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Looking for ideas for breakfast catering for offices

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Been catering for several years and just found this site.  We haven't catered breakfast in the past but are being asked more and more to do so.  We do several pharmaceutical lunches each day at various doctor offices and hospitals.  Our speciality is BBQ so we are looking to focus more on a "country-style" breakfast as the chains are able to do the bagels, etc.  My concern is hot-holding and making sure we offer a solid menu of items that will hold well.  So far we have a egg/sausage casserole that holds well along with biscuits and gravy.  I have a recipe for a baked french toast that I'm getting ready to try too.

 

What about waffles, pancakes, and scrambled eggs.  Obviously you can only make so many waffles at one time and then need to hold them.  What if I have a drug rep that wants 30 people to have waffles?

 

Are others doing this type of catering?

 

Thanks...Brian

post #2 of 17

Years ago I  catered breakfast for 150-180....continental. lots of pastries, fruit, juices, coffee, tea...

 

Bread pudding

Strata

Frittata

biscuits/ham

 

Waffles, I'd avoid like the plague...sell um on something else with a fruffy name.

cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #3 of 17

Given that your locations will be doctor's offices and hospitals, you will need to keep some healthy options in mind. We do a lot of cut fruit displays, yogurt and granola. Granola can be a great, easy, healthy, transportable and most importantly signature item. We have one group that clamors for our house plend that is simply store-bought and we add toasted almond slivers and dried cranberries.

Your baked french toast should travel and hold well, you may want to try a whole grain bread  & egg white only version.

Waffles and especially pancakes are invitations to disaster. I have never been able to take the off-site successfully and if you have the ability to cook on-site, they are still a mess to deal with and require too many condiments and hassles. The biscuits & gravy could be great hit and should travel well. Does yoiur BBQ operation include smoking meats? You could do a signatue creamed - dried beef dish on biscuits as well.

Good luck, the pharm guys are great clients if you can hook up and take care of them. Deep pockets and they love sticking with somebody that meets their need..

post #4 of 17

Pharmaceutical lunches and breakfast are our bread and butter. It's a niche that fell into our lap and has made a HUGE impact on our business. We do pump pots of coffee and pitchers of juice. In the winter we do a pot of hot chocolate. Seems to go over well. We do our breakfats in chafing dishes. An egg scramble with bacon cheddar and chives, potatoes (red with peppers and onions) or a hash brown casserole, mixed fresh fruit bowl and a house made sweet. Scones, apples walnut bundt cake, muffins or coffeecake etc. We also do a vegetarian option of quiche (a bit boring), tomato pie or roasted veggie strudel. When we tried to do the eggs with sides of assorted breakfast meats, the meat was either greasy or dried out. By added it to the eggs, it cut down on cost and makes for a nice option other than plain eggs. The pancke, waffle thing doesn't work too well. Lots of offices eat at 8:00 when they come to work and then eat again at their 10:00 break. We drop off about 7:30 and pick up about 10:30. We don't do bagels and things. You can get that anywhere. People seem to really love the home made feel of our food. Both lunch and breakfast.  I'd love to hear what you come up with.

post #5 of 17

@Bellacucina   what sort of price do you get for the pharma breakfasts and lunches you are describing?

food, delivery, drinks etc.?

Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
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Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
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post #6 of 17

Waffles and pancakes in volume is not that difficult, as they can be held putting damp towls over them and holding in a 225-250 oven without getting soggy. Quiche does well, Frittatas, Omelletes in chaffer.Warm Danish and breakfast breads etc. Breakfast is a highly profitable meal. Can even do a Benedict type dish only not poached egg, use fried egg over light. Drug Co s . have plenty $ and want to keep Doctors and their staff very happy.

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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post #7 of 17

Hi Tigerwoman!

 

We charge $17pp for both breakfast and lunch. Doesn't matter if it's eggs or cedar planked salmon and grilled flat iron steak..same price makes it easier for all. There are some reps that use us on a real regular basis. Some companies feel that $17 pp is to expensive but the reps will use us if it is a "special target" office. We don't have a menu. They get whatever I am cooking that day. We do keep track of what we bring to the different offices, as we do deliver to the same office sometimes three times in the same week. They call, ask if we can do Dr. Smith's office on Thursday the 10th., I say yes, and it's done. No choosing menus or prices. The credit cards are on file and I bill at the end of the day. Prior to the Pharma business, we did private chef work during the week, and misc. catering on the weekends. Now we work Monday-Thursday and are selective about what we take on the weekends. We make everything from scratch including our bread (the no knead recipe) which we serve with a garlic and fresh herb compound butter. We use real plates and tablecloths, which is a bit of a drag as we have to return in the afternoon to pick everything up, but I'm telling you, people LOVE the real plates. Corny, but it makes a huge impact. We do turn work away, almost every day. We are small and the fact that everything needs to be delivered at 11:30 leaves us limited as to how many places we can be at one time. Three lunches is usually our max, today we had four as two were close to each other. They get a lot of pizza, sandwiches, olive garden and taco type food. When we come in with home made food and real plates we feel so appreciated by both the reps and the offices we deliver to.

post #8 of 17

P.S. tigerwoman....

 

We don't charge for delivery or gratuity. Drinks are an assortment of water, diet and regular sodas on ice in a bus tub. Desserts are included and are whatever I'm baking that day.Sometimes just cookies, today it was caramel apple bread pudding.

post #9 of 17

Sounds like you have your act together.

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...

Reply

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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post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bellacucina View Post

Hi Tigerwoman!

 

We charge $17pp for both breakfast and lunch. Doesn't matter if it's eggs or cedar planked salmon and grilled flat iron steak..same price makes it easier for all. There are some reps that use us on a real regular basis. Some companies feel that $17 pp is to expensive but the reps will use us if it is a "special target" office. We don't have a menu. They get whatever I am cooking that day. We do keep track of what we bring to the different offices, as we do deliver to the same office sometimes three times in the same week. They call, ask if we can do Dr. Smith's office on Thursday the 10th., I say yes, and it's done. No choosing menus or prices. The credit cards are on file and I bill at the end of the day. Prior to the Pharma business, we did private chef work during the week, and misc. catering on the weekends. Now we work Monday-Thursday and are selective about what we take on the weekends. We make everything from scratch including our bread (the no knead recipe) which we serve with a garlic and fresh herb compound butter. We use real plates and tablecloths, which is a bit of a drag as we have to return in the afternoon to pick everything up, but I'm telling you, people LOVE the real plates. Corny, but it makes a huge impact. We do turn work away, almost every day. We are small and the fact that everything needs to be delivered at 11:30 leaves us limited as to how many places we can be at one time. Three lunches is usually our max, today we had four as two were close to each other. They get a lot of pizza, sandwiches, olive garden and taco type food. When we come in with home made food and real plates we feel so appreciated by both the reps and the offices we deliver to.


Reading your blogg is like looking into our own business.   My husband & I lease a small kitchen with a cafe 8-3 .m-f. Our livlihood is catering . We are located in a gym type setting with a clinic on the other end of the building. Alot of our business is pharma. rep.'s. I wish we could get what you're getting per person. We are up in the midwest & can't get much more than $10.pp.We make our own bread from scratch-honey wheat also  a wide variety of homemade bakery. Everyday our specials change. I would love to get some different ideas if you would like to share some ideas.

post #11 of 17

Any kind of breakfast sandwich or wrap holds up well and is easy to transport and serve.  A nice tortilla filled with scrambled  egg and any filling wrapped in a nice wrapper works well.  A toasted bagel or english muffin in the same manner is good too. 

post #12 of 17

Hi There - My husband and I own a small $200k/yr catering company that used to be university and pharma lunches mostly.  Since the new pharm regulations in 2009 our business has tanked by almost 70% how did you get around the $2500/yr  "schmoozing" max?

post #13 of 17

so have you altered your marketing to reflect pharm declines?

cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #14 of 17

Hey there!

 

I know  there are some new regulations that have been put into place, but I'm not sure of the $2500 max. I know they cannot leave behind items considered advertising (coffee cups, post-it notes, pens, etc.). The reps do have budgets and will spend until they run out of $$, but there are so many reps and so many companies it hasn't affected us. We may have 4-5 reps working for the same company selling different things and they all have different budgets. As I mentioned earlier, some reps can't use us, as their budget per person is less than what we charge. Seems like when one company cuts back, another steps up. New product launches are big. Also, when the offices ask for us it helps push new business our way.

post #15 of 17

Bella, 

 

Love your philosophy!  Could you please post the link to your blog?

post #16 of 17

Bella,

 

Your posting was inspiring.  Even though I am not a professional cook, I cook for my family all the time.  I believe in making everything from scratch and all our children, but one are adults.  They now come home with husbands, boyfriends and girlfriends to eat.  One our future son-in-laws just landed a sales jobs selling medical supplies.  His plan for drumming up new business is homemade meals.  He asked me if I would be interested in cooking.  Since I haven't worked for 5 years and my husband works overseas, I am bored!  So, I thought I would give it a try.  My husband thinks I am going to eat my shirt on this, I am hoping people will just eat my food.  Also, have a daughter who is a Garde Mange and has tons of ideas.  Seventeen/pp may not go over in Maine.  But I don't think it is over the top.  Guess I'll do a little research on local pricing.  But I do think the homemade and possibly organic is a great market.

 

Any thoughts, would be great.

 

Thank you.

post #17 of 17

Nurses wear many hats.

Just tossing out a few menu suggestions from the different departments I used to call home...

This is for breakfast, right?

Floor nurses rarely have time to sit down to a meal, they enjoy "finger" type foods that don't require re-heating to stay tasty.

I know it may sound old hat and boring to you, but as the offer for free food is rare (they have to use what is stocked, at the best price, by admin, so the "drones" rarely get to partake of anything from outside salesmen) most are grateful for a great selection of fresh bagels and toppings. Don't forget there are 2-3 shifts. Insist that your client provide for the often forgotten nite staff.

 

Inter-department council..this would be a sampling of staff from all departments. They have lots of weight (and $$$) to throw around when it comes to purchasing and reviewing new products/meds. This group is used to the free meals, so will be the ones your clients want to impress. The breakfast casseroles, assorted breads and pastries and fruit bowls have been done to death (not sayin' to remove from your menu, just try to reinvent and upgrade). This would be a good time to make omelettes and pancakes to order. The "pump" canister coffee in assorted flavors with a good choice of creamers is always a hit as is an espresso machine (don't forget the barista) depending on the budget. This is a group that is used to having real plates and flatware and coffee cups, as well as glass pitchers of juices on the table.

 

The ED is usually so chaotic that they will eat anything (yes, even a box of stale cookies/donuts from Sams/WalMart/Krogers). I remember one savvy sales rep that would call in advance for orders and show up with rich,thick hot cocoa and fresh, hot breakfast tacos from our fave TexMex hole in the wall, or the time she brought the taco truck for the nite shift.

 

Doctor's offices..this will be the bread and butter of your client's meal ticket. The days of free trips to "conferences" is long past. Office staff  have more time to sit and listen to a rep's spiel reguarding (insert the new wonder drug or product here). The staff supervisor will often be the one who decides what gets ordered. Not sayin' you have to show up with Eggs Benedict (that would be for the hospital council, lol) as the casseroles and fruit bowls and breads will still be popular with this group. Especially if the rep comes bearing a bag of ziplocks to "preserve" any leftovers for a pm snack (I am saddened to hear that the coffee cups and note pads and pens (my personal fave) are a thing of the past). The pancakes and omelette offering would be a huge hit if the budget allows.

 

Wow, that was a long post!

Hope ya'll can cherry pick a few ideas from all that verbiage, lolol!

 

mimi

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