People want to eat my pie...
June 2, 2006 11:20 AM Subscribe
I'm considering starting a small catering company. I know nothing of catering, waitering, or anything connected to the business. I just like making desserts, dips/spreads, and soups that just about everyone who's tasted 'em thinks I should sell 'em. Advice? Book recommendations? Next steps? Caveats? What should I charge? More questions inside.
posted by dobbs to Work & Money (21 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
So the more outside explains the gist of the situation. Here are more specific questions:
Everything I make (dips/spreads, soups, desserts) is vegetarian (because I am). Many are also raw and/or vegan. Should I strongly promote this aspect or is it too hippy-ish?
How much does one charge for a dessert? I make individual-sized tarts and full-sized ones as well. Is there a general percentage markup that's a good guideline (cost of time + ingredients multiplied by X)?
A local jazz musician who plays many private functions has tasted my desserts and is keen on promoting me to his clients so that they can purchase a "jazz set with dessert" sort of thing. He already charges a hefty fee (to my ears) of $1000/hour for music. If I go with something like this, do I use the same formula, above, to figure out my costs or... ?
How do caterers deal with allergies? I mean, I know you can just ask the client if their guests have any allergies but is that all there is to it? Or does one provide a list of ingredients to the client?
Do I need insurance in case someone has an allergic reaction? (Many of the dishes I make have nuts in them... where people aren't expecting nuts.)
What's a good way to promote the (non-Jazz thingy) side of this business?
How can I get restaurants to carry my tarts and other desserts? Since they're reselling, how do I figure out what to charge them so that they don't have to charge $10 a slice?
I'm not really interested in much beyond making the food... do all catering business provide servers as well or can food just be delivered?
Absolutely any advice you have would be appreciated. I'd also be interested in hearing any horror or wonderful stories with caterers you have hired or worked for or been served by (to let me know what to do and not do).