MMMM.. BRISKET..
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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 07-14-2019, 03:27 PM   #1
Philly-QueMaster
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Join Date: 06-09-09
Location: Bluffton, SC
Default Minimum For Catering and Delivery Jobs

Hey all it’s been a while since I’ve posted but I’m just about to get started opening our bbq trailer and catering business.

And yes before anyone asks I’ve already gone through and got our ServSafe Food safety certification, met all our local health department requirements, have our LLC setup with liability insurance, and are waiting on our final business license and permit from our local township.

Now on to my question for catering requests and bulk orders.

We have a mobile bbq concession trailer and we’ve been getting lots of requests for us to come out and cater company employee appreciation lunches.

The problem is a lot of these are smaller jobs, like 30-40 people.

For those of you who do on-site catering do you have a minimum job size (either minimum person or minimum $$ amount) that you stick to?

Second follow up question what about minimums on bulk orders when people are requesting you deliver and drop off?

I’m a big fan of Lewis Barbecue in Charleston and they have a minimum of $2,500 for full service catering and a minimum of $400 order for delivery.

I’m curious what all you experienced pros do?

I think having some kind of minimums is good to weed out these smaller jobs with lower profit margins.

Just looking for ideas.

Thanks!!
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Old 07-14-2019, 03:41 PM   #2
medic92
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Join Date: 02-24-16
Location: Mount Sterling, IL
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When we do the employee appreciation type events, we charge a setup fee (usually $150 unless we have to travel) and then we just charge our normal per meal prices and track everything. Once we're done we submit an invoice to whoever's paying for it.

I don't like setting minimums for the most part. If someone calls and wants to order two pounds of brisket for Wednesday I'll refuse it unless I'm already cooking.

I actually enjoy doing the smaller (25-50 people) cooks. It's not a ton of prep work and it pays decently for your effort.
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Old 07-14-2019, 04:24 PM   #3
Philly-QueMaster
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Join Date: 06-09-09
Location: Bluffton, SC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medic92 View Post
When we do the employee appreciation type events, we charge a setup fee (usually $150 unless we have to travel) and then we just charge our normal per meal prices and track everything. Once we're done we submit an invoice to whoever's paying for it.

I don't like setting minimums for the most part. If someone calls and wants to order two pounds of brisket for Wednesday I'll refuse it unless I'm already cooking.

I actually enjoy doing the smaller (25-50 people) cooks. It's not a ton of prep work and it pays decently for your effort.
Are you staying there and serving people buffet style for that $150 fee?
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Old 07-14-2019, 07:34 PM   #4
HBMTN
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Join Date: 10-16-08
Location: Virginia
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Our minimum order is $200 for delivery plus delivery fees. For on-site catering, we charge for the food and then labor fees based on what we need to make to be worth the efforts. When we first started out we had a 50 people minimum when I dropped the minimum order and look back on that years later I see that some of my best clients are people who initially placed very small orders what would have ultimately given all the future work to someone else had I turned down the small orders.
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Old 07-14-2019, 10:51 PM   #5
ynotfehc
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Join Date: 07-03-13
Location: St Paul, MN
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For delivery or drop-off, I have a $200 minimum. If they want me on-site with my trailer, then I have minimums for that. I base it off the average revenue for a brewery for Thursday- nights, Friday nights, and Saturdays, 700-1000. Sundays are my days to be home with family, so also have a $700 minimum. For weekday lunches, 500 Tue/Wed and 700 on Thursdays and Fridays, again based on average sales if I'm out selling somewhere for lunch to the public.
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