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Should I still bid on this job?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Okay, I'm in a quandary here... Several weeks ago I posted a question about quantities on a buffet, specifically Prime Rib. This was in anticipation of my putting together a bid for a class reunion that I had been contacted about. I have a meeting with the Class President and others this week to discuss my bid. One of the folks in the group shared with me a bid that they have already received for the weekend festivities and, quite frankly, I can't (and am not interested) in doing the event for near what that bid amount was.

So, should I still attend the meeting and present my bid, knowing that it's a lot more that what they have already received and more than they want to spend? Or, should I contact the Class President and politely decline the opportunity? HELP!!!
post #2 of 10


First off, do not let a low bll bid throw you off. I have found that anytime I have gotten wind of something like this, it was the group trying to get me to go lower.

Never be ashamed or afraid of your bids, hold your head up high and go to the meeting and present your bid. You are a professional, not a wannabe.

Here are the facts that you need to keep in mind:

Your food costs are just that, Costs. You cannot lower that no matter how much you try.

Your time has a value, whatever you charge per hour of your time is your price. Do not work for free just to get the job, you will do yourself and anyone following you a major dis-service.

The client set the parameters with what they wanted, you calculate and present a proposal and if they go with you, great. If they decide not to go with you, then chalk that up to their loss - not yours.

As much as we all love to cook and present our dishes to the clients and their family or friends, we must always remember that we are in a business and for that business to grow, you need to concentrate on the business end.

I will leave you with a comment my uncle made to me many years ago...

"Marty, you are in a show business. You create food and display it like a show, and that takes work and talent. But that is only part of it.
There are four letters in the word show and eight letters in the word business, this means that it takes twice as much work running the business as it does to put on the show"

That came from an old Italain man explaining to me that I neede to charge more back when I started catering. Wise words, that are ever so true.

So with that said, hold your head up high, go in and give your proposal.
No matter what the outcome, come back home, sit down, kick up your feet and have a glass of wine and say to yourself..."I am a professional, hear me roar".

All the Best
post #3 of 10
Take Marty's advice. I especially like the wisdom in the uncles comments.
post #4 of 10
I would also take MARTY,S ADVISE . It must be brought out to this commitee that 'You only get what you pay for'' . If you want quality I can provide it. I will not cut my price to cut quality or my reputation.
post #5 of 10


I'm with them! Don't listen to what you were told. Figure your bid, present it with confidence, and let the chips fall...

If they want "cheap" they will get what they pay for!
post #6 of 10
I concur ^^
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the great advice, Marty and everyone else! You confirmed my thoughts that I should just bring it to the table and let the chips fall where they may. Sometimes it just helps to have someone else back you up though, you know? I appreciate all of your help! I will keep you posted on my meeting! ;)
post #8 of 10
When someone gives you an inside tip on what another caterer has bid, disregard it, completely. For some reason, people think they're very clever and will get a better bid, if they "clandestinely" tell caterers what others have bid, even when the information is fabricated. If you saw the actual bid proposal from the other caterer, then, and only then, is there some credibility. If it's word of mouth, it's a ploy to get a lowball bid and not from people I'd want to work with.
post #9 of 10
Multiple menus for bids.....in different price ranges.

I've also gone with pricing out a rib eye meal and having "upcharges for larger cuts" gives them the option of keeping a lower budget or increasing it. Funny how it ALWAYS increases.

Talk about what makes your company special.....
locally sourced food
cooked from scratch
fresh breads
hand made desserts
beautiful buffets with our platters and decor included in the food price
accomodating vegetarians

......whatever makes your company special......do you grill on site? do you have special dishes?

Do a tasting if it's a committee that doesn't know your food.....(did I say that?!!)

cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #10 of 10
"Our value proposition has never been based on price, but on quality."

Or you could show up drunk and swear a lot.
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