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How much to prepare....?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Once again, I need your advice. I should have gotten up in the middle of the night and posted this as I would have slept better.

I have been hired to serve the lunch at Town Meeting this year. The role is usually filled by some non-profit or other in town (student council moms, scouts, etc) and the food is all donated. No one stepped up to the plate, as I suppose all the groups have enough money, so the moderator called my shop. At first I said no, but then called the woman who works for me and thinks anything is possible, and we decided we could do it.

The main problem is that we really have no way of knowing how many will show up at the meeting. It could be 75 and the meeting could get over at 10 or it could be 250 (which my DH, who is involved in town politics, thinks is probable:confused: ), and they could all want lunch.

My problem is that I don't know how much to prepare for. Here's what I'm thinking and please tell me if you think otherwise:

3 soups (about 8 gallons-12 oz cups for 96 svgs) leftovers can be frozen for use in the shop

60 sandwiches (4 kinds)

20 plain salads
15 salads with meat topping

a full steamtable pan of baked ziti

desserts- brownies, bars, cookies, etc

I'll also have the breakfast table which will be coffee, tea and baked goods.

I'm afraid to have too little, but since I'm also trying to run a business, I'm afraid to have a lot of leftovers especially of things I won't be able to re-sell.

ANY ideas will be appreciated. Thanks so much!
post #2 of 6
Just feed them what you'll be doing the following week. ;) :D Seriously,
I would do soups, rolls, a big bowl of salad greens, and a deli meat. Mustard, mayo, dressing, pickles.

You can prep a meat tray for about 40 to start and be ready just in case. They're quick to make. Just have the stuff sliced and ready to go and if you don't use it there you can do something else with it.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Well, we're close, Kuan. I'm serving some things I needed to prep for a wholesale order on Monday. I'll have to have the sandwiches made and wrapped, though, as there's no prep space. I practically had to arm wrestle the school cafeteria manager (the meeting is held in the school) for her to allow me to have access to the hand washing sink and running water. I'm not her favorite person since the teachers have a luncheon once a month and have contracted with me to cater it- I think she wanted that gig.

I've since heard that the town expects there to be a big turnout as there are some big money items on the agenda. Do you think I've planned for enough with the numbers I gave?
post #4 of 6
Yeah you know, not all of them may be expecting lunch so you might be OK. This is weird. Normally a contract would be more specific but I actually get where they are coming from.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Well, that's the thing... there's no contract. Someone, always a non-profit, provides lunch for Town Meeting- it's a New England tradition- people bring their knitting, babysitting is provided- it's a big social event in rural NH- and the girl scouts or 8th grade makes the money from selling donated food.

Since no one wanted it this year, the town moderator called my shop and asked if I could do it and I'd be reponsible to price my items to sell to the participants. It's great free advertising for me so I want to treat it like a "real" catering job and maybe get some jobs from it.

Kuan, you don't know what you're missing. A cold spring Saturday spent in a gym raising your voting card to cast your vote and waiting for the vote counters to tell your row to put their hands down. It's democracy at it's finest.:talk:
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Oh yeah. It there's a snowstorm, I'm in trouble,:(
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