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.....