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buffet potrion

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have one problem, when i am pricing a buffet menu the total amount goes too high to be competitive. I know I am doing something wrong.

When I serve a regular dinner i serve 180gr. per guest. My cost is ok and I can sell it. But when I want to do a buffet i sont know what to do. Right now I prepare food of every dish for 2/3 of the guests, but my cost is still too high?

Can anybody help me???
post #2 of 17
Tell me what yor buffet for 180 guest has on it? Then I can give you an intelligent answer. Keep one thing in mind that you can control what they eat on a preplated dinner ,but not on a buffet.
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post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Maybe i did not explained myself clearlly, sorry. I usually serve (preplated) arround 180 to 200 gr of protein (6 to 8 0z.) per quest. lets say this is filet mignon in green pepper sauce.

My client wants buffet instead of preplated, He wants the same filet mignon and 2 other options as main course, two options of starch and 2 of vegetables. two saladas, one soup and 2 desserts.

My question is how to calculate how much to prepare of each dish and how to price it. lets say i want a 30% food cost.

I hope this explains better my situation, thnx,

PG
post #4 of 17
If you offer filet and 2 other things, most will take the filet. Why because in these economic times they are not eating filet home. This is a no win scene and you will have to charge more, I cant see how you can bring in a 30% food cost this way , You are offering to much of a choice.
WHAT WOULD YOU CHARGE FOR JUST THE FILET DINNER VEGE AND STARCH, SOUP, SALAD AND DESSERT PREPLATED.???
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post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
For a regular 4 corse menu with filet (preplated) i would be chargeing arround $50 to $60 per person (with a 30% food cost ($18)).

I dont think that people will be going so much for the beef, I want to serve same quality product (maybe Sole Fillets with ginger/lemon sauce and Duck Breasts with trufle sauce just to give some examples.)
post #6 of 17
You know your clientel, but I will stick with my filet and then fish second, 1 would ad $10.00 for a choice so I am covered
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post #7 of 17
Have staff serve the protein on the buffet, it'll cut down on those taking both or double.
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post #8 of 17
Agreed, but a 6 to 8 ounce filet is still one item, even if staff dishes it out, you still must give out one, not a half. His original question was how many he needs?
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post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Lol, thank you for all your comments guys. But in fact, my original question is how much do I need and how to price it. I know that i should not cook 100% of each dish, but I dont think that 33% would be enogh.

Then, how do i price it? lets say i will prepare 50% of each, and i want a 30% food cost.

I would normally do this. If i am normally selling a preplated beef entree to $16 (30% food cost ($4.8)) to 200 pax im getting a $3,200 sale and a $960 food cost (just for the entree).

Now this same guest wants a buffet dinner, same beef entree, a duck entree and a fish. Again for 200 pax. Lets assume that the cost of each is simmilar ($4.8). If I prepare 50% of all dishes I have the following Food cost.

4.8 dollars x 100 pax (50% less) x 3 entrees = $1,440.00

if I want this to be my 30% FC, then my sale has to be of $4,800...
which means $24 per entree, price that my client wont pay. I know that a Buffet can be more expensive if it has nice options than a preplated, but is such a difference ok?

I am afraid that if I dont prepare so much food, something will run out.

Thnx for your oppinions



GARLIC IS TO SALAD WHAT INSANITY IS TO ART
post #10 of 17
not to string this out nor confuse shtuff.......people will want some of 2, or want 1.5 entrees.....
Or at least that's been my experience.

3 entrees, ugh. Chef Ed was right, talk them into 2 entrees...

$60-70, 4 course....entree fish or/and filet.
cooking with all your senses.....
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post #11 of 17
After more thinking and conferring with other caterers.......
Events that switch to a buffet (offsite especially)

Our standard option:
salad, second is of course an additional charge
Vegetable platter.....good assortment that includes potatoes
Entree.....2 will guarantee there will be some that want some of each, about 20%. So have some smaller options.
Have soup preset or served at the beginning that way it can be checked off the list.
rolls/butter


Desserts, 2 huh, well that's extra cost.

So the menu they want has alot of extras, if a client is looking to cut costs I'd tell them how to......2 entrees instead of 3, less options in salad, etc.

What have you done in the past?

The last and only time I served 3 entrees was a wedding......
serious appetizers, stationary/passed....then
1) lamb
2) salmon
3) chicken fingers (fried)

Potatoes, rice, vegetables, salad, rolls........
180ish wedding guests at a venue that had a hand sink in a side room....
we had to bring in tables, cambros, etc. 18 staff, some just to deal with the various entrees getting to the site hot. Some were coming from my kitchen the chicken was cooked off by a buddy who ran a huge hotel 8 blks from the site owed me one, so I asked if they'd fry off the fingers......just for the record, they were crispy for days which is really really scarey.

It was not fun. There was way more food leftover than normal.

So, how to provide 3 entrees with additional sides for offsite catering and figure on making a profit with the food necessary and little waste. Well for each buffet option you increase waste/costs.....jmtpc.

let us know what you decide to do......it's always good to share experiences.
cooking with all your senses.....
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post #12 of 17
i keep reading this thread wondering where communication broke down......
cooking with all your senses.....
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post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
lol, I know, its funny
post #14 of 17
Buffet portrion///??????
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post #15 of 17
Could someone supersize my portion? :)

I once attended New Year's dinner hosted by the U.S. Consulate in Saudi Arabia. We had roast pork for dinner. (Pork is illegal in Saudi Arabia). A pig was flown in by a U.S. military cargo flight and was exempt from customs inspection becuase this took place during the First Gulf War.

I made the mistake of not promptly getting into line ... so by the time we got to the buffet, there was nothing left but bones and gristle because everyone ahead of me insisted on having their plates filled with 2nd or even 3rd portions. I wound up having potatoes and veggies for dinner but no pork.

Buffets can be a pain in the butt.
post #16 of 17
I guess not only were pigs on the buffet, they were also on the buffet line. :bounce::talk::chef:
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post #17 of 17
that's were the head guy sees what's going on and steps up to plate. That's more the fault of the caterer or catering manager for not having a staff person serve. If you see a trend you jump in and stave the leak.
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