Ive been asked to cater a wedding for approx. 150 people. The food will be roasted chicken, roasted pork, baked macaroni and cheese, steamed green beans, garlic mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls with butter. As ive never priced an event before, can anyone tell me a ball park of what it may cost per person for the food choices? Just the food.
Welcome to CT. You should decline the job. It is obvious you are not ready to cater. Do you have a kitchen? Why not go to your instructor at school for help? The following is from another thread and one of the best answers I have seen for this question.
- Professional Chef
- Joined 9/2008
- Location: Porterville, CA
- Posts: 3847
I'm fascinated by the fact that very few seem to evaluate their costs at all!
For me the rule for pricing is very simple:
PRICE = COSTS + PROFIT DESIRED
COSTS = Labor (including your own, if applicable) + Food + Utilities + Rent + Licenses + Tax reserve + Insurance + any other costs of doing business, including interest, depreciation, and all the hidden costs.
PROFIT DESIRED is up to you, what return on your investment do you want?
IMHO, if you do not know your costs, you are only guessing at prices, no matter what mathematical exercises you may go through and, if you are real lucky, you will still be in business a year from now.
When dividing by a food cost percentage, I sincerely hope you have at least ten (10) years of records for the actual food cost percentage for your operation with your menus, otherwise you have a better chance simply guessing.
Oh, once you've figured your price, it is simple to calculate $/person or $/piece or whatever, just remember, the fewer persons, the higher the $/person, only food cost and part of labor can be attributed to the number of people, the rest is overhead and somebody pays for it.
3x food costs
Is it a sit down plated dinner or a buffet style? Plated will increase your labor costs and you will need help on the line to assemble 150 plates.
Is it a "green field" situation or are you in a venue with kitchen facilities existing?
You can't really figure out a costing based on "food only" because you need to factor in all the overheads attached to the creation of a meal.