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Catering Question

 
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John



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 257
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Tuesday 7-25-2017 12:48 pm    Post subject: Catering Question Reply with quote

Hi All,

I don't catering very often but I do get asked to do an event from time to time and it seems like in the last couple years it's been getting more and more.

The question I have is what do you guys who do it more than I do, charge for your services. I've never really set up a fee that I charge and when I do it, I just have the folks reimburse me for the groceries and then whatever they want to give me over that is good with me.

Normally the events I have done are less than 40 people, but if it keeps up like it has been I don't know if this is going to evolve into something bigger or not.

Just wondering what others do .... Thinking

Thanks for any input.....


John
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dmb90260



Joined: 18 Nov 2007
Posts: 1844
Location: So California

PostPosted: Wednesday 7-26-2017 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry I cannot be of more help. I donate my services 3-4 times a year. I do add in my gas prices since it is 50 mile drive each day and costs for some specific supplies if they are added. Over time I have amassed most of the hardware aside from CI supplies, tables,serving things, some cook items, trays & sterno items. These events are out in the "wild" with no services so I tend to bring everything but the kitchen sink ( and I have plastic service trays for that.)

If I was to charge I would start at $2 a plate over expenses. Often I do some prep work at home, chopping vegs etc, and that time needs to added in also.
Then you need to figure some kind of hourly rate for your cook time.
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John



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 257
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Wednesday 7-26-2017 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dennis, I appreciate the input. Your suggestion sounds like a good one!

Normally people are pretty generous about the "donation" they give me over my expenses so I'm normally good with that. It's usually close friends or Charitable organizations so I hate setting a fee for them. I'm usually good as long as I don't go in the red for the event.

Lately I've been getting calls from people that I don't know that have heard what I do and it's more for that kind of thing that I really need to get something set.

John
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dmb90260



Joined: 18 Nov 2007
Posts: 1844
Location: So California

PostPosted: Thursday 7-27-2017 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another thing to consider is what they plan on charging, at least the maximum so you know if there is room for a profit. Then should you get more jobs you will eventually need insurance and probably a license. Good luck.
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Dennis
Join the Kenskill Karavan
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just remember to bring along your Dutch Ovens!!

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John



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 257
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Thursday 7-27-2017 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dennis.....appreciate the advice! Thumbs Up
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SeabeeCook



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 580
Location: Diamond Springs, Calif.

PostPosted: Tuesday 8-22-2017 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You need to treat it like a business by making sure all your costs (food, labor, transportation, fuel, insurance, etc.) are covered before you present your proposal. Catering is not cheap. That's why professional caterers will charge $20 plus per plate for a simple meal of pulled pork, beans and slaw.
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Steven
Chef & camp cook, Star Valley Outfitters, Alpine, WY
Executive chef, Oakland Feather River Camp, Quincy, CA
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FFdoug



Joined: 20 Jan 2013
Posts: 105
Location: Maquoketa, Ia.

PostPosted: Friday 8-25-2017 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have done some "demo catering" over the years. I have learned to ask the host what they budgeted for the demos. Then I plan a meal within their budget, so they can write me a check for their budgeted number.
Another thing I have done, and have had very good luck with, is trading a demo for two or three night camping at the park. Plus the cost of food.
Local agency's are very happy with this arrangement.
I recently did a 9 pot, demo cook for 30 naturalists. They wanted info to go back to their parks, and do their own demo's.
The lead naturalist told me I would have no problem collecting $5.00 per plate. Which on this particular cook, would of paid for the groceries. BUT--I got 4 nights of free camping in the park, ($18.00 per night) only because the demo was on Thursday evening.
I realize that this is not "catering", but it might help.
You could double your grocery costs, as a starting point.
Doug
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