The Caterers Corner
First time catering!! Caterers Corner: First time catering!!
By Freddychef (Freddychef) on Wednesday, December 12, 2001 - 11:49 am: Edit

Hi. I work as a seasonal chef de partie at a resort in Nova Scotia and during the winter I try to locate other avenues of work. Recently I have been afforded the opportunity to do a bit of Christmas party catering but I know nothing of the business side--what to charge per head or plate, how do I cost out parties for different sizes and the like. any suggestions? freddychef

By Peachcreek (Peachcreek) on Wednesday, December 12, 2001 - 06:58 pm: Edit

Could you be a little more specific? Do you have a facility at your disposal? How many guests? What type of party? Your type of menu? Are you able to by supplies wholesale? Do you have access to more help if you need it? Cooks? Servers? Bartenders? Lots to think about in a little bit of time!

By George (George) on Thursday, December 13, 2001 - 05:37 pm: Edit

I'm guessing but it sounds like you will be doing parties for individuals but not setting up a real catering type business.

I'd approach it as a PC kind of thing. Charge them hourly for the time spent planning, shopping, preparation and cooking at double or triple what you would normally make. If you are expected to serve the party definitely charge more for that also.

Give an estimate or hours but add on about 25% before hand because all things take longer than you expect, especially in a new environment. Bill for actual hours and document them.

If you have to handle rentals or additional staff add a service charge for arranging them , normally around 15%.

Do all work on their preemies or in a licensed kitchen.

Get full payment up front all foodstuffs and at least 33% of the hourly expense.

DON'T LOWBALL OR SELL YOURSELF CHEEP. You will loose you shirt and be miserable. If they want a professional they should be willing to pay for it.

Run don't walk away if they try to nickel or dime you or are hesitant with the up front money.

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