Re: Catering Quandry?

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Posted by Sam Sears, CEC on August 29, 19100 at 20:28:49 :

In Reply to: Re: Catering Quandry? posted by Timothy Banning on August 29, 19100 at 19:37:02 :

: Sam and Ron,
: It is my guess that you will have the same dollar cost for labor on upscale menus and that will translate to a lower percentage cost.

: Just as an example (with numbers take out of thin air): If you charge $10 per plate for a pasta item at 25% food cost, and $30 dollars for a lobster plate at 50% food cost. It takes the same labor (more or less) to prepare, serve, and clean up for both plates. Minus the food cost You have $7.50 for the pasta as opposed to $15.00 for the lobster to pay these same cost.

: Percentages are great tools for analyzing Profit and Loss statements and as a starting point in developing menu items but experience and knowledge of the market are just as important in costing a menu.

I must respectfully disagree, the raw labor costs (not percentages) is normally much higher with higher end menus & products.......I can have a pantry person prep a standard picnic ( beans, pot salad, watermelon, relish trays, brownies & cookies, & burgers & dogs cooked on site) for about 100 pp in 4 hours or less.....but if I were serving saffron vichyssoise, broiled rock shrimp stuffed w/ caviar, baby greens w/ org tarragon dressing, duck breast w/ duck demi & date sauce, braised root veggies, plantains, & coconut ginger torte for say 35, it would take two of my best people probably one whole shift, making twice what that pantry person raw labor dollars will be higher w/ the more complex menu & much lower w/ a simple the percentages will be dramaticly different, but you cannot take percentages to the bank, you are very much correct that percentages are just a starting point, now let me say this also, if you have say a buffet dinner menu w/ salad, entree, veg, starch, bread, dessert for 50 pp and anayize the labor costs cs. the same menu @ 150 pp, your labor percentages will be much lower w/ the larger # of guests, from economizing motion & production techniques.....just my thoughts......Sam Sears, CEC

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