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Need advice on renting a kitchen

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have found a church that will rent their kitchen to me on a "per-use" basis. The reverend has suggested the charge for renting will be $50.00 per day, plus 10% of my party total. This seemed fairly reasonable to me, considering the rent quotes I received from other churches and clubs. She told me to think it over and if I agree, we can sign a contract.

Any advice about questions I should ask and negotiating rent is greatly appreciated!
post #2 of 8
What are your party averages?
Does that include rentals? Waitstaff/staff? Tax?
Do they have total equipment and freezer/refer space dedicated to caterers?
Are they inspected by the Health Dept?
Is it easy access in/out? Centrally located near your parties?
When do they want payment, after you are paid would be a good thing.....
What does a day constitute 24 hours?
Is this arrangement available to other caterers?
What's the availability? Are the girlscouts going to show up for a cookie making session at 4pm on Wed?
What if something breaks? Is the equipment maintained?
Pest Exterminators? Fire Extenguishers?
Who cleans up? Do they have a janitor crew, if there's a potluck the day prior to when you are scheduled is the kitchen clean prior to your using it?
What if your party needs a couple days prep?

**A really good client/friend told me the definition of a good deal is one that is good for both sides. I always turn a situation over in my head to see if it works 360*.

Get everything in writing and upfront.
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi shroomgirl,
Thanks for replying, and with so many good questions!!
I'm still small-time, newly out on my own. My former partner had to back out due to a new baby and day-job issues. My parties have been an average of 50 ppl @ $8.99 pp give or take. I haven't done any advertising because I want to make sure I have a kitchen to work in. I have only 2 graduation parties booked so far, but have a number of customers who like to order dinners and desserts from me.
The church doesn't offer waitstaff, that is up to me. There is a custodian available on a $50 per hr basis.
Does the 10% she requested sound fair to you? Her words..."if you do a $500.00 party, then the church would get the first $50.00 for use of the kitchen, plus 10% of the party total, so another $50.00 for a total of $100.00"
I would have the use of the equipment, chafing dishes, coffee makers...etc. There is a small industrial reach-in fridge and freezer, no walk-ins. Range with 2 ovens, 6 burners and griddle. The kitchen was last inspected 4/03/08 and they have no critical violations.
It is a good location, not too far from home and fairly central to parties I would take on. Oh I forgot to mention that the kitchen is attached to a Hall that would be available to rent also for $250.00 ($100.00 refundable security dep. if left clean) for 4 hrs. and that includes the kitchen. This gives me an added bonus and hopefully more customers through church members?
The church uses the kitchen every Sunday for a Soup Kitchen and sporadically throughout the year. The company currently using it for catering will be out the end of May.
Good question about maintenance, hadn't thought of that....

One of the many things I need to specify...would it be $50 each day of prep AND $50 party day, PLUS 10% of party total?
Thank you so much, you've given me alot of things to think about.:crazy:
post #4 of 8
Tell the reverend you will pay $20 and you will give the church a discount. If you're brand new, ignore workers comp, general liability, etc.
Keep it Simple!

Make the church think that they're gettig a nice deal, non cash. If they piss you off, threaten their 503(c) status with the Feds...............LOL
post #5 of 8
Watch Godfather I, THEN talk to the pastor..........
post #6 of 8
Someone mentioned general liabilty...I rent/use a church kitchen for occaisional catering.. and I had to show evidence of liabilty insurance in order to use the kitchen ( or any rental room- every person that requests usage of this church's room needs to show liabilty). After all if I leave a burner on and cause a fire etc etc then I am responsible for repairing damage.Check that out with church office.

If you cater parties of 50 for $8.99 then $50 plus 10% is not feasible. I had considered $30 per day of use to be my goal payment. What transpired was that they did not want rental payment as such. In return for kitchen usage, I cater their church suppers..being paid $6 per head for standard fare....not what I typically like to serve but it enables me to use kitchen, get licensed get insurance etc, as well as actually make a little profit...not much of course, but I consider it to be a fair deal. At first I ended up setting up/ clearing up etc until it became too time consuming. I then negotiated my providing food and having it available, while church members took care of clean up etc. I have also gained clients from congregation from this. Only draw back is that they think that I regularly cater for $6 per head when cocktail parties start at $20 and so I have had to find ways to politely clarify that. Hope I didn't ramble on too much.

Good luck.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Your situation sounds like something that might work for me. Are you able to go into the kitchen whenever you want/need to? Is that $6 per head including or above food cost?
post #8 of 8
At first, because I was not actually paying anything I was reluctant to ask for early hours/ weekend time when no member of office staff was there to unlock the building. Then once we all got comfortable with each other...really realizing that we were both benefitting...they gave me a key. I still do not feel like it is the perfect situation as I still cart a lot of equipment around- I don't like to leave my knives/ serving pieces/ processor etc there. But for the price and the small nature of my business it is as good as I think I can hope for. Best best best of all is the DISHWASHER- what an amazing difference that makes to my prep time.

I would approach your church and see if they would "barter" like this. My church staff are THRILLED with what they are getting from me. You might want to sit down and establish how many dinners you'd do for them based on how often you need to use kitchen for your business..that way you won't end up inundated or overwhemed with payment meals.

$6 is including food costs, so as I said I don't really make a ton but might take home $3 per head which helps pay for insurance ($500 per year) and other taxes.

If I can help in any way, let me know. This is my first experience with a "forum" so am learning as I go. Hope I am typing in the right place!

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