thinking of charging per person?
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Unread 07-08-2010, 12:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsmith View Post
I say pulled pork sandwich, slaw, beans and a drink.

all relativley easy and inexpensive

approximate cost per serving:
pork .55
sauce .10
bun .15
slaw .20
beans .25
plate .10
fork & knife .14
napkin .04
drink .25

that's about $1.78 per serving but I'm sure you can get some things cheaper

it wouldn't hurt to throw in a cookie or brownie also

what are you thinking of charging per person?
I'm not sure about the charge per person - I was thinking, if it's just sandwich and chips, asking for a $5 donation (knowing some will give more) - if it's a meal, I'm thinking $7.

What do you all think?
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Unread 07-08-2010, 12:12 PM   #7
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A bag of chips is too expensive, do slaw instead.

All the fundraisers I do are pre-sells of ribs or tri-tips with no sides, they sell for about $20-30 per. A bunch of us did one that grossed over $10,000. We had two pick-up times so we could do two cooks. That is why we did ribs and tri-tips since they can be done in 4-5 hours we can do two cooks in one day.
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Unread 07-08-2010, 12:13 PM   #8
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I think if you sell a sandwich & chips for $5 you should also sell water and soda for a $1 apiece

have you considered putting together a bbq basket to raffle? I'm sure people here would donate stuff and you could generate more money just my 2 cents
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Unread 07-08-2010, 12:34 PM   #9
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Dan, when I did a church benefit for my buddy Allen, we did a free will donation. If you set a price, that's what you'll get. Don't worry about people being skimpy. Those that pay more far outweigh those that give little.

Sammich and slaw or mac, or potato salad are going to be your least cost options. Jars of instant tea and Kool-Aid are a great package option as well. Get plenty of help. Maybe get some of the women to help serve, some from the youth ministry to pull pork, and another group to cleanup.

You may also check into Lutheran Thrivent for additional matching funding on the backside of things.
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Unread 07-08-2010, 01:19 PM   #10
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I just did one on the 4th at church for my sons youth group. They did pre sales for butts and briskets and once we had the total order in I added some additional meat for sandwiches that could be sold that day. We did a total of 24 butts and 7 packers, I brought some of my sauce with me for the sandwiches and that was it. sandwiches were $5 and they sold out in 2 1/2 hours.

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Unread 07-08-2010, 01:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txschutte View Post
Dan, when I did a church benefit for my buddy Allen, we did a free will donation. If you set a price, that's what you'll get. Don't worry about people being skimpy. Those that pay more far outweigh those that give little.

Sammich and slaw or mac, or potato salad are going to be your least cost options. Jars of instant tea and Kool-Aid are a great package option as well. Get plenty of help. Maybe get some of the women to help serve, some from the youth ministry to pull pork, and another group to cleanup.

You may also check into Lutheran Thrivent for additional matching funding on the backside of things.

Thanks, Shane. Unfortunately, Thrivent changed the way they do matching funds, so we won't qualify.

I've gotten some great advice here, thanks everyone.
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And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. [Acts 20:32 KJV]
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Unread 07-08-2010, 02:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chambersuac View Post
Dear Brethren,

Now my questions:
1. What would you serve with the sandwiches? I am thinking easy, like bags of chips - or a bit harder, like beans. Bag of chips - no labor cost
2. How many people do you recommend having to help pull the meat, and/or serve the sandwiches? One person can easily pull a case of butts in 30 minutes inclding saucing the meat.
3. What kind of time line would you serve? 11AM -2PM, or what? How many people and will they all be there at once or is this a grazing event? Use tickets so people don't go thru the line twice. I served a meal for 120 in 20 minutes 2 meats, 2 sides plus salad with 5 servers including one on just getting fresh pans.
4. What other advice can you give me that will help us do a good job? I'd say pray for good weather but I think you can handle that part OK. .
see red
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Unread 07-08-2010, 03:49 PM   #13
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Thanks again, y'all!
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Unread 07-09-2010, 10:41 AM   #14
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When I did food for a large group like that it always worked best with 3 to 4 people in the booth. One to make sandwiches, one to grab beans or slaw (slaw was already in 4 oz plastic cups with lids in cooler/frige), and one or two to take orders/ money and hand out drinks. The money takers didn't need to wear plastic gloves, everyone else did. Then I would do all of the cooking and pulling pork, and if someone needed a break I could help out with the other stuff. Make sure you start pulling some butts before you start serving or you wont be able to keep up.

I always did sandwich, beans and slaw, and bottled water or lemonade. My prices were $4 for a sandwich, $1.50 for eith beans or slaw, and $1.50 for either water or lemonade. I would always do a meal of 1 sandwich choice of side and choice of drink for $6. The meal is almost always what people ordered sometimes with an extra sandwich or drink.
If you want to you can also throw in a pickle spear, they are cheap and you can buy them in big jars.

Since this is a fund raiser I would put out a big jar for extra donations by the serving counter.

When you price things always keep them at even dollar amounts or at $.50 so you only need to keep quarters for change or none at all, also makes it easy to add up orders in your head. Dont forget to have lots of cash for change on hand, one thing I learned was you can never have enough $1 dollar bills. I always started with at least $40 in ones and would often have to go get more.
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Unread 07-09-2010, 10:42 AM   #15
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Dont forget the bbq sauce! Fill two large squeeze bottles and set out. for this many sandwiches you will go through about a gallon and a half of sauce.
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