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Old 11-17-2005, 06:51 AM   #1
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Catering pricing

New to this forum. Im starting to dabble in small party catering and was wondering if there is a formula for figuring out how to price a particular catering job? Thanks for any help anyone could give.

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Old 11-17-2005, 07:17 AM   #2
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Welcome Sgt. Pepper, I'm sure you will get plenty of answeres to your interesting question. Sorry I'm no help but I will be anxious to see the replys too.
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Old 11-18-2005, 03:44 AM   #3
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I don't have a "formula" but I can suggest some things to consider:

(1) Cost of materials
(2) Cost of transportation (going to and from the market for the raw materials - and to and from the event to deliver the finished product)
(3) Labor - prep, delivery, service, and cleanup
(4) Misc - soap and water to wash up the kitchen, gas, water, electricity to cook, etc.
(5) Useage .... if you are providing the equipment (like steam table trays for a serving line) you need to recover a portion to pay for the useage of the equipment
(6) Profit - I assume you're not going to do this "for cost"

In short - what's it actually going to cost you go do everything ... and how much profit above that do you want to make?
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Old 11-18-2005, 07:04 AM   #4
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First thing to do is cost everything out, foodwise - that means EVERYTHING! Even that parsley sprig!

Then I usually added about 30-45% to that, depending on the dish and the amount of prep; ie, appetizers that needed a lot of plating attention were priced out higher than a bowl of dip and veggies. Conversely, sometimes on very high end items - ie, tenderloin, I went down to about 25%.

It's all about balancing your costs and your time. Below is a brunch menu I put together for a university faculty meeting. Also take into consideration where you live, and what current prices are. You can do a google search for catering companies in your town; some of them post menus and pricing. Or - be sneaky, and call some of the companies; you might get costing over the phone.

Also have to add that if you're going to be doing this out of your home, there are health dept. considerations to be aware of. In order to fly 'above the radar', you may need separate cooking and storage space, triple-sink, etc. Make sure you have liability insurance.


BRUNCH ITEMS

PLATTERS
(all platters sized for 24 people; add $1.00 per person for extra)


Veggie Platter with dip and crackers - $26.00
(carrots, celery, broccoli, tomatoes, green beans, peppers)

Cheese platter with crackers - $26.00
(cheddar, havarti, swiss)

Fruit platter - $30.00
(assorted melon, grapes, strawberries, pineapple)

Mini-Quiche Platter (48 pieces) - $30.00
(assorted mini-quiches – ham/onion, broccoli/cheddar, shrimp/swiss on a platter garnished
with grapes)


YOGURT


Yogurt/granola parfait (24) - $24.00
(organic vanilla yogurt in a cup layered with homemade granola)


HOT DISHES


FRITTATA – CHOOSE FROM TOMATO/SPINACH/CHEESE, - $22.00
OR HAM/CHEESE/TOMATO (12” x 16” pan)
(eggs, milk and herbs, baked with either a mixture of tomato slices, spinach, mozzarella
and parmesan cheese, or chunks of baked ham, cheddar cheese, and tomato slices)

POTATO/VEGETABLE HASH (12” x 16” pan) - $15.00
(cubes of potato fried to a golden brown with onions, garlic, diced peppers and carrots)

TURKEY HASH (12” x 16” pan) - $23.00
(cubes of turkey and potato and gently fried, with turkey gravy on the side)

MAPLE/BOURBON/PECAN SWEET POTATO BAKE - $15.00
(12” x 16” pan)
(Thick sliced sweet potatoes, baked with a touch of bourbon, cinnamon, Vermont
maple syrup, and chopped pecans)

STROMBOLI – CHOOSE FROM BROCCOLI/MOZZARELLA, - $16.00
OR ITALIAN SAUSAGE/MOZZARELLA
(2 3” X 14” LOAVES)

MAPLE/PECAN FRENCH TOAST BREAD PUDDING - $22.00
(12” x 16” pan)
(Thick sliced French bread, soaked in egg custard and fried, then layered in a pan,
with more custard, swirls of Vermont maple syrup and crunchy pecans)


BAKED GOODS


HOMEMADE CINNAMON ROLLS (3 dz.) - $25.00
LEMON BLUEBERRY COFFEECAKE (36 pieces) - $25.00
ASSORTED MUFFINS (3 dz.) - $25.00
ASSORTED SCONES WITH JAM (3 dz.) - $28.00
BAGELS (3 dz. assorted) w/PLAIN & HERBED CREAM CHEESE - $25.00


BEVERAGES


JUICES (orange, apple, and either pineapple or tomato) - $16.00
BOTTLED WATER (24 bottles) - $ 6.00
ASSORTED SNAPPLES (36 CANS) - $17.00
TABLEWARE

Plates, cups, forks, knives, napkins -$20.00
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Old 11-18-2005, 07:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
I don't have a "formula" but I can suggest some things to consider:

(1) Cost of materials
(2) Cost of transportation (going to and from the market for the raw materials - and to and from the event to deliver the finished product)
(3) Labor - prep, delivery, service, and cleanup
(4) Misc - soap and water to wash up the kitchen, gas, water, electricity to cook, etc.
(5) Useage .... if you are providing the equipment (like steam table trays for a serving line) you need to recover a portion to pay for the useage of the equipment
(6) Profit - I assume you're not going to do this "for cost"

In short - what's it actually going to cost you go do everything ... and how much profit above that do you want to make?
To make it easier to cost out different dishes I would first figure the cost per unit. For example what is the cost of 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla etc. I would use the most common measure for each item as the unit. You'll have to adjust each ingredient as prices change. However, if you know the cost per unit and a recipe calls for 3 1/2 cups flour you would multiply the unit cost times the number of units used in the recipe. You might be able to do this in a spreadsheet program or a program like Mastercook has the ability to figure costs when you input the prices of ingredients, but I've never used that function. I've also seen a link for a trial version of such a program on the forum somewhere. When Michael says the cost of EVERYTHING he is correct, otherwise you'll be giving away your profit. Marmalady is right on too about insurance and the health department.
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