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imaamy









  
Post Posted: Wed, Dec 05 2007, 9:44 pm       Post subject: Caterers fees!
Have just started looking around for my son's bar mitzvah. It isn't for a while yet but I am the type to panic..... Got an estimate of $50-70 per person for a buffet dairy lunch, not including hall rental and decorations. Ummmm...how do people afford this? We have a limited number of caterers in this city, and I hear this is not way out of line. Should I just enlist people to put out bagels on paper plates????
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amother









  
Post Posted: Wed, Dec 05 2007, 9:52 pm       Post subject: re: Caterers fees!
I think the cost of simchas, plus people's expectations of what are necessary at an event are overblown. I have a friend who just spent $20,000 on catering for a chassana. do you realize she could have done it for less than half and MARRIED OFF ANOTHER KALLAH?? it's ONE meal. people don't remember the meal so much. a seudas mitzvah should not equal seudas bankruptcy. check around, or cut some things off. this is not an insult to you so please don't take it that way. it's a vent against the system.
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amother









  
Post Posted: Wed, Dec 05 2007, 9:57 pm       Post subject: Re: re: Caterers fees!
MARRIED OFF ANOTHER KALLAH?? it's ONE meal. people don't remember the meal so much. a seudas mitzvah should not equal seudas bankruptcy. check around, or cut some things off. this is not an insult to you so please don't take it that way. it's a vent against the system.[/quote]


And how do you know that she didn't marry off another Kallah?
Don't be so quick to judge!
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amother









  
Post Posted: Wed, Dec 05 2007, 10:01 pm       Post subject: re: Caterers fees!
ok so even if she did, no matter how much you do what is the reason for such lavishness? really. ok I should be judge favorably. thanks for the reality check. truly. even if you are wealthy enough to marry 40 kallahs off halevi, it's a true waste to spend so much money.
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imaamy









  
Post Posted: Wed, Dec 05 2007, 10:56 pm       Post subject: re: Caterers fees!
I haven't done anything like this before so I didn't know what prices were like and I agree totally about the lavish stuff. She said are you thinking $100 per person or $10 per person. Well I knew $10 wasn't reasonable, but I told her $100 was way too much. I asked for salads, pasta, and fish. Drinks will just be iced tea and lemonade/coffee. I assumed fleishich would be more costly, so asked for dairy. It is just the cost of services here. I am checking all the other caterers--there are only a few so they have to be decent or they don't last in this city. I might just have the one who does deli tray type stuff, but he isn't cheap either!
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Tehilla









  
Post Posted: Wed, Dec 05 2007, 10:58 pm       Post subject: re: Caterers fees!
what can you afford? $15? $20? sometimes it's easier to tell them what you can pay, and then they can "play" with the menu according to that. and what's wrong with $10 a person? people are hopefully coming for the simcha, not the food Smile
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cookielady









  
Post Posted: Wed, Dec 05 2007, 11:02 pm       Post subject: re: Caterers fees!
you would be surprised, sometimes milchig is more expensive than fleishigs. Don't assume. Hatzlacha Rabba, and remember to keep the simcha in the simcha.
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imaamy









  
Post Posted: Wed, Dec 05 2007, 11:03 pm       Post subject: re: Caterers fees!
They are looking to make money. For $10 a person, they aren't even going to show up. When she gets her proposal to me, I'll see if I can work with it or if I just need to focus on another caterer entirely. She seemed to be telling me $50-70 pp was the low end. I mean how much less could I do than pasta, salad and fish? I'm not serving each person a big cut of meat. I want to have a nice Shabbat dinner too and we are undecided about what we are doing motzei Shabbos--family only, party for kids, etc. So that kind of money for one meal would be what I'd want to spend on the whole simcha! I just think it is such a waste cause the food doesn't cost THAT much. It is just about making a profit. Is it common where you all live to have everyone from services to the lunch? Here it is--I can't imagine just kicking out the people we don't know.
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Tehilla









  
Post Posted: Wed, Dec 05 2007, 11:05 pm       Post subject: re: Caterers fees!
since you're checking this thread, check your PMs!
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imaamy









  
Post Posted: Wed, Dec 05 2007, 11:19 pm       Post subject: re: Caterers fees!
Cookielady, you are right I did assume. I asked the woman and she said cheese and meat are about the same cost. Of course dairy isn't just cheese....I just figured I prefer dairy for that meal since we don't know what we are doing that evening, but I have tons of time to change my mind. One of my friends paid extra for a chicken dish that she said no one liked. They gave me a sample menu about 20 pages long so they can do anything pretty much. They had a tasting and some was good, some I would be upset if I paid that much for!
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Tehilla









  
Post Posted: Wed, Dec 05 2007, 11:20 pm       Post subject: re: Caterers fees!
what about pareve with fish? is fish cheaper? I was at a bris that served the stuff. it was yum.
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imaamy









  
Post Posted: Wed, Dec 05 2007, 11:24 pm       Post subject: re: Caterers fees!
I am really curious to see her proposal now. I will probably get it next week. I also hope to find out how much we are in for at shul. There is a meeting in January about bar mitzvahs for our year, so I'll know more then. I know for catering I thought it would be nice to have "stations" instead of people lining up in one big line for one long table. She said you have to have more food overall for stations since people want to taste everything. Also it might mean more servers. Maybe I'll go with the one line and try to keep people moving. Have you ever been behind someone who seems to be picking up each piece of lettuce separately when you are really hungry???? Wink
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MiracleMama









  
Post Posted: Wed, Dec 05 2007, 11:28 pm       Post subject: Re: re: Caterers fees!
cookielady wrote:
you would be surprised, sometimes milchig is more expensive than fleishigs. Don't assume. Hatzlacha Rabba, and remember to keep the simcha in the simcha.



Very true! I was shocked to find out that in some cases I could make a nice fleishig meal cheaper than milchigs.

The best thing is to tell the caterer how much you want to spend per head and let them come up with the menu. They should know which foods go over well and how to stretch your dollar.
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chocolate moose









  
Post Posted: Thu, Dec 06 2007, 11:14 am       Post subject:
There are other ways to bring down the cost of the simcha; serving on paper, not China, and not having waiter service, only set up and clean up. (Have a shmorg/buffet and you elimate paying for waiters.)
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loveit









  
Post Posted: Sat, Dec 08 2007, 5:55 pm       Post subject:
Also, buffets aren't always cheaper. A friend of mine that was planning here wedding was going to do buffet becuase they were working with a small budget and she was shocked to find that the prices were so similar. The caterer told her this was because with a buffet, they mae more food to keep the platters looking full and appetizing where as with a plated meal, they make less food overall but there is the extra service.
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Raisin









  
Post Posted: Sat, Dec 08 2007, 6:33 pm       Post subject: re: Caterers fees!
my sister just catered her sons bar mitzvah herself. She had about 150 people, and she spent 1 day cooking cooking for it. (with a couple of friends helping) She hired waiters to serve it so she didn't have to do anything at the bar mitzva herself. There also seemed to be someone in charge of the waiters.

She served a salmon starter with 3 salads (friends made the salads) roast with rice, mushroom sauce and green beans, and icecream pie for dessert. Plus challa rolls and drinks.

For her the work was preferable to going deep into debt, but it is up to you.

We do a lot of community events (purim seudas, etc) at which we try to keep the price down. We usually charge about €18 ($25, but food is more expensive here) but we do not necessarily cover costs with that. (almost but not quite)
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chocolate moose









  
Post Posted: Sat, Dec 08 2007, 6:50 pm       Post subject:
I have also heard that ppl eat more from a buffet. but you DO save on the waiters's fees and tips.

you can just get less food. people don't HAVE to stuff themselves.
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DefyGravity









  
Post Posted: Sat, Dec 08 2007, 9:01 pm       Post subject:
If you want to bring down the cost significantly - cook the food yourself. My MIL catered both my husband and BIL's bar mitzvahs and a large sheva brachos for us. It's not so difficult to prepare lots of chicken, roasted potatoes, or brisket, etc.

(Yes, it isn't the easiest thing, but it's worth it to take a couple of days to make the food and spend a lot less money).
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greenfire









  
Post Posted: Sat, Dec 08 2007, 9:16 pm       Post subject:
salmon is just as expensive as chicken - if not more ...

a lot of areas do not allow cooking your own food - unless of course you do it at home ...

I really cannot understand why people make bar-mitzvahs like weddings ...
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chocolate moose









  
Post Posted: Sun, Dec 09 2007, 10:36 am       Post subject:
Also- the caterer will tell you that you have to serve a fruit cup or appetizer, soup, and other chazerei b/c they are going to charge you for it anyway.

now THAT is a crime !
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