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What's the standard rule of thumb for doing costs?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

New here and new to the biz. I usually cook dinner parties and have weekly clients, but over the last year I have branched out to weddings. I live on Orcas, so I have access to the best local stuff:) Doing a wedding for 150 that has the following;

 

8 Cheese Display

9 Fruit Display

Orzo Pasta Salad

Quinoa Salad

Mixed Greens Salad

Beet & Bean Salad

Roasted Veggies

Lemon Bars

Blackberry Pie

Apple Pie

Peach Pie

Zucchini Nut Bread

Double Chocolate Cake 

Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes

 

I have it as $2800 for food costs(on high side I think, but that's why I am asking;) ) & $2200 for my labor and staff labor plus a 20% grat. Total $5300. Most items local/organic. Gluten-free flour on all desserts. Does this seem right? Any advice is appreciated. Please do not respond if you are going to be rude, I have seen a lot of that on here. We are all here to help one another:)

post #2 of 5

It's all apps and desserts. At a wedding...interesting.

 

Well, you're either calculating or estimating a 2.8K food cost, 2200 labor,

that's 5000 right there.

(It's best to price the FC out as accurate as possible. I then add a 5-10% 

"fudge factor" to cover what I missed.)

But 20% on that would be 6000, as stated "plus a 20% gratuity".

But besides food cost you're stating no other costs, either fixed or variable,

which worries me a little--it's uber important to get all costs in there, like

licensing, insurance, travel, rentals, etc., including your own workups and planning.

 

On the other hand,  your labor alone is about 48% of the total bill, and

about 35.00 a head, which is all pretty good I think, as a thumbnail.

 

I presume this is a proposal-in-progress, and hasn't been "pitched" to the client yet?

post #3 of 5

At a quick glance, some cost items appear to be missing:

  • Buffet/display rentals, e.g. bowls, platters, etc.
  • Consumables/disposables: plates, tableware, glasses, napkins, table coverings
  • Beverages, e.g. coffee, tea, etc.
  • Bar and adult beverages
  • Kitchen rental
  • Transportation expenses
  • Overhead allowance for insurance, license(s), etc.

 

Otherwise, you appear to be on the correct path.

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Yes, they are doing everything else themselves. 

 

I did put a little buffer in that food cost. This is for a fmaily friend(I'vve never met, but know some members of my family), so no insurance costs, travel, etc. 

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

They are renting everything themselves. I am not a full time caterer, but do a few weddings in the summer on Orcas Island. I usually have them rent everything and bring a few things myself. All alcohol is also on them. This is just for the menu and my income on this. Seems ok then is what I am gathering. Approaching her with it today. I just hope I am getting my food costs right. I did have to guesstimate on some, which I know isn't the greatest, but that's where the buffer of a few hundred dollars comes in that is put into that $2800. Thanks for the help guys:)

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