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Cook Talk

Outdoor Festival for 150
Margaret Smith
I volunteer for a non-profit in a rural area which is having an Outdoor Festival (Concert, Food and Silent Auction)as a major fundraiser. We expect 100 people. The food is being freshly prepared/distributed by volunteers using a ticket system ($1 per ticket). We are serving hamburgers, veggie burgers, and hot dogs with a package of donated gourmet chips and condiments for $2. Drinks, popcorn and ice cream are $1. How do I develop a spreadsheet to estimate our food costs? Is it true that 100 servings only feeds 85? Any help would be appreciated
Fortunately, you will be "plating" these items, it is not self serve, so 100 servings will serve 100.

A cook in your group could pre-make, partially grill, and freeze the veggie burgers, using one of the recipes on this site, and save a bunch of money there.

You need to check locally about the burgers. Frozen may be your best buy, even if not the greatest flavor choice. 4 ounces raw.
If it is adults, you could skip the hot dogs, saving the second shape of buns. You could check/compare the frozen chicken meat patties (not ground) to offer an alternative to beef. I would estimate 80 beef, 30 chicken, 20 veggie. Arrange with the committee for someone to buy leftovers, this saves some costs.

Fixings/condiments for 100 are on the sandwich page.

Drinks- check frozen lemonade and limeade- cheaper than most sodas, and a pleasant surprise. Iced tea is the cheapest drink of all- if you add some fruity flavor (peach, raspberry), even more people will buy it, but have some unsweetened too. Usually about 3 cups per person. Also sell bottled water (cold) for 1 ticket- for 100 people, get at least 2 cases. $8 cost, $48 income.

7 pounds popcorn makes 100 servings

Check at box stores or restaurant supply for bulk ice cream. See the dessert planning page for help on the ice cream.

This may give you a start, write back for more.
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