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Totally Catered....

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Just doing a survey type deal. But is there a market out there for totally catered desserts? I know wedding cakes are more or less catered. But besides wedding cakes is there a market for just desserts in the catering industry? Or is it best to offer savory dishes as well?

Regards Cakerookie...
post #2 of 14

dessert catering

From my own personal experience and let me say I was a pastry chef a million years ago (bc = before children) I would say that the number of requests for soley dessert catering is minimal. You might develop a market catering desserts for caterers but be prepared to charge wholesale prices.

the other aspect of dessert only catering is that would it provide you with enough of an income? It's hard enough to get the $$$ sometimes from the client for the whole meal, let alone for dessert only. And I am coming to realize that to be truly profitable a caterer must sell much more than just food - food, labor, decor, services etc - that builds the price.

I was working with a fellow caterer last week and saw the validity of this. It was a kiddush luncheon - that is the luncheon at the temple following the services - in this case a bat mitzvah service - this was not the bat mitzvah which was at a fancy high end NYC destination later that evening.

The total bill for the event was 15k - food itself was only around 7k - the rest was for rentals, decor and labor and service charges. That didn't include the florist bill - so if you are really full service and provide that too (or coordinate it and get a markup on it) then there is more money to be made. You can only go so far with food itself. Just a thought.
Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
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Chef Tigerwoman

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post #3 of 14
CR,
Can't say it any better then Tigerwoman.
I do supply a couple of caterers. My main caterer is really my life line. We close up at 3 each day and almost all our products are wholesale boxed and go to the caterer each day. She uses them for her pop ups and her assorted chefs desserts. It's a flat fee across the board so it's a win win for both. Plus she has no problem branding the desserts which helps business.
pan
PS I doing a little consulting on a couple of star up projects and this is one of my main items on a to do list for retail bakery. Secure a good relationship with a cater. Not an easy job because you need to find someone of equal quality.
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

Totally Catered

Thanks Pan and Tigerwoman for the input there.I pretty much got the answer I was expecting. I want to get involved but unfortunately my only link is the internet. Oh well thats a new thread somewhere down the line I guess.;)
post #5 of 14
I do all of it...staff, decorations, rentals (mine and from a rental company)
it gives me more control of the final look of the event. When others coordinate services I wonder when/if the ball will drop. Pluss I make a percentage on all rentals.

Last night I picked up organic artisan rolls for today's event.....the price was right and they are gorgeous. Desserts are coming from my kitchen still....
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks shroom.

Regards Cakerookie...
post #7 of 14
you could always try some sort of strategic alliance with several caterers if your wanting to specialize. Outsourcing labour is getting quite big amongst some companies and if your product - knowledge skills or just a finished product, matches the ideals of those who cant, then go for it.

Like panini said, try to score some consultancy gigs.

To quote a song i once heard: "From little things, Big things become"

This is a link to a place i used to walk past in another life about 18 years ago - what caught my eye was a 1:1 replica of queen elizabeth II in the shop window made entirely from cake, and this is what they do now:http://www.sweetart.com.au/cakes.php

so stay focused and develop a plan, dream a little and take it from there.

peace
"Nothing quite like the feeling of something newl"
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"Nothing quite like the feeling of something newl"
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post #8 of 14

some thoughts

Nick - what a lovely site. Thank you for pointing us to it.

You certainly have to follow your dreams in this business but there is a practical side too. It's great to have forums like this one and others eg catersource and restaurant edge, to share resources, get inspiration and ideas and support. As my friend Greg Breland in Canada says,

good catering to you!

have a delicious day.

another quote I found recently that I lilke is from Wolfgang Puck

something to the effect of "when you have made as many mistakes as I have, then you will know as much as I do" may not be exactly word for word accurate but the gist of it rings soooo true!
Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
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Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
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post #9 of 14

Doing it all

We do it all also, mark up rentals and I charge 1/3 to 1/2 of the purchase price for rent if I need to buy it. I do however work with a local bakery for the more exotic breads and rolls and stuff.
I thinking tho if you made some quality contacts you might be able to make it on desserts alone but it'll be a stretch.
Jim C.

Food is universal... everyone eats !
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Jim C.

Food is universal... everyone eats !
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post #10 of 14
Cakerookie,

When I lived in Upstate NY, we had a woman who was hired to make desserts for our restaurants. Since her kitchen had yet to be certified for off premises cooking, she would come into one of the two restaurants every other day or so and do nothing but make desserts.

If your kitchen is certified, you might think of checking with some of your local restaurants to see if they would like you to do the same for them. It's just an option.

Ciao,
Steve A - Up I-95 not too far from the VA border.
Order In/Food Out ~ It's NOT magic.
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"It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you." Frank Zappa
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Order In/Food Out ~ It's NOT magic.
- * - * - * - * -
"It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you." Frank Zappa
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post #11 of 14
Tried to do some wholesale pastries and breads, but after a while gave up and focused entirely on catering.

The trick is to develop loyal customers, not an easy task. Far more tempting for a restaurant to get 2 frozen cheesecakes for every $500 of meat they buy from a meat purveyor, get sweet talked into a "new line of exciting desserts" WITH customized table tent-cards AND air-miles rewards points from thier produce & drygoods sales rep.; or to drop you like a scorned lover for another pastry up-start for all the difference of 25 cents a cake. Believe me, I've been there and done it, and even in that short time, I learned to charge C.O.D. for every delivery p.d.q..

If you have the connections, it would be better to to bake in the client's restaurant itself, using thier ingredients, equipment, and space, and just getting a paycheque
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Incline to agree foodpump, thanks.

Regards Cakerookie..
post #13 of 14
CR,
One of the biggest obsticles is those ugly large food purveyors(Sysco type)
There was a time when everyone had an opportunity to provide manufactured food items to hotels,clubs,restaurants, etc. Through the huge monopolization and the buy outs (cut-throats) of small food purveyors, the huge companies can run and manipulate the whole concept. It's really like the Mafia tactics. They basically force you to go under contract to get regular prices. Under the umbrella of a bonus system they require that you buy basically 95% of your product from them.
So this basically cuts out all small purveyors, which in turn, has really forced the industry,sometimes, to settle for a mediocre product. If you want a high end product, most of their contracts state that they must provide you with it. Sounds like a plus for the contractee, but in reality, they just go to the same person you would go to, pay a lessor price and jack up the item to you. It's truly amazing how we, as a country, can let this type of outragious behavior go on.
There is not much opposing voice from the F&B and down, mostly because the bonus (payola) is covering their bonus or incentive program.
Most of the chefs that I know, bring me in through the back door or can't use me for they have maybe 5% of their spending budget to go outside the contract source.
HEY!! HOW'S THAT FOR SOAPBOX?? tHESE BAD PEOPLE ARE JUST RIDING THE WAVE THAT WILL WIPE OUT SMALL,FAMILY,ETC. BUSINESS.
think I'm wrong, I'm curious if people know the names of there butcher,florist,baker,etc.
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #14 of 14
...Sigh, no you're right, Pan. But I'm in decent postion, I make about 95% of everything in-house. Still smiling from the day I picked up that little Rondo table-top sheeter for $900 at an auction.... I have produce whlsalers, dry-goods whlsalers, meat purveyors , poultry purveyors, and specialty importers (Italian stuff) all within a 2 km (1 mile) radius from my biz. And I use them!

I still get Sysco knocking on my door, but that's all I'll let them do....
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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