So the dream begins - catering a pig roast for 50 people. No idea what to charge though

Discussion in 'Catering & Large Group Gatherings' started by biggie, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. biggie

    biggie Newbie

    Me and a friend are being tasked with catering a bbq/pig roast NFL party next month for 45-50 people. We'll be doing a whole hog, plus ribs, ABTs, beans, and a few other sides. This is the first step in the two of us fulfilling a dream, making $$ from bbq. We would like to make some cash by catering, then work our way into opening up a joint. We have the necessary equipment, and I'm pricing out supplies at the moment. Our biggest problem is figuring out what to charge for all this? I'm doing a relatively hot smoke on the whole hog, so I figure about 12-14 hours for a 60 lber.

    Professional BBQ/catering companies around me charge anywhere from $15-$30 per person, and none of them offer whole hog. Anyone with experience that could offer some advice?
  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I would suggest maybe Pm'ing ShooterRick and or Bbally I know both of them do some catering
  3. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Guest

    you need to figure your cost for meat and supplies. Then charge for your time and anyone that you hire to help out. Alot of times people dont include a good wage for your time. With out your skills the food wouldn't be good. I guess the point is to value your time. I know mines is work $$$$
  4. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Well Jerry has some good advice for both of those guys do some large catering jobs too. Now I have done a few catering jobs but not a whole hog. First off how big a hog are you offering and at what price??? Now I would take all the expences and then just add your labor and don't forget all that it is gonna cost you now. Charcoal, chips, chunks or splits, and then some extra for the unforseen money too. but just remember that you will have to compete with the big boys and they have poo poo food. So cook your ars off and take it all in  and then let your food speak for itself. You will win out in the long run.  
  5. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Piney is right about who to talk to.

    One thing to consider on this early job - do you want to make a profit or just break even to get the "advertising" from the gig to get more work. If you want to go route B you need to have a conversation with the end user that you are giving him a discount in order for him to market you to his guests.  When we had our small catering company we covered our expenses on the first couple of jobs as "networking" and it worked out well for us
  6. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    Spring this year, I went to a wedding in North Carolina.  On the day before, there was a catered dinner in which the feature was a whole pig.  I talked with the guy a lot and took some pictures.

    First off, let me give him credit -- name was Randy Hingson who owns the a franchise restaurant in Atlantic Beach, NC called the White Swan, featuring BBQ & Fried Chicken. 

    He used a basting of his own sauce, which was an eastern NC style which means vinegar and hot spices.  He had some sauce for serving on the meat -- but I like my pork pretty natural.  I asked what he had charged.  Answer was about $200, using a 100 pound pig for 100 people.  To me, that sounds very low.  I don't know what the pig cost him, but even $200 over raw cost would seem quite reasonable.

    That said, here come some pictures that show you the product.

    First, this is Randy.


    Then here is the rig at the wedding.  He had cooked the pig in his restaurant and this rig was just for transport and keeping hot.


    Here is the pig, split and headless (he said the rules would not let him serve the head).


    Ribs have been pulled, and he is chopping the meat on top of the skin.  Hams are still intact.


    More devastation.


    Crackling -- prepared at the restaurant, kept in a tray and you had to know to ask for it.


    And this is the final result.  Not much left.

  7. dforbes

    dforbes Meat Mopper

    Am I reading this wrong or are you saying he charge $2.00 per person. Surely he didn't want you to know and just through that number out there. Cooking a whole hog is a lot of work, then throw in the ribs and sides. $200 over raw costs sounds way low to me. I wouldn't do it for that. I agree with most of the posts, figure your costs, food supplies and labor then add in your profit. You have an advantage, that you know caterers in your area are charging 15 to 30 dollars per plate. Figure up your costs and see where you fall in that area. There are 2 reasons that no one wants to give you actual numbers on what to charge. They don't want to tell their competitors what they charge, and everyones overhead and costs are differant. Figure everything up, pick your number and go with it. If you make a little mistake, you will learn to adjust. If you make a big mistake, you will learn much quicker.
  8. coffee_junkie

    coffee_junkie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have a catering spread sheet that will help you our a ton, somebody on here gave it to me. PM me and I can email it to you.
  9. I'd love to hear what you come up with. I've never tried a whole hog, but I have a guy that wants me to do one for him. I was thinking of doing it at cost just to get the experience.

  10. Great pics! Thanks for sharing them with us.


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