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Catering, Vending and Cooking For The Masses. this forum is OnTopic. A resource to help with catering, vending and just cooking for large parties. Topics to include Getting Started, Ethics, Marketing, Catering resources, Formulas and recipes for cooking for large groups.

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Old 12-26-2020, 09:12 PM   #1
Got rid of the matchlight.

Join Date: 07-08-20
Location: Kansas City
Name/Nickname : Tierney
Default Catering pricing and quantity question

Hello Brethren,
i am catering a 250 person wedding in October. The meats will be Brisket, Pulled Pork, turkey breast, and some grilled chicken for non smoked eaters. sides are house salad, mac and cheese, and mashed potatoes. desert is being provided by another company. everything will be served buffet style. i will have 3 employees cleaning and bussing during dinner time. then 2 more people helping me out with food. what would you charge per head? Also any ideas on meat quantities? any tips would be much appreciated. thank you!
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Old 12-26-2020, 09:30 PM   #2
Rock'n B
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Join Date: 02-23-14
Location: DefuniakSprings, Fl.
Name/Nickname : Bruce

A good average is 6 to 8 ozs. of meat per person you have to take into consideration how many kids are in your total. Probably an average of 2 to 3 ozs. a person per side once again consider the number of men, women and children. Your brisket and turkey will be the most expensive to serve, the pork and chicken will be the least for your meats. If I were you I would figure your food costs based on this and that will help you determine pricing.

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Old 12-27-2020, 07:41 AM   #3
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Location: Lake Ponderosa-Montezuma, IA

It looks like you have a contractual event already lined up with meats, employees, and duties.....but you have no per plate cost?
It appears your cart is two counties ahead of your horse.
Good luck, hope it works out well.
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Old 12-29-2020, 06:41 PM   #4
is Blowin Smoke!
Join Date: 10-16-08
Location: Virginia

Need more details, are you working the entire event or just serving the meal and leaving? If you are working the entire event, how many hours will the event last? Will rental china be used or disposable plates/cutlery? Will you be required to do any specific things from the venue?
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Old 01-04-2021, 09:59 AM   #5
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Join Date: 08-27-10
Location: Independence, MO
Name/Nickname : Joel

Originally Posted by ModelMaker View Post
It looks like you have a contractual event already lined up with meats, employees, and duties.....but you have no per plate cost?
It appears your cart is two counties ahead of your horse.
Good luck, hope it works out well.
He also has employees....


I am a little concerned here. Being familiar with catering in this area, it sounds like you may be a bit unprepared to do this legally.

Do you have a commissary agreement? The KC health department does not let you cook for profit from your home.

Do you have insurance to cover you in the scenario where someone gets sick? If not, and you're not set up as an LLC or other legal entity, you could personally be on the hook for a lot of money and legal issues.

Have you ever cooked for that many people? It's a lot different and a lot tougher than cooking for your family and friends.

There are a lot of considerations to take into account here, and while I don't want to discourage you, these are things that you need to be prepared for. Amount of food is important, price is important, but not going broke and getting into legal issues is more important.
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Old 01-06-2021, 11:46 PM   #6
KnucklHed BBQ
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Join Date: 10-14-09
Location: Kalispell, Montana
Name/Nickname : Head KnucklHed

Honestly brother, unless you've done this sorta thang MANY times before, I'd REALLY recommend dropping the meat count to 2 MAX. And take the 2 that you're most comfortable/consistent with.
The timing alone of having brisket ready and great turkey is tough (pork should be a gimmie if you're even considering doing the job) and then having to grill off chicken too... It's a lot man. And carving, i like to have carving station for brisket for the best experience, but turkey prolly means you need to carve that too...

BUT - your question was about pricing - first off, for 2 meats (Lets assume brisky & pork), I plan on everyone (mostly) taking some of each.
Brisket - Its EASY to serve 1/4lb real quick, 2 slices roughly.
Pork - a bit easier to go 2-3oz

The way I price 2 meats for catering, I charge for the most expensive meat and add a per person charge for the second less expensive meat.
For instance:
Brisket + 3 sides = $17.95/pp (approx 40% loss from trim and cook)
Add smoked pork (Inc buns, sauces etc) $3/pp

This calc is based on a bit less brisket needed since there's pork also available, and not as much pork as usual since there's also brisket... Essentially my view on it is that I'm getting menu price for brisket and the pork is an easy add on that essentially bumps the overall per person cost to $21/pp without not much more work.

Crush it man!
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Old 01-12-2021, 09:21 PM   #7
Got rid of the matchlight.

Join Date: 07-08-20
Location: Kansas City
Name/Nickname : Tierney

thank you everyone for the feedback! we settled on 25 per head. not responsible for china, linens, etc. just food chaffing dishes, serving, clean up etc .sorry i did not include many details. i was just curious to hear what you all had to say. Thank you for all the concern as well, yes i do know this will be a challenge. We did 150 buffet style with only 2 people so i am hoping 5-6 of us will do just fine for this. Have a commercial kitchen on site which thankfully already has 2 warming cabinets, also bringing a small trailer and 500 gallon offset. Also i should mention outside of bbq my full time job has been managing a very large bar and restaurant for 8.5 years now so i know a thing or two about large groups. but once again thank you all for the concern and helpful tips. Smoke on Brethren!
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