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Catering a wedding, help with pricing

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hello,

I am in the Pacific Northwest and have been asked to cater a wedding. Here are the details:

 

225 people

Buffet style

The event is 45 miles away.

Limited equipment kitchen, will pre-make all products and bring for reheating and plating.

 

Smoked pulled pork

BBQ Chicken Breast (tenders)

Delta Cole slaw

Ranch style beans

Salad

rolls

bottled water

lemonade

ice cream novelty cart with a selection of 5 novelties (ice cream sandwiches, jet pops, baseball glove with bubble gum, creamsicles, sundae cones)

Three onsite staff including myself.

One trip to purchase Novelties (and food) at 30 miles each way.

 

They want this as a "casual" dining experience with paper plates, plastic cups, and self serve dessert and drinks.

 

We would purchase novelties and use our own Ice cream cart.

I was thinking an hourly labor at $30/hr. on site and $25 prep.

 

Could I be missing anything?

 

Any ideas on pricing?

 

Thank you!

post #2 of 11
So we are being asked to help only with your labor cost ...
You have all the food and equipment and paper supplies PLUS your profit already in line?

Just askin' is all.

mimi
post #3 of 11

And is the 30/hr  what you intend to bill, or to pay, for labor? And is that including you, or are you tallying and

billing your own time differently? 

Basically  you can pay labor (yours and helpers) whatever you want, the bottom line is whether A) you have

ALL your expenses figured in, (including all that travel expense/time, and as Mimi said, profit) and

B) whether that final price per head is acceptable to the client. (a figure you haven't provided for assessment.)

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

Well, no. 

 

I guess I should ask this way~

 

Given the above info, here's what I was thinking:

 

$14 PP  includes buffet of the two meats, three sides, rolls, drinks and disposable plates, cups, napkins.

We would add an additional $2 PP for a variety of novelties, which would include use of our freezer cart.

 

Am  thinking they haven't even thought of appetizers, which I will suggest, maybe something somewhat simple for an additional $2 PP.

 

Do my numbers sound reasonable? Comments?

post #5 of 11

Is your labor charged $30 per person? not $30hr for the three of you ?

$16 pp for this menu is just fine, you just need to figure out how many man hrs and bill appropriately.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

@ $30 per hour per person.

Thanks for your help~

post #7 of 11

$14pp is low........like vegas buffet low. 

 

No difference in pricing for my staff.....whether onsite or prep...if you want me/ my sous/ my guys (gals) they're x.  I mark up their labor charge to cover things like insurance, benefits....etc.  they dont see what I charge the customer but it's well above fair.  I do charge a different rate for me, my sous, and general cooks/ waitstaff.  My sous is worth 2 cooks.

post #8 of 11

What about gasoline. $30.00 per hour from when you leave from home to destination? Transportation vehicle is computed at 53 cents per mile average(Government sets the rate)

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 #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

$30 from when we leave. I calculate $1 miles (cover round trip). Maybe that's a little low, and should be adjusted.

 

NotSwedishChef: If you think this is Vegas low, what would you consider a reasonable fee,  not from an executive chef?

post #10 of 11
Not trying to be glib..and you're clearly covering your time and travel $$ but 225 is a lot of people...buffet style....you'd be surprised how much food can be consumed. For every grandma that's having a small plate of beans and chicken...Uncle Bob is having 6 plates and there will be a lot of uncle Bob's.

I'm assuming you've figured out your approx. portion size, scaled for the number of guests, added a fudge factor and costed your recipes before basing this number? Than added in things like the paper goods, water & lemonade costs, misc. consumables, any other items (sterno, rentals, disposable pans, etc).

Do they want ice for the drinks? How are you going to keep the drinks cold?

How are you holding food at temp.? Sterno and warming pans? Disposable, your own, rentals?

Same for serving pieces...how many of each item are you going to have out at a time? You have to think about how long the food is supposed to last as well...they want it all out at once or last the duration of the party?

They providing tables for the food? Trash....they have adequate means to handle 225 people's worth of garbage?

Last...food for 225....how is it be transported. Personal vehicles? Rental van? Company vehicle? That's a lot of food....

while you're handling the food....things like trash may not seem like your problem....but it may quickly become yours. Ice is so routinely overlooked and is key in the Summer months.

I don't know all the factors so I can't give you a number. if you've thought about all my points (or more) and that's your number than great....if you haven't...
post #11 of 11
It is important to know, your % number you are running your business. Most restaurants do 30%
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