How To Price Your Catering Services | Cups To Gallons
How To Price Your Catering Services

How To Price Your Catering Services

It seems that when it comes to catering, a lot of people have questions about how to price catering. And unfortunately, too many coffee shop owners go about it the wrong way. #CupsToGallons

How To Price Your Catering Services

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Learn how these 2 coffee and smoothie shop owners went from $500K in debt to a 7-figure profitable business

Okay, welcome. We had some technology snafus. We were supposed to go live at 11:00 AM eastern today with Steven Prevost from Joe’s Brother Coffee. And unfortunately, they had a really terrible storm where he is. They have no internet, no cell phone. So we’re going to have to postpone that interview today. So I am all yours. Let’s talk coffee, marketing, business building, and have lots of fun along the way. Pop in. Say hello. What questions can I answer for you?

It seems that when it comes to catering, a lot of people have questions about how to price catering. And unfortunately, too many coffee shop owners go about it the wrong way. They have a mindset of bulk pricing. So when I talk about going from cups to gallons, I don’t mean that literally because if you try and sell coffee, quote-unquote, by the gallon, your customer has a price in their head of what that’s worth. For example, could you charge $800 for 25 people for coffee? No. Those people are probably going to be like, “What are you thinking about? I’m not buying my coffee catering from you.”

But yet, I get that every single day. My average coffee catering job is $800 for a two-hour job. So what makes me be able to do that is by providing an experience. Not having somebody come into the shop and picking up a box of joe that they can take back to the office. That person is only going to be willing to spend so much for that box of coffee. They have a price in their mind of what that is worth. Even if you do drop-off catering, you could go and drop it off at the location, but still, somebody’s only going to be willing to pay so much for that coffee.

How To Price Your Catering Services

What has allowed me to go from cups to gallons is providing off-premise catering. Bringing the whole barista experience to the people. And when you do it right, price is actually a non-factor. People are not making a decision based on how much it costs. Of course, they’re going to ask, but what they are most interested in is how you can make it a done for you solution. Their job is not to be a caterer. They know nothing about it. They just want to look great to their guests. They want an amazing experience. They want to know that you’re going to show up on time with the right equipment and treat their guests like gold. And when you do that, it’s not about the price.

So let me break down how we do the pricing in our coffee and smoothie catering packages. And it’s very simple. We charge $250 to come out and do the setup. We charge $5 per person. And here’s the thing, most people, $250, they don’t think twice about that, right? They realize you have to pack up, and bring everything, and set it up. So that’s not a big amount of money in their mind. $5 per person for the coffee service, they kind of get that, right? If they were to come into your shop, a nice cup of coffee, a cappuccino, a latte, macchiato can easily be $5, right? And then the only extras we charge our tax and gratuity. When you package it that way, it makes total sense to the customer. And they gladly raise their hand and say, “Yes, come do my event.”

This was the big game-changer for me in taking me from cups to gallons. So you want to get away from that bulk pricing mindset and realize that by creating packages and what I help my clients do is create good, better, best, because people like options. And that brings you a lot more profitability. So let me tune in on this Facebook feed and see if there are any questions. And doesn’t appear so. So as you watch the replay, let me know if you do have any questions. I know a lot of these coffee, smoothie, juice bar, ice cream, and dessert shop owners, you want to get into lucrative catering. So you can stop selling by the cup and start selling by the gallon.

About the Author Stacey and Dave Riska

Stacey and Dave Riska, aka "The Cups To Gallons Champions" are on a mission to help independent coffee, smoothie, juice bar, ice cream, dessert and snack shop owners learn how to get into lucrative catering. They transformed their coffee/smoothie business from $500K in debt to a 7-figure profitable business (yes you read that right!) by doing catering. They're the author of "Cups To Gallons where they share the 5-step CATER system that can give you $800 a day (or more!) in profits. Join Stacey, Dave and your fellow small business owners in the FREE Facebook Cups To Gallons Group

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  • Christy says:

    Question… If you charge $5 per person is that a total for the entire event? Say you have 100 people and at least 30 of them come get 2 or more drinks. Is your total still $500 or do you charge an extra $5 every time someone comes back to get another one? Or is that total considering that some won’t come at all? And how do you keep track of how many people?
    Thanks! Great info by the way!

    • We have the client tell us how many people they’re expecting us to serve. We base our count on that. 90% of events are actually UNDER that (meaning lots of profit for you). For the few that do go over, we have a clause in the contract stating we can charge $5.00/pp. Unless it goes WAY over we never charge them. Thanks for being part of the Cups to Gallons community!

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