Question on price for 150 people

Discussion in 'Catering & Large Group Gatherings' started by jmud, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. jmud

    jmud Meat Mopper

    Hi love this site. I've been doing parties here and there, not really charging what I should but making a few extra bucks. Time to start getting paid for my time. Especially this next cook. I got a wedding gig. 150 people. Menu will be pulled pork, chicken thighs, salt potatoes and my homemade baked beans and Mac salad. I'm only in charge of cooking, getting in aluminum pans and delivering. Others, not me will be doing the actual serving, plating, cleaning dishes, ect. I got a figure for 625 bucks for all the meat, produce, and all other raw materials. I've seen the 3 and 4 times the cost for figures on other threads. 3 times would be around $1800 and 4 times would be around $2500. Does this seem fair even though I'm not doing dishes and all that other stuff?
  2. Long Answer:

    Look up catering menus online for any local barbecue restaurants. Check to see if it is the norm to charge per plate, or by the lb. Then take a look at what they are charging for a similar combination of meats and sides. Remember that these restaurants are working in higher volume than you, resulting in them saving money on supplies. Also check to see if the posted prices include serving staff, since you said you are essentially just dropping off the food.  

    That should give you a good starting point. If you feel like you can charge less and make a profit, go for it because people love to save money. If you feel like you need to charge more, make sure that your food is of a quality that warrants a higher price because people will also pay for quality. 

    At $1800, that's $12/plate; at $2500, that's $16.67 a plate. I'm in Florida, and for around here for a drop off job for pulled pork, chicken thighs, and three sides I would probably come in closer to $12 than $16.67, but I would add on a delivery fee. But again, it is a combination of both you and your customer getting a fair price at the end of the day.

    Short Answer:

    Charge enough so you earn a fair profit, and the customer feels like they got a good deal.
  3. jmud

    jmud Meat Mopper

    Thanks a lot. After thinking about all this the place is right at our town at a rec hall. Think I might stay at even 11 per plate. I can make a decent profit, it's still cheap for a wedding, and I indeed use the best and freshest meat and ingredients. What would be a good way to plan for the thighs, 1 lb per person?
  4. If they are whole and the people at the event are allowed to have both meats, go with one per person. If the people are only allowed to choose one meat (pork or chicken), I would probably go 60-70% of the total number of people (90-105 thighs in this case). In both cases, charge accordingly for how much chicken you end up buying.
  5. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Are you actually in the catering business or do you just do casual parties when asked? If you have developed a business and rely on it for your lively hood thats one thing but if you do it casually that is something different. If it's a business you need to look at what your competitors are doing and price accordingly.

    I do casual private parties only. Summer months only and usually 4 to 6 a year. Although word of mouth is growing and I already have 3 lined up for next summer.

    I generally only do one side and that's my smoked bbq beans. All other sides and salads are provided by the event attendees. I have a contact that gets me all my ribs, pork butts, chicken turkey etc. wholesale. So I do all the leg work in getting all the meat. I pass this cost on to the customer at my cost. 

    After that I tell them I accept tips. People are generous. More than you might think especially after eating great bbq and having a few beers and the plate is passed for the pitmaster [​IMG]

    Other times the party host just pays me outright and I have only been disappointed once in the amount.

    Because I don't do it for a living it's more of a fun thing for me so what I get paid is secondary.

    I have had some great fun at some great parties and have met some great people doing what I like to do that I otherwise would have not had the chance to do.

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