Re: Catering Quandry?

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Posted by Sam Sears, CEC on August 27, 19100 at 13:57:09 :

In Reply to: Catering Quandry? posted by Shai on August 27, 19100 at 13:07:35 :

: I am a complete novice at catering (probably a complete fool too)but have gotten into several comittments I must keep. I have a very detailed style, heavy on visual presentation...Specialize in desserts(Cocolat-AliceMedrich style). I have done a lot of buffets in my home,and for good friends...dessert buffets,appetizers buffets,formal teas, etc. where people come and just stand around the table ooohing and aahing...This has been a fun artistic outlet, and I don't do it very often. I also have done meals (again artistically correct) but have only done them at cost, and for events etc. All this, to say, people have begun to call. Last year I did a dessert buffet for 50 for a friend (for pay) at her home. I am sure that my time in preparation was not compensated,but I had fun.

: Now, I have comitted to an in home dinner for 40 people, and a formal tea for 75 people - again, for friends, but who are willing to pay.

: I know, from what I have seen, and people's reactions, that what I do is somewhat unique. It probably would be completely unreasonable for some one to pay for my excessively detailed insanity...However....Would some one please give me a ballpark figure on what would be reasonable to charge for each of these events. I cannot afford to lose $$ although I can sacrifice a little time.

: A per person figure or a cost plus # ? Preparation would be done in clients home and in church kitchen. Is this more of a chef for hire situation?

: Also, If some one could recommend their favorite resource book to help with quanity and pricing I would be very thankful!

: Yes, I've read through the site -I know there is a lot of animosity for Martha-ites.. I am ashamed to say.....Martha, move over!

I'm probably not going to answer all of your questions, but for pricing, most try to stay around 20 - 25% Food Cost, that would be raw food cost, and I mean everyting, Salt, pepper, flour, ect, ect..somewhere between Xs 4 - 5, I you are exposing yourself to any overhead, fixed costs then a portion of those must be added, and finally if you are just concerned w/ your time & trouble, decide how many hours prep, delivery, service, clean up, ect,,,and add a few (newbies allways underestimate) Xs what you feel is reasonable per hour rate,,,also you must add in any items you must rent or but specifically for each function......CHARGE FOR EVERYTHING...NOTHING IS FREE....and if you are buying the food, preparing in clients kitchen for service on their property, you are a personal chef....but if you prepare in one facility and serve in another, that makes it a catered situation.......which means you need licenses, inspection, ect, ect, not least of which would be insurance....Sam

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