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hot dog cart catering advice

Hi Steve hope all is well.  My friend told me his coworker was having retirement party.  He gave her my information and she called me.

She told me it’s going to be at a brewery 5-8 and she wanted chili and cheese dogs only for 60 people. She also said she got a quote from a food truck for $600 and that was too much.  My figures are set up $25, take down and clean up$25, $8 per person ($480) and my time 4-8 for a total of $580.

Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks Steve,

Sent from my iPhone


Hi Dane,

It doesn’t matter what numbers the customer is telling you.  Who cares what the food truck quoted?  Who knows if she is even telling the truth?

None of this matters at all.  It’s just a smokescreen to get you to lower your pricing.

The only thing that matters is that you make enough money to make the job worth doing for YOU.  You know your costs.  You know your overhead.  You know what your time is worth.  Crunch the numbers, tell them what it will cost to have your awesome hot dog cart catering their event, then shut up.

If they go for it, great.  If they complain about your price, don’t apologize.  Don’t beg and plead.  Don’t negotiate.

Hold your head high, wish them good luck with their event, and walk the hell away.  You’ll be glad you did because…

Cheap customers SUCK.  They are the worst people to deal with.  They will be all over you with advice and suggestions the entire night. They will tell you how to do your job.  They will throw in last minute requests that you didn’t factor into your price.

Cheap customers will make you miserable.

High paying customers don’t do this. They realize that they are paying a professional so that they don’t have to bother with the details.  They will leave you alone and let you do your thing.  They will compliment you after the gig, give you a fat tip, and recommend you to their friends.

Much more fun.

Stick with your numbers Dane.  They are very reasonable.  If the customer won’t pay that, then you don’t want them as a customer.

Good luck!


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