How to Price a Catering Menu

Taiwan - Food market / Asian Food image by Stéphan SZEREMETA from Fotolia.com

If you have a passion for food and want to start a catering business, there are many practical things you need to do. One of those things is developing a pricing system for your catering menu. There are several pricing methods you could use, including fixed pricing, per-person pricing for larger events or custom pricing if you are offering customized or specific catering events or parties. When you are deciding your pricing system, you should keep several things in mind.

If you have a passion for food and want to start a catering business, there are many practical things you need to do. One of those things is developing a pricing system for your catering menu. There are several pricing methods you could use, including fixed pricing, per-person pricing for larger events or custom pricing if you are offering customized or specific catering events or parties. When you are deciding your pricing system, you should keep several things in mind.

Calculate the price of the equipment needed for you to complete your catering job. This includes transportation, rental kitchens or utilities to heat food, for example. Keep this price in mind and add it whenever you are hired to do a job.

Set a number of guests that will be your limit. Below the limit you can do a fixed price and above the limit, you can charge "per person" catering.

Write a list of the foods and dishes you are planning on serving on your catering menu. Write down how much it will cost for you to gather the food together and purchase all of the ingredients. You want to make at least 10 percent more food than expected for each catering event. Keep that extra 10 percent in mind when calculating your needs.

Plan the number of courses you will have on your catering menu. This will affect the overall price of the catering menu as a five course meal is more expensive to prepare than a two course meal.

Calculate how much extra labor is required for you to complete the catering jobs. If you need to hire extra help, keep their compensation in mind as well.

Figure the profit percentage you would like to gain from each catering experience. You want your catering menu to pull in a profit and you do not want to sell yourself short and offer cheap prices.

Research your catering competition in your local area. You do not want to be the cheapest or the most expensive. If you place your pricing in the middle of your competitors, you will blend in financially and you can focus on why people should hire you for the job, prices aside.

References

About the Author

Based in Toronto, Mary Jane has been writing for online magazines and databases since 2002. Her articles have appeared on the Simon & Schuster website and she received an editor's choice award in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts in psychology of language use from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

Photo Credits

  • Taiwan - Food market / Asian Food image by Stéphan SZEREMETA from Fotolia.com