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Restaurants are really getting hungry!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

 As many of you know, My business is based on Food Cost + Labor Cost + Expenses. And I specialize in Prime Rib,  BBQs, Luaus, and Clambakes etc. Lately I have been approached with potential clients ( not my regulars) saying their restaurant will cook their Prime Rib for $2 per pound over cost. Then I ask them " Then why are you  calling me." I don't compete with them. In other words they are cooking  Prime Ribs for app. $30 each  plus their cost for anything else. (I'm glad I don't have staff just standing around)


Edited by caterchef - 11/6/10 at 2:28am
post #2 of 12

As many of you know, My business is based on Food Cost + Labor Cost + Expenses. 

So you've said. 

 

And I specialize in Prime Rib,  BBQs, Luaus, and Clambakes etc.

No wonder you look down on Gordon Ramsay, Julia Child, etc.  They are mere tyros by comparison. 

 

Lately I have been approached with potential clients ( not my regulars) saying their restaurant will cook their Prime Rib for $2 per pound over cost. Then I ask them " Then why are you  calling me." I don't compete with them. In other words they are cooking  Prime Ribs for app. $30 each  plus their cost for anything else. (I'm glad I don't have staff just standing around)

I'm glad too.  But, if you have a point to this post, other than that the restaurants' "Labor Cost + Expenses" run less than $2 pound to put a rib roast in the oven, or that your putative customers are trying to low-ball you, I'm not seeing it. 

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 11/6/10 at 2:41pm
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

My point is the same point I made back in October of last year. It just seems like every restaurant with a 6 burner range and a 3 compartment sink try to get into the catering business. I just think they should stick to plating dishes with their sprig of parsley  and leave the volume feeding to the Pros. The same as the Family Doctor leaves the surgery to the Surgeon.(I Think I'm just too opinionated for this forum anyway)

post #4 of 12

Caterchef, I'm seeing it too.....Fine dining restaurants branching off into catering.

One restaurant I went in to review for an award on a Sat. night had the owner/chef, GM, & prime staff at an offsite event for 10 VIP's.  Hope it was worth it! They did not make my cut based on the restaurant preformance.

 

I've another good friend working at a "grocery store/diner type" local food place who has a bare bones catering venue on a farm an hour outside town....he's always trying to figure out how to staff events/cook for farm gigs & make sure the restaurant is "secure" on Sat & Sun mornings, the busiest time of their week.

 

Last month a dozen top STL chefs were taking a charcuterie workshop/dinner benefit for 3 days....Sun, Mon, & Tues....one of the guys got a call that his restaurant across the state was being reviewed Tues night...and he was on line at this event! 

How many benefits, classes, catering gigs can successfully be managed by chefs trying to keep their heads above water with a restaurant/staffing costs?  Experience typically costs money, you can hire cheap and teach but how do you keep your sanity leaving the "bread and butter of your business" to

a newbie?

cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #5 of 12

Oh, and please remember that cheftalk has a tolerance/respect policy....

it's ok to disagree, but no scratching, biting, etc....

cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #6 of 12

"I just think they should stick to plating dishes with their sprig of parsley  and leave the volume feeding to the Pros. "

 

Nice. Way to completely slam 75% of the entire industry. Do Hotels fall into your little pigeonholes as well? Does my cooking for 1000s count as "volume" to you? Or no?

 

it's not that you're "too opinionated", it's that you're, well... rude and inflammatory, for no reason other than to wave your own flag.

post #7 of 12

There's no emoticon for enthusiastic applause, PrairieChef. So consider one to have been posted!

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #8 of 12

Shroom --

Oh, and please remember that cheftalk has a tolerance/respect policy....

it's ok to disagree, but no scratching, biting, etc....

???

 

BDL

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrairieChef View Post

"I just think they should stick to plating dishes with their sprig of parsley  and leave the volume feeding to the Pros. "

 

Nice. Way to completely slam 75% of the entire industry. Do Hotels fall into your little pigeonholes as well? Does my cooking for 1000s count as "volume" to you? Or no?

 

it's not that you're "too opinionated", it's that you're, well... rude and inflammatory, for no reason other than to wave your own flag.


 I don't know of any hotels that have only one 6 burner range. And if you serve 1000s of people it's a fair bet that you have more than one 6 burner range. I know a lot of big restaurants that also have a catering department. I don't put anyone in pigeonholes, I just tell it as I see it.  But, If the shoe fits, wear it. And I have only one flag and that's the  American Flag.
 

post #10 of 12

Cater, I'm still not sure what you're saying.  Is it:

  • That there's too much competition? 
  • That the competition doesn't rise to your level of excellence? 
  • That you're losing potential customers to less expensive, less excellent competitors? 
  • That potential customers expectations are skewed by competitors' with low prices and low standards, which effects you in some way as yet unexplained?  
  • Something else?

 

My own catering style was different from yours, but still required that expectations of quality be met at a competitive price.  There's very little we do (or have done) in this trade that others can't do also.  No matter how hard we strive to differentiate ourselves through creativity, execution, further training and pricing, there's always competition.  It's the American way.

Patriotic.jpg

Three cheers for the red white and blue.

 

I Think I'm just too opinionated for this forum anyway

 

Not at all.  The board would be far less entertaining without you.

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 11/9/10 at 8:26am
post #11 of 12

Every restaurant and deli here in Vancouver will snap at the opportunity to do some "catering", and it's been that way for as long as I can remember.   Quite a few hotels also do on-site catering as well as the regular banqueting and buffets.  And then there's the "wanna-be" caterers, matter of fact I've called the health inspectors on two "Basement kitchen" caterers over the years.

 

Caterchef, the thread started when someone asked you to match a B.S. price.  I used to get this quite often, and I had two stock answers for such requests:

1) No, I can't match that price, by all means please book that particular restaurant, it's a good deal.

2) I'm sorry, I'm booked solid for the week of__________________, try again next year.

In other words, tell 'em to go to 7ell in such a way that they actually look forward to the trip...............

 

Some people have respect for the caterer, and understand that caterer actually has overhead and a right to earn money (i.e a salary). Other people have no respect for the caterer, and think the only way to deal with caterers is to low-ball them and B.S. them. Why do people behave like this?  I dunno.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #12 of 12

With Foodpump on most everything.  Especially on deciding whether or not to meet prices. 

 

Whether as a caterer, as an "over scale" grip, or as an attorney I set my own rates.  On the rare occasions someone tried to negotiate them down I seldom took the employment.  If a client could find someone to do what they wanted done for less, good for both of them.  While I've never been the most expensive or the most busy at any of my professions, I've never been at the bottom either.  So for whatever reasons, that seems not to have happened too often.

 

One of the great ironies of all of those professions is that when I raised my prices because I wanted to discourage business it actually brought my jobs to my door (not unique to me, of course).  Funny how that works.  

 

BDL

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