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Catering Prices

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I am an at home cook with a great passion for cooking. I've cooked for many friends and family. I got through round 1 of masterchef Canada auditions! but I do not have any culinary background.  I've been asked to cater a party for 25 people for a friend of a friend.  I've been reading the posts about what to charge and I've looked at the replies but most of it doesnt apply to me. Im not hiring anyone else, I don't have to do clean up, I would have to go buy the food but with the clients money, there is no insurance or rentals, I would have to prep all the food one day ahead of time, then put it all together one the day of, I do not have to serve it. I do not know how many dishes yet. I would have to drive about 20-30 KM to get to this location.  As you can see I am very amateur! Any help would be great.  I've catered one party before for 50 people, 8 dishes, self serve and same terms that I listed above. I definetly under charged the first time because it was my first time. Also would I charge by the hour? or per person?. I'd like to get the right advice this time.

 

Thank you everyone and anyone! :)

post #2 of 16

What you are doing is closest to a 'personal chef'----or a chef for hire----

 

I suggest you simply charge a flat fee on this one-----based on your time---

 

Look at some of the older threads on personal chefs--and fees.

 

Mike

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you! Im glad to atleast know what im called!
post #4 of 16

There are several members here that make a good part of their money as a private chef---one member has a service and has a regular staff to handle the clients---

post #5 of 16

Am I correct in assuming youre performing all prep/food storage/cooking/cleaning etc at the clients location,

i.e., not transporting finished product there from elsewhere?

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
I would going out to buy all ingredients. Driving it to their home and preparing it there. I assume id hve to clean up on prep day but not on the day of event.
post #7 of 16

Good that should work fine then--logistically you're working as a personal

chef  as Mike stated above, as opposed to a caterer.

 

And don't be afraid to charge them! If you're more comfy thinking in terms of per person price,

figure  that out in your head/scratch paper, then convert it to a flat fee to present to the client.

Just don't cheat yourself this time--once you start underpricing it can be hard to raise it again.

 

-M

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks meezenplaz! One more thing, how should i go about charging for the day of prep one day before? and making a trip to buy the ingredients? Keep in mind in using money they are giving me first.
post #9 of 16
Well, you need to figure out what your time for this kind of work is worth....to you.
Time being the shopping, prior-day mise en place, and all your time on event day,
plus misc, like making lists etc. Even your time here, gathering professional advice,
should be figured into your labor spent on this.
While you're doing that, keep in mind that, although you tend to see yourself as
an "amateur", you're taking on a professional job, and you're assuming responsibility
AS a professional for successful delivery of the product and any service required of you.
Charge accordingly--if they're going to see you as a pro, you need to do likewise.
That said, while no one can tell you specifically what to charge, if you were to
give us an idea of what you're thinking of charging....I suspect several of us in
here would prob give you our opinion of it. :-)
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meezenplaz View Post

Well, you need to figure out what your time for this kind of work is worth....to you.
Time being the shopping, prior-day mise en place, and all your time on event day,
plus misc, like making lists etc. Even your time here, gathering professional advice,
should be figured into your labor spent on this.
While you're doing that, keep in mind that, although you tend to see yourself as
an "amateur", you're taking on a professional job, and you're assuming responsibility
AS a professional for successful delivery of the product and any service required of you.
Charge accordingly--if they're going to see you as a pro, you need to do likewise.
That said, while no one can tell you specifically what to charge, if you were to
give us an idea of what you're thinking of charging....I suspect several of us in
here would prob give you our opinion of it. :-)

I agree if we had an idea of what you were doing it would be easier to help you price wise...on the upperhand you have no labor so that's all money for you and don't be scared to ask for it

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

ok got it. thanks you guys! this it the menu for what im wanting to make.

 

1-roasted mushroom and onion grilled cheese sandwiches

2-steak & potato with gorgonzola skewers (more like a toothpick than skewer)

3-caprese salad

4-sausage and penne pasta

5-meatballs in marinara

6-seafood bar (shrimp, salmon and mussels on ice with a trio of sauces)

Trio of sauces would be: cocktail sauce, garlic aoli and a sweet soy and ginger sauce all made from scratch

7-2 roast chickens ( lemon and rosemary and the other is Cajun spice rub)

8-roasted potato salad with caramelized onions, bacon and a scratch made dressing

 

 

the last party that I did this for was for 40-50 people and also bought everything day before and prepped for 8 hours, then 8 hours on the actual day. That is also how it would go for this party too.And she paid me $400... but the lady I catered for the 1st time recommended me do cook for this one.

 

However I did tell the lady from the first party that my prices would be different this time because I have done some research in how much it should cost.  Keep in mind, the lady from the first party was my old boss and since it was my first time...I actually had nooo idea what to charge and told her to give me whatever she wanted to.  Just to make things more complicated. >.<

 

I would want $30 for each days drive to the location and at least $300 for each days prep and cooking. So that would be $630.

 

would appreciate all the input on how much I should charge!


Edited by ChateauDeJu - 10/14/13 at 10:06pm
post #12 of 16

I think that sounds good---you have overlooked your sales/consultation time---but this is your second job---but consider that in the future--Mike---

post #13 of 16

Sounds right to me as well. I had in mind 24 to 27.00 per person,

 or about 300 a day plus shopping time and misc.

So youre right in there.

If anyone gives you gripes about the orice difference just explain you....kinda

lost money on the last one--no one wants you to lose on their event.

 

Very nice menu by the way--it's making me hungry. :)

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Many thank to u both! I feel more confident in my pricing now! What a great supportive group this is smile.gif
post #15 of 16

Let us know how this works out.  And remember,not all prospects turn into customers----

 

So do not feel to bad if you don't get all of them.----Mike-----

post #16 of 16

THIS WAS AN AWESOME THREAD! Thank you for posting! :smiles:

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