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Why is catering so much more expensive?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Why is catering so much more expensive?

 

For instance a lot of restaurants have 1 price for catering and thats like 25-50% more than if you ordered the same/similar stuff of their regular menu.

post #2 of 8

I presume you are talking about "off-site" catering, i.e. prepped and cooked at the restaurant but delivered, set-up, and served at some other location, correct?

 

Well, there is additional

  • Labor
  • Equipment
  • Transportation

 

that someone has to pay for.

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 8
Thread Starter 

No, even at the restaurant off their own catering menu.

 

I was thinking, either it costs them more in labor, or with a set menu they find people tend to spend less overall, IE only so many appetizers, so much wine, etc.

post #4 of 8

Somebody has to "pay for the room and labor", don't they?

 

Generally, "on-site" catering involves dedicating a room and staff to handle the party and, depending on the method of service, may involve more staff than typical restaurant service, especially where simultaneous service is desired.

 

Besides, group service ties up the kitchen facilities

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 #5 of 8

Still recovering costs for banquet tables, service ware chafing dishes and such, extra labor to dress the room and prep and service.  Also they have to plan that kind of thing, if even a small party party of 40 just showed up at most places they would be sent packing. I know, my old guild used to have issues finding a place in the Bay Area that would take the 30 of us at short notice.

"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #6 of 8

Another "thought" for "on-site" catering. Many smaller places may have to "give up" the opportunity for "walk-in" trade to handle a catering job. That might mean losing a part or all of a "turn" and might even impact being able to serve anyone except the catering job.

 

Example: a restaurant with ten, 2 top, tables, total capacity 20 people at a time that averages, oh, 1 1/2-2 turns (30-40 patrons) per night. Booking a party of, say, ten may mean being able to serve only 25-30 instead of the average of 30-40. That means a gross revenue of 75-83% of normal at menu prices, somebody has to make up the difference.

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 #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Good points, thanks!

post #8 of 8

Supply and demand and caterers want to make more money for all the shlepping we do.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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