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Pricing private party.

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hello guys. I am catering a dinner for a work party at the CEO's home for 13 people. It will be platter/buffet style. I have no staff and it's just me doing it. Buying the food, prepping, cooking, etc.

 

It is buffet, but I am presenting it in a personalized upscale fashion. This is my first solo gig. Since it's just me it's a lot of work to plan the way I want to do it and under my circumstances.

 

I will be renting a car the day of so I can travel there and finish the event.

 

I have purchased almost all of the ingredients. Food cost will be reimbursed by the client. I just need to know how to cost myself in time/labour/effort. 

 

I hear people doing foodcost x 3.33. So for example if my food cost was 400, x3.33 would be 1332

 

 

Majority of food cost is the Rack of Lamb  which are pricy. All sauces, everything made from scratch etc.

 

Since its just me it's been atleast a week of labour and planning. Do I add my labour cost to the 1332 aswell? And the cost of renting a van.

 

Any help is appreciated. I just don't want to undercharge and I also don't want to overcharge. Thanks in advance

 

This is also my first event.

 

It will also be billed under his companies name.

 

He is paying for the price of all my food I have purchased, plus my labour and time.

 

Cheers

post #2 of 21

All expenses (food, labor, rental car,etc) come out of the $1332.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #3 of 21
Will your CEO have someone taking care of the dining room table set up (linens, glassware, flatware or silver and china) ?
What about your buffet table (linens, platters , serving utensils?) , will you be renting this or is there already a treasure trove for you to chose from (love to play with other people's stuff lol)?

Are you just going to set the buffet and leave?
Ask the host who will be setting the table and taking care of beverage refills and table clearing, KP.... they may be doing this themselves or have a regular house staff .
Won't hurt to ask, tho.

mimi
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 

I am providing my platters and serving Utensils. His wife is handling the plates/forks/knives etc. I'm in charge of the food/platters/utensils for serving( tongs etc). The guests will be serving themselves. I will be there the whole night to replenish if needed. and I will do all the cleaning of MY stuff. They will be clearing plates and handling beverages. I'm strictly food.

post #5 of 21

Start by totalling up all your time--and I mean ALLLLLL your time--planning, travel for rentals, 

prepping, designing the menu, gathering up supplies, anything you spent time on.

Next all your expenses, including rental and travel, etc.

Add in a profit-- this isnt "yours", that's separate--this is your "company's pay" .

 

Now then by your calculations, you're getting 1332, that's 100.00 per person. Id say that's not

too shabby if you can get it. BUT I don't know how many hours youre going to have put in 

by the end of it. Sounds like a lot. 

post #6 of 21

To take a week to do this party is crazy in particular for only 13 guest. For $100.00 a person it better be top shelf good.

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...

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post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheflayne View Post

All expenses (food, labor, rental car,etc) come out of the $1332.

1322-400 food cost (client pays separate ) = 922
OP has all of the buffet table hardware.
Although unknown factor of time, travel and van rental plus petrol will eat into this.
Have no clue how much vehicle rentals are these days.......

mimi
Edited by flipflopgirl - 2/25/15 at 8:10am
post #8 of 21
Although even if all the buffet set up is owned by the caterer a rental charge is in order.
Check for usual and customary charges for the area.

mimi
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 

Car rental is going to be around 78 dollars for the day or 9.25/hr. Petrol won't be an issue because it's not too far. And it's hard to give my self a per hour wage and how to calculate how much time I have actually "worked" on it during this week.

post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 

Also it's taking a considerable amount of time because I don't have the privilege of having a van in which I can drive and get all my food etc in one go! I am hand bombing everything and using public transportation, yes call me crazy. Also not using a commercial kitchen. They're aware of this however so I want to price accordingly.

post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by josfa View Post

Car rental is going to be around 78 dollars for the day or 9.25/hr. Petrol won't be an issue because it's not too far. And it's hard to give my self a per hour wage and how to calculate how much time I have actually "worked" on it during this week.

It IS hard to calculate time but is a factor of profit.
Start right now...just get a tablet and pencil.
Stick it in a handy place and make notes.
Those small amts of prep time add up.
This is your first job so a learning curve is in order smile.gif

mimi
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks Mimi, I have worked in restaurants and also at a catering company, just as a cook. not deaing with any logistics, pricings, or anything I was just creating with the food and going on-site. I didn't handle the money side of things so it's hard to make an accurate/reasonable cost. 

 

Thanks for all your pointers/advice so far. Much appreciated.

post #13 of 21
Your invoice will need to reflect that $922 charge.
This client is not a noob.
He knows what catering costs so like Chef Ed said gold star treatment is in order and that includes a professional invoice.
Do it right and you just may have your first loyal customer.

mimi
post #14 of 21
You are welcome.
Everyone here is happy to help you "youngsters" come up and be successful professionals.
Gotta have someone able to cater our funeral luncheons lol.
wink.gif

mimi
post #15 of 21

Personally, this sounds more like a Personal Chef  dinner to me, than a catering gig. 

You're doing everything at the customers home, not delivering anything. 

The last banquet I Sous'ed for similar to this was 8 people, and they paid 1,200.00. 

We went ALL out. 2 servers, (yes for 1 table--they were NEVER without someone standing

by to dote on them) all plates and timing to the table perfect. 

Me and one other sous in the kitchen and I went out and checked on them personally. 

 

They got a 7 course dinner, Appetizer spread, soup, tableside Ceasar, fish course, main (choice of two),

palette-cleaner-upper, (Rasberry Sorbet) and an array of desserts, including Tableside Crepes Suzette.  

Red and white wines. Decaf and regular. Splendor, Nutrisweet, Sacaryn, sugar, raw sugar, cream, milk, 

you get the idea. I think I even offered to powder noses and shine up some shoes. 

And I didnt get anywhere near 900.00 for it. (apx 500 if memory serves) 

IS anyone helping you in the kitchen? I dont see how you can razzle and dazzle and impress if its only you, 

you need to be 2 places at once to avoid any delays. I would also personally not do this as a buffet. 

For this kind of cuisine and this kind of money I would feel a need to pamper them all no end. Letting them 

serve themselves in this context just goes against my grain I guess. 

 

 

 

Quote:
Gotta have someone able to cater our funeral luncheons 

**kicks Mimi lightly in the shins.**

There comes a point in ones life when...that just ain't FUNNY no more! :p 

post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thats what they want, they wanted buffet. I'd much rather do a plated dinner! But buffet is what they wanted. I will make up an invoice today and see if it flies. Honestly, I would just be happy that my food costs were taken care of and I make a decent profit for my efforts. I also hope everything goes awesome and they really enjoy it. Then maybe I can get some future clients :)

post #17 of 21
Just hand them the invoices for the food and car, and charge by the hour. Simple.

Your OP asked what your time labor effirt is worth. That is very subjective. What do you make at your dayjob? Dont be to greedy your basically doing this for experience/ fun. Did thy solicit you or are you actively promoting yourself?
Prepping at home may be illegal, it is in my Province.

If it takes you a week, litterslly 49 hrs to prep food for 13 people, dont bother, thats just not sensible.

Good luck.
post #18 of 21

13 people, with that menu, buffet service..... I'd be in the kitchen at 10am prepping the day before,

get all I can done and in the cooler, out of there by say 2 or 3pm, then back in the mid morning making everything.

 

Be sure to use some REALLY nice chaffers and utensels! :)

post #19 of 21
Quote:
You're doing everything at the customers home, not delivering anything. 

 

 

Is that correct?

post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
So today was very successful, gathered all my stuff, loaded up my rental car and head there at like 3pm. Dinner was 8 PM. Everything cooked on time, looked amazing and also cooked my meat perfectly.... everyone was very very impressed. Handed over invoice and got everything I asked for, made about 1000 dollar profit and also make a few new clients. Good first gig! Thanks everyone smile.gif
post #21 of 21
Congrats!
It takes most chefs years to climb that far.
Book another party soon as to not lose your momentum.

mimi
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