Partial catering for 400... Price? - BBQ Central

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Old 02-21-2007, 06:40 AM   #1
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Partial catering for 400... Price?

ok... here's the deal... let me know what you think and what you might charge.

Friends, repeat customers, trucking company that just moved into a new building and is having an open house.

400 people served from 11:30 to 2:30

They want me to provide
Chicken (cooked on site)
Brisket (reheated on site)
Tea
Lemonade
Coffee
Ice


here are the kickers....
another friend of theirs is doing pork

another business acquantance is doing the sides, beans, Mac & cheese, and probably slaw.

I will probably have to provide chafers for the hot sides and the capability to keep the sides hot. (cambros) etc.

the guy doing the pork will be providing his own chafer and possibly helping out.

I will probably be the one in charge of keeping the food out and setting up the buffet line.

the customer will be supplying some "helpers"... but I will also have my wife there and I may hire a guy to help me cook.

the story behind it all is that they have developed many relationships over the years and don't want to exclude anyone. I have no problem with that and for 400 people, I won't lose money, there should be plenty of that to go around to all those helping and providing food.

I have a figure in mind.. but would like your input and confirmation

Thanks
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Old 02-21-2007, 08:21 AM   #2
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For the chicken what are you thinking, whole and split or legs / thighs or breasts?

For the brisket you are looking at 175 lbs @ 4 Oz / portion (169 lbs really).

$1150.00 for the cooked brisket.

Whole chickens split you are looking at 50 if splitting by 8 (55) and 67 if splitting by 6 (72) the higher figures allow a little extra so you don't run out.

$820.00 - $1,100.00

If you are supplying the chafing dishes and their fuel and the set up, take down and the line service, and assuming you are providing the flatware and chinette?

$300.00

Staff of two extras for the whole day

$200.00

That put you in the $2470.00 - $2750.00 range on the cooking price, with the 3 types of drinks @ $0.75 / $900.00 added for drinks and $100.00 for ice you are up around the $3500.00 - $3750.00 mark. $8.75 - 9.75 / head.

These prices are worked out on 3X cost for profit.
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Old 02-21-2007, 11:14 AM   #3
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A quandry occurs with large number caterings.... 400 people, in your case..... how much do you actually cook for 400 people.... if you cook for every single person, using standard and acceptable amounts of meat, whether it be 1/3 pound, or 1/4 pound servings, your leftovers will be enormous.. you're doing chix and brisky, the others are doing the pork, and the other is doing 3 sides.... Concievably, there will be enough food for 1,200 people, if all standard and acceptable tenents are followed...the temptation, and mind set for all the cookers, is to do, for example 1/3 pound of pork, 1/3 pound of brisky, 1.5 pieces of chicken per person, 1/4 pound of beans, 1/4 pound of mac , and a 1/4 pound of slaw, per person.... mainly it comes from what it known about proportions, but it also stems from a caterers fear of running out of food... Also keeping in mind that people at buffet type settings, self serve, especially, will eat as if if they were going to prison the next day.. kind of a delicate balancing act, that turns into an art, rather than a science... another aspect is price... break points in price typically occur at 50-100- 200- and 500 people, breakpoints...volume discounts so to speak...IE cooking 9 briskets takes no more effort than cooking 15 briskets... Chicken , however, is a different story... whole chicken is cheaper in price than parts, and in my opinion, more efficient to cook, but you have to butcher it to get it into 6, or 8 pieces... an experienced chef can butcher a cooked, whole chicken, in less than a minute.. But still, throwing on 55 or 67 chickens really doesn't take that much more to do so.. So where am I going with this....... My suggestion is to do a "total number of people poundage" cook.... maybe you need to be in contact with the others involved in this profitable venture and decide a few things... 1) what will the serving size be 2) what you all will cook, in total, then, each of you add a bit, to belay your fears of running out..

my prices, could be geographic, are higher.. brisket. I'd charge $8 a pound .....normal price round here is $12 a lb

Chicken.... I'd charge $10 a chicken, considering you're butherin whole ones .. 66 chickens @ .59 a pound for a 3.5 pounder= $136.. 66 chix x's $10= 666 .... $666- $136= $530.. I'd take that any day of the week.. Even if you spent $50 on fuel, pans, etc, you're still up $480, to cook chicken, that probably took you 4 hours of attention for the entire chicken cook and serve....
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Old 02-21-2007, 03:28 PM   #4
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good advice...since these are friends of yours, ask them to let you talk to the other cooks, who are probably thinking the same thing you are.
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Old 02-21-2007, 06:41 PM   #5
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With other parties providing food I'd back out as fast as you can!
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Old 02-21-2007, 07:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Wolfe
With other parties providing food I'd back out as fast as you can!
why, out of curiosity... I'd jump all over that job like white on rice........
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Old 02-21-2007, 07:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Wolfe
With other parties providing food I'd back out as fast as you can!
Ditto....

Is the trucking company paying or is it just an offer to you to go set up and sell your goods "per plate"?
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Old 02-22-2007, 02:12 AM   #8
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I'd go cost x 2 . !00% is my minimum margin. I think Larry is saying that, if someone gets I'll, you may all get tagged.
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Old 02-22-2007, 05:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodman
I'd go cost x 2 . !00% is my minimum margin. I think Larry is saying that, if someone gets I'll, you may all get tagged.
Dave hit the nail on the head! It's not worth the risk for two reasons. 1) You're liable, 2) Your reputation.

Gary I know you have a real good reputation in your area and you certainly don't want something you can't control to ruin it. In my opinion with three parties providing food you have no control over food safety other than your own, but in the end you COULD be responsible for someone else. Just trying to look out for ya buddy! If you can't do the whole job on your own, I wouldn't do it. Just my opinion though.
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Old 02-22-2007, 07:49 AM   #10
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Well, for once, I have to agree that Mr. Larry does make sense.

But, these are good people, friends, repeat customers and I know future customers.

The guy doing pork has done it for them before... as a matter of fact.. he provided pork for the last event for them i was involved in with them...the sides are coming from a local restaurant and I will be keeping an eye on them as far as temp goes.... so, I am not too worried about it.

... and yes, smokey.. the company is paying for it.
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