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Wedding meal price question

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi, I am new to this forum, or any forum really.  I've been catering for a couple years and just this past year my business has taken off. I live in a town with a population of under 10,000 and the other main caterer in town makes primarily a roast beef supper and the rest of his meal is bought from Sysco or a wholesale place.  I am the only caterer in town who makes everything from scratch and I'm considered "fancy" in our town. I've catered 2 weddings since October and have another one planned for June/10.  Here's the menu:

 

Appetizer undecided

the guests will have a choice on their invitation to have either

Feta and Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts wrapped in a phyllo pastry

or

Beef Tenderloin in a roasted shallot sauce red wine reduction

and for sides:

Spring Green Salad with mandarin oranges, sugared almonds and honey vinaigrette

Grilled Asparagus

Garlic and Rosemary New Roasted Potatoes

Baking Powder Biscuits

Dessert undecided

Coffee and tea service

 

The bride wants it a served sit down meal.  130 expected guests.  I don't have that many plates and I need to rent the plates and cutlery.  They will rent the linens and wine and drinking glasses.  I will need about 11 servers for the wedding. 

What would you charge for this?  And do you usually rent the glasses too?  I am very new to weddings and don't have anyone here to ask.  Thank and I welcome all input!

 

Richelle

 

 

post #2 of 8

Find out the going rate for rentals in your area. 

When you book the party either build in on a per person charge for the rentals., or charge for the meal with rentals separate. As far as what I would charge, I don't know what your cost is, so its hard for me to figure.. LOOKING AT YOUR MENU  I am estimating your food cost based on month of June will be based on filet price about $9.00 pp. Wedding cake additional . Why I list the month when figuring cost ?  salad and veges are a lot higher in winter months. As you see there are many variables

Sit down make a list of everything you will need , get cost of products, figure labor, your time and overhead, rentals. This should give you a base cost then work from there. I always add at least 10% for error.

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...

Reply
post #3 of 8

We broke down charges (and sometimes bundled)

 

Appetizers priced per piece (or by 2) per person starting $3.25, numbered out shrimp ie 3pp

 

Entrees per person, filet and stuffed wrapped your in the $50 pp range in the midwest.

 

Rentals, 10-25% you order them all so that you know what's coming in and can call to have them replace broken or lost items.....happens.  That way you know what you're getting.

I'm assuming you'll have a commercial kitchen on sight.

 

Staff per hour with x number minimum...ie $20 an hour, 4 hour minimum....

 

Richelle, there are tons of great advice in the archives. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks, for the reply.  I've been slowly making my way through the archives and you're right, there is A LOT of great stuff.

 

There isn't a kitchen onsite so I have to haul everything which of course is a huge pain.  And I have to have my caterers bring the plates up a flight and a half of stairs to the wedding which is upstairs.  There isn't a big enough space upstairs where the wedding is to plate the meal.  I just did my first wedding in December at the location and it was SO much work.

post #5 of 8

Thats why I said to add that 10% for unknowns////////////.

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...

Reply
post #6 of 8

IMHO, the KEY is to know all of your costs, food, rentals, labor, and don't forget your time!

 

You MUST recover all your costs.

 

You do NOT have to be cheaper that any competition (though you SHOULD know what your competition charges and understand why you are better crazy.gif)!

 

And follow chefedb's advice, add at least 10% for unknowns, maybe a little more if they are big unknowns!

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

When you do a gig with stairs, line your help up the staircase and pass the things along person to person, human chain like.. Its an awful lot easier then running up stairs. Your tired before you even start

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...

Reply
post #8 of 8

I would just talk them into a buffet.....Way less problems with keeping food warm, staff going up and down.  NO kitchen, 1.5 flights of stairs...friggin nightmare. 

 

Talk about how much they would save by not doing plated but buffet....seriously make it worth their while.  And start looking for other venues.....

cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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