Pricing a cheese tray?

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Madeleine's picture
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Do you have an add on like a cheese tray? What do you include and how much do you charge? I hate to be specific, but how much cheese (in ozs/lbs), is there fruit, chocolates, drinks? How much of each? This add on does not include wine. If you include wine, please say so.

OTOH, if you were the guest, what would you be willing to pay for a nicely created cheese tray? Maybe you're a late arrival and nothing is open for dinner or you'd like to have something in the afternoon. What would it be worth to you IF you wanted it? Is there a point where you would say, 'That's ridiculous!' and skip it altogether?

I was noticing today that someone has a 1/4 lb of chocolates for $15. $60/lb?

I know this is hard for us because we know how much stuff costs and I think we all hate the idea of paying 'too much' but as a guest who is not in the know, what's a good price for a cheese tray?

(More questions to follow about different add ons so stick to cheese trays here. Ha, yeah right, I know...)

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egoodell's picture
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We use a locally made cheddar cheese ball which they deliver to us and we can freeze. It's about 4 ounces. Put it on a tray with a dollop of grapes and a couple of strawberries and some of our local bakery's crostini for $12. Basically double our cost. It's popular.

Riki

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Madeleine's picture
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So, maybe I should plan for a much smaller cheese tray than I was thinking. I could get a cheese ball for about $6. Then crackers, etc. Might cost me around $12 to put together and then charge $25 for it.

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I charged $20 & had several domed glass servers.  (Yes, I sometimes had more than one room/day request these!)  Cheese, fruit, and crackers.

Can't count on arrival time of guest?  Don't use soft cheeses or sliced fruits, obviously.  I tried to use 3 different cheeses - a cheddar, white, and then something a little different.  Also used mini Babybel individually wrapped - no waste.  Strawberries and grapes work well.  Sometimes I'd do chocolate dipped strawberries or orange wedges if there was a special occasion involved.  Might use a single slice of star fruit or kiwi as a garnish.  

Ritz had packages with multiple individually wrapped crackers (about 10) that I'd use and then add crostini and another type of more unusual crackers.

I liked the dome servers because it was a nice presentation and kept things looking fresh.

I would add beverages with the tray as a separate package for a bit more, if you don't provide complimentary cold beverages.    

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Sounds like a good price to me!  I'd pay $12 without blinking.  Madeline, if I were traveling and thinking I might be hungry, I think I'd pay up to $15.  If it were a special occasion and this was a treat, I'd pay more, but I would purchase less often $25-$45.  If I were with my DH, I'd know he'd get grumpy without a nod to meat.   I'd make the booking, but would be hesitant to do an add-on just for me. Might want to just keep in mind and see if offering a cured meat in there helps sales...or not...

egoodell's picture
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CafeMae wrote:

Sounds like a good price to me!  I'd pay $12 without blinking.  Madeline, if I were traveling and thinking I might be hungry, I think I'd pay up to $15.  If it were a special occasion and this was a treat, I'd pay more, but I would purchase less often $25-$45.  If I were with my DH, I'd know he'd get grumpy without a nod to meat.   I'd make the booking, but would be hesitant to do an add-on just for me. Might want to just keep in mind and see if offering a cured meat in there helps sales...or not...

To us here, a cheese plate is just cheese, if you want cheese and meat you would order a cheese and charcuterie plate.

Riki

Madeleine's picture
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$12 is $18 under what it costs me to put it together based on a run thru the store the other day. I priced a salami & mozzarella roll that looked nice. Of course, if we did this on a regular basis I would take suggestions from guests, 'Can you include some sort of 'meat' for my husband?!'

If I could price it out like was shown a restaurant would pay for the ingredients, then $15 would be making money. Right now, paying retail, that would be a losing proposition.

All good info!

egoodell's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

$12 is $18 under what it costs me to put it together based on a run thru the store the other day. I priced a salami & mozzarella roll that looked nice. Of course, if we did this on a regular basis I would take suggestions from guests, 'Can you include some sort of 'meat' for my husband?!'

If I could price it out like was shown a restaurant would pay for the ingredients, then $15 would be making money. Right now, paying retail, that would be a losing proposition.

All good info!

We purchase the cheese balls wholesale from a local cheesemaker. No meats. Just a little fruit for looks and crackers and crostini. Guests love it. $12 is double what we pay. Our cheese ball retails for $12 we get it wholesale for $4

Riki

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egoodell wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

$12 is $18 under what it costs me to put it together based on a run thru the store the other day. I priced a salami & mozzarella roll that looked nice. Of course, if we did this on a regular basis I would take suggestions from guests, 'Can you include some sort of 'meat' for my husband?!'

If I could price it out like was shown a restaurant would pay for the ingredients, then $15 would be making money. Right now, paying retail, that would be a losing proposition.

All good info!

We purchase the cheese balls wholesale from a local cheesemaker. No meats. Just a little fruit for looks and crackers and crostini. Guests love it. $12 is double what we pay. Our cheese ball retails for $12 we get it wholesale for $4

Riki

I'll bet you do a lot more of these than I ever could. Doubt I could find someone to sell me cheese at wholesale for the amount I would ever buy. But, good ideas!

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Madeleine wrote:

egoodell wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

$12 is $18 under what it costs me to put it together based on a run thru the store the other day. I priced a salami & mozzarella roll that looked nice. Of course, if we did this on a regular basis I would take suggestions from guests, 'Can you include some sort of 'meat' for my husband?!'

If I could price it out like was shown a restaurant would pay for the ingredients, then $15 would be making money. Right now, paying retail, that would be a losing proposition.

All good info!

We purchase the cheese balls wholesale from a local cheesemaker. No meats. Just a little fruit for looks and crackers and crostini. Guests love it. $12 is double what we pay. Our cheese ball retails for $12 we get it wholesale for $4

Riki

I'll bet you do a lot more of these than I ever could. Doubt I could find someone to sell me cheese at wholesale for the amount I would ever buy. But, good ideas!

Our local person sells them to us a dozen at a time. Do you have any local small vendors in your area?

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Cracker Barrel cheeses $2.99

Stoneground crackers $2.99

Both on sale at Shaws in your location

10 stem roses $6.99, mixed americana bouquet $9.99

In the circular for your shaws.

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Madeleine's picture
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Cracker Barrel is versions of cheddar. The one I priced out the other day was $1 more. So that must be the sale price you found. The roses may be $6.99 but you haven't seen them! This is the exact store with the buy 2, use 1.5 flower bouquets. However, I will be getting the stone ground crackers for myself! Now, where is that flyer? Must be in today's paper...

But that's the other half of it...on sale this week, not necessarily when I need it.

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I understand your situation, it is hard to do this when they do not sell very often.  You do need to consider the price of what you BUY in order to make the tray. 

While I know you mentioned sticking to the cheese selection, I just need to mention what options I have.  I have a Fruit tray for $35, Cheese/cracker tray for $40 or a Fruit/cheese tray for $45. 

I select 4-5 assorted cheeses ~3 -3.5oz each for the cheese tray and assorted crackers - table wafer, cabaret and an herb style.  I add a few grapes or strawberries to give some color.  And it comes with sparkling cider and small desert of some kind: sometimes cookies, brownies..

For the Fruit/cheese tray I cut down to 3 - 4 cheeses about 3-3.5oz each (on the less oz side if going for 4) same with the crackers.  Then a nice selection of fruit - downsized from the fruit tray selection.  Cider & small desert. 

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Good Morning Madeleine

I'm new here, I do not own a B&B yet,I hope to someday, that's why I joined and I'm enjoying every ones posts and learning a lot. I'm a Chef, In a restaurant setting we would use a percentage calculation to come up with our cost to sell a dish. The standard in most restaurants is a range between 27% to 33% Some a little higher, some a little lower, the lower the better. You want to break down the price you paid for your ingredients into pounds and ounces. For an average cheese plate we use 2 to 3 oz. per person 

Cabot Clothbound Cheddar 13.99 per pound or rounded to .87 cent per oz.

Maytag Blue Cheese  18.75 per pound or 1.18 per oz.

Manchego 10.57 per pound .66 per oz.

Total Cheese based on two guests and 3oz of cheese per person

Cheese 5.42

Dried fruits, nuts, bread .95

Total 6.37 your cost.

so if you sold that plate for 23.00 or a 27.7% food cost your profit would be 16.63.

if you sold it for 19.00 or a 33.53% food cost your profit would be 12.63

You could certainly could  sell it for more, even double, based your location, room rates, style of service. 

Hope this is of some help.

E

 

                                                                                                       

 

 

Madeleine's picture
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OK, so I was thinking way more cheese than you are saying. I had priced it out for a pound. Problem here is I don't have a restaurant so I would not be buying in bulk. Each tray would be put together from ingredients bought that day. And I can't get just 2-3 ozs, the least I can find is 8 ozs.

A box of crackers is $6, not 95 cents. So, it's hard to price something out when it's not sitting on the shelf and has to be bought each time.

But, good to know what it SHOULD cost vs what I figured out the other day.

Hey, Welcome to the loony bin!

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For cheese have you tried a grocery store with a cheese shop? The one I work at will cut any piece of cheese any size. So you could buy 2oz at a time if you wanted. The deli counter might work too if you did basic cheese. It would be more expensive per pound but cheaper by the tray.

Also, holy cow, $6 for a box of crackers!

Madeleine's picture
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OK then first 2 responses and no actual answer. C'mon people, help me out here!

Cheese tray for 2 people. The question was what would YOU put on the cheese tray YOU serve. After that it was what would you pay? So, if you're paying, what would you expect and what would you pay for that?

gillumhouse's picture
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I can't help because I am too cheap to buy anything extra - anywhere.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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I would use local cheese which would be 1/3 of a small round of brie, and some of our famous cheddar, about 3 or 4 ounces and a soft cheese such as Boursin (you could cut it in half). Add some water crackers and maybe some Cabaret crackers. A small bunch of grapes and a few strawberries also. I wouldn't hesitate to charge $25-$30 depending on it's size.

I would estimate approx $10 for items which should get a mark up of at least 100%

(I know it doesn't seem like you could do it for $10, but if you have a Costco or similar, you buy the items in bigger quantity and store them)

Madeleine's picture
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I priced it out yesterday to come up with 1 lb of assorted cheese ($20), crackers ($5), fruit ($1), chocolates ($1) and a liter of lemonade ($3). It's about $30 to buy because I can't just get the amount I would need to do this. Of course, we would eat whatever wasn't on the tray, but it's a pricey thing to try to do.

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Madeleine wrote:

I priced it out yesterday to come up with 1 lb of assorted cheese ($20), crackers ($5), fruit ($1), chocolates ($1) and a liter of lemonade ($3). It's about $30 to buy because I can't just get the amount I would need to do this. Of course, we would eat whatever wasn't on the tray, but it's a pricey thing to try to do.

Are you interested in doing this for just 1 person, or adding it to your add-on packages? Makes a big difference in pricing. If you're pricing a whole lb of cheese for each, and a whole box of crackers, etc., then it doesn't pay for itself. I buy a 2.5 lb block of cheddar at the warehouse store for $7.00 then cut it in sizes I'll use and shrink wrap them for later or freeze them, etc.

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

I buy a 2.5 lb block of cheddar at the warehouse store for $7.00 then cut it in sizes I'll use and shrink wrap them for later or freeze them, etc.

OK, I never (purposely) tried to freeze cheese before!  It doesn't get mushy when it thaws?

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copperhead wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

I buy a 2.5 lb block of cheddar at the warehouse store for $7.00 then cut it in sizes I'll use and shrink wrap them for later or freeze them, etc.

OK, I never (purposely) tried to freeze cheese before!  It doesn't get mushy when it thaws?

hard cheeses like cheddar and swiss freeze well. I tend to vacuum pack them and store them in the fridge for a long time, then if it looks like I won't be using them, will freeze them. Works great!

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I buy a log of goat cheese, or a large block from a local producer who mail orders, and then I freeze it in the size pieces I need.  It thaws in the refrigerator over night like it was just purchased.  It does not get crumbly or mushy the way cream cheese gets when you freeze it. We don't offer any packages, as such but when someone wants one we make it up to their specs, adding $$ for our time and effort.  I wouldn't do it for less than $15 profit.  

 http://www.chevre.com/  Check out their overstocks for the best price.

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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Good to know that you can freeze goat cheese! Thanks

Madeleine's picture
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Breakfast Diva wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

I priced it out yesterday to come up with 1 lb of assorted cheese ($20), crackers ($5), fruit ($1), chocolates ($1) and a liter of lemonade ($3). It's about $30 to buy because I can't just get the amount I would need to do this. Of course, we would eat whatever wasn't on the tray, but it's a pricey thing to try to do.

Are you interested in doing this for just 1 person, or adding it to your add-on packages? Makes a big difference in pricing. If you're pricing a whole lb of cheese for each, and a whole box of crackers, etc., then it doesn't pay for itself. I buy a 2.5 lb block of cheddar at the warehouse store for $7.00 then cut it in sizes I'll use and shrink wrap them for later or freeze them, etc.

It would be done for a couple as an add on. I am not sure how many would sell so buying in bulk might just mean I eat a lot of cheese! I see doing 4 different kinds of cheese, 3-4 ozs of each, an asst of crackers (I have a little tray I use when we have parties, holds about 30 crackers). It's having to buy 8 ozs when I only want 4 that would drive up the price. (I know a 'serving of cheese' is one ounce but one ounce looks kinda pathetic on a tray! But maybe I should think '1/2 lb' instead of full lb.)

We used to have a cheese shop in town and I could buy however much cheese I wanted at a time. Sometimes I just popped in and bought a chunk o'cheese to eat on my walk!

Not sure my location is good for this, either. There are at least 10 restaurants within 2 blocks of here and 2 more opening up in a few weeks. No one really needs to have a cheese tray. But I know we always travel with a big bag of cheese and wine when we go away with our friends so thought it might be nice to offer. No wine, tho, I don't have a license. That's why I thought the lemonade would be nice.

gillumhouse's picture
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. (I know a 'serving of cheese' is one ounce but one ounce looks kinda pathetic on a tray!

Use a smaller try

Breakfast Diva's picture
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I think offering a cheese tray is a great idea. The only reason I don't do it is that the store is so far away and I could see having to run to the store just for 1 item (usually fruit). If you could keep the cost reasonable, you might sell more. Especially those folks getting to your town on train or public transportation...it's tough enough hauling luggage, let alone food with you.

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I charged $20 for a cheese fruit cracker tray.  I put chocolates out to everyone. No charge. Also provided water and pop so not included.

Arks's picture
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Think of room service prices.

Of course, price depends on what's on the tray, how many it would serve, so I'd need more specifics before saying what I'd pay.

I like grapes with cheese and, of course, crackers.

Here in Arkansas they'd much rather have cheese dip (our state food) and chips.

Don't belive cheese dip is our state food? Walk around our Walmart sometime. There are actual two-legged whales waddling around that place. ENORMOUS people. I'm wondering where it will all end. Is there a limit to how much weight the human skeleton can carry?

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gillumhouse's picture
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Don't believe cheese dip is our state food? Walk around our Walmart sometime. There are actual two-legged whales waddling around that place. ENORMOUS people. I'm wondering where it will all end. Is there a limit to how much weight the human skeleton can carry?

 

This is one of the "Studies" that get done where West Virginia says "Thank GOD for Arkansas (or Mississippi)"  The 3 of us make just about every BAD List as #1 through 3

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