Catering Question

Discussion in 'Catering & Large Group Gatherings' started by rweidner86, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. rweidner86

    rweidner86 Fire Starter

    Hey Guys,

         I have a couple questions for all of you.  I am going to start getting into Catering.  I have a job lined up at the end of September and there are 100-125 people.  They want Pulled Pork and Chickens with some sides.  I have no idea how to start charging.  I will Probably do Potato Salad, Cornbread, Baked beans and a pasta salad for the sides.  When I talked to the client (who I know) she said that $10-15 a head isn't out of the question.  So if there is 100 people at 15 a head that is $1500.00.  Does that sound good or too low or too high?

       Also I want to come up with a Menu for all clients.  Can someone help me create one or help me PLEASE?

    The meats will be 

    +Pulled Pork

    +Chickens 1/2's or 1/4's



    +Chicken Wings

    Sides will be

    +Potato Salad

    +Brocolli Salad


    +Baked Beans


    +Pasta Salad

    +Corn on the cobb 1/2's

    No drinks or anything.  I can provide Disposable plates and utensils and what not

    Thanks everyone.  I really want to get into this Catering thing but I need to get a great menu.  I need help with the pricing and if I should do it by the pound or the head count(which I think I like better).


    Ryan Weidner
  2. You should charge by the pound. Don't forget to charge for buns, sauce and everything you provide. You don't have your location on your profile so I can't guess prices for your area. Are you going to be insured? Is this going to be coming out of a inspected kitchen? If the answer to the last two question is no. You better be charging an arm and a leg because you are going to end up loosing your @$$

    Happy smoken.

  3. shaggy91954

    shaggy91954 Meat Mopper

    Think about what you're getting into and then think about it again.  Lots of legal ramifications to consider. 
  4. rweidner86

    rweidner86 Fire Starter

    Thanks guys,

         This is going to just be fore friend and family.  Open Houses and what not.  If it is " invitation only" you don't have to be liscenced.  I talk with a health inspector about this.  I am in East Laning MI by the way if that gives you some more information.  I have been doing a lot of thinking about this.  I will be serving off the pit with tables and what not with my wife.  This is just going to be on the side.  I am a General Manager at a restaurant already so I have a full time Job, this is just fun for friends and family.  But still need to make some money on the gigs.  Any more info is appreciated.
  5. Did you tell the inspector that you were going to be charging? That is where things change. Any lawyer would have you in a heart beat if someone even thought they got sick or a piece of a bone.

    Happy smoken.

  6. handymanstan

    handymanstan Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Good on you Rayn for going for it.  Most people have dreams but never do anything about it.

    I like your menu and most of the items can be precooked.  I would leave the brisket off the menu as it costs so much and I would think hard about ribs.  You say they want PP and chicken so that is what I would do.  That will keep costs down.  If there are going to be Kids there I would suggest a couple packs of hot dogs and buns for the picky eaters.

    I think you should set a price figuring as best as you can then do the cook and see how much you made or lost then you will have a good idea where you should be on price.  I don’t think you can put a price on the learning experience.

    Be sure to tell your client that you only take donations and then you won’t be charging.

    If you go to meat or any other restaurant you would pay at least $15.00 to $25.00 per person so @15.00 a head sounds in the ball park.  You might offer a discount price for kids under 10.

    How many and what kind of sauces do you plan to use?  Homemade or store bought?  

    Check out your insurance for a $ umbrella rider.  I have one and it costs about $100.00 a year and adds a million to all of your polices.   Tell your insurance person what you are doing and make sure you are covered.  I would think most of the liability rests with the ones putting the party on.

    Have fun and plan plan plan.

  7. Let me add to the above.  You Want To Be Insured.

    --Something--, --Anything--, happens and someone goes to the doctor. 

    The doctor renders a bill which gets sent to the insurance company. 

    The INSURANCE COMPANY goes "Oh!  He ate Here!".

    ...and your friend who went to the doctor is all apologetic but it's out of his hands the Nasty Insurance Lawyer is the one you are talking to.  Real quick it costs you $thousands to resolve.  Even if they ate later that evening on the way home at Chou's Cheap Chinese and that was the real problem those ba$tard$ will sue everybody within eyeshot

    Having said all that liability insurance isn't all -that- expensive.  Look at it as advance legal fees.
  8. I own 2 large catering companies. I would be happy to answer any questions you have. To answer your question though, 10 seems low but would depend on what is included Everything costs money including you. Figure out you cost per plate and times by 4. That will give a very rough idea where to start with pricing. Rentals, service staff , travel, gratuities and tax are all extra.

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