What to charge?

Discussion in 'Catering & Large Group Gatherings' started by workoutchamp, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. OK, now I got this catering gathering thing going - what to charge?

    The spreadsheet is awesome, and that has been fun to play with - but what do most of you charge - flat fee? use the spreadsheet?

    I feel most people want simple (like me), and I know there are huge swings, but is there a simple way to shoot a number out?

    2 meats, beans and slaw - $xx/head - xx head minimum?

    "Wow, great Q - what do you charge?" "I will do you wedding or prison homecoming (now that's one I never thought of) for $xx/head".

    your input is greatly appreciated. Brad
  2. There are a lot of things to consider.Is this going to be a key job meaning everything from paperproducts to garbage haul off?Also what 2 meats you cook will have to do with cost.Your number of plates fixed also needs labor you have to hire figured in.With all that said 2 meats and 2 sides with tea,pickles and dessert doing chicken and pulled pork I get around
    13 to 15 dollars a head with 500$ minimum.Also most times I get 60% five
    days before cook and work off there money.

    David Adams
    Big Pig Barbecue
  3. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I don't have one set price, it varies from job ta job. If the job is just product delivered ta there party an I don't do any set up er nothin, it's cheaper. If we need ta set up an serve, our time is worth sumtin. Large events take more time an cost more then a small event.

    I have a cash an carry price list fer meats. Fer caterin, the meat is charged out at that rate but then we add in labor costs plus material costs. We stay perty low key so many times folk er eatin off paper plates. If we need china we rent it an the customer pays fer that, wheter they wan't ta rent it or pay us to. The more the customer does or heps the lower the cost.

    I get a minimum 50% upfront two weeks before the event, that way ifin they cancel most a my costs er covered.

    So it boils down ta this. Figure up what each servin of food cost you. Add in yer profit margin, be generous here. Then figure out what you feel yer time is worth. Again, be generous, this ain't store bought food yer providin, it's crafted food. Then some folk will add on 10% ta make up fer unexpected costs er problems an equipment expense.

    Good luck.
  4. desertlites

    desertlites Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    these prices are from a menu from a traveling pit joint 70 miles south of where I live now-a small town next to the border where I grew up-whole chicken $18.40-whole rack o ribs $24.50-brisket or pulled pork $8.25 a#-a hot link is$2.63 ea.these don't include sides-I havn't had his Q yet but it does smell good
  5. alx

    alx Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  6. Thanks for all this guys.

    I am figuring on $15/person - under 12 free. 40 person minimum. For this, I will do:

    Chicken thigh/leg quarters (not too much, it takes up too much space on the cooker).

    Pastrami sliced thin

    Big Links (Sam's Club at $1.50/lb) - awesome.

    Country Style Ribs (sliced butt)

    Cole Slaw and Wicked Beans

    All these meats will be 5 hrs or less. You get into brisket or pulled pork and you got a very long smoke. Agree? Not practical for events or catering, Agree?

    I will provide paper and plastic or serve on your stuff. I don't think I will go wrong here - and I am very open to input.
  7. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I don't know to many people who want Pastrami and country style ribs for a BBQ meal.
    Yes, you have to offer Pulled Pork, Brisket and ribs and yes, you have to cook all day to get that price!
  8. gooose53

    gooose53 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Not sure I would pay $15 for what your offering...no offense ment. I'm with Buba on this one....give'm your best shot!! Pulled pork and chicken is fine.....but add ribs for an extra cost.
  9. txbbqman

    txbbqman Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I gotta agree with Bubba and Goose, I am not real sure how that menu will fair with those prices. Sometimes the long smoke is worth it in the end ( hear...99% of the time )

    But I will add this. we are not in your market, if you think that will work in your market then I say go for it. at least you will know for sure after your first gig.

    Good luck and keep us posted on how it comes out
  10. alx

    alx Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    .................................................. ........
  11. harrylips

    harrylips Smoke Blower

    Hey Bubba! Dont you always say pulled pork is better the second day?

    Smoke it in advance.
  12. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    In my neck a the woods, a $15 plate gonna have pulled pork er brisket on it, plus two sides (Coleslaw, tater salad, beans er such), an a dash a salad an a cobbler fer dessert.

    Chicken is good to an really ain't that hard ta fix.

    Most caterin jobs the brisket an pork er done in advance just cause it works round here.
  13. smokeguy

    smokeguy Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Pastrami is made from a brisket....
  14. white cloud

    white cloud Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Actually pastrami can be made with about any red meat. Check cowgirls venison pastrami. I just seen a real nice one at the store called; beef round pastami. Same holds true with corned beef.
  15. Bubba, are you an anti-pastrami-ite? [​IMG]

    Smoke guy, yes it is brisket, but much smaller cut - and IMHO, more flavor. smaller cut cooks faster, etc.

    We are doing a cook in a couple weeks: Chicken quarters, sausage, CS ribs, Wicked Beans, corn on the cob and potatoes (foiled and cooked in beer) with a little Kosher Salt. I will throw a rack of ribs on for the hosts (and her sister who is looking for a caterer in a few months)

    40 person minimum I think is the key. They are delighted - and they ate my food at the last gathering.

    Maybe I do need to add some of this or that. But then again, I don't want to be doing this every weekend - and want it to be worth my time (I have a regular job and cherish my weekends).

    This is all GREAT interaction. Thank you - and keep the comments comin' Brad
  16. smokeguy

    smokeguy Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    True, I should have said that Pastrami is traditionally made from brisket. Cowgirl's venison pastrami was a beautiful thing!

    And yes, I agree too that the store-bought ones do get to temps faster than a brisket since they're usually pretty small.
  17. hoser

    hoser Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I see no problem at all pulling the pork the day before you're going to serve it. That way you can do the long slow smoke and everybody's happy.
  18. How do you reheat?
  19. shooterrick

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

    Well for me I believe in working less often and making more money. It is more of a hobby for me and not a primary source of income. That said the local joints try and get 3 times cost of a plate as a ball park. That equals about 12-16 bucks a head depending on number of meats and sides. I am on the high end of this with a minimum order requirement and 50% upfront and a 30% rebooking charge if cancelled. Like I said work less make more.
  20. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Doing a wedding reception middle of September this month for my sister so I'm not getting paid for it but it will be good exposure plus the food is more of a wedding gift.
    Not doing the whole spread just my part of it will be pulled pork, beans and slaw so I'll be doing the pork ahead of time and reheating there.
    To reheat the pork I figure I am just going to drop vacuum sealed bags of it into simmering water. The last time I did a smaller party I reheated the pork in the oven at 225 in large foil pans, covered, and it came out perfectly fine that way too.

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