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3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I'm catering for a party of 35 people. They have asked for set up with servers. The event is for 4 hours. The menu they have requested is as follows:

Swedish Meatballs
Fruit and Cheese Tray

Roast Beef
Rice Pilaf
Roasted Potatoes
Vegetable Medley
Country Style Green Beans
Chicken Alfredo

Please assist with suggestions for pricing and staffing for this event. The client does not have a very high budget so any suggestions are welcome, including for the menu suggestions along with pricing.


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668 Posts
The pricing comes in relation with your food cost and labour cost, and how much profit you want.

It's impractical to ask outsiders to price things for you; unless you don't mind losing money or overcharging the client, that is.

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456 Posts
Hi Miss C,

Sorry I have questions instead of answers for you but I can't find enough clear info to help you much.

What are the servers doing?
Is this a buffet with servers for four hours?
Do they expect a four hour, all you can eat buffet?
Are the guests choosing one protien item for plated, sit down service?
How have you charged other clients?
Is this for a charity event or a church gathering?

I would have to ask you or the client more questions before I could even start planning this event.

Maybe the right someone will come along and help you!

Good luck!

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4,468 Posts
In the case of a limited budget (if it met my minimum) I would take that amt and reverse engineer the menu and come up with something that fits.
As for servers.... maybe 2.

Also agree with halb.
You really need to learn how to charge instead of depending on others to do it for you.
CT runs on professional courtesy and I haven't noticed any give from your posts...only take.


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1,344 Posts
I agree with @sgmchef. There really isn't enough information for anyone to answer that question with any sort of accuracy.

What will your servers be doing?
How many support staff in total?
Is this buffet style or table service?
What about beverages - coffee, tea, soda etc?
How many beef?
How many chicken?
How many fish?

If you don't know how to do this, you really should learn. Its kinda important.

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2,530 Posts
Keywords "The client does not have a very high budget" You need to find out what the budget is and then make the menu around that. I always ask my clients to give me a dollar range for their budget. You run into people who say " Lets have our party catered" Then they find out the price and call Safeway for cold cut platters, rolls and a veggie tray. Another question is, you say the function is for four hours. It should be, food will be served for one hour during the four hour event. You shouldn't give the client the impression the food will be available for four hours. It is possible to cater your menu for a short period of time. Not all items you have on your menu will hold up for four hours. I never have my buffet make me look bad by keeping it out to long. It's up to me to keep my reputation in tack. If they demand I do so, I'll tell them it will cost more for me to maintain the same food quality from beginning to end.
You also can't depend on us to do all your costing. You need to understand why the costing is what it is. This will also heighten your confidence in costing other functions to insure a successful catering. ...ChefBillyB

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10 Posts
There are multiple formulas that you can use to figure these things out. Plug in your numbers and do the math.

Besides, menu pricing has a lot of little parts, you can't expect a bunch of strangers online to be able to price your menu withought knowing the numbers.
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