The Caterers Corner
Open House Quantity Help Caterers Corner: Open House Quantity Help
By Frankpizza (Frankpizza) on Friday, April 01, 2005 - 12:43 pm: Edit

Hello, I have agreed to donate cuisine to a regional chamber of commerce event. It is a culinary fest with some 200-250 guests attending and 20 participants ranging from local pastry shops, hotel catering and restraunts. I decided to do a mini sandwich platter, scallop skewers and rosemary beef skewers. I always struggle with quantities in this environment and wanted to know if anyone had any advise in terms of # of pieces or weights. Thanks

By Cvincolorado (Cvincolorado) on Friday, April 01, 2005 - 10:20 pm: Edit

Normally I would say 2-3 pieces of each item per person. However, since you are donating the food and there will be alot of other food there I think you could get away with 100 pieces of each. But, see what other suggestions you get here before making any decisions. CV

By Chefjoannam (Chefjoannam) on Saturday, April 02, 2005 - 01:14 am: Edit

You're donating, so the food you're putting out is your "edible business card", right? If they like what they get, then they'll pick up a paper card.

People eat free food like, well, like you're giving it away.

So -- those two things in mind, I would make sure I had at LEAST of 250 pcs of each item. Don't get the largest scallops available, but don't get the smallest, either. Make sure that some of your sandwiches are vegetarian, and you've got your bases covered: Low-carb (beef) seafood (scallops) and veggie (some sandwiches)

From what I've seen, whether you have three, five, or seven items, chances are people will find a way to eat one of each (barring allergies & politics) and gluttons will eat more than one....Then they'll go to the next booth and gorge on whatever they're offering!

If you need to watch your food budget, have extra staff and "take orders", then put the apps on plates for the guests, don't allow them to self-serve. You'll find the scallops gone, and the sandwiches will be left to dry out.

Another reason you want to have add'l staff is that YOU need to network with the other vendors -- take advantage of the fact that they're a captive audience (and bring them some of your sample plates, too!)

It's really great that you're volunteering and donating, I sure do hope it gets you some brand awareness, and maybe even some business down the line!

Let us know how it goes!
Chef JoAnna

By Frankpizza (Frankpizza) on Saturday, April 02, 2005 - 04:12 pm: Edit

Hey Thanks for the advice. Pretty much on the lines of what I was thinking. 250 pieces of each.....I would rather have some left overs than be out of food. I also feel that my donations are the best form of marketing. Thats why I chose to feature some higer cost items. Still a lot cheaper than running an ad. Word of mouth has been the only driver to my growth. I will let you know how it goes.

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