or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Catering › cooking/catering at my church
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

cooking/catering at my church

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
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.
post #2 of 4
Well, you got off to a horrible start. You said your labor and skill were worth a pat on the back and $50 in restaurant coupons. You produced "home cooked" meals for $3.50 pp. Your church probably expects a 400% increase in labor costs; you get $200. :crazy:

Because you don't know how or what to charge, and are probably a one person operation, simply tell the church committee in charge of this program that the church will purchase all foodstuffs necessary for preparation of each meal and you'll accept an honorarium of $1.75 per meal prepared, minimum 100 meals. It'll put the meal cost for food and your labor at $5.25; about what you'd pay for a bagel and a cup of coffee.

For the nine weeks, you'll pick up $1575, which you probably can use, and the church will get "home cooked" meals for less than a Whopper Meal and a shake.

Be advised: There's no way I'd have ever worked that cheap unless, to quote Dan Ackroyd in the Blues Brother, "I'm on a mission from God!"
post #3 of 4

RSteve's response was good. $5.25 dirt cheap, even for a church meal.

$1575 beats $50 in certificates any day.
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #4 of 4
As the volunteer Head Chef for my Church, I don't request payment, tho I do get some financial blessing out of my job on occasion. I don't expect it either, at least not until our church can bring the youth pastor on full time. From my point of view, it's my ministry to the church, and it keeps my skills honed. I've catered a wedding, 2 funerals, and appetizers & deserts for a couple of families for Thanksgiving, all paid, as a result of what I do at the church, and I do see the day comming when I'll be a paid staff member, but for the time being, I'd rather the $ that would go to me, go to the youth pastor or other needs at the Church.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Catering
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Catering › cooking/catering at my church