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Like many new posters to this forum, I likely have some of the very same questions about catering companies. I have sifted through the threads and there certainly is helpful information throughout, so I wanted to thank everyone that posts in response.

My story begins with me wanting to take part in a certain reality cooking show (Canada version) in order to start a catering company with some fireworks. I realized that while my savoury skills were quite good, I had a significant deficiency in desserts, particularly baking. So I began baking all the time, which meant that I took all the baking goods into my office to pawn off on co-workers... which ultimately had me helping some of them out with their events (started with an appetizer party). That turned into co-workers telling their friends and I was on my way without the show. To be honest, donating to local charity auctions was the best thing I could do on a number of levels... help the charity out, I get to give back to my community, and I get free advertising and exposure.

Now four years later, I have a catering company (side business to my regular job) which is very well received. I portray my services as fine dining in your home, which allows me to provide top quality food (local as much as possible) in a small city that boasts no fine dining restaurants. That's me in a nutshell.

With that, I wanted to thank everyone in advance for any help I may seek out... I am always interested in tried and tested recipes/dishes that work for catering of this type... I am always keen to hear how different people price their dinners; note that I am mostly serving 4-course meals comprised of salad, appetizer, entree and dessert (proteins for appy and entree only). I will always bring a server with me for parties of eight (8) or more since my only complaint in the four years has been a temperature issue with the main course at a party of eight.

~~SGC~~
 

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Welcome to ChefTalk SGC. I am a retired Chef with 47 years behind me.

I opened a "Island Dining Services" here where I live and am doing what you are doing. I offer intimate dinners for two to catering up to 200. I also offer personal Chef services as well.

I can not cook in my home so I advertise that all the prep is done in their own home or facility.

Like you, I offer 4 courses or multi-course meals. I cook from scratch and utilize local products as best I can.

My pricing situation takes into account many different sides. Since I live on an island, I have to charge a service fee if I can not find product at the stores here.
I also charge by the hour for my time.
In my situation however, I can not buy wholesale and therefore buying retail and passing the cost on to the client.
I have done many high end parties and enjoy the many people I have met so far.
I wish you luck. If you have any questions please feel free.
 
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