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How do I figure per person cost for events?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I am a new caterer (I have been an accommodator for 5 years) and I'm not sure I'm charging the right price. What's the formula most caterers use? So far what I'm doing is adding up food costs, time shopping, prepping and cooking and then dividing by number of persons. I have a job this weekend and I figured the price on the number of adults the host gave me. Today she tells me that there are 20 less adults. Now I feel I need to raise the per person price. HELP!
post #2 of 4
DO YOU USE CONTRACTS WITH GUARANTEES??? Or what sought of agreement did you work out prior?
I hope Mushroom Girl gets in on this. :blush:
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #3 of 4
final guest count normally 5days-2weeks out, at that time your client tells you how many guests (if you are pricing per person)....after final count the guest # may increase but not decrease, with an additional fee. ie bid is sent on 100 guests, final count 10 days prior is 50 guests, then 3 days prior to the event....they want to add another 25. Well the 25 guests are a higher price than the 50.....
typically $5-10more per person.

Many caterers have a minimum #ie, you'll be charged for 25 guests even if you are telling me 10 show up. Some bigger boys have a processing fee for smaller parties, just to cover their office staff. Personally, when I start talking small dinner parties there is a minimum amount.

I've done some funky things in the past.....if the number is vague I've done initial costs on 25-50 guests, 50-100 guests, 100-149, 150+........pricing it less pp as the number increases. What has and may happen to you is that the guest count may be 138, but it's cheaper to book 150......believe me math happens!:rolleyes:


One of the things I do is charge for my time at an event if I'm working it as staff. If I'm just checking in, helping setup etc different story. Most events I work in chef cloths. Bigger caterers just swan into their events, shmooze and leave.

This is kinda like crib notes on contracts. I can tell you what we learned through the years. Others have a different perspective.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #4 of 4
Malasal, you forgot one of the most important inputs......profit.

well and rent, insurence, equipment, advertising, staff, transportation, R&D,supplies ie dishwasher soap/scrubbies/cutting boards etc, pest guy, fire extenguisher guy, shtuff that costs money that essentially a licensed caterer pays to be in business.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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