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First Major On Site Cook......quantity questions

Discussion in 'Catering & Large Group Gatherings' started by smokefever, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. smokefever

    smokefever Smoking Fanatic

    Hey folks, I just booked a wedding reception for 200 ppl in late September. It's a laid back event, on a farm that the family of the bride owns. I have cooked large quantities before, but the customer knew exactly what they wanted and had the quantity nailed down. I am aware that not everyone invited will show up and have requested a final head count by the end of August. They want to have pulled pork and smoked chicken as well as mac n cheese and baked beans. All I am doing is providing the food, they are taking care of chafing dishes and sternos, flatware, plates etc. I'm thinking about 15-20 butts and 100 chicken quarters. I am by no means a veteran when it comes to large parties so please, any advice is greatly appreciated.
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Figure 1/3 pound pork per person. THtis is cooked weight. A pork butt will yield about 50%.

    Chicken parts are always tough. If they'll go for pulled chicken it's a better way to go. Skinless, boneless thighs yield 95% and are a good way to go for pulled. If not you need to figure worst case that all 200 are going to have chicken and pork.

    As for sides I usually figure 1/3 cup of each side per person.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
    smokefever likes this.
  3. smokefever

    smokefever Smoking Fanatic

    Hard to tell if they will go for pulled, they originally mentioned fried chicken. That, im sure, would be a pain to do simultaneously. Here's what Im working with as far as a cooker goes....

    I would definitely have to start on friday with the PP, and then reheat at the venue. I would also prep the sides the day before
  4. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Check this out.

    [ATTACHMENT=3222]CateringV306.xls (92k. xls file)[/ATTACHMENT]

    this should help with estimates. Let me know if you have any questions on it.
  5. Brian, that spreadsheet is awesome, and a must for anyone who's contemplating doing a cook like this:  I'm plagiarizing, err, borrowing this!  Thanks!  Dirt, I agree that the bird pieces are difficult to gauge, mainly because it's hard to figure who wants white meat and who wants dark, and then what pieces within each category--damn near as polarizing as Donald and Hillary.

    I think you're right, Smoke:  fried bird would be a pain in the arse.  Unless you've got a portable, commercial sized fryer that you can do it on site, I wouldn't go that route.  Even so, you're going to have to deal with the oil afterwards, and IMHO, not sure if it's worth all the extra stuff that goes along with it.  Are they dead set on yardbird?  If not, I'd go brisket instead.  I agree with Case's point about pulled chix being easier, but something about having both meats pulled just doesn't make me go, "Wow".  My $0.02.
  6. smokefever

    smokefever Smoking Fanatic

    AWESOME spreadsheet BMudd!! I knew I could count on you guys for solid advice! Groucho, unfortunately they are dead set on having yardbird. They aren't real set on how they want it, but I definitely dont want to do two pulled meats. I did a cook for 150 ppl last year like I mentioned before. That was 20# pp 20 racks ribs and 150 leg quarters and there was only 1/2 lb pp left. I'll pick this guys brain in the next few months so they are 100% sure as to what they want. Im charging $13/person and they are pretty pleased with the price
  7. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Great spreadsheet Brian!

    I saved that on my computer!

  8. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The spreadsheet I got on this site years ago and glad I have it to share.

    As for the yardbird one thing I have done for big events is to cook whole birds. Then butcher once done.

    But if they don't want the white meat then you are in a spot. I can get whole birds cheaper than I can get 1/4's most of the time. go figure.

    Also on your catering price you need to make sure that its price per person that they tell you is coming as a minimal. If they tell you 200 and 150 show you don't want to get caught holding the bag because you cooked for more.
  9. ab canuck

    ab canuck Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Thays a great chart. Thx. Brian, Definitely saving this one
  10. Brian brings a couple more really good points, Smoke. If you can do whole birds, great. If you can't, either halve or spatch them. If you've got overage, it won't gash your profit margin as bad as pieces. Second was getting a tight head count--make it no less than 7 days prior. Otherwise, you'll be chasing your tail the night before if you let them. Put it in writing, and any changes may be subject to additional charges. Poor planning on their part doesn't constitute an emergency on yours.
  11. smokefever

    smokefever Smoking Fanatic

    For some reason I cant multiquote on the mobile site. I have given them a price of $13/person based off of 200 people. I told them I need a final headcount by the 1st of september. I realize things come up and the number will change even up to the date of the event. I am requiring a deposit as well to lock in the date. I am definitely not going to be put into a tight spot because of poor planning and have already spoken numerous times with the groom to be and went over details. I have also added a $100 fee for bringing the trailer to cook on site and cleaning afterwards. They seem to be prettt flexible, which has me a little uneasy. I would definitely prefer if they knew 100% when/what/where/how they want everything.
  12. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This is where you tell them you need to give them a contract so you need the details to put in there in order to lock in the price and deposit. I'd do a 50% deposit that way all of your food cost are covered or 33% at a bare minimum. You want to be flexible but 7 days before is a bit to flexible on some of the items
  13. smokefever

    smokefever Smoking Fanatic

    I agree, 7 days is way too flexible. I told them a few weeks prior I need the final count. Good idea with the contract, I'll definitely get that done and also 50% is what I told them I need
  14. bahfotl

    bahfotl Fire Starter

    Smoke, I did a party for a motorcycle ministry last fall as a favor to the group. I was told to figure on 150 people but only 50 showed up. Since I'm not a certified caterer,so I couldn't charge for the meals but a suggested donation of $10.00 per plate was recommended. Here is a copy of my costs. Some of my final figures were that I had a  full tub of potato salad and a tub of slaw left over as well as 2 cans of the beans. I bought everything from GFS. the chicken was already quartered and I ended up pulling them. I ended up with three full butts left unpulled. As you can probably figure out, I was about a $150.00 short of covering my cost which was all I was trying to do since this was a favor. I was able to make up the difference by auctioning off the left over butts after everyone had eaten. They all loved the food. Feel free to use any or none of the info, but I recommend using GFS as a source of everything you need. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
    Rumble From the Rock Catering cost sheet​
    Meat                                                                              Wolverine packing

    Pork shoulder                    $1.55 per lb @ 40 lbs per bx $62.00 + $3.72 tax x 1                     $65.72

                                 Ribs                                    $1.99 per lb @ 25 lbs per bx $49.75 + $2.99 tax x 2                     $105.48

                                 Chicken                              $1.25 per lb @ 10-15 lbs                                            $12.5-21.60


    Sauce/rub/marinade        SBR 4 jugs @ $5.49 per                                                             $21.96

                                               Rub 1 jug @ $30.49                                                                   $30.49

                                               ACV 1 gal @ $4.79                                                                     $4.79

    Bag of onions

    Sides                    Potato salad                      3 tubs @ 5.99 per                                                                      $17.97

                                 Cole slaw                           3 tubs @ $5.99                                                                          $17.97

                                 Baked beans                      6 Cans @ 35.94                                                                          $35.94

    Serving  items     Plates                                 1 case of containers @ 53.99                                                   $53.99

                                 Utensils                              3 boxes of 50 each @ 3.99 per box                                           $11.97

                                Tin pans                             10 @ 1.49 each                                                                          $14.90

                                 Pan covers                         10 @ $.89 each                                                                          $8.90

                                 Napkins/paper towels      50 per box, 3 boxes ea @ $2.79                                               $8.37

    Drinks                  Bottle water                      35 per case @ 5.99 per case                                                     $17.97


    TOTAL                                                                                                                                                                 $663.02

    Assuming tax exempt form to GFS and Wolverine packing
  15. Hey Bmudd I am new to this site, any way you could repost that attachment?
  16. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Attached Files:

    The Perfect Rub likes this.
  17. Thank you
  18. I know this was posted a year ago but I just found this. For whatever reason I cannot open the attachment.
  19. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I reattached it on post #17.

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