We've been making random stabs in the dark on this and I don't know why I hadn't thought to ask my peers here.
Hosting parties in your shop--
How have you derived a pricing for this? I know how much everything costs, COG+LO down to the minute & the product costs, but I don't know a good multiple or value proposition.
We're being asked consistently for hosting parties and while we come up with some form of cost that makes us feel like we're not selling ourselves short it doesn't feel very bound to a principle that is solid.
If you're holding a chocolate bark making party/class, and everyone walks out with 4+oz of product & inclusions $11-15 a head seems reasonable (min. 6 people), but are we leaving money on the table?
If you have a corporate gathering that brings in wine and you supply pairings to them and host them, whats a good rule of thumb for that? We basically aren't doing much at that point so its more a space rental with some product and the companies don't seem to care how much they pay so it's hard to get a good feel.
I can calculate a lot of multiples or clearing, or time invested, but it feels like space rental and parties have a different logic to them that has something to do with what a market can bear along with the quality perceived. Just a bit harder and nebulous for me to wrap my head around. Thought maybe someone here has done some harder (or made it simpler) thinking than myself and would love to inference it.
I am hosting my first in-shop event next week. I have tight space for 15 w/ seating and 20 for casual gathering. I am charging $30(and I think this is low) for 2-3 hor d'ouerves, 3 pick up desserts(we are doing brownie bites, chocolate mouse tarts, and a lemon mouse tart w/ chocolate ganache), our assorted chocolates, Wine, and a take home cupcake. I will be doing a truffle making demo as well. I agree that it is hard to come up with what seems like a reasonable number but don't undervalue yourself. Cooking classes charge 60+ for 2 hours...I think you could definitely charge more than $15.
Hope this helps,
How long are your parties?
I call them workshops and they usually run either 1 1/2 or 2 1/2 hours, depending on the complexity of the workshop. I charge $65 average for 2 1/2 hours. This does not include food, other than chocolate. This includes 12/15 pieces of chocolate and a plastic platter to take them home on, as well as an apron with the name of my company on it.
Check the chocolate shops and culinary institutes/schools near you and see what they are charging. That is a good barometer of the market.
I had this long winded response but lost it when I googled for how to spell a word in the same window.. Go figure.
I was in the effort of trying to figure out what our hourly rates we're going to be if you just compared us all. Obviously I'm the poor man out and need to stop that. However with all the inclusions Jody and Diane are doing I figure the hourly rate is floating somewhere around $15/h. Lots of caveats go into that. Jody is giving some healthy appetizers and a few desserts which I don't know the size or COG of and Diane is similar, 15 +/- chocolates, a plastic platter (is anything on it?) and an apron, all eating into the cost of the event.
Where I'm digging around is trying to make a formula for all of this, maybe its just the engineer in me, but I like to know what variables I can tweak so I can keep things consistent. If we lock down a few variables then the rest solves itself. Otherwise we're all just guessing and that doesn't really provide good business sense.
Unfortunately Diane, our area doesn't have but a few chocolate shops, and none afaik are doing much beyond maybe a tasting--and even that term can be loaded. We have 3 good culinary schools but I haven't seen much public facing classes or hands on. I'd be afraid their numbers would also be skewed, but looking into it is a good idea whatever one may find.
Curious if you all, or anyone, handles small groups. Do you put a floor in your events so that you can make sure you're clearing a proper amount. If you have 15 people the burden is a lot less than 4, but if you don't value your time and your shops downtime then that seems like a place you could get run over.
Here's my silly desire--
((Cost of the Space Per Minute) * Length of Event) + (Cost of Event Production Goods) + (Cost Included Goods (Drinks/Food)) + (Take Away Gifts) = $Total Cost / Number of People
Then round it to the nearest $5
Well that's the type of idea I'd love to get to. hehe!
I am starting to do parties as well, I am looking at $15.00 a head with a minimum of 8. This includes a 4oz chocolate bar with a variety of inclusions, hot chocolate or juice and short lecture about how chocolate is made.They can bring food and a cake if they wish and we give them 1 1/2-2 hours.
The other thing you may have to do (like we do) is compete price wise with other places that do parties, we have a place where people can paint their own pottery, a place that does paint ball parties, a place where they can just do different types of art work and a couple bakeries where they can decorate their own cupcakes. So around here competition is fierce haha, and they all charge between $8-$20 per head
So those are my thoughts on the subject.
Chris, thanks for the input. I hadn't thought about the general competition of places that host but that's a good way to check yourself for balance. Appreciate that.