Doing a Music Concert at a Winery 200-1,100 people

Discussion in 'Catering & Large Group Gatherings' started by workoutchamp, May 3, 2009.

  1. Doing a Music Concert at a Winery 200-1,100 people -

    I have been asked to do a Summer Concert Music event at a Winery. The person in charge says, "we will have 200-1,100 people - never sure". "... worse thing is you sell out".

    I am nervous I will not have enough and they have a ton of unhappy customers - or I will have feed for 600 and no one shows up OR IT RAINS.

    Any feedback, guys? We have fed a couple hundred - and I have the staff for help - friends, family, etc. Input?
  2. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Big difference in possible crowd amount!
    Best advice I could offer is do things you can prepare ahead of time and vacuum seal them then reheat at the event as well as whatever you are planning on cooking.
    Anything you sealed could get thrown back into the freezer and used if you have another event coming up.
  3. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The venue has to commit to the amount of people. If they don't then there is no contract, simple as that.

    What is the question, then?

    It doesn't matter if 50 or 5,000 show up. It is up to the venue to make them happy. You are a subcontractor to feed them. You have to plan.

    If they cannot figure that out, no contract. Really, is there any question?
  4. It is a $5 at the door concert. the vacu-seal deal is brilliant.

    I am thinking of cooking for a few days, then (now) vacu-seal and refrigerate, then reheat at the concert. Plus I am going to cook at the event so I can serve it right off the cooker and if needed reheat my vacu sealed stuff.

    One issue is - how do I go from "on ice" to reheated in a short period of time. We won't know how many come until they are there - it is a 6-9 event with music 7-9. so we have sort of have only one hr+ to vend the food...

    How do I reheat that fast?
  5. Rivet, yes, that is exactly the problem. It is not a contract deal - it is a food vendor deal.
  6. linescum

    linescum Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    boil the bags.. that way there is no way to over cook
  7. shooterrick

    shooterrick Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Food seal bags made from a roll can come undone dumping the food in the boiling water. Be careful! Also I would insist on a minimum payment up front to cover cost even if the customer knows how many.
  8. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Just want to make clear the sealing idea wasn't mine, for that I have to thank [​IMG] travcoman45

    (Thanks for the Tip)
  9. what is a good vacu sealer?
  10. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    FoodSaver I feel is one of the best brands, there are a few models to choose from. Bags do get expensive, if you are putting somethng in them where the bag can be washed/reused cut it larger than you need so there is plenty of bag for the next use.
  11. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I got a Foodsaver V2840, works really well. I use a brand of bags called simply smart, get em bout any size ya need, 1 gl, 1 qt, pint an rolls. I generally use the gallons fer large amounts a meat an the qts fer pound batch's.

    There a good heavy duty bag an bout the cheapest I can find. Gallon bags go fer bout 45 cents, less ifin I can get em on sale. Qts go fer bout 35 cents each.

    Just bring a big pot a water to a low boil, I turn off the heat (ya could turn the heat down to) an drop the bags in till the meat be over 140° an yer ready ta go.

    Our health dept round here don't care much fer the vac bags, but I ain't never had a problem with em. Sometimes a bag won't seal right, but yall will know that soon enough cause it will leak out an get baggy.
  12. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Guest

    I have a foodsaver also. I have never had a bad open during boiling. You just have to make sure it is a good seal when packaging.

    Also if you can sell drinks there is a huge margin in that but if the venue has soda machines they may not let you.
  13. linescum

    linescum Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    i always double seal mine
  14. grothe

    grothe Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yup, same here.....never had one open since
  15. I lost my ass on this event. We cooked for too many (500 dinners), the weather man was threatening rain (it never rained, it was sunny) and people brought their own food.

    Learn from my mistakes, guys. Cook for 500, sell 48 dinners = bad business.

    Another forum dedicated to catering told me not to do it. They were right and wrong.

    I got a couple other jobs out of it, but I should have brought enough for my minimum catering job (40 people x $15), taken just my wife or buddy (not the staff of 12 that I had) and sold out and went home.

    Well, we ate pulled pork for ---- well. we're still eating pulled pork. :)
  16. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ouch, bad news, sorry to hear that.

    Lessons learned.
  17. Ron,

    not really bad news, I now know my team and my Lang 84 can feed 500-700 people.

    It truly was a success - we kicked butt, I just needed to sell more food to more people. thx for the input, man.
  18. gnubee

    gnubee Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    With your gained knowlege you will eventually come out ahead so you're right not to be too bummed over it.

    I once cooked for 450 people at a triathlon race. The Fraternal order of Eagles told me that they had never had less than that and always sold out. Their balcony over looks the race and everyone goes by there twice. The day of the race the 1995 Garnet fire swept thru town claiming 19 houses and one life. So the organizers had to re route the race . Visibility was down to 1/2 mile in heavy smoke. We sold 60 meals to the beer drinkers and bagged up the rest. The Eagles had guaranteed the 450 people minimum so they picked up the bill. The fun part was being informed about 1/2 way thru that Our street had been evacuated and no one knew if my house was still was. [​IMG]

    If it is an annual event the organizer should have some solid figures to go by and should have a minimum number of meals He or She will guarantee in writing. If not I'd say bye bye.

    PS this was not great planning on my part just luck that they insisted on giving me a guarantee in writing.

    Maybe it was a good thing also that 1100 drunk wino's didn't crash your party.

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