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To Big or not to Big

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Recently, I have been asked to cater two buffet parties (December and January), each with an attendance of 150 people. This would be a huge leap in volume for me, as 75 people exceeds my capacity. I lack equipment, storage and staff, so it seems like the realistic outcome is to turn down the requests.
In the future I would like to work up to this volume. It excites me to think about catering at this scale.

I wonder, generally, at what point do you hire staff to help prepare and plate food?
And, if applicable, why have you chosen to take on high volume events?

Graciously, A

Edit: A few things to consider.
I can afford to buy equipment, and rent a kitchen. Also, there are lots of people who have offered to help if needed.
My main job is sous chef at a great restaurant. I dont cater for a living.. yet.
My business plan was to gradually expand next year.
post #2 of 6
If you have a place to have the event or its held offsite somewhere then put it all on paper and rent everything you need. This is a great step in becoming a larger company and a great way to see that anything is possible with only the space and the money to do it. I would look at it as an opportunity to grow and learn. Any large catering company that doesnt have what is needed simply rents what they need and the cost is handed down to the customer. Goodluck.
post #3 of 6
I absolutely agree with Cypressrider. You should never let youself be contrained by your lack of equipment. Hirers are the way to go. It may seem like a huge chunk of your profit to begin with, but it really is worth it.
Having a bank staff has proved invaluable to my company. - I'm reluctant to take on more staff, but i have a bank of 3 i can call on as and when. They double up as waitressess too which is a bonus.
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #4 of 6
It's not the number of people as much as the menu......is there alot of fussy hodos needing assembly?

Everything flows from the menu.

150, buffet probably 3 in the kitchen, 2 bartenders, 5 on the floor......
staff count depends on the amount of time you have to setup, ie some places give you 1 .5-2 hours....which is not alot of time to load in and setup.....

The setup kitchen also matters.....some have just a table, some have full kitchens......

Sorry, energy is waining....
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Great responses! I am concerned that at such a large scale, the personal touch would be sacrificed. I want to be known for having attention to detail. The more I think about it, smaller events are preferable for now. I am about to send out requests for catering stages. This would be a good step to learning what the requirements are for events like these.
post #6 of 6
good idea....
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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