Catering questions

Discussion in 'Catering & Large Group Gatherings' started by lexoutlaw, May 23, 2011.

  1. lexoutlaw

    lexoutlaw Smoke Blower

    so....ive really started to pick up in my attempt at private catering. I have 4 jobs over the next month and some.

    my questions are:

    what size sandwiches should i plan for?? what ive been reading, most are between 5 and 7 o.z......right now im leaning with 7 o.z. pp, which is generous i know. but thats what i want.

    how much weight loss?? im planning for about 35%

    and much should i charge???? should i do per person, per pound?? im trying to get my name out there more than anything, so, im flying by my seat on most of it. one party, im charging for meat and labor.....80 ppl, 65 lb raw, expecting about 44 cooked, getting $400....expecting to spend around $200 on meat.....actually taking the smoker out and all. its for a friend, and doing it more as a favor than a business thing....the other two parties i am doing $14/lb...both of those are only 20 ppl, so figuring around 10 lb needed for each party cooked, around 12-15 lb raw. it seems i am developing a plan....taking smoker out costs a little more obviously...but if pickin up or delivering...$ per pound is sounding good. i also have a rehearsal dinner in the works....i may do a per person price for that. and all the parties, im doing just the meat, no sides. i am including homemade sauces and buns.

    any suggestions are used to cooking for a lot of ppl, just not real used to getting paid for it. haha....
  2. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    i would standardize the cost so it would be easy to give out a price quickly to those asking. i would base the fee on cost per person and add a certain amount for each side. for example:

    1 meat  - $7 per person

    2 meat - $10 per person

    3 meat - $12 per person

    1 side add $3 per person

    2 sides add $5 per person

    3 sides add $6 per person

    the actual amount  to be charged are for you to decide based on your cost and margins.

    good luck
  3. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Rob nailed it as far as what I would charge. 

    I know you are just getting started but you really need to make sure you keep this food at safe food temps. The picnic chafing dishes can be used for both hot and cold smokes and only cost about $10 and you can buy replacment pans. If delivering the meat I would make a set of instructions on keeping it warm and have them sign it. You cant be too safe in todays sue happy world

    Good luck with the catering  
  4. lexoutlaw

    lexoutlaw Smoke Blower

    thanks,......yea, im real cautious about temps. ive been doin stuff for a while, and have the proper equipment. the ones i deliver, i give them a finishing mixture and get them to reheat to temp keeping warm. ive just now started to focus on making a little bit of money and spreading my name. was curious to what the "norm" would be....i dont wanna cheat myself, and i feel like i have in what ive done in the past. ive never really kept track of what ive spent and what not....

    thanks a bunch
  5. lexoutlaw

    lexoutlaw Smoke Blower

    so on those numbers above.....are those costs of preparing food off site, or is that actually setting up shop and cooking on site? im thinking i should have a flat rate to add for hauling smoker and the time.
  6. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    For me that would be what I would charge for an onsite event. If I am just smoking some meat I might give them a discount for volume if they pick it up but if I have to deliver - it is full price
  7. rstr hunter

    rstr hunter Smoking Fanatic

    Recently got a quote for pork loin sandwiches for church from someone with a large pit. $2/sandwich.  I offered to do it but pastor wanted a big show with a big pit outside. $2 per sandwich seems cheap enough by my standards.  He provides meat sauce and bun rest is pot luck.  Hope this helps.   
  8. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Wow talk about underselling yourself and your poduct at that price
  9. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    those are just #'s i tossed out for the discussion.......i can't know what you can get meat and other things for, i also don't know what labor and gas is where you live. if i were you i would look around yer town and find out the going rate and see what yer competition is charging. also don't forget a delivery fee.........i woild wave it for orders over a certain amount but thenif you have to drive 50 miles you might want to charge. only you can determine what yer cost is going to be.
  10. lexoutlaw

    lexoutlaw Smoke Blower

    thanks rob, been helpful. it looks like a good price plan for sure. i know ill need to adjust a little, but it gives me an idea of how to put something together. i appreciate it
  11. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  12. I know this is REALLY late, but I had a catering company for about 4 1/2 years.  I did full service.  I'm actually thinking about getting back into it and doing strictly BBQ... picnics, food truck etc.  The biggest thing I learned in culinary school was that people DON'T go for the cheapest option.  Most of the time, people think the cheapest option is lower in quality and there must be something wrong with it because it is so cheap.  They will find someone who is around the middle of the road.  It is best, if you are first starting, to start there and then work your way up when you get a name for yourself.  Once you do, you can charge on the higher end and people will pay it because they know what they are getting.  Hope this helps people checking this forum out!

    Good luck and let us know of any updates with your business.

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