Catering is a sure-fire way to make some dough with your mobile wood-fired oven. Many of the “unknowables” are removed when you are hired to cater an event. From the menu, the amount of guests you are serving, the time you will be cooking – most of that data is in your control. Guesswork eliminated!
Recovering your expenses is easy if you plan ahead and set your fees accordingly.
Two of your main charges will be a service fee and a setup fee. The setup fee is usually a flat fee, but the service fee can be a percentage and can vary based on the location and the number of people at the event. Your service fee could follow some of these examples:
Per Guest – The total number of expected guests. The more guests, the higher the fee.
Per Service – Do you provide buffet or plated service? Do you provide table pre-bussing or trash clean up?
Per Upgrade – Standard China plates & Silverware, Drinks on Tap, Etc.
There is travel incurred whenever you cater an event. A travel fee is completely acceptable. Set up a “free travel zone” from your home base and charge per mile beyond that distance.
Here is an example:
For events that are outside your normal area, charge a mileage fee of $0.50 per mile. For events over 20 miles outside of your normal area, charge an additional personnel fee of $20.00 per hour for each staff member for the time spent traveling to the event location.
It is important to work out the number of guests expected and/or the number of pizzas you’re expected to make beforehand so you can charge appropriately. Always keep in the back of your planning-mind that people tend to overestimate the number of guests at an event.