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Pricing your menu

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Sorry for this attack:-) but I just got someone interested with a menu!

It's for a wedding brunch- cocktail style. 150 people.

I offered all kind of pastries, mini quiches, burekas, cigars cold soup, few dips and then sweet table- bite size desserts. No meat in the menu.

I never done it before....how do I price it? I wil need dishes too of course....

How can I price it if I have no idea how much it's going to cost me and this is my first
big event offer?

Any ideas???

Thanks so much!!!

Galit
post #2 of 20
IMHO, you CANNOT figure a price without knowing your COSTS!
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #3 of 20
Galit,
One of the biggest mistakes newbies make is to over offer......have such an intricate menu that they end up giving away the profit.

You need to know your costs.

Figure out sample menus, then cost them out.

Keep in mind rentals, staff, insurence, decorations if you are offering full service catering.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 

you all right!

You are all right of course, but I have never did it before! I know what she wants becuase I gave her a menu
and she chose some stuff. I cannot be sure about the cost unless I will go to the kitchen and spend the next week making each item and figuring it out.
That will take too much time to get back to her.
I will ask her about the full service but god, this is so hard without prior knowledge!
How can I estimate a mini quiche? or humus dip???
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 

I found out..

no waitresses, no dishes, no decoratoins ..yes, I can breathe.

So it's just food (insurance I'm already paying).

It will be to bring my mini quiches, dips, cigars, burekas, soup, bruschettas
and go.

I know I need containers, coolers, transportation.

Any more advices would be a bless!

Thanks

Galit
post #6 of 20
If you dont know your cost, not one of us will give you a selling price. When you sell your pastries at farmers market how do you charge if you did not know cost.????:crazy::crazy:
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #7 of 20
+ delivery
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #8 of 20
Hindsight being 20/20, you should've asked what the budget was, then offered menu suggestions, even if they are based off of your knowledge of rough costs.
Offering a menu when you know your costs is one thing, but when you don't....
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #9 of 20

Pricing

Galit.
How did you get into this? What is your experience? EXACTLY what are you providing? I know it is scary being new to this and not having the info you need - get busy tomorrow and figure out your ingredients for all your recipes - then you have foods to apply costs to - then figure out your time for prep and how much you want to make/hour. Do you have staff to pay? Be sure to include packaging, etc etc & your shopping time, planning time, etc.

One thing you could do, is charge cost + time. That is they pay for all ingredients, containers etc etc and a set hourly rate for your time. Not optimal, but for this event it might make sense.

Good luck and if you can figure out your costs, maybe we can help more
post #10 of 20
on your off-time... you should go to the place where you get your food from and write down the price of every item you would need... then youll have a price/cost of ingredients alone, then factor in your rate for your time, both prep and actually working the event... then of course your delivery etc.

a bit of personal advice, instead of just waiting for responses go to your local grocer and begin there, its more expensive and youll have a rough idea of what it will cost. then go from there.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thank you everyone

What I did is going to many websites and getting menus.
It's easy to say that I have to know my costs but when I never did something like that- it's harder. I got some ideas for menus and places I know and respect.
About my experience- I went to the French Pastry School in Chicago, Iv'e done a few catering events but now I'm planning to get more deeper.
I'm doing farmers market every weekend also.
post #12 of 20
?????? Don't get in deeper until you what your cost are.
To know your cost in any trade all you have to do is add what you spent in total together, this does not require specialized schooling other then plain math. skills. Add the amount of time in minutes or hours and put a self value on your time. Figure your cost of transport(gas) and add all together . This is your cost, now times it by whatever % you want to work on..:lol:
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #13 of 20

pricing

Gallit,
We really are trying to be helpful. I still struggle some with pricing after 9 years, but you can do it with the formula Ed just gave you. this can be time consuming, but a good way to learn - write out ingredients for each recipe you are making. Go to the grocery store and price each ingredient. Add it all then as Ed said, add time and gas and a percentage you want to earn.

I now know the cost of many f the ingredients I use regularly and it is a quick process. However, after 9 years of this business, I am doing a completely new menu with different serving method as well this month for someone - I am in the midst of pricing everything - just have to take the time to research before I give them a price -

Best of luck to you,
pgr555
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks Ed and PG55....


Ed- be patient with me...
I know that I need to price every item- I do it at the farmers market.
What I was saying that - for ex without buying cigars for stuffing I can't tell how many I can make from each package and how many potatoes I will need for each cigar.
I can't know how many yogurts I need for a soup unless I will do it at home.
When I started market I didn't know but today I know how much each recipe cost.
Thank u for your help!

Galit
post #15 of 20
Hey so how did it go?
post #16 of 20
Look at the back of a package for amount of wrappers
Guesstimation is a huge part of what we do.......
Know volumes.....

Basic Math is used on a daily basis around here.
Experience trumps just about everything except majic.....any caterer worth their salt will tell you that majic is involved with our work.:p
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #17 of 20

pricing

Gallit,
I actually DO practice at home A LOT! For example, today I cooked a meal I will be making and freezing next week so I can figure out all of my reheat information for the people who will be reheating. It is also helping my pricing because I am sure of how much of each thing I need and what containers will work best freezer to microwave. It is a meat meal and I also wanted feedback from my carnivorous husband since I don't eat meat.
Hope all went well
pgr555
post #18 of 20
You COOK at home? I don't think I remember where my oven is....
post #19 of 20

pricing

:talk: Yeah it shocks my family when it happens too! Usually when I am practicing for something I haven't done before - like this week.
post #20 of 20
IMHO the fundamental lack of math skills has destroyed many a small or just starting out catering company or restaurant. i'm not saying that it is the case here, but you have to know the math or else having all the food skill in the world won't matter.
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