Caterers Or Food-Service Knowledgeable: Pricing ?

Decorating By Vivalawvegas Updated 6 Mar 2009 , 9:09pm by Vivalawvegas

Vivalawvegas Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 9:00pm
post #1 of 7

Hoping I might get some guidance here, though I know it's a bit off topic!

My housekeeper is doing the food for DD's birthday party. She is doing a full Mexican spread - yum.

She will buy everything and give me receipts and I'll pay her for materials. She then said to "pay her whatever you think is fair" for her labor.


She would NOT give me a price and told me that she feels more comfortable with doing it that way and I didn't want to push anymore.

So, what would you pay for her labor? I'll reimburse her costs for the materials but I need to know how much I should pay her in addition.

It'll be food for 50ish adults and 35ish kids (max). She's doing chicken tostadas, quesadillas, rice, beans, guac, salsa, and fruit. She'll probably have 3-4 hours of her time at my house for prep, cooking, and clean up.

I have NO CLUE how to price this.

6 replies
peg818 Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 10:53pm
post #2 of 7

frankly she will have more then 3 or 4 hours of labor it to a spread for that many people. I would say at least $500 on top of the expenses. Would be a bargain for you

indydebi Posted 6 Mar 2009 , 12:40am
post #3 of 7

As a caterer ......

She'll also have the time invested to buy all the supplies, cart them in (and food for close to 100 people is HEAVY!). 3-4 hours prep and cooking is MINIMUM! (I'm betting ..... based on my experience ..... including clean up ..... at least 6-7 hours .... MINIMUM). And she'll be on her feet the whole time.

It's hot, heavy, hard work. There's a reason I pay my staff WAY above minimum wage. They really earn it.

I agree with peg .... $500 plus supplies and you're getting off cheap.

'Coz if I caterered it for 85 people, you'd be paying me a minimum of $1500 or more.

Vivalawvegas Posted 6 Mar 2009 , 2:32am
post #4 of 7


I know she'll have more prep time, etc. out of my house but I planned on her being at my house for 3-4 hours.

I was thinking around $500 so it's good to know my guesstimate was at least in the range of acceptable.

indydebi Posted 6 Mar 2009 , 2:42am
post #5 of 7

I also want to say how much I really respect how much you want to "do right" with this woman who is doing all of this hard work for you. So many people would have figured $10-$15 an hour for 4 hours was "fair" and given her $50-$60.

On behalf of caterers everywhere, I admire and salute you! party.gif Thanks!!

mkolmar Posted 6 Mar 2009 , 4:40am
post #6 of 7

AMEN DEBI, I second.
Thank you for appreciating her time and wanting to pay her fairly.
If only more people where like you.

Vivalawvegas Posted 6 Mar 2009 , 9:09pm
post #7 of 7

Thanks for the feedback! I spoke with another woman who has had her do some catering and it sounds like $500 is about right.

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