Need Help With Dessert Buffet Price Quote & Servings

Business By QueenBee1 Updated 26 Jun 2013 , 1:19am by Chef Jai

QueenBee1 Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 5:15pm
post #1 of 13

A customer e-mailed me yesterday asking for a quote on doing a dessert buffet for a dinner next month. There will be approximately 150 guests attending. I have done a couple of smaller dessert catering jobs, but this will be the largest and the one with the most variety.

I need help on pricing and some feedback on the menu I'm considering. I'd also like some advice on how many pieces I should plan on per person. At the price I'm considering, I'm figuring about 3 pieces total per person.

Here's what I had in mind:

2" round cake bites (carrot cake with cream cheese swirl topping, vanilla cheesecake, chocolate cake with fudge frosting swirl topping)

bar cookies cut into triangles (lemon bars, pecan bars and brownies)

I'm thinking about either $4.50 or $5.00 per person. I've done some research on-line, but I'm not sure if this is anywhere near "industry standard". I want to be competitive, but I also want to make sure I am charging enough to cover my costs and time.

Thank you so much for your help!!

12 replies
Kiddiekakes Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 5:18pm
post #2 of 13

PM member Indydebi...she is/was a caterer and just retired her business.She can tell you what you need to know!!

QueenBee1 Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 5:38pm
post #3 of 13

Thanks, Kiddy Kakes!!

I was actually thinking of her when I posted my message. I didn't know that she retired. I will PM her.

sugaah Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 5:44pm
post #4 of 13

Please post reply on this site - I'm interested in the response. Keep up the good work!!

michellenj Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 6:34pm
post #5 of 13

Have you costed this out yet? Be sure to include something for your time. That is the first thing you should do.

LaBellaFlor Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 7:40pm
post #6 of 13

Woah! $4.50-5.00 as person?!?!? That is super cheap. Usually when I see $7 a person for dessert bar, it's an additional to a full catered menu.

LaBellaFlor Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 7:50pm
post #7 of 13

And just so you know, when I have seen just a dessert bar ordered its anywhere from $12 to $20 dollars per person, depenging on the type of desserts.

morgnscakes Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 4:05am
post #8 of 13


When we've done dessert bars, we usually plan on about 4 to 5 per person and the price usually breaks down to about $5-6 per person. I'm in Illinois, too, just a few hours south of you and I can say that Chicago is always higher than here. I haven't been in business like IndyDeb (she's great, isn't she???!!!) but hope this can help a little. Let us know what she says, though

akgirl10 Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 4:59am
post #9 of 13

That sounds low to me. It's a lot harder to make small cakes instead of one big cake. And I would think each person would probably eat at least 2 servings of dessert, I'd think somewhere in the $8-10 range would be more appropriate.

morgnscakes Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 5:10am
post #10 of 13

okay I was just perusing the forums, and this one might help a little on some things

QueenBee1 Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 5:37pm
post #11 of 13

Thanks to everyone who responded. And thanks to Morgnscakes for the thread on CC about dessert buffets. I especially enjoyed reading about event planner, Amy Atlas. I hadn't heard of her before. I am now a fan of hers on Facebook. She has some incredible pictures on her page and blog that will likely be a source of inspiration for me down the road.

After reading through all of this, and after hearing back from Indydebi, I have decided to quote $6.50 per person and offer 4 pcs per person.

Following is an excerpt from Debi's response to my post:

$5/person would be very profitable using the pre-made desserts from GFS or Sysco, but if you're making them yourself, take it up to at least $6.00-$6.50. People use more plates at a dessert bar than they do for just a piece of cake. If they are having food, 3 pcs per person is fine. If this is the only food, you should allocate 5-6 pcs per person and up the price. And explain this is why.

morgnscakes Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 8:17pm
post #12 of 13

you're welcome

Chef Jai Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 1:19am
post #13 of 13

Thank you for all the great advice, I am embarking on a new adventure here in California by offering dessert and candy buffets. This information was extremely helpful.

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