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Catering advice needed

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Ok I've been asked to cater a wedding next spring and am having some issues figuring out how much of each meat I need to have. They are doing Buffett style and would like burgers, hot dogs and pulled pork. Their guest list is 170 people. I can fine tune that after they get rsvp's returned. I don't do a ton of catering so I have never had to figure multiple meats. You don't need 170 portions of each meat do you? Any help would be great.
post #2 of 8
I assume youre griling burgers and dogs on site?
What about the grilled pork, how is that being prepared?
Open (self service) buffet, or staff handing out the meats?
And how is the pulled pork to be presented---as sandwiches?

Most guests will eat burgers.About a third to half will eat
hot dogs. Pulled pork in the mix is a guess, depends on the
crowd and on how good that pork is.
Also depends on whether its all you can eat, or one-time-through.

Off hand I would figger on 80 to 100 percent on burgers, more
if AYCEat or youre allowing for double burgers.
30 to 50 % dogs and maybe.....50 % (ish) on the pork.
The pork is your highest cost item if generous, and with 2 other meats
if you run out its not the apocalypse.
Burgers come in commercial boxes of 40 for 1/4 pound. (best choice IMO)
Thats about 41 boxes.
Dogs come 80 per box, that would ....probably....be enough. If nervous
get a few small packs as back ups.

At parties this size I cook up a grillful of patties (med rare) before service and
hold em in a beef slurry.Then continue cooking through out the service.
Dogs in far smaller batches, they cook way faster and get cold easily.
post #3 of 8

This is always a tough call. You need to know how many kids are at the function. This also depends on what part of the country this is happening. If it's on the West coast Burgers are more popular. If it's on the East coast Hot dogs are king. If you have 50 kids that means to have 120 adults. I would figure most women will eat one with that being the pulled pork. A guy will eat two meats, most likely a burger and a pulled pork. I figure you are using the hamburger bun for both the pork and burgers. 

post #4 of 8
Oops yeah I forgot about the kid question, was just generaizing
on experience. Good call Chef Billy, thanx for that.
And yes, the local climate is important too.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Ok thanks for the replies. This event will be held in central Iowa. Definitely a rural blue collar gathering. We operate a food truck and people love our pulled pork so I can imagine it may be popular there. With the burgers we raise our own grass fed beef and use that in the truck so I was thinking of giving them a bid of one price using our beef and a different price if they are cool with burgers off the Sysco truck.

I will need to clarify with the client on if they want all you can eat but I'd assume so. I'll most likely be letting them serve themselves as I don't have that much help. Yes I'll be grilling burgers and dogs on site. Also on the numbers they say they are inviting 170 but of course they won't have 100% turn out. I know I can fine tune the numbers when rsvp's return but on the initial bid should I base of 100% turn out or what?

Thanks!
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Also just heard from them and said 30-40 kids at the max.
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch54 View Post

Ok thanks for the replies. This event will be held in central Iowa. Definitely a rural blue collar gathering. We operate a food truck and people love our pulled pork so I can imagine it may be popular there. With the burgers we raise our own grass fed beef and use that in the truck so I was thinking of giving them a bid of one price using our beef and a different price if they are cool with burgers off the Sysco truck.

I will need to clarify with the client on if they want all you can eat but I'd assume so. I'll most likely be letting them serve themselves as I don't have that much help. Yes I'll be grilling burgers and dogs on site. Also on the numbers they say they are inviting 170 but of course they won't have 100% turn out. I know I can fine tune the numbers when rsvp's return but on the initial bid should I base of 100% turn out or what?

Thanks!


I would only price the event as you do it on your food truck.  If you normally serve a quality product your customers will be disappointed with an inferior product.  Also events are marketing chances for your truck.  Give them the best.  Get it in writing before you give the bid.  Get a deposit.  Make the bid on a number with a five percent leeway on that number.  Remember your price is based on what it costs you and your expected profit.  Again get a standard event planing contract and have all numbers, dates, and prices spelled out.  Get a deposit and get your final payment before service.  Have any changes in writing.  Good luck.

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch54 View Post

Ok thanks for the replies. This event will be held in central Iowa. Definitely a rural blue collar gathering. We operate a food truck and people love our pulled pork so I can imagine it may be popular there. With the burgers we raise our own grass fed beef and use that in the truck so I was thinking of giving them a bid of one price using our beef and a different price if they are cool with burgers off the Sysco truck.

I will need to clarify with the client on if they want all you can eat but I'd assume so. I'll most likely be letting them serve themselves as I don't have that much help. Yes I'll be grilling burgers and dogs on site. Also on the numbers they say they are inviting 170 but of course they won't have 100% turn out. I know I can fine tune the numbers when rsvp's return but on the initial bid should I base of 100% turn out or what?

Thanks!


What you do and how you do it is what sets you apart from the rest. The reason why they may have asked you to cater the wedding may be the exceptional quality of food you provide. I would stick to what makes you who you are by keeping the burgers your own blend of Pasture raised beed. I did this in my Cafe with my own pasture raised steers. I really liked the fact of offering my clients a quality approach using our speciality hamburgers. I'm sure the people attending the wedding will appreciate the quality you offer. My approach to catering is to make sure the organizer gets a lot of praise about the food. This will show the organizer that their pick was indeed the correct choice in why they hied you as the caterer. This will also insure when asked who the caterer is, they will give nothing buy praise......Good luck.......Chef Bill

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