or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Catering › Sooooo A little help on this situation..........
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Sooooo A little help on this situation..........

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

So I was asked to cater a Gala in Sept. Cocktail hour.......Now here's the situation........

 

She asked me to sponsor this event 150people but for cocktail hour it's 100 people now she said she will pay for food cost etc. but doesn't want to really pay me for the job(she's out her mind in my opinion) but I didn't agree fully until I price out what exactly I will need and etc. with other added expenses my question is how can I go about pricing the menu and still make a profit at the end of the day? .....my menu isn't complete but I have foods such as......also Subject to change

 

Red Potatoes w/ walnut and gorgonzola

Shrimp Crumple

Stuffed mini sweet peppers

Possibly Soup but undecided

Beef Tenderloin w/ Mashed Potatoes

Vegetable Tempura

 

Any words of wisdom would help me a little further........Thank you 

post #2 of 28
How much money are we talling about to be s sponcer?
post #3 of 28
She asked you to sponser the event by providing food at cost? Can you write your other costs off?
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Nothing, she attended an event I catered and emailed me after and said she would like for me to cater her Gala and I said what's her budget she said she doesn't have one so she's paying for everything I need without trying to pay me for my Labor and Skill (hence SPONSOR)
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
@Grande

I can, my main cost would be for the food menu all I have to do is create 2 menus and have her choose which one she wants and shop for them and create
post #6 of 28

Why would you do a job for food cost alone? What's the payoff for you?

 

Stuffed mini sweet peppers, that's a lot of peppers to prep and stuff. Lots of labor there.

 

I am not sure that I really think of beef tenderloin and mashers as cocktail food.

 

Vegetable tempura doesn't hold up very long without getting soggy, could be a logistical nightmare.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
post #7 of 28

The veggie tempura CAN be a nightmare as Layne says-- you can hold it for a while in a hotel pan-chaffer, 1 sterno

beneath. NO lid on the chaffer, keep em turned  now and then. And be sure theyre on something absorbent--like a paper towel or doily. As stated, youre fighting sogginess here.

 

 

If I were you I'd just write up the bid  with your labor and profit included, and present to her as a price per person.

How do you know she doesnt wan to compensate you? Did she SAY that, or just offer to pay for food costs.

Is that what YOU want to do? I hope youre not thinking of doing this because she's promising good referrals,

cuz that rarely works out well. I my experience the only referrals you get from someone you've done for free are

to people who expect that same treatment.

post #8 of 28
Not to sound harsh but, you shouldnt even consider this.
post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 
@everyone
This is what she said to me....
"Chef! My name is. I was recently at Mrs.___ event this past saturday. I'm having a Black Women's In media gala on September 20, 2014 from 5:00pm-9:00pm. All of our proceeds goes towards our Black Women In media gala. I wanted to know would you be interested in being our catering sponsor for this event? I would love to discuss further with you." " Okay basically i have nonprofit organization. Were having over ten events this year, were partnering with major organizations. For the Black Women in Media all proceeds goes towards our annual scholarship gala fundraiser. Were looking for a chef to sponsor our gala or for a chef to sponsor our cooktail hour in exchange for you sponsoring the food we will promote your business via fb, like page, tv gala booklets and promo materials."" We don't have a budget. In exchange for preparing our cocktail hour with small food we will help you get business. In addition we can pay you for our next event but not for this one. you will get a lot of business off of this deal"........" No problem I understand. Thank you. I was willing to purchase the food and have you just cook" ............ "I'm sorry I misunderstood your question. In terms of the budget for the cocktail hour you can put together a list of possible dishes and I can get people from my board to sponsor it. We don't have a budget at this point."


This is everything she said after me responding.....my response was pretty much the things u all said in your mind after reading it



So I thought of doing what Meezenplazz said and just adding my cost into the TC...?

If I 86 the beef tenderloin and tempura any ideas to switch them with.....I'm creating two menus of possibly 5 items

Thank you chef family
post #10 of 28

"We will promote your business' and you will get plenty of business from this'' 

Only thing your getting is snow in the middle of August. I have been doing this for years and maybe one out of 50 times do you get any business from these things. The next time after you thy will hit up another caterer.

You can't stay in business doing it for cost or free. Tell her you will make some sought of donation to her cause instead.

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 #11 of 28
@chefedb. So I have another 12 years to go before one of these dog and pony shows pays off. Things are looking up. smile.gif
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
@Chefedb Fair enough......thank you kindly
post #13 of 28
Seriously though, if its a cause that you want to support then by all means do it as a charity. However if it is to promote your business, then your chance at any meaningful return on your efforts are near zero.
post #14 of 28

It is good you are a bit hesitant.

Means your gut is tell you to run Forrest run.

Galas are not 4 hour cocktail parties.

They are the reason women need at least 4 expensive dresses with shoes and jewelry to match every "season".

They are a short "mingle" with lots of booze then a formal sit down dinner during which last years "chair" is introduced (cue up the self sacrifice speech and a shout out to all those hard working committee  members without who's help they could not do whatever they do to shill money from each other)

After the speeches comes the auction (the booze is really flowing by now as this is an age old trick to loosen the "guests" from the kid's college funds.) where some poor guy's wife makes him pay out the nose for a spa day with 10 of her besties.

While the donations are being calculated in the back room those 100 ppl will be dancing to the music of (band's name here) and believe me unless they are a committee member's kid and his buddies this band is getting local union rates.

All of this takes 4-6 hours minimum.

And if you do get any referrals they will be from the people who heard of your generosity and will not settle for anything less.

 

Who sponsored last years 'do?

Try to get with them and ask how things turned out.

 

mimi

 

I like the idea of little soup shooters (nice and warm and full of cream so it will fill them up lol) and if she is set on the tenderloin shave it thin and present it "artfully displayed" on a round of toasted baguette with a plop of horseradish crème and snips of chives.

The shrimp choice is smart but you still have the soggy factor.

Have you thought about petite red potatos stuffed with bacon flavored something (bacon is a big bang for the bucks).

 

m.

post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
@FlipFlopGirl

Yes u know how I feel and I don't want to set myself up for the "sponsored generosity" I'm going to 86 this whole operation.......thank you but I will use all of your advices for future references
post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 
@Lagom your absolutely right!!!! I will walk away
post #17 of 28
If your advertising budget allows it and it is in your business plan; do it! Especially if you are involved with the organization.

If you are now wondering why you need an advertising budget and business plan then you know where to start.

Don't corresponded with the non profit organizer except to say sorry I am unavailable that day, I hope sometime in the future we can work together, thank you.

If they are so unorganized as to not have a budget yet...... Logistical nightmare indeed.

Good luck.
PS you could offer them some cash to " sponser the cocktails" and get some advertising out of the ordeal. Let someone else get taken for a ride.
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefCorleys View Post

@FlipFlopGirl

Yes u know how I feel and I don't want to set myself up for the "sponsored generosity" I'm going to 86 this whole operation.......thank you but I will use all of your advices for future references

 

Welcome to Chef Talk !

Don't be a stranger either lol.

 

mimi

post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thank you @flipflopgirl I'll be here more often lol fellow chef
post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
So I spoke to the lady via talk and to some up what she wanted me to do as to why she didn't wanna pay me was do different kinds of "Dips" for this gala she can ask tostitos to provide that via supermarket lol..........Crazyyyy.....thanks again guys
post #21 of 28
I suggest she stop by Kroger or Piggly Wiggly and pick the dip up for the "Gala"
post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 
Lol Indeed @Lagom
post #23 of 28

Well dang it awl, I go an attempt a good nights sleep, and come back and find 15 more posts, and a concluded thread!

Complete with a very knowledgeable hijacking my Mimi herself! :lol: (Just teasing of course.)

 

Chef Corley if youre still hanging about reading, Im glad to hear you followed your gut as Flipper suggested.

Twas on my mind so I'll let out a few more thoughts-- you had several  people in here saying

similar things, based on personal experience.

So again for your future reference, I think theres nothing wrong with fund raisers, so long as your business is

set up to "use" it, i.e. as a proper write off. If you don't need the W.O., then youre just being a charity worker.

But I too just got the impression from what you reported she said, that she was playing you, looking for a

free lunch as it were. (And Mimi is spot on about what a gala is lol-- I planned and cooked for one a few years

back and it was definitely a put-on-airs contest.)

 

You also wouldn't have gotten away with slipping your labor into the out the door price if she was serious and wanted to

see receirts or something.

 

And lastly the "Don't have a budget"  also hit me (as it did others) as BS--translation: "No need to discuss money with you,

cuz youre not getting any."

 

I personally never ask that question of a client-- cuz 50% of the time they choke on it and either say "we don't"

or they hem and haw and don't want to give the negotiation advantage back to you. And even when they do

answer, you watch it in their eyes, as they think and search for just the correct lie to get the price down. lol

 

On the other hand this was an opportunity for you to do some free advertising-- you could have offered a free

"drop off" of some decent simple apps, in exchange for being allowed to leave your business card at the event.

Would've kept your foot in the door with her, but at this point who knows if it would've been worth it.

 

This was interesting--always fun to see how these people pitch their own unique approach to a caterer for a nice 

evening of them working their ass off for free.

 

Luck in the future, and don't undersell yourself!

--Meez

post #24 of 28
Thread Starter 
@mezenplaz thank you Soooo much I will be asking for advice from you all in the future
post #25 of 28

I've only been in business for 17 years myself, but here's what I've learned about providing freebies or events at cost:

 

The only "promotion" you will get is promotion for more freebies

 

 

Doesn't matter if it's an event at cost, or freebies for a silent auction, or charity stuff, or whatever.  The only thing this will generate is more requests for more freebies.

 

That doesn't mean I don't donate to charitable organizations, I do, but on the sole request that my donation is anonymous.  If they want to "promote" my business, I'm gone. 

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #26 of 28

Yeah FP, but your seventeen years is still like other people's 35 or 40. :D

 

And that's just it--as I mentioned, its amazing the babbledy gook they come up with to get

hundreds if not thousands of dollars worth of your labor, expertise and even out of pocket

expenses, all for free. Its like a sales job in itself--

 

"Some BIG named people a will be attending this event--can you really AFFORD to pass

this up, think of the free advertising."

 

"We're fundraising, so we're in the business of helping people, that's why we chose you--

doing this will come back to you 10-fold just in referrals alone."

 

Blazza blazza blazza.....

 

I did a "promotional gig" one time--supposedly for that very purpose--for some "very important "

people--who are "always looking for good caterers" to try out our food.  A deal was struck,

i.e.,  a discount "sampling". (I didn't make that deal, I just showed up to run it.)

And who were these important guests?

45 or 50 meat-hungry high school football players, ready to pork out at a bargain price. :lol:

 

At least I learned from THAT one at someone else's expense. :p

post #27 of 28

The best benefits are when you are asked to be a "hostess" and do something fun like drive a golf cart for football players or choose a (loaner) gown and walk around during a meet and greet previewing auction jewelry!

But yeah, agree with FP about donating an actual item.

Leave my name out of it.

Sometimes we will show up just to buy the item back..... so sad when the bidding gets too rich for our pockets  :cool:.

 

mimi

post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 
Lol yeah no thanks I'll wait for better opportunitys to show up at my door
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Catering
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Catering › Sooooo A little help on this situation..........