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Hello I need to know what to charge for catering a wedding reception and after party I have to do the decoration for the church and the reception hall prepare all the food for both the reception and the after-party I also have to do at least six vegan meals I'm from Alabama it will be serving between 150 and 175 guests it will be a sit-down dinner the after party will be of course hors d'oeuvres. I am responsible for of course buying preparing the food I do not actually have to serve the food she has someone to do that.
 

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Hello I need to know what to charge for catering a wedding reception and after party I have to do the decoration for the church and the reception hall prepare all the food for both the reception and the after-party I also have to do at least six vegan meals I'm from Alabama it will be serving between 150 and 175 guests it will be a sit-down dinner the after party will be of course hors d'oeuvres. I am responsible for of course buying preparing the food I do not actually have to serve the food she has someone to do that.
Hi Gloria and welcome to CT. :)

Without knowing more details about the menu and your overhead, there is no realistic way we can help you.

Forgive me for being blunt, but, if you are asking for help in figuring out what to charge without including this information, that's a strong indicator that you are in way over your head here. That's not good.

Just as @flipflopgirl said, 175 meals is a large order that even experienced caterers would struggle with. If you don't know the basics of how to figure out your costs, it makes me wonder if you know how to conform to strict safety practices and not get people sick.

Maybe you should pass on this one??
 

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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.

Between 150 and 175? Get a contract with an exact number of guests. It sounds like you could charge an number because you have no experience. Do you have a business license? Do you have a food service permit? Has your kitchen been inspected? Do you know what the danger zone is? If your answer is no or why to any one of these questions do not take the job. Good luck whatever you decide.
 

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First of all I wouldn't let someone else serve up my food on a sit-down dinner. That being said, break up the costing in four parts so it doesn't look overwhelming.

1: Cost and mark-up decorating of the Church and how much time it will take.
2: Cost and mark-up decorating the hall and how much time it will take.
3: Cost out the menu being about 33% if you don't have a lot of labor involved. If your serving the meal then figure 25%.
4: Cost and mark up the hors d'oeuvres. The hors d'oeuvres will depend on how much time and food cost involved. Sometime it doesn't take a lot of cost for the food but it takes a bit more labor and time.
 

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Agreed of course, Im not making food for 200 people and letting
someone else serve it. In addition to being unrewarding, the minute
it leaves my hands, I have no further control over it, yet Im still
responsible for it.
Further, this...."somewhere around 150 to 175, just make enough food
for 175 and you should be fine" is simply not how caterers do business.
We contract for what we call guaranteed head count. Anything over
that is charged additional.
An infomal, rough estimate might work for your nephews 12 guest birthday party,
but this is a formal event with 15 times that.
No offense, but you sound a bit too green to take on an event of
this magnitude and difficulty.
 
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