Catering costs

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littlebites
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2006/10/08 10:24:32 (permalink)

Catering costs

I recently had a professional Caterer do a party for my daughter's 21st birthday. It ran around $25.00 per person. They had a seperate charge of $100.00 for delivery and set up.
Is this a usual practice in the Catering business? I would think the price per person would have covered that.
#1

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    Jimeats
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    RE: Catering costs 2006/10/08 11:21:05 (permalink)
    I would guess it might be an area thing and what the competition is doing. Hell I get a delivery charge for my electricty here at my house, I even called and told them I'd come pick it up.
    I can see how prices might vary for a catering job though considering all the variables that might be involved. Chow Jim
    #2
    Rootsman
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    RE: Catering costs 2006/10/08 14:57:40 (permalink)
    Every caterer is different. Some provide a pp total cost, others provide a la carte pricing. Most will add a separate delivery line item, especially with the price of gas these days. Bottom line is, this should not have come as a surprise to you and should have been clearly communicated in the proposal.

    Personally, I keep my pricing transparent to the client and only provide a pp food cost. I break everything else out, i.e., delivery, servers, chafers, set-up, such that the client can decide what level of service they want. Some clients only want the food and will pick it up, others want full service.

    My delivery charge is a $1 per mile round trip and the set-up fee will range from free to $20. If I have to return to pick-up the items, there is an additional travel fee. It's time and money.
    #3
    lleechef
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    RE: Catering costs 2006/10/08 15:15:00 (permalink)
    Usually the price per person is just for the food. The delivery and set up are separate, then if you need a chef and server it runs about an extra $30-$50 an hour.
    #4
    zataar
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    RE: Catering costs 2006/10/08 16:33:51 (permalink)
    We charge for food and service separately, but it is always spelled out very clearly. There aren't any surprise charges billed to a client. For every server needed it is $22 an hour with a five hour minimum. An on site chef is $250 - $350 for the event, depending on what kind of cooking we will be doing and for how many people. On site grilling for 150 people will cost more that finishing off pasta and chicken for 40 people.

    Delivery without set up is $50, with set up $75. I you do the math you can see that staffing your event will increase your costs, along with any rentals, considerably. But, as the client you won't have to be concerned about anything other than your guests. More often than not, we will leave your kitchen much cleaner than we found it! The servers have mopped plenty of kitchen floors at 11pm. We break down all rentals and move furniture back in place if the client wants that. Most of our clients would rather pay the extra dollars to have the services we provide. Most of them can well afford it. For those who can't, we work with them to get them the service they need and still be able to afford a nice event. Such as suggesting a heavy appetizer buffet as opposed to a full dinner. Less servers and less food costs will save them money.

    We are by no means the most expensive caterers in town. Most of our clients use us regularly and recommend us to others. Our servers almost always receive a gratuity on top of the $110 they receive for the evenings work. And it is hard work!
    #5
    V960
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    RE: Catering costs 2006/10/09 09:00:07 (permalink)
    Normal charges...you weren't gouged.
    #6
    texgrill
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    RE: Catering costs 2006/10/09 09:39:28 (permalink)
    How many folks were at your party?

    I have charged, less per head, as the number of servings increases. The 25.00 sounds like a pretty fancy meal. What was served?

    Ronnie
    #7
    CajunKing
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    RE: Catering costs 2006/10/09 15:28:17 (permalink)
    When I do a que event, the prices will vary pending on the items they want served. A good friend has a catering biz here, we are a rural area so our menu prices are a little lower. However in the Cincinnati area, those figures were very comparable.

    With the price of fuel lately, and insurance costs, my set up fee is $75, which is more than some less than others.
    #8
    littlebites
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    RE: Catering costs 2006/10/10 12:15:29 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by texgrill

    How many folks were at your party?

    I have charged, less per head, as the number of servings increases. The 25.00 sounds like a pretty fancy meal. What was served?

    Ronnie


    Catered for 30, tough to get soup to nuts for any less, around here.
    #9
    bassrocker4u2
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    RE: Catering costs 2006/10/18 07:29:22 (permalink)
    usually the market will dictate the fees. if many are willing to pay more, then more, is what is charged. there are always those that 'test' the market. i am doing an event soon here, and only charging 7 dollars a head, for bbq chicken, baked beans, potato salad, and rolls(200pp). simple meal, simple price. no set up fees. even at that low price, i am making a ton of dough.
    what area are you in, little bites?
    #10
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