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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 10-21-2018, 08:20 PM   #1
HBMTN
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Default AAHHH Catering for Family

My brother in law who is about 20 years younger than me and 16 younger than my wife (his sister) is getting married next year and had me price catering the wedding today with apps, full dinner, rentals, and staffing. I priced it at my cost which was a 65% discount give or take to him. He calls my wife up after getting the price and says "Holy $1*# you all need to give me a farking family discount. AAAAhhhh family.
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Old 10-22-2018, 06:16 AM   #2
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LOL Catered a cousin's daughters grad party last year at cost. Husband walks up to me afterwards ans says, "damn you could retire doing this." Family is family. I would like to hear other stories as well. Thanks for posting.
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Old 10-22-2018, 07:07 AM   #3
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I stopped doing anything for family after I realized how much it was costing me and how ungrateful they were. I now use my creative, yet flattering mind to avoid doing these things. If I were you I would just say " You know you are our most liked family members and we really do not want to be distracted by trying to do the catering for your wedding, it is more important to us to see and share your important day. I am giving you $500 as a gift towards your catering bill so that we can relax and be with you on your memorable day." The $500 will be less than your loss and if your family is anything like mine it will eliminate the well this could have been this way or you should have done this.



I had a cousin come into town 2 years ago, brand new Harley. Calls me and say's he needs his oil changed. I have my garage completely set up as a motorcycle shop as I race vintage bikes and I also ride myself. I was going to work so I told him my Sweetie would be here and he could use my one lift. I spent 30 minutes taking a bike off it and getting things layed out for him so he had everything he needed without digging through everything. He comes and goes, leaves his old oil and filter setting in a pan on the floor and I never heard from him again until he called to say he was back home and had a great time. About a week later I was going on a little trip and pulled my road bike on the lift for a quick oil change, get it draining, go to the shelf to grab the oil and filter that I had there for my bike and guess what,,,gone. He used my parts to change his oil, so I run to pick up replacements, $63 later I am back home changing my oil. Ended his use of my garage forever.
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Old 10-22-2018, 09:35 AM   #4
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We've been lucky with our family. They understand that we're a business and while we will give them a discount if they want our official services they have to pay just like other customers. Usually it's something like "We have a bunch of people coming and want to have this or that food, would you be willing to cook it for us if we buy it?"

We've done turkeys for Thanksgiving parties, steaks for family reunions, Memorial Day cookouts, etc. and everyone has contributed whether we asked them to or not.

I love my family.
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Old 10-23-2018, 02:05 PM   #5
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I think people just don't realize how much BBQ actually costs to make and what we have to charge. When it's not a standard per person catering cost they get sticker shock. We're new starting out and have only done a couple events for family/friends, but thankfully they have kind of given us carte blanche in regards to cost/menu. When they do that it makes us want to help them out more, honestly.

People are also just naturally selfish...
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Old 11-10-2018, 03:53 AM   #6
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In my opinion, catering for family (especially for distant relatives) is almost impossible. They mostly think that if you are a relative, you can make something almost free of charge and they are sincerely surprised when you ask them to pay for the service you've done. Last year my mom and I priced catering for my aunt's party (dad's sister) with a discount of 60%. Nevertheless, she started yelling at us that we are mercantile and we MUST have done this catering for free because we are relatives . Of course, there exist amazing families who understand and value your work (like a family mentioned beyond), but unfortunately, I don't have such family
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Old 11-18-2018, 07:42 PM   #7
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Sorry to hear of this HBMTN, just goes to prove the old adage:

"Don't do business with family or friends."
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:45 AM   #8
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I'm not "in business" (and have absolutely zero interest in going into business) but I bbq A LOT and have for 15+ years. I've gotten requests from family members both immediate and extended to "Hey, can you cook for my company's party, son's rehearsal dinner, our church luncheon etc?" and the overwhelming majority of the time I've said "nope". More times than not, mixing family, business and money doesn't end well. Sure, it's not always the case. But I've heard more horror stories than success stories and that's enough for me.

I was told by a friend of mine who took cooking as a hobby and turned it into a business. "If you want to continue loving to cook keep it as a hobby. If you want to stop loving it. Turn it into a business." He's not the only one I've heard this from...
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:28 PM   #9
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I am not a professional, but get asked to do events for relatives from time to time. I give them a list of what is needed, when they decide the menu, and tell them to pick it up, and i will cook it, no charge. Talk about sticker shock...
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Old 11-20-2018, 07:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mytmouz View Post
I am not a professional, but get asked to do events for relatives from time to time. I give them a list of what is needed, when they decide the menu, and tell them to pick it up, and i will cook it, no charge. Talk about sticker shock...
I have done several events for friends, but I never have them purchase and hold the meats - you can’t guarantee that they will adhere to food safety rules.

We did the wedding for an extremely close friend last year for $250 plus costs - basically was our wedding gift to her daughter. My wife took her to RD to purchase everything, and then brought everything to store in our commissary.
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Old 11-20-2018, 08:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ_Bama View Post
I was told by a friend of mine who took cooking as a hobby and turned it into a business. "If you want to continue loving to cook keep it as a hobby. If you want to stop loving it. Turn it into a business." He's not the only one I've heard this from...
Cooking as a business can be stressful but it hasn't taken away from the enjoyment for me. If anything it's increased my enjoyment of it because I get to see so many more people enjoy what I produce. It's a lot of work and some days I don't necessarily feel like getting up early and doing all the work, but it's still fun and coming up with new things is still lots of fun.
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Old 11-20-2018, 08:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medic92 View Post
Cooking as a business can be stressful but it hasn't taken away from the enjoyment for me. If anything it's increased my enjoyment of it because I get to see so many more people enjoy what I produce. It's a lot of work and some days I don't necessarily feel like getting up early and doing all the work, but it's still fun and coming up with new things is still lots of fun.
I agree with this completely. This is only my second year in business, but we just about tripled our sales this year over last. I still get a kick out of seeing people thoroughly enjoy the food we produce.
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Old 11-22-2018, 11:56 AM   #13
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That's wonderful that turning your hobby into a business hasn't impacted your love for it. I hope it continues that way for you. Happy Thanksgiving.



Quote:
Originally Posted by medic92 View Post
Cooking as a business can be stressful but it hasn't taken away from the enjoyment for me. If anything it's increased my enjoyment of it because I get to see so many more people enjoy what I produce. It's a lot of work and some days I don't necessarily feel like getting up early and doing all the work, but it's still fun and coming up with new things is still lots of fun.
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Old 11-22-2018, 06:01 PM   #14
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One of the biggest issues I see with family and some friends is that they come to expect things for nothing or nearly nothing. Not just with BBQ, but other services as well (electrical, network, home audio/video, cameras). Like you had mentioned, they even cry if you give them the items at cost.



Then if you help one, another one thinks you should do the same for them.
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Old 11-23-2018, 02:02 AM   #15
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I can't even begin to count how many cooks I have done for family members. Doesn't help that I come from a biiiiiigggg family. 18 aunts/uncles (spouses) and 23 first cousins, and that's just on mom's side of the family.

I make it real simple. I develop a menu with them, explaining what things will be pricey/expensive and what will be more cost effective. I then go shopping, keep the receipts and get reimbursed. They pay for the food, supplies, fuel, etc. On some of the incidentals, I just "ball park" a number, kind of like how garages charge you a set amount for "shop supplies". Might be something like $40 for rubs, foil, wood, etc. If they want to give me extra, they give me extra. If they don't, well, what can you do ? It's family.


EDIT: I should add that I don't cater. I'm just a back yard cooker.
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