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offsite catering & menus

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

When you set a menu do you:

a) look at the site first to see what sort of kitchen/space is available?

b) have staff and equipment (or rental companies) that can fill in?

c) charge according to the deficulty you put yourself through?

d) talk the clients into more feasible menus?

 

This is a learning forum, if you have questions on a-d please ask....there's a whole bunch of people who have offsite catering experience that would be willing to share.

cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #2 of 12

I have never told a customer it couldn't be done, I have told them it will cost them alot if they want it that way. In most cases the customer hires me because they like what I do and how I do it. A caterer should build a reputation in his/her community that allows them enough respect that if they say, it will be the best, the job will be done.............ChefBillyB

post #3 of 12

I agree with you both , I once told a boss in New York who was reluctant to take a party  of 2500 in Central Park ""We are caterers, we can do anything if they have the money and are willing to pay for it"'

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 #4 of 12



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shroomgirl View Post

When you set a menu do you:

a) look at the site first to see what sort of kitchen/space is available?

b) have staff and equipment (or rental companies) that can fill in?

c) charge according to the deficulty you put yourself through?

d) talk the clients into more feasible menus?

 

This is a learning forum, if you have questions on a-d please ask....there's a whole bunch of people who have offsite catering experience that would be willing to share.



 A: Definately. There is no way to plan appropriately without good information and I will neve again trust a client about the availability or quality of equipment in  facility.

B. This reads a little unclear to me, but I do keep good relations with rental companies and temp agencies so they take my calls when I need them. Further, if a rental or temp employee does a good job, we treat them like royalty and always tell their offfices who did well for us. We don't use them a lot, put when we do call, we get the pick of the best people and great service.

C. P.I.A.  (Pain In A--) charge should be an industry standard. But on the other hand, a lot of times  I ask for it. I really try to be nearly an event co-ordinator when I can, just to avoid the head aches a coordinator brings. I have dealt with some real losers.

D. Our motto is we're easy, but we're not cheap. We will do anything a client wants, but I refuse to lose money on an event. So my answer is always, "Yes... but you know this is going to cost more."

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Newbies to offsite catering do not always understand the ins and outs of transporting food, having reliable staff to call on, knowing rental companies operating procedures, the importance of being in charge of a menu....and most important timing....timing is so key to limited stress.

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

Mushroom Girl, As you and I both know the easiest part of the party is the cooking of it. The rest is harder.

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 #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

cooking....Ed, think about stopping and finishing dishes, how to manage a 200-300 person event  out in the middle of nowhere...cooking is not always the easiest thing.  The experience of knowing what will work or how to make it work is the hardest part.

cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #8 of 12

Thats what makes you a caterer, it's a constant challenge, and nothing ever the same twice.

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 #9 of 12

I have always used rental agency's as me picking up the needed items for the catering. I don't like handing out responsibility to people that send  a bunch of kids to set up the party. If I'm going to be 100% responsible for a function, then I will be 100% involved. I have been very successful in all of my catered functions, the reason I am successful is because I have always given my client what they expected and in most cases more..............Chefbillyb

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Billy, most of the temp agencys here have older experienced adults, or at least you request what you need and pay for that.

cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by shroomgirl View Post

When you set a menu do you:

a) look at the site first to see what sort of kitchen/space is available?

b) have staff and equipment (or rental companies) that can fill in?

c) charge according to the deficulty you put yourself through?

d) talk the clients into more feasible menus?

I will always charge more if I know the job is going to be a Pandora's Box full of unknowns, or if I just don't want to do the job because of whatever reason.

 

If someone sent me a job for 500+ and the site was 30-miles into the wilderness or something insane - I just wouldn't take the job.

    - I WOULD call a competitor and offer-up the job to them.

 

If the site can support the menu that the client wants, then why down-sell your own menu?

Some things I just won't do. If there is an uncontrolled risk of FBI - or a chance the menu can't be sequenced and served at the same quality from start to finish - I'll suggest other options.

 

Do or Do not - There is no Try. - Yoda
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Do or Do not - There is no Try. - Yoda
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post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by shroomgirl View Post

When you set a menu do you:

a) look at the site first to see what sort of kitchen/space is available?

b) have staff and equipment (or rental companies) that can fill in?

c) charge according to the deficulty you put yourself through?

d) talk the clients into more feasible menus?

I will always charge more if I know the job is going to be a Pandora's Box full of unknowns, or if I just don't want to do the job because of whatever reason.

 

If someone sent me a job for 500+ and the site was 30-miles into the wilderness or something insane - I just wouldn't take the job.

    - I WOULD call a competitor and offer-up the job to them.

 

If the site can support the menu that the client wants, then why down-sell your own menu?

Some things I just won't do. If there is an uncontrolled risk of FBI - or a chance the menu can't be sequenced and served at the same quality from start to finish - I'll suggest other options.

 


500 people in town $25 per person, 500 people 30 miles in the wilderness $50 per person...........Money talks...........there is nothing that can't be done, once you tell the customer the price, it's fun to watch the conditions get more normal..................

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