Corporate Food Service
A friend of mine caters out of a seminary and provides lunch for 50-75, 4 days a week.
3) entree with veg
$5....food cost $1.75
They use alot of what is leftover from catering jobs to make lunches for the next day. They are growing exponetially. Took on a 375 plated gala last month.
I'm all about local. Think about how you could be a great supporter of the local farmers by buying product from them. Chef's Garden has a huge amount of secondary product that may be affordable and is wonderful. Culls/seconds make great sauces. Have a contract to buy salad greens.
Just keep the menu simple.
Soup, salad (watch the salad bar, my experience is that it's really pricey to run), one daily entree with sides, sandwiches or pizza.
Stop and Think!On the face of it, this looks like a great opportunity, but you need to think about your business and what you've set out to do. Does this opportunity fit with your business plans and goals? Is there an opportunity to upgrade the caf food so that it's more local and sustainable than food from Sysco? Will the exclusive catering agreement bring in enough $$ to justify changing the direction of your business?
You also need to think about how you will manage this type of "side business." You will have to hire lots of staff and probably someone to manage the kitchen if you want to continue with your upscale catering. And then you'll have to train people, deal with turn-over, etc, etc...
In short, are you willing to change your business model and get into a very different business than you're currently in?
If you have an accountant or someone you know who's good with modeling costs/profit, etc, talk to them to see what this type of opportunity will net you.
And then, check with your gut instincts! Good luck and let us know what you decide.
Catering by Dinner is Served
Catering by Dinner is Served
Designing Chef's in STL.....you can check out the site.
Several top end caterers have a secondary low end (box lunch/BBQ etc) with a different name arm of their company.
The numbers you are talking about are much larger than the ones I've dealt with.....600 lunches.....that's a lot of lunches. St. Louis University is running a local foods cafeteria they serve about 200 people (including non-students)
I consulted with them for a couple of years. Anyway, local food is doable....and you have a decent farmer base in Cinncinati.
Comes down to what do you want to do?
Anyway you cut it, this is a big job undertaking.
Thanks!Thank you guys so much for your input, it is greatly appreciated. I've decided not to pursue the corporate kitchen for a lot of reasons. But mostly I am happy with my upscale business. I really can't forsee a time that I would be happy doing anything less! Not to mention business is going great! seated 500 on Tues. All of our efforts are starting to pay off. I appreciate the responses and took them all into consideration before making the decision:talk:
The RFP is tacked onto the cork board, but this is just one I'm passing on.
Interesting, after doing the research....people who have done it before call it feeder operations, essentially you make profit from vending machines and catering. day to day is not where the money is. Really interesting.
Topical in all the years I've been cooking, it's funny that this thread came up just before the phone call.
I am in the B&I segment and a few pointers that may help you.
If you are doing Breakfast and lunch only and on a daily basis with 650 employees you can average 1/3 will come and eat in your account daily, unless you have a captured audience.
If you get the catering than you will make up for your losses there but have exclusive rights and in writing.
Cafeterias can be tricky the key is keeping costs low, utilizing leftovers and being very very creative.
I have a TON of ways I can assist let me know
GOOD LUCK and GOD BLESS