You didn't say where you are, but if you want an honest opinion youre not charging nearly enough,
and I don't possibly see how you can consider 7.50 a person too much. For starters, around 50 or
60 people is generally a minimum. And with the food cost you described plus your other expenses even if not
utilities, the two of you are making what...50 to 60 bucks each?
Do you honestly think youre being overpaid here??
Given the food you described, and having an idea myself how much work that is, my price to the client would be
(apx) 11.95 ...or up depending on how my EXACT expenses calculated out.
Youre basically coming close to giving away yours and your wife's services (considered a "skilled" trade BTW)
for close to free because..... they "take care of you" ? I might suggest you guys need to ask yourself what
you're in this for, and decide how to proceed from there.
Valuable advice there meeze.
Wondering about that plate and setup cost.
Disposables/rentals will eat a hole in your pocket fast.
Why can you not just use your own crockery?
The chosen menu is casual....
If the client (and yes your landlord is a client in this situation) wants something different, upcharge to cover the rentals/disposables.
He is hardly unaware that it is common practice to be responsible for everything you (the caterer) provide in this situation.
I appreciate the advice. The only parties I cater, are for patrons of the bar or for the owners and their friends. One guy said he'd charge $11.95. There's no way I'm charging that much. That's almost a $400 profit on a $200 bill! I don't want to cut myself short, but I also have to deal with these people everyday. Also, $50 of the cost is for 2 subs from the meat market, so I don't want to make a ton of profit on those. So that brings down my cost and labor. All I have to do is walk out into the bar and serve the food. So no transportation is involved and I already have the table cloths etc. I'm going to charge $9.00 a plate plus tax. Do you think that's fair? My sales range anywhere from $100 a day to $300. So we're not high volume. I run daily specials and the alcoholics in the bar will only buy the specials. They all complained because I just raised my cheeseburger special from $5 to $5.50. I give them a 1/3 pound fresh ground chuck patty from the local meat market, their choice of fries (8 ounces), chips or slaw. I use a bun that costs me .23. $5.50 is more than fair for a special, but they complain. I can't give food away! However, I don't have the expense of other restaurants. They pay, electric, gas, water and supplied all the major equipment. I pay for food, paper and some cleaning supplies. I only have to sweep and mop the kitchen, which takes about 5 minutes.They supply the mop,bucket and floor soap.They charge me 15% of my sales. So, I'm getting a pretty good deal. About 30% of my business is from outside the bar. It's a really nice sports bar, but they have a reputation of being "an old peoples" bar. Some of the regulars start getting rowdy around 6 and that turns the younger people off. There's about 12 guys who are here faithfully every single day at open and stay till 7 or 8 every night. That really hurts my business and it's not the kind of place people come in for lunch, as the other people who leased the grill the past few years had a terrible reputation. I'm just using this as a stepping stone to something bigger. They all love my food and think it's high quality. But, I still have to be fair to myself.
The only parties I cater, are for patrons of the bar or for the owners and their friends. One guy said he'd charge $11.95.
There's no way I'm charging that much.
Well, One-Guy didn't have nearly as many facts of the situation as have been posted now.
So he was trying to thumbnail it based on what was provided--people often come in for advice
giving rather sketchy info, and getting details can be a challenge.
However, I can say that One-Guy still feels the OP has an "undercharging" catering mentality ,
something he's not only seen before, but has fallen into himself.
But the bottom line is, OP should charge what he wants--if its a mistake, he'll arrive at that conclusion
himself eventually. If not, great.
I'm a very small town caterer and I will give you a piece of advice that was given to me and that I found very helpful..Anybody will let you work for nothing. Do NOT under sell yourself. These people aren't doing you a favor, it's a business deal. Could you go to a restaurant and buy the meal you are serving for $7.50 a plate? No. Charge what you need to charge. I double my money on everything, at least.My time and effort is worth something. You want to give them a good value? Give them great service, serve them great food, but don't undersell yourself.
Welcome to the world of business and catering. While I do agree that you do need a experience and a portfolio of clients to get started, pricing your services too cheap can cause problems in the long run, these "start up" customers will always expect the low pricing you have given them and can be very hard to raise prices on them. They will also refer business over expecting the low prices given. The exisisting clients may also want a discount since they referred a client over. Best advice is not too undercut yourself, charge market prices, and let your quality do the selling. Hope this helps.