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first catering gig advice

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi all,
I have been asked to cater for a group of around 75 (60 adults 15 kids). I am an experienced cook and have worked in production kitchens and nice pubs. I have a menu planned, help organised and a registered kitchen on-site to work in.

I am in need of reassurance in my estimations for the raw quantities of my ingredients, I will average out to account for the kids. This will be an evening buffet and the guests aren't rugby players so I am being conservative. I will outline the menu and I would appreciate any feedback from the forum.

Roast lamb shoulder - 3-4oz
Turkey roulades - 3-4oz
Poached salmon - 3oz

Verdura mista - 2oz
Couscous salad - .5oz
Quonoa salad - .5oz
New potatoes - 2-3 per person.

The grain salads will have other ingredients but that I have a fairly good idea of based on the dry grain predictions. Desserts will be one piece per person so no need to include them in the post. Am I in the right ball park guys, or have I completely over/underestimated ?

Much obliged smile.gif
post #2 of 6

Welcome to CT.

 

Counting ounces for banquets works only as a guideline. There are too many variables..

 

The fact that you have kids screws up your amounts first off.

 

Time of day, weather, and oh so many other variables.

 

Trying to figure out raw quantities does not take into account shrinkage, or loss during preparation.

 

I assume this is buffet.

You need to count out pieces not ounces on your proteins.

 

You can multiply ounces times guests to get a ballpark figure for your proteins but you have to take into consideration the waste product of bone, skin, and cartilage,

For the salmon, as an example, are you purchasing a side that you will pin bone, skin and portion?

Will the Lamb shoulder have bones?

Are you purchasing a raw turkey breast that you will portion, pound, stuff and roll?

There will be product loss from all of this that you will have to account for.

 

You will need to produce about 50-60 portions of each protein because you do not know what the guest will take.

Kids eat even less.

 

Your salads need to be increased as well.

An example of this would be your Couscous salad......  .5 X 75=37.5 ounces...divided by 16ounces =

2 1/3 pounds of salad for 75 people?  Really?

 

Looks like you are figuring the absolute minimum.

 

To me this looks like you will run out of food.

post #3 of 6


Kids will eat Turkey, Woman will eat Salmon, Men will eat some Lamb and some of each . Increase your salads(that's the cheapest thing to do) What about breads or rolls?

    Billed into your  cost total amount of all foods prepped. Divide your total food cost by # of guest  that will give you cost Per Person  Start from there I went to a xmas party(800 guest)

 Sat Pm got into conversation with the caterer. We both agreed food is the least of problems

logistics as well as movement of guest was number 1 priority. Good Luck

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...

Reply
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the feedback guys.

The original post was just raw ingredients I am planning on ordering, so I tried to account for increase and reduction after cooking. I.e the Couscous will practically double, added with harrisa butternut, pine etc will most likely yield 3oz in total, probably the same for the quinoa per person.

The Turkey is straightforward and easy to judge portions, offer two kinds of stuffing so ideally one slice per guest.

As for the lamb, it is boless shoulder,what is a good guide for piece to weight ratio if I'm serving two other proteins.

I really appreciate the help.
post #5 of 6

Merguez101

 

I am curious as to why you are figuring raw ingredients, when it is the finished product with all its' ingredients that the guest consumes.

post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merguez101 View Post

Thank you for the feedback guys.

The original post was just raw ingredients I am planning on ordering, so I tried to account for increase and reduction after cooking. I.e the Couscous will practically double, added with harrisa butternut, pine etc will most likely yield 3oz in total, probably the same for the quinoa per person.

The Turkey is straightforward and easy to judge portions, offer two kinds of stuffing so ideally one slice per guest.

As for the lamb, it is boless shoulder,what is a good guide for piece to weight ratio if I'm serving two other proteins.

I really appreciate the help.

Sorry having trouble with my pad since I finally took the big leap to update.
For the proteins figure the avg shrinkage after cooking (and how much usable product you will have left)
If you do this properly then you will know how many of each to have on hand the day of.
Take a small scale with you then slice and weigh out whatever portion the client payed for.
Eyeball it and show your meat servers what a serving looks like.
Ask client if he/she wants to serve less to the kids if so how much.

mimi
Edited by flipflopgirl - 12/10/14 at 6:42am
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