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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 12-31-2010, 04:58 PM   #1
Bossmanbbq
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Default Catering Fee's

Wanted to see what the standard is for alot of you as far as drop off and delivery fees etc. We've been running into issues as far as drop off service is concerned and it’s probably my fault. Finding that when we go to drop off the client is wanting set up to be included with our equipment etc.
I feel if this is the case an additional fee should be given because this truly is not a drop off if I'm having to set up and supply the equipment to be used at there event. Am I wrong?
So the next question is should there be a set up fee for drop offs and an equipment/use fee? If so how much would you charge? I'm looking at the least $25 set up fee? Do you include a gratuity fee for larger groups? Not sure on equipment use fee though? Any thoughts or what you do would be appreciated!
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Unread 12-31-2010, 05:30 PM   #2
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We try to keep ours as simple as possible. If they want a drop off I ask if they want to keep it hot or not. If they do I sell them disposable chaffers. I can get those here for about $12 per kit. Includes sternos, the rack and pans. I charge them $15 each. nobody likes to pay it. But i explain its cheaper than renting it.
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Unread 01-01-2011, 04:45 PM   #3
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I just completed my first year catering, and my current guide line is I have a price for drop off for a meat and two sides, then add a set up fee and labor per staff needed for onsite catering, then add an addittional fee if they want the smoker on site. I have mixed emotions about my pricing at this time not sure if or when I'll change it. I'd like to hear what others say.
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Unread 01-01-2011, 08:22 PM   #4
JD McGee
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Drop offs mainly here...if I do have to set up and serve I charge $50.00 per hour...
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Unread 01-02-2011, 06:15 PM   #5
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One of the problems I have is people order drop off and when you arrive and go to drop it off they go into a panic because they didn't realize the drop off means DROP OFF! We end up having to set it up for them and then leave or provide a chafing unit or two to keep it warm for them. I dont mind doing this but I feel we should be charging something for this. I'm looking at a $25 set up fee and an additional fee if I have to provide the Chafing units and utensils.
Do any of you add a gratuity to the bill for large groups?
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Unread 01-02-2011, 07:04 PM   #6
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I don't cater, but if folks are surprised by you actually dropping off the food and leaving it makes me wonder how you are setting expectations when taking the order. You know what you mean by drop off, but they may not - perhaps that needs to be spelled out clearer at the beginning?
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Unread 01-02-2011, 07:24 PM   #7
C Rocke
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If your customers are surprised, then changes need to be made. We do nothing without a quote, including food items, price, service items included (or not), set up, and service time. 90% of what we do is on site catering service, but even drop off customers get a quote that spells out what they are getting. Extra items = Extra cost.

We don't give anything away, and I am always happy to tell someone who is hesitant, demanding, or wants a discount "No". We have licenses, insurances, certifications, etc, and are not a backyard "taco guy". Value = $$, and that's how we look at the business. Good luck.
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Unread 01-02-2011, 08:03 PM   #8
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Our price is "catered" with a description of what we do. We deduct 5% for drop off service. I love drop offs!!!
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Unread 01-03-2011, 11:04 AM   #9
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Were going to word it out more plainly, and do what we have to explain the diffrence.Think its a misunderstanding what exactly drop off is.Thanks for the discussion and advice
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Unread 01-03-2011, 01:00 PM   #10
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It all comes down to communication between you and the client. I don't do anything without a contract that explains everything that is expected by me and by them. When someone wants drop off you need to explain what drop off means to you and make sure that is what they expect. The biggest problem is not meeting their expectations so make sure their expectations are what you plan to do.
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Unread 01-03-2011, 08:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bossmanbbq View Post
One of the problems I have is people order drop off and when you arrive and go to drop it off they go into a panic because they didn't realize the drop off means DROP OFF! We end up having to set it up for them and then leave or provide a chafing unit or two to keep it warm for them. I dont mind doing this but I feel we should be charging something for this. I'm looking at a $25 set up fee and an additional fee if I have to provide the Chafing units and utensils.
Do any of you add a gratuity to the bill for large groups?
A well written contract will help with this problem, and I alway ask the client to make sure they read it before signing it. I had a man and wife look at me when I showed up for a catering gig ask me when was I going to set up all the chairs and tables for the quests to eat. When he saw the confusing look on my face he said that I said I would have the tables. I said yes sir I said I would have the tables for the buffet not for guests and seating and my contract also stated the same.
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Unread 01-10-2011, 10:24 AM   #12
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We have an entire page of our website designed to describe our policies, in detail.

We offer two levels of service for our clients, and we make no bones about it.

On one hand, we offer simple delivery. For our orders, we provide napkins, silverware (plastic), sauce with spoons, cups and disposable serving containers. That's it. We drop if off at your location (hence the term delivery) and that's it. No more, no less. And we explain this up front to all clients. We require a minimum order of $150 for delivery of any kind. Within 10 miles is free. Outside of that, it's $2.50 per mile.

The other option is our full service delivery. With this, you specify an arrival time and a serve time. We bring everything outlined above, plus: disposable linens for the serve table, disposable chafing dishes, disposable serving spoons, ice, pre-filled drink cups and more. We'll even decorate if you need us, keep a staff member on site to serve and can even clean up for you. All of these things come with a fee, of course. This type of service is typically a 15% charge on top of the order; our attendants will stay and assist at the rate of $25 per hour, per person.

Hope this helps!

LowCountry Barbecue
"Atlanta's only Southern Carolina style barbecue catering company"
Trusted Atlanta Caterer for over 25 Years
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Unread 01-14-2011, 12:02 AM   #13
daddywoofdawg
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You should change to the term delivery or catering I have it all explained on the website in the contract and when I talk to customers on the phone I say do you want delivery,pick-up,or catering.most will ask what is the difference then you explain.
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