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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I've been asked to cater an event at a local church for 100 people however I am trying to make sure I am pricing this event at a fair rate for both the client as well as myself. The event will be a drop off and set up event only, no additional work after setting up. I will be bringing 3/4 workers with me to ensure set up and delivery runs smoothly. The event is about 40-45 minutes away from my location.

The menu is as follows:
Garden salad w/ two dressings
Chicken (both fried and baked BBQ)
BBQ Meatballs
Chicken Salad w/ crackers
Garden Pasta Salad
Deviled Eggs
Double Layer Chocolate Cake
Bottled Water


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You need to have quantities in order to price accordingly. If it's a lunch (noon) versus a dinner (5 or 6 pm), that affects quantities given the presumption that people have heartier appetites later in the day but your area will determine this (in some places the main meal is lunch). What's the most and least expensive item on this menu? Are you making everything from scratch or buying in some of the menu items? You need to calculate how many pounds of chicken will serve how many people and go from there (and are you only serving one type of chicken piece - legs? leg/thigh? breast?) Can you go for cupcakes instead of layer cake to help with serving (who is going to cut the cake or is it precut?) I notice you don't account for rolls; is that coming from the church or they didn't want any type of bread? Do you want to present the menu as full tray of BBQ chicken serves 25-30; and suggest quantities to them or do you want to price it by the person and then suggest that to ensure ample quantities, they order 10% more, e.g. 6# of pasta salad instead of 5#).

You also need to factor in disposable goods unless you are dropping off in hotel pans and going back to pick up.

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Hard if not impossible to bid this job for you but if you use the search function there are are a ton of threads on the subject.
Some will teach you to calculate costs down to the last grain of salt....some a bit more casual (re easier).
You will be required to do a bit of homework on serving sizes and cost per serving but after that is done the rest is easy peasey.
Don't forget to pay yourself!

One last comment.....the cupcake suggestion is golden.
Waste is inevitable no matter how carefully a cake is portioned, so unless an event is a wedding or other event that demands a big fancy spectacle of a statement cake I always suggest a nice dessert table.


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I would like at this menu as this:
Garden salad 1.5oz pp + .20 for dressing / pp (What lettuce are you using?)
Chicken 2pc pp is this 9cut chicken?
BBQ Meatballs (what size, 2 oz pp)
Chicken Salad w/ crackers (2oz pp)
Garden Pasta Salad (2oz pp)
Deviled Eggs (1.5 eggs pp)
Double Layer Chocolate Cake (how big is the cake? 10" round cut into 16 1.25 pp)
Bottled Water at least 2pp

What do others think?
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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.
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