The Caterers Corner
HELP!!! Pricing on a wedding buffet Caterers Corner: HELP!!! Pricing on a wedding buffet
By Heatherg (Heatherg) on Saturday, February 05, 2005 - 01:01 pm: Edit

I am looking for a basic cost estimate for 70 people- beef tenderloin with rolls and horseradish cream, shrimp with cocktail- peeled, Mixed greens salad- 2 dressing choices, sauteed mixed veggies, mashed potatoes, tortellini with grilled chicken and a garlic cream sauce, fruit, cheese, crackers and veggie crudite. I was figuring about $1000.00 for food...does this sound right???


By Jonesg (Jonesg) on Saturday, February 05, 2005 - 05:29 pm: Edit

I would allow for but probably end up spending a bit less.
I prefer selling sirloin strip carving station, the meat is cheaper and we make more by charging for the carver (me). Shrimp cocktail can be a profit killer unless you bulk them up with a starch based apps. Crostini and gougeres are good ones for that.

By Catergreat (Catergreat) on Saturday, February 05, 2005 - 11:59 pm: Edit

Are you joking, g jones? that is about 13.00 per person. We can't serve meatballs for that price!

Beef Tenderloin and Shrimp???

Realistically, expect to spend around 2800.00.

c jones

By Jonesg (Jonesg) on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 04:38 am: Edit

Carl, thats $1000 for 70pp for food cost.

By Catergreat (Catergreat) on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 02:23 pm: Edit

Probably so Gerard, however, I assumed Heather was asking what a caterer would charge for the menu she mentioned. Not what it costs the caterer for the food.

That would give the caterer about a 35% food cost. which is none too little.

is that what you wanted the answer to, Heather?

By Heatherg (Heatherg) on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 02:28 pm: Edit

Yes- I am purely talking food cost!!!

By Catergreat (Catergreat) on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 03:09 pm: Edit

So, you are a caterer Heather? or the Client?

People interchange the words "costs" and "prices". So that's what led to my confusion.

To give an accurate estimate, you will need to be specific as to the amounts or whether this is plated (portion controlled) or buffet.


By Heatherg (Heatherg) on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 11:11 pm: Edit

I am the caterer, but it is a friends wedding so I am not "profiting". I am doing it for the cost of the food and was trying to get a decent estimate so they would have a number to go on! It is a buffet. The fruit and cheeses are going out as apps during cocktails, then the rest on the buffet- roughly 70 ppl! We just moved so I no longer have my restaurant connections to order from!

By Jonesg (Jonesg) on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 04:56 am: Edit

Prices seem to be relative, around here filet and shrimp starts out at $55pp (to the client).
In NYC or downtown Boston, maybe $105pp w/venue .?

Wholesale filet price is hovering around $8 lb and up to $12 for select. Thats the per strip price, in cases it starts at $7.50 per lb.
It depends where you are located now, if your area has a restaurant depot cash and carry, thats about as cheap as it gets.
We'd price that menu higher, starting at $3500 and adding carvers, servers and rentals

you didn't mention dessert, that can add another
20% + to the customers bill.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 02:10 pm: Edit

You're too much Carl!!!!!!.,...."So you're a caterer Heather???????....that's funny!!!

By Heatherg (Heatherg) on Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 10:19 pm: Edit

Was that meant to be as rude as it sounded, Manny??

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 06:04 am: Edit

Not rude!!!...sarcastic!

By Heatherg (Heatherg) on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 12:55 pm: Edit

I appreciate the input from those of you who were kind enough to respond to the question at hand! Thank you!

By Ladycake (Ladycake) on Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 09:13 pm: Edit

I think you are getting the attitude because as a caterer you should know how to do food costs. Why would you ask people from all over the country how much to charge when there is no way we could know the pricing in your area?

As you know, when you have catered before, you have to consider other costs which accompany the production of the food. If you are "gifting" your friend your labor, are you also giving your employees' labor, will you be paying them? These are all added costs, as well as your utilities to have your kitchen open, etc.
As a caterer, you know these things yet your question did not sound as though you were considering them.

Good luck to you, and don't undercut yourself - go out, get the food costs, add your utilities and equipment, etc. Do the work girl, you'll be fine.

By Catergreat (Catergreat) on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 01:27 am: Edit

Gosh Manny, how did you get all of that from my question? I thought you had outgrown your troublemaking where it doesn't exist.... I mean, we try to answer her question, gain more input (is she seeing this from a caterer's point of view or a client), and you, what do you contribute??

Now the above is rude. Not sarcastic

By Heatherg (Heatherg) on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 06:48 am: Edit

WOW! Ok- I was not trying to start a war! Just to clarify...I am paying the staff- that was given as a seperate figure. The kitchen and equipment is provided in the facility. I am not undercutting myself, and I have only been catering for a short time. Just was looking for a little friendly advice as I thought this was the point of these rooms. I really do appreciate the input.
Let's all just regroup and discontinue any negative discussion.
Thanks- Heather

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 08:43 pm: Edit

Carl, have I mentioned that you are the man!....and I love that in a caterer!

By Catergreat (Catergreat) on Sunday, February 13, 2005 - 09:44 am: Edit

no Manny, YOU are the man! ;)

glad to see you still have your sense of humor in your golden years.....

hey, manny, do you think this will cause any grief? being that you basically said that you think a MAN is a better caterer???

you and all of your Florida Sunshine Warmth %@$# !

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Sunday, February 13, 2005 - 06:03 pm: Edit

Oh my God...these are the golden years??????
I did not even have a chance to have a mid life crisis yet Carl!!!!!

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