Dr of BBQ
What is your quality of your product and service?
1st.Don t compromise the value of the very things that make us thrilled to be in this business. Unless you prefer to kill yourself cooking for 20 different clients and earn $2,000, when on the other hand you can work hard to earn that $2,000 off of just one client and relax the rest of the time?
2nd. There are many private parties that fall into the Sam s category. Cinnabonbon, gave perfect examples of a Sam s type party. (Cinnabonbon I mean no disrespect in pointing this out) But customers that want Sam s type food at Sam s type prices are the thing the kills a lot of good food vendors.) Set your prices and stick to them but be prepared to be able to explain your prices with the quality of your product and service. Let the vendors that want to deal with the Sam s Parties have them, after all you can t do every party in your market area.
Better put, the price you get will depend on the type of market you chose to serve. Price yourself out of the Sam s market and you’ll attract affluent clientele. But never try to charge those customers (affluent clientele) the higher prices while serving Sam s quality food, with Sam s type service. I think it’s interesting to note that many people think oh it’s just BBQ, or Hotdogs or what ever. They do that because IMHO they have never had really great food. That’s why (junk) fast food is so popular. Do you want to be equated to Wendy’s or a much better restaurant? Look at the number of people on this forum that are willing to drive long distances to get the best Pork Tenderloin, or the best (your favorite sandwich).
3rd. This is from another forum although I have changed it somewhat I thought this post was one of the best I have ever read on this topic:
I got a stack of my competitor s business cards and keep them with me. We then started a client qualification form. We ask questions of the customers and if it becomes apparent it s a low budget gig, I hand them my competitor s card and tell them these guys specialize in utility catering. And I hand them a bunch of the quotes from my competitors where they have done stuff for little or no profit. I want the potential client to understand I am not in the category of a utility caterer, I want them to hear the competitor called a utility caterer, I want them to have quotes from my competitor saying they can do it for $6.00 per plate, and I want my competitor to be forced to book the deal at that price.
It does several things for me:
Makes my competitor busy for that weekend and can not accept a real profitable job so I get it.
Makes my competitor work for little or nothing all weekend.
Makes sure everyone knows my competitor is the Utility caterer and that s where you go if you want it cheap. And allows me to say we don’t do that utility catering. We do high end.
Makes my competitor unable to pay real wages for good help so they suck at doing what they do even though it is bottom end stuff.
Means that any screw up on one of the many jobs I send to them will cost them dearly due to low profit margins.
And best of all in the 10 years since I adopted the strategy it allows me to purchase cambros, ovens, trailers, trucks, etc. from my former competitor at the bankruptcy auctions!
If you do this you can t serve Sam s quality food, with Sam s type service.
You have to serve GREAT FOOD with GREAT SERVICE.