Extreme Make Over -Catering

I just got off the phone with the Production Coordinator for ABC’s Extreme Make-over Home Addition.

We have been asked to cater for the cast, crew, and volunteers.

I will be feeding about 200 people on the first day of construction. Then later in the week another 200-300 people and possible another 100-200 at a 2am meal.

My mind is spinning with the task in front of me and how to coordinate it all. And of course it is a 100% donation. I will be calling my Roma rep, Sam’s Club, local grocery store and trying to get items at cost or donated to help take some of the expense off of me only.

Any suggestions to help this go as smooth as possible?

So you donate everything and Disney gets all the profits from the show. Or do they donate that as well. Yeah, I know I am a terminal cynic.

Dewar is on to something here, as I have watched the show a few times and never once seen anything about the local businesses that pitch in other than the contractor. Obviously there’s good will to be had localy, but shouln’t ABC recognize the local people and not just SEARS. There’s either money or advertising to be had here and I would push for one or the other.

Donation? Not a chance. TV is big business. They can afford to pay and they should. If you are a local business, the amount of exposure they give you in your local market is certainly a consideratation in pricing, but hahving people in far away places see your name is not doing you any good. Check with your local cable company and see what a local spot is worth. You find that it is a whole lot less than whatt you are considering donating.

Charge them full price (especially considering the 2AM gig) and offer a credit for exposure at LOCAL MARKET CABLE rates. If they run your name on a scroll of sponsors, that is worth maybe $50-$100 at the very most.

We do some catering gigs. We generally price them per person rather than per pizza and agree on a menu. For 200 construction workers where we were providing a full meal, we would do about 50 16" pizzas, 40 lbs of chicken wings and 6 catering salads. We would provide paper, plasitc and condiments. The price would run about $5-$6 per person depending on what kind of pizza we served and there would be an 8% gratuity added on top of the bill.

All in all what you are describing would be $3500 - $4000 all in unless you are also providing beverages.

I assume you just haven’t told us the good part yet???

Although intially I agreed with the other posters, I began to think of how awesome to be a part of this task. Just on a personal level, to give to those who are giving.

On the other side, I know if extreme makeover was to come to our town it would be a big ol ordeal. The local paper and news would be doing all kinds of stories. So that is where you will get the publicity. I would send out press releases. I think a news crew would love the idea of the story behind the story. Who feeds the volunteers, so put a bug in their ear.

One thing you may also want to do to help cut costs is go to local churches and see if you can put a flyer in their bulletin for volunteers to bake some stuff When we have a dinner at church there really is nothing better than a big ol pot luck dinner. You could also contact the local paper and see if they will do a story asking for volunteers of money, food, time. You could also make a collection at your store for money, food donations, time from your customers.

I wouldn’t pay for labor. I would find volunteers. I wouldn’t pay for most of the products, I would find volunteers. Maybe when you go to the churches have them sponsor a particular donation. Like paper plates, napkins. Condiments. Salad. Sandwiches. Drinks. Dessert.

Another thing that comes to mind is asking the churches to take a dollar bill offering for this cause.

Go to all the businesses in your area, go to the chamber, fire dept, police department, go to the restaurants. Let them know you have resources to get things, you just need help with __________.

Regardless of who helps and how you need to keep good records and follow up with thank yous from your business. That is how you can create relationships and new customers in this whole thing.

Get people involved, ASK just like you they will get the bug and want to help.


One of my customers was asked to donate 3 waterfalls for a home the show was working on. He spent the week out of town working on it, at his expense. Had several tools stolen, and never received any of the man power he asked for. When the show aired, they flashed by his waterfalls for 3 seconds, and never mentioned him in the credits of the show. He ended up being out $5000 in product and a week’s time in the factory.

On the other hand, if you can get some press releases out, and some good press time, it could be good for you.

Good luck

Despite the fact that the home makeover is for a worthy cause, ABC pays for this because they are selling ads just like any other show. The fact that the homeowner gets it free and is worthy is the story hook. The cost of the makeover is just production cost like crashing cars on a cop show. The production of the TV show and selling the advertising that airs during the broadcast is still a COMMERCIAL activity, not a charitable one. I have watched this show as well and do not recall seeing any credit given to any donors or even that anything was donated.

If you are not ASSURED of several thousand dollars worth of exposure, it is not worth doing for free.

this kind of goodwill is not worth the effort that you will put into it, everyone will say what a great guy but in the end they will all expect more out of you for free for local events. just my 2 cents

If you want to donate several thousand dollars of product to worthy causes AND get some mileage out of it, contact your local Rotary Club, The Lions, the boy scouts etc and offer to support what they are doing. Your community will benefit from it and you will really be doing something worthwhile.

unless you need the practice and the headaches i see this going south in a hurry .your hearts in the right place just dont let it cloud your head i aggree with bodega keep your dollars local .

We do Habitat for Humanity and Red Cross and local school library stuff. Same principal.

What is the difference?, It is a house being built in my community ( about 10,000 people) for a member of our community, the materials are all donated, the labor is all local contractors and builders that are my customers. I don’t understand how negitive the Think Tank has been lately. I can not imagine any one of you in the same circumstance not getting involved.

Hi guys,

Im brand new to the PMQ site and first off want to thank all for the input and ideas. Im currently looking into buying an exisiting pizza shop and this site has been most helpful.

Now for Extreme Home Makeover… My current company just recentley did a show in nearby West Virginina. It a great thing that Conrad and his people do. You go to the inital meeting of 300 or so contractors and suppliers and you leave a different person. There wasnt a dry eye in the place. However, it is a big undertaking for a company of any size to tackle. I had a crew of six ( including myself) on site for twenty four hours straight. It was a great experience but I would never do it again. We had about 5 seconds of our finished product on camera. It took me weeks to prep for it and a week to recover.

If you really want to be a part of the show, just go there and offer to help. They take volunteers on the project (and they are greatful for the help) to clean, sweep, dust, hand out food or whatever. The volunteers got just as much satisfaction as our guys did, and their company wasn’t out $ 6,000.00 in labor and materials.

Just a thought. Keep up the good fight…

i dont think it is being negitive you put up a post people gave there opinions take it for what its worth but alot of these guys have been around the block a few times and im sure they have givin pleanty of time and money to causes some good some not so good i think there just lookin out for you :smiley: and lettin you see the down side. we use to get hit 2-3 times a week askin for donations for everything under the sun. we cut it all out except truly deserving causes case by case basis . if you feel its the best thing for you then go for it .and hope it works out the best for you. :smiley:

You make a valid point as far as the community goes. Where I see the negative attitudes coming from is the fact this is a COMMERCIAL driven production by ABC. The family that gets the house will definately benifit from the project but the big winner here is ABC. I think there are several out there that feel the way the guy on this blog does: http://blogcritics.org/archives/2004/12/16/114437.php

I have heard or read somewhere the cost of production on the show is 25% of what a 1/2 hour sitcom would be and the rates they charge for the commercial spots is 200% of what a sitcom would be.

I would only do it if you could get your suppliers to donate a big portion of the food. Other local charities would be my personal choice but this is said as an armchair quarterback. I am not faced with the decission, If i were my opinion may be different.

I am sorry that thwere is a rain on the parade this time. I personally say that if you can afford to do it, and it is something you are passionate about . . . do it up right!!

I am coming from the reality that I can’t pony up that kind of money ofr food/labor for a pretend marketing benefit. Habitat for Humanity is a different animal in that no one is generating millions in revenue (in tiny part off my donation/investment . . . and it is small enough for me to feasibly donate and not lose my shirt.

If I was doing this, I think I would put myself in the role of “coordinator” for the meals. My goal would be to furnish all meals without spending any of my own money. That alone would be a large undertaking, and you would certainly be donating a lot through your time. I don’t think the idea is for you to foot the bill; I think that you, as a restaurant owner, have the resources to make this all possible through donations.

To be honest, I think I could secure all the food cost and volunteers very quickly (and I bet you could too.) I’m sure you know other business owners, you know your food distributors well, and you probably know a lot of community leaders too. Hit the rolodex and get the word out. Ask everybody you call if they know anybody else that might be able to help.

Don’t forget about your customer base either. When a customer pays, have your employees ask if they would like to donate $5.00 to the project. Make cute little displays where they can fill out their name and hang them on your walls. You could probably raise enough money to cover your food costs in a couple of weeks. Make up some simple black and white box toppers and solicit monetary or time donations through that.

At the worst case from what you posted you’ll be feeding about 700 people. When I do catering jobs I try to keep my food cost right around $3.00 per person. So at worst you need to raise about $2,000. That’s not too bad, and that’s assuming absolutely no price breaks or donations from suppliers. I think Sam’s Club would be willing to pony up quite a bit alone.

I do have the same concerns as others: Disney makes a lot of money off this show. When I was reading about it a few months ago, I read that the only thing Disney does is pay for their crew. Other than that, they donate nothing. I actually would have a pretty big problem feeding their cast and crew too. Feeding volunteers is one thing; Disney should be giving their cast and crew per diems to cover meals. They’re there because it’s their jobs; the “community” should not be paying to feed them.

There has also been some concern that some of “needy” people they build houses for aren’t all that needy. Last year it was discovered that a family they built a home for had a total income of over $200,000.

I’m just giving suggestions because I think you’ve made up your mind that you want to do it. I, personally, wouldn’t have anything to do with it. I would rather donate to a charity that doesn’t lead to massive revenue for a billion dollar coporation.

This has nothing to do with negativity of Think Tank members. Personally, I just feel that a whole lot of money is being made that is not going to help people. I prefer to help people more directly and efficiently rather than participating in a commercial spectacle.

But helping in any way is better than not helping at all.

maybe you can use this opportunity to your advantage in another way. after getting donations from your current food vendors, try to get donations from other food vendors. that is a cut throat business and the rep would probably be willing to donate just to have the opportunity to become your vendor. you never know- you might get more in the long run by giving the other food vendors a shot to compete for your business. should you take on this endeavor, make sure to get local media involved…newspaper, radio, TV. lots of local publicity. are your employees willing to volunteer their time for the cause? don’t just assume they won’t.

just a few thoughts…