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Film Virgin

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I have been asked to provide catering services 4 hours from my restaurant for approximately 2 months.  There will be 150+ to feed breakfast, lunch and dinner.  We are in Texas and this shoot will be during the summer.  This is my first foray into the movie catering/craft service type of catering.  We have been in business 14 years.  I have a staff of 25 that could help with prep but all cannot travel off-site as I have to keep the restaurant up and running.  We do not have a trailer or portable kitchen.  We have fed 800+ at our largest catering but I would say the average for our caterings is about 250-300. 

Can you all give me some feedback?  How does this work?  Is it worth the trouble?  How can I make it profitable enough to justify the time investment?

Thanks.
post #2 of 4
Is there someone in the production co that you know? Why would they ask you to cater something 4 hrs from your base. Do they know that you have never catered film. It's a whole different thing than your "normal" off site catering.

There is no way you will be able to do this without a mobile kitchen and support vehicle. You would need 4 cooks, and one outside/set up guy. If they were all experienced in film catering. Yoy would need to be labor heavy in your first gig.... Be prepared for long days... Lets say call time is 7am, which means a start time for you around 4am. This does not include any travel time,, so factor that into your start time.  You need to be ready to serve by 6:30, next meal will be 6 hrs later, 6 hrs after that for dinner. How many locations will you be at for the day, how many times day you have to move/ pack up, re set? All cutting into your prep time for the next meal.

So now your looking at completing 2nd meal at around 9pm. you still have to pack up, do dishes, clean, shop, restock, travel back to hotel, now it's 10pm. and you get to bed it's 11pm, time to get up in 4 hrs, Do you have a dedicated staff that would work for you like this for 2 months, possibly without a day off?

I did this for 6 yrs, All my friends thought that I had such a glamorous job, real glamorous working 16-18 hrs a day!


Good Luck!
post #3 of 4
 scroll down a bit or cut and paste
there is a long thread started years ago about film 
catering.  

http://www.cheftalk.com/forum/thread/12903/the-low-down-on-film-set-catering
but would agree that you need a mobile kitdhen
you MAY be able to get them to pay for that rental but you may not. 

It's a tough biz but given the numbers and a strong contract  (so they don't wiggle out or change terms on you which they constantly do)
you can make decent money on it for sure.
Chef Tigerwoman

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Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
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post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the input.  It is a "friend of a friend" situation.  I would prefer not to do it but I told them I would look at the logistics and see if it was even possible.  There are a large number of caterers in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area so I'm sure they won't have any trouble getting it covered.  Any one interested and I will pass your name along.  Just PM me and I will give you the details.

Thanks,

Jen
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