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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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Old 01-21-2011, 04:27 PM   #1
Alan in Ga
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Join Date: 12-19-09
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Default Charging for cooking

We have an oppurtunity to cook for Sams Club for 6 to 9 months every weekend to raise money for MDA. Sams will be providing all the food and wants us to quote them a price to cook and serve on the weekends and I dont want to quote them too high or cut my own throat and quote too low. I am just looking for suggestions on how to build this price into what they want to do. Thanks guys Alan
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:30 PM   #2
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What will you be cooking? How many hours per weekend do you think you will have with prep, clean up and serving? Are they supplying food only? I myself am not sure I would want this deal or not. If I did it I think I would get a % of sales versus an hourly wage.
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Old 01-22-2011, 01:58 AM   #3
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Old 01-22-2011, 03:50 AM   #4
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If they are supplying everything and all you are doing is cooking, charge them a personal chef fee. I think it is around $20 to $30 an hour I could be wrong though best of luck. plus all depends on what you are cooking. If its burgers and dogs don't get too greedy it's for charity but take something for your time. It is also a good oppourtunity to pass out business cards and network for future catering gigs
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Old 01-22-2011, 08:35 AM   #5
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Might want to simply ask them what they had budgeted and go from there.
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:37 AM   #6
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First off, I don't cater or cook for hire, but I'd want to get some things addressed before I signed on.

Since it's for charity, and they're donating food, I'd be concerned that they're going to ask you to be really tight on your fee, "since it's for charity". For a couple of cooks, sure, I can see a reduced fee or even donating your services.

But for every weekend for 6-9 months? That's a hell of a commitment. What other catering work or comps will you miss out on because of your obligation to them? What if you can't do a weekend because of some sort of personal circumstances? Do you have to get someone to cover for you? Is food all that they're donating? What about fuel? Service-ware?

How often are you to be paid? After every cook? Or at the end of the contract? Does the local store cut you a check or do you have to wait for it to come from corporate?

There's lot of questions and variables that you need to have spelled out and both parties absolutely clear on. Just protect yourself and remember that sometimes the most profitable job is the one you walk away from.

Good luck,

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Old 01-22-2011, 12:04 PM   #7
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what grillfella said! if you cater, its one heck of an opportunity to get the word out on your business.......also by the hour, you know how much you will make.........my 2cents.
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Old 01-22-2011, 02:22 PM   #8
Alan in Ga
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Thanks Guys alot to consider. As far as the amount of hours I will be cooking a case of butts a weekend and the rest will vary from week to week( other protiens and sides). I will be cooking on a 250R rig so it holds alot at one time. We have done alot of work with this Sams with other charities and taken a % before but The manager just wanted to make sure we were making it worth our time.
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:21 PM   #9

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Alan, it sounds to me that the manager likes you and wants to give you a raise. There are a number of things to consider. Since this is for charity, I am guessing that all this is deductible as far as Sam's is concerned. That means not only that they are not paying your taxes, but they are deducting your salary and saving their corporate taxes. This means this "labor" is very cheap for them. The other thing is you're giving up your weekends for this. If I'm giving up my weekends, I would expect an extra 50% on top of a "normal" wage (whatever that is in this profession). My take on this is that he likes you and your work and wants to make sure it is worth your while. My thinking is to calculate approximately what you are getting paid now and increase it by 30-50%. You're making a big commitment to this and if I were the manager I'd be happy to have someone I liked committed to this and I'd also be happier to make sure it was worth their while.
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Old 01-23-2011, 01:54 AM   #10
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I'd sure have to be making good money (as in five figures) before I'd give up every weekend for nine months, but that's just me. Whatever you do, make sure you have a couple million worth of liability coverage for yourself.

Deep pockets like Sams' bring out the recreational litigators, and as you will undoubtedly be considered an independent contractor, your name goes on the lawsuit as well.
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