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Thread Starter 
Ok, I dont know if this is the "right" place to post, but it seems to be the most active forum, so I dont think it can hurt! I also want to preface this with the statement, i use the word "Catering" very lightly as I am not a certified caterer or licensed caterer or an official catering business. I'm not trying to get anthing past the board of health or take money from any other catering company. I am simpley doing what I love to do, which is cooking!

Here's my "thing". Each summer at my church, we have what is called a Summer Series. Each wednesday evening for 10 weeks, we have a guest speaker come in and give a sermon on a given topic. Prior to the lesson, dinner is served.

Last yr I was approached about "doing the food". They asked me how much I would charge. I didnt want payment, I mean afterall, I wanted to just do it! I accepted, no strings attached, it sounded like a fun challenge as I hadnt done any catering before other than a plated meal for 40. At the end of the Summer Series last year, they gave me 2 $25 gift cards to local restaurants. It was a nice gesture I thought, they didnt have to do anything.

So, the Summer Series is fast approaching this yr, and now they want to pay me. I told them dont worry about it, but they insist (after all, i've been out of a job since November so i am in no position to really argue). But I'm not sure they know what to pay me. They asked again, what do I charge? I have no idea! So, I'm looking for some help with that... here are the specifics:

9 weekly meals
buffet service for 100ppl
food budget was $200-$250 last yr based on 75ppl... any idea how much food prices have gone up since last summer?
I do all the cooking on site at church or at my apartment and transport it

to get an idea of the meals i did last summer:

1. meatloaf, oven roasted potatoes, butter & cinnamin glazed carrots
2. "thanksgiving dinner"- turkey wings, stuffing, green beans, mashed taters
3. tuscan pasta- sweet sausage, zucchini, squash, red onions, diced tomato, olive oil with penne pasta
4. grilled jerk chicken on a stick, carribean rice, sweet potato pie
5. shrimp and ravioli w/sun dried tomato alfredo sauce
6. marinated london broil, cheesey potato bake w/sour cream, bacon and green onions. and broccoli

and 4 others I cant seem to remember off the top of my head. I kept a notebook for this reason, and now cant locate it. :smiles:

with each dinner typically I served a salad of some sort- (iceberg house, caesar, mixed greens) and a dessert (tried to use fresh fruit so it atleast appeared to be "healthy")

Prior to me cooking last summer, in years past the dinner had been hot dogs, subway sandwiches cut in 3rds, or pizza. I wanted to make a good family type dinner that was cost efficient, stick to your ribs, and fairly "safe" for those who dont try new things. Of course, I had a few ppl who dont eat pork or had a shellfish allergy, but that was the only objections. Each week that I cooked, the crowd grew as they now knew they were getting a "home cooked dinner".

SO, bottom line, what would YOU charge to do this if they insisted on paying you something? I suggested they give me "whatever", and that would be acceptable...but like I said, I'm not sure they know what that amount is and are looking to me to educate them.