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Catering, but not really..please read...

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Ok, I'm expecting someone to throw a shoe at me for asking this, but here goes:
How do you guys feel about catering a very small event, and not having to provide flatware, plastic ware, or beverages? They come to me to pick up their dishes and they serve the food themselves? All I have to do is cook...
post #2 of 22
whatever works for you. If it's a regular client I'm more apt to accomodate.
If it's someone who is flexible and would like what I've got on hand even better. I don't have a store front so there's no traffic. Small numbers, if you can make it work fiscally go for it. otherwise why would you bother?
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #3 of 22

small events

This is a take out service, and there are certainly caterers who do this. As Shroom said - it is a matter of whether can make it pay off.
post #4 of 22
I say go for it. Their could be someone in the crowd that might need you for a bigger and better event. Small partys are great for networking. Whats on the menu? Any particular cooking style, special requested dishes, up front food allergies, ect.
post #5 of 22
CeeJay, tell us about your business.....you are new to Cheftalk and by "sous chef" I assume you are working in a catering business. Is it off site, onsite, do you have a store front, how large a business is it?

To take on small pick ups that are not from a selection you have on hand does not always pay in time/nor return. As to getting business from doing this type work, my experience says probably not. You are not on site to sell it, it's a pickup.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks CeeJay! I have around 132 items on my menu that varies from Southern cooking to Italian to whatever! Also, my foods are not "gourmet"..with all the all too fancy sauces, wines, etc. Its just good comfort food and a little more. Clients can request any dish whether it be diabetic meals, healthy meals, etc. I will go about it like a Personal Chef would, by asking about their needs and wants of the foods they pick out from m menus.
post #7 of 22
Chef Tracy40 Look like you have a pretty good handle on things, you'll do really well. I haveno doubt about that.
132 items that a lot, I suggest buying whole sale and get with your local venders, see what they can do for you, you know to cut some cost, that way at least you can keep the food cost low and turn a litte higher profit. Stay away for regular groceries stores. Produce is ridiculous, I dont know about there bit hawaii crazy. Let me know it goes.
post #8 of 22
Shroomgirl, I work at a Hotel here on Maui not bad little place, not as big or glamorous as the Hyatt, but it will do. I've also done my share of catering, private dinners and a lot of wedding parties and I can say that if you can produce consistent product and give them great service. Small pick ups like this could lead to bigger and better ventures in the future. Pick ups are cool, if you can get them to keep picking up from you. Do some shopping get your food cost low, charge a decent amount for labor, then you have a client for life.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
CeeJay:
I used to cater small weddings in Oahu! Beautiful place to live! I lived in Waipahu, Mililani and the North Shore. Maui is beautiful too--minus the geckos!
post #10 of 22
Get Out of here I lived in Waipahu To. Awsome. Well as for your catering thing, make sure to shop around, buy whole sale or talk to your local venders and produce company for deals. You got this.
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
CeeJay:
Thank you so much for the encouragement! As of 2:30 PM today, I have been contacted by someone in my hometown who wants to assist me in this venture--she also has a catering business! I am blessed!
post #12 of 22
how small is small?
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
There were about 350 people for the wedding.
post #14 of 22
"very small event" is 350?
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
To me it is--I was a Food Service Supervisor in the military and was used to cooking for 1000's of soldiers a day, so that 350 is small to me.
post #16 of 22
small to me is 6-8...., cheftracy did you find a commercial kitchen to work out of or are you planning on preparing a very small 350 wedding reception out of your home kitchen....that your client is picking up?

My gosh, that would be an interesting menu....please share.

In your initial post you are wanting to start a pc/catering business. Personal cheffing does not require a commercial kitchen but then you probably know that. If you are cooking out of your client's kitchen everything is hunky dory.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
You mean 600-800?
post #18 of 22
no 6-8, I catered a brunch for 8 and a breakfast for 6 last week.....$100 pp each, which made them doable.
I've personal cheffed for 12 years and have an inspected catering kitchen that is about 850 sq ft., founded and managed growers markets in STL. which included numerous events each year.
This morning St. Matthias will smell of brisket, baby back ribs, boiled shrimp, lemon curd pie, morel soup.....great benefits.
Most of the parties I cook for are 75-200/300. 600 is once a year for the James Beard Picnic. But then I source locally, butcher pigs, make marshmallows, cookies and breads from scratch... so thousands would take a much larger staff.

Are you just starting up your own business? If so there are alot of posts relating to personal cheffing, what goes into offsite catering, etc in the archives. Welcome to cheftalk.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
Yes, I'm just starting up....again. I have a menu for Personal cheffing too! I need to stay busy or I'll go crazy!!
post #20 of 22
I don't have set recipes/menus for PC, just cook.....whatever looks good at that time or whatever I feel like making that is within their personal perimeters.
Yesterday was: Brisket, BBQ ribs, cornbread, potato salad, slaw, boiled shrimp, green salad, cream of mushroom soup, baked beans, lemon curd pie, anise cookies, broccoli, deviled eggs.....think that's it.
This is for a priest (lunch/dinner) and his office staff 2-3 for lunches M-Th.
I've got a credit card in the church's name and shop whenever/wherever I want. He is a carnivore, does not like alot of veg......big on meats. ONly nukes to heat.

Moving day, gotta go.
Good luck Tracy, check out churches....they may be able to be brought up to inspection speed easily.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #21 of 22
Earned my bones over a fire unit in Vietnam forty years ago. :eek:
Am I ever getting old!
post #22 of 22
Aaaackkkkk!!!!
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cooking with all your senses.....
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