Hi I own and operate a small greek gyros ice cream shop. One of my customers has asked me to cater a dinner party for 30 at her home. She will be picking up the food and serving it. I have worked out the cost of my food which is $295.00. I am going to add on about 4 hours labor but am clueless to what percentage I should put on the total. I know if I was to sell the food at my shop I would be looking at 300% markup, but obviously that is not how it works in the catering business is it? She doesn't mind if I charge per head or food + labor plus a percentage she suggested 25%, but I don't think that a profit of $88 is anywhere near enough. What are your suggestions? The menu is cocktail size spanakopita, falafel balls, feta and olive plate, pita triangles and hummus and tzatzkik, small chicken gyros, souvlaki, moussaka, greek salad and baklava.
Greek meze for 30
Rule number one in pricing, never let the customer suggest anything.
You have what...9 main items there....plus sauces?
And a cost of 300 and 4 solid hours (i suspect it might be more) of labor.
All that for 30 ppl for 12.50 per? Shes dreaming. To me thats at least 25.00
per person out the door. Charge a reasonable price, if she balks thats her problem.
If you give it to her for a song, word gets out and you have more coming round
expecting to pay the same or even less.
Couln't agree with you more Meez, and listen up Alhan, the advice is bang on!
You'd be giving too much away at the price your customer wants it for. No one should dictate your markup!!!!!!
You can suggest a $20-25 per person menu for a tweeted revised menu.
If you need some help with this, this community is eager to help.
I cater thousands of meals every year, ask me anything.
Thank you so much for your advice. I don't usually cater for these exact reasons! I got roped into it last year when I got chatting to her outside a restaurant and she said when I reopened for the season she would want me to do dinner party. I get the impression she is not short of money. This thing is if she came to my shop and bought all the stuff as if she were a regular walk up customer, without the moussaka it would be approx $16.00 per head presuming two people split the greek salad, the feta and olive plate, the falafel balls and the spanakopita, which is feasible. So, I am thinking of just saying $18.00 per head which would give me $240 clear of the food costs and only food costs. As I don't pay myself a set rate anyway, and my staff who I will get to help me (Ok read do most of the work) I am paying to be there anyway, I think I can live with that.
OMG I am glad that I found this site this is the text that I sent her:
Hey Pam, I have been looking at catering sites and getting advice from caterers and the general consensus is that I should be charging between $25 and $30 per head. I think that is too much but feel comfortable with $20. Please let me know your thoughts on this as soon as you can, Thanks,
This is her reply:
No less than $30 a person. U r providing a lovely meal, it will be well worth it. You need to charge me $30 a person.
So from thinking I was going to be ending up with about $88 I am now going to be ending up with $600, thankyou ladies for giving me the confidence to ask for more money!!!!
Haha, doesn't surprise me, Catering is a perfectly crazy business, you just never know.
I've had customers look at my bid price and say "Are you SERIOUS? I expected to pay twice that,
and that's what I intend to do. Who do make the check out to?"
If they want you, they WANT you. LOL
As to you, I'm glad we convinced you to aim higher--in this case it paid off.
I also think you deserve it--as that does sound like a pretty awesome menu for 30!