There is a site I use to get bids for catering. I got a bid request from a lady for 10-12 people. I have edited her name to protect the ignorant. Here are the e-mails we exchanged:
@Me: I would like to have some finger food or horsdorvs for a Bunco party with 10-12 women. Thank you.
@Her: What type of foods would you like to serve? Do you want hot, cold, or both? Is there a particular theme you would like? Would you like sweet, savory or both? Would you want me to prepare them in your home or off site and deliver? Let me know as soon as possible so I can send you some menu ideas and we can narrow down a price point. Thank you very much for your interest.
@Me: We should have hot and cold and sweet for everyone. I don’t want you to cook it.
(Okay, so far this is going no where!)
@Her: It is my understanding that you would like for me to prepare the cater off site and deliver it to your home. May I suggest some simple mini asparagus quiches, mini chicken salad salad on croissants and perhaps for the sweet, individual fruit tarts? I have attached pictures for your review so that you might get an idea. I will be happy to go into more detail of each hor d’oeuvres. I look forward to your input.
@Me: The pictures look nice. Your ideas will be just fine. I think we need to have some mixed nuts so I have them on each of the card tables.
@Her: Wonderful. For what you would like, my bid would be .xx per person, and my catering charge is xx.xx an hour with a 3 hour minimum. The catering charge does include the purchase of the food, time and travel as well as the service trays and bowls that will be left for any future use you may have. The service trays that you see in the pictures are heavy duty plastic and dishwasher safe. Attached is an invoice with a breakdown of the pricing. Let me know if this will work for you.
@Me: I don’t want to pay the catering charge and my niece only paid .xx per person at her wedding last year. I just want you to bring the food and the trays and bowls.
(oh great, this has GOT to be a joke)
@Her: Mrs. Xxxx, It is standard to pay for the catering. If you would like food delivered, I must still prepare the food and there will be a certain amount of cooking involved. I understand that your niece paid per person but there was also a catering charge at some point. Please review the attached breakdown of the charges. Thank you for your interest.
@Me: I said that I just wanted you to bring the food. I guess you just don’t understand what I asked you to do. I didn’t ask you to buy anything.
(fantastic, this lady really does not get it)
@Her: Mrs. Xxxx, I believe I do understand what you wanted. Unfortunately, it is not possible that I would be willing to purchase & prepare the food and service pieces as well as deliver it to you for less. May I suggest that it may better suit your needs to purchase a deli tray at the grocery store. Best wishes.
(I felt like I had just wasted way too much time with this woman and that was the end of it but NOOOOOO!)
@Me: Chef In Fugeo, I belive your prices are just much too high. I don’t want a deli tray. I want what you suggested but I just don’t think it is fair that I should pay for the food or any of the or any of the other stuff you listed. I only wanted it delivered. You can leave some of your business cards and recipes for everything and I can give them to the ladies at the Bunco Party.
(I did not respond and thought that was that. I did wonder why she would assume that I was going to be giving out recipes in the first place, the business cards perhaps. One day later)
@Me: When are you going to send me a better price for your catering? I am having the party at my home on Thursday and it is already Tuesday. You need to have everything here by 5 p.m. Because my friends will be here at 5:30. Make sure you bring your cards and recipes so I can give them to my guests.
@Her: The pricing for my services are quite reasonable. I do not care to work gratis or in trade for the opportunity of you handing out my business cards and I don’t ever supply my recipes.
I wish I could say that it is the first time something like this has happened. I think the worst have been my friends. For some reason, I suppose that they think I get food free. Sure, I know how to shop for the best prices but free? The other attitude they seem to have is that my labor is free as well. If I was a Construction General Contractor, would they assume labor and materials are free to me and thus expect I would build them a house out of the goodness of my heart? I am not that nice.