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Old 01-23-2005, 04:27 PM   #1
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Fatz, the way I'm workin it up is a "one price" deal to include

a) Meat- one or two kinds (1 lb uncooked or four bones)
b) Two sides (beans, baked taters, slaw, salad, smoked cheese grits, etc)
c) Dessert
d) Sauce, tableware, naps, wet-naps, buns.

I have come up with a general "cost" per person of about $6.50. This includes foil,wood, propane, and consumables.

(Hey, the food channel is in Lockhart at Kreuz's as I write this, how freaky is that!!For those of you unaware, Fatz and I were there with a bunch of Q-heads last October. Now they're at Smitty's, cool, we ate there!)

I am planning on charging a mark-up on that amount based on the number of people involved. If it is 75 or more, I'll cook on site. I won't drag Texas Hottie II to the site for 50 folks! If they choose pulled pork, I make better money. If it's brisket or ribs, I'm covered. I really am debating whether to even offer chicken. The salmonella issue makes me wary. Salmon is better in my opinion, and reasonably priced at the price clubs.(How ironic is it that I'm trying to avoid "salmon"ella by cooking "salmon?) Also, it cooks faster. Get your meat into the coolers to rest and throw the salmon filets and bakers into the pit for two hours and your golden. Teryaki and Texas BBQ Rub on a slab of salmon creates a beautiful, slightly sweet piece of heaven.
For golf outings, I'll offer sausage sandwhiches at the turn. Obviously, my mark-up will be less as the number of folks increases. "Make it up on volume as they say". The price clubs offer a myriad of desserts you can bring as a prepared item.
I'm not looking to cater more than 8-10 events a year. The idea is to have fun, make a few bucks, and have everybody love me! (Isn't that why any of us do this anyway?) Good Luck Q-brother

ps. If it really takes off and I need a helper, maybe I'll hire Greg to help out! Woodman
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Old 01-23-2005, 04:46 PM   #2
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Woodie, I don't come cheap, but, I will come!!
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Old 01-23-2005, 05:29 PM   #3
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Smoked Beef Brisket
$8.75 pp
$9.99 lb

Pulled Pork Shoulder
Sandwich buns included
$8.00 pp
$8.99 lb

Sausage - added to any main for $1.50 pp
$6.00 lb


Hey Fatz, I'm not an expert or even a player but some of the pricing doesn't add up. Take for instance brisket, $8.75 per person or $9.99 per pound. If you figure that each person will eat 1/2 pound of food, which is a high estimate, than if they order by the pound, it actually will only cost them $4.50 per person. Maybe I'm missing something but it seems like somethings wrong. Sausage on the other hand works better with my thinking. Oh and by the way, with prices like that in NY, I'd hire you once a week to cater for me!
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Old 01-23-2005, 05:54 PM   #4
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Fatz, I know I have posted it before, but my cousin's site is per person also. You could shoot him a PM...I'm sure he'd be happy to give you some tips!
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Old 01-23-2005, 07:03 PM   #5
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Hey Fatz, are you looking to make this a full time job?
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Old 01-24-2005, 02:30 PM   #6
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Thinking about all you can eat night at Pizza Hut and a local Fish N Chips joint, the BIG eaters really come out for those buffets.

On the PP pricing, I suppose you will eventually run into a Klump family that over eats and you end up losing your profits or the gig may even end up costing you. I think you should try to decide now if you can just accept it as something that will occassionally happen and a cost of doing business.

The all you can eat buffets always have ample cheap tasty fillers like spuds, rice to fill you up. Pizza Hut has bread sticks. Fish N Chips place is a served all you can eat. They bring two pieces of fish on first plate, second and subsequent plate are brought to you with one piece of fish and every plate has fries and salad. Maybe you could add potatoe salad and slaw as sides on your menu.

If you want to try and protect yourself and increase sales of side dishes maybe you could have two prices: one per person meat only, another per person with potatoes and x choices of sides. On both have some small print that limits the meat for example, to a combined max of 3/4 pound per person. Any individual can eat more but the total you would provide for 10 people would be 7.5 lb finished product. With the more expensive inclusive meal have no limit on the salads & spuds. Price it in a way that nudges the client towards the meal but isn't unreasonable for the value seekers who want to provide their own salads & such.

As a consumer (cuz I'm not a caterer) to be honest I prefer the less restrictive, no small print approach, but maybe when you are just starting out you need to limit liability and protect your business's (assumed) shallow pockets.
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Old 01-24-2005, 03:46 PM   #7
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Fatz, the good thing about starting slow is being able to experiment with your pricing without the fear of caving!

Start higher, see what business is brought in and go from there. You might make as much money doing 4-5 fewer jobs a year at a higher price than you would at a lower price and having to do more events to make up the difference, right?

If you are going to do it for $$$, a business and profit mind needs to be first...the love and joy of smoking should be a distant second!

I have seen mostly per person pricing vs. per pound. The problem you might run in to is that the chain Q joints will be able to beat you in pricing but serve an average Q...you might be more $$$ but the Q will be soooo much better...the problem then is how well can you SELL your product to the decison maker over the lower priced chain joint. If you are dealing with a bean counter...YOU'LL LOSE!

However, this again goes back to my original point. You have a full time job that supports you...so test the waters with your pricing and adjust accordingly! PRFOFIT IS NOT A DIRTY WORD!!!!
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Old 01-24-2005, 04:00 PM   #8
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Wife and I went to a BBQ joint here in the Charleston area the other nught. Sandwiches were around $4, for a not too large sandwich. Onion rings were a little over $4, for four.
That's right, four. The onion rings were damn good, but four?

I've gotten too used to Lexington Style Trimmings (Lexington, NC) price of $1.50 for a sandwich.
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Old 01-24-2005, 04:29 PM   #9
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If you are going to do it for $$$, a business and profit mind needs to be first...the love and joy of smoking should be a distant second!
Yup, this sounds right to me. You have to decide what services & products you are selling. If it doesn't work out change it but a clear distinction between business and personal finances is required.

I don't know if any of this is good advice, I'm a new small business owner that provides technical & consulting services (specialty Siebel). Just offering some thoughts. I've considered doing BBQ catering and I may pursue it in the future.

In my business I've turned down numerous sub-contract offers even one with Microsoft cuz they just aren't paying enough. If it doesn't work out I will get a job but I will not contract for a salary wage.

Sounds to me like you want to provide premium Q catering. Clearly, your brisket or pulled pork is much better and of more value than a roadside $1.50 sandwich. If you provide that product with 'prepared fresh on site service' it is worth even more. That goes back to sales and marketing.

Focus on the quality of products and the service provided. Don't even mention prices. On the website have pictures and a menu but no pricing and 'Call for more info' (I didn't say Call for Pricing). When they call sell you're product and service and don't mention price until they ask. I think that's how I would approach it.

If you want to provide premiuim Q catering you want to market and sell to enlightened folks who ARE willing to pay. Tightwads are welcome to bags of carry-out $1.50 roadside sandwiches at the family BBQ picninc.
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Old 01-24-2005, 04:35 PM   #10
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Chris.....what can I say...Fast food has it's place ... just a different market.

I'm not calling ya a tightwad. K?
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