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Event set up and decorating

Event set up and decorating

Hi ~ I am generally a lurker and have learned a whole lot from this group and enjoy reading the posts. I am a very small caterer/cake designer, but the business is growing. I am planning to attend the Vegas conference next year to attempt to take my business to the next level.

Right now I have a question that I could not find an answer to in the search feature. In the past I have only decorated the buffet tables. I have begun to lose business to other caterers who provide full decorating services. I would like to start out by dressing and decorating guests tables and cake tables. I do have tablecloths for my buffets, but all others will have to be rentals.

I really don't know how to charge for these extra services. Do I handle the rentals and invoice the client or let them handle that and just add my labor/overhead charges? I have been collecting vases and other decor for the tables and will charge a rental fee for these.

Would anyone share how you break down these charges?

Thanks so much,

Thanks for your comments! I

Thanks for your comments! I will definitely need to profit from this. It just seems like most people in my area want everything in one package, so go with vendors who do the whole thing.

Georgia Rafati's picture

Decor we handle as an

Decor we handle as an optional "for fee" service. We will design, rent/produce everything needed including complicated props, rentals, florals, etc, etc. However, it is viewed as a profit center and NOT a give away to get catering business. We charge for everything and include a reasonable profit.

You price it like your catering - take all of your costs including labor and add your charge for overhead and profit.

Creightjones makes a very good point - adding this as a profit center may or may not make sense for your particular operation, as it will take time and energy. You have to decide if the rewards fit within your business plan, or will detract from your main business.

Georgia Rafati Forum Moderator

I have been really hesitant

I have been really hesitant to get into this area. I have handled rentals for clients - charging a 10% rental handling fee (10% of the cost of the rentals), but have been stung sometimes when they go back and forth with changes on rentals.

I have decided not to handle rentals anymore. I have a small wedding I am catering this month, and have handled the rentals. I am almost turning into the event planner - and for less than $100 fee on rentals! Plus I have another huge and complicated wedding that weekend.

I also do not have the storage space for vases, decor etc.

I am interested to hear what others have to say.

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