I have just been approached by a gentlemen who is a salesperson to doctor's offices. He has found if he brings lunch, it guarantees him a 30 minute pitch time.

He has heard that our food is good (yay!) and would like be able to pick up lunch, consisting of fruit salad, sandwich, dessert, and a soup, complete with plates, servingware, and cans of soda/water - anywhere from 2 to 4 times a week. He is local, intends to transport it in a cooler to keep things warm, soup in a crock pot, has done this successfully in the past.

Looking at a cost of $6-8 per person. Doesn't care if we do the same thing the entire week, so theoretically, I could prepare in bulk to a certain extent.

Ideas? The amount doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room, especially if I am looking at fruit as one of the requirements. But I am confident that all the creative minds here will have wonderful ideas for sandwiches, soups, etc. that I can put together inexpensively.

He is okay with lasagnas, baked ziti, a chicken alfredo, happy with choc. chip cookies or brownies for dessert.

So here I am again - looking for input from all of you guys!

  More help from my friends, please? iBcookin I have just been app...
Hate to rain on your parade, but medical sales people around here pick up carryout from the nicest restaurants for the Docs they see. Ask for more $ to be able to provide the quality he wants.

Ask him to invest in the plates and sliverware and carrying cases so you don't have to.

As far as the rest goes, you could have a blast coming up with nice things to serve. Maybe the docs would like comfort food!?

  Re: More help from my friends, please? HomeCulinarian Hate to rain on your...
Remember that he'll be serving it to OFFICES. Thus, he'll need something that isn't overly messy (for the furniture or for the people, themselves), won't tie up people for a long time (not just the eating but also the setting up and cleaning), and won't leave everyone with garlic breath, etc.
If blueberry muffins have blueberries in them, what do vegan muffins have?

  Re: More help from my friends, please? labradors Remember that he'll ...
PS - my sister worked in a Family Practice office for years and it's the staff who eats the food!

  Re: More help from my friends, please? HomeCulinarian PS - my sister worke...
Linda, I don't know where my mind is this a.m. (Theresa probably has it ), but I don't have any ideas for you right now.
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.

  Re: More help from my friends, please? cjs Linda, I don't know ...
My first thought was, what a great way to get rid of leftovers, and drum up some new business. Then I discussed it with himself, who bruoght me back to reality. We are in the bowels of Virginia, you are in Erie, much more high end, I would think.Here are a few things from our conversation:

He's taking this to doctors, if he were taking them out to lunch, he could expect to pay probably $20.00 per person.
A big Mack or Burger King meal will run him $6.00.

Fruit salad is expensive when fruit is at it's peak, let alone in winter when prices are sky high, and does not have a long shelf life. If you make it on Monday, you can't be serving it on Thursday.

Sandwich and soup? The soup would definitely be extra. You can make it, portion it out and freeze it, but all at your expense. Sandwiches, if you're using a nice bread/bun (remember the clientel), is going to be ezxpensive before you even add the meat/cheese etc.

Bottled water/soda, we always charge extra, minimum $1.00 (many places are $2.00).

Plastics,we charge extra. While we buy them 1000/box at a time, it is still coming out of our inventory.

Desserts , well, cookies freeze really well, but again, it's your cost of ingredients and labour.

I don't want to sound negative, because I was really excited for you. But, we've done these lunches, even for $10.00, and it just wasn't worth the time/effort/cost. If he's willing to up his price per meal, then we'd consider it. Geez, don't I just sound like Ms Nasty!
Practice safe lunch. Use a condiment.

  Re: More help from my friends, please? Lorraine My first thought was...
Not sure if I should throw in my two cents or not, but have to agree with the others regarding the price. $20 a head would not be out of line.

But, since you were also looking for lunch ideas, what about making up a large muffaletta style sandwich on an Italian round loaf (hollowed out) to serve 6-8. Add a "dressed up" tomato soup to go with. Another idea might be a nice chicken salad on a croissant. Only my opinion, but lasagna sounds a bit heavy for lunch and the doctors might not want their offices smelling like an Italian restaurant.

"Drink your tea slowly and reverently..."

  Re: More help from my friends, please? Mare749 Not sure if I should...
I'd do Half sandwiches. What about roasting turkeys and having fresh turkey sandwiches. There used to be a place downtown Seattle that was a hole in the wall. Served fresh turkey sandwiches (like leftover Thanksgiving turkey - not shaved breast) all year. There was always a line out the door. Fresh homemade bread. Yum. Chicken salad, egg salad. Wraps! A vegetable and a chicken or turkey option?

Maybe just some simple soups. Tomato, chowder, broccoli, carrot, squash and apple, etc. Unless trying to use up leftovers! But I'd say at least $10, espcially if including a water. Don't think I'd go the pop route. To many factors and choices needed. I guess you could just do a regular and a diet option. I would not do plates. I would not do more than seasonal fruits. Apples/oranges, Grapes/melons. Cookies for desert, maybe an occasional brownie. I'd be happy with just a half a sandwich and a cup of soup!
Mom to three wonderful 7th graders!
The time is flying by.
  More help from my friends, please? iBcookin I have just been app...
I'm going to think on this over night - Jean will also have words of wisdom in the am I think.

You only live once . . . but if you do it right once should be enough!

  Re: More help from my friends, please? Harborwitch I'm going to think o...
You are all thinking right along the lines I was as I pondered this. He did say that it was for the staff, not just the doctors, that is why he wanted fruit, according to him, the ladies get a lot of regular salad.

What we have done lately is not do cut up fruit chunks, we will slice the fruit thin, and leave the rind on. Last year I watched people dish out platefuls of fruit chunks, it was not uncommon to go through several large bowls of fruit for a salad bar. With sliced fruit on the rind, nobody is going to take more than 3-4 pieces at a time.

As far as the cost, my thoughts were that even a "extra value meal" is what now, 5.99? And doesn't include soup or a dessert. A Subway sandwich is $5.00 for the sandwich, a meal is something like 6.99. And it is not like if you are plating for 8 people you can put 8 ladles of soup into a crock pot. You will have to provide more than just 8 servings.

I haven't priced out the single serve packages of utensils with napkins, etc, but I would expect they are somewhere around $.10? Plus plates and bowls for soup, crackers, condiments for the sandwiches. Pop/water on sale I might get for .30 serving. I could see all of that type of thing adding on at least .50 per person just in my costs.

All that being said, my thoughts were that when we are in full swing, it WOULD be a great way to use up leftovers! As I see it now, the only way I could do this would be to let me prepare the lunch at my discretion, working around whatever I can pick up on sale and prepare.

He suggested the lasagna, so obviously the smell isn't an issue, but to me that does seem a bit heavy. And I have to bring my thinking back to - this isn't a dinner, it is a lunch, so you should not be expecting huge servings of something. I could see comfort foods, a sheperd's pie, beef n noodles, chicken alfredo, ham and scalloped potatoes, even a beef stew would be relatively inexpensive to make. Again, depending on the number I am doing this for, and remembering it is lunch size portions.

It will be cookies for dessert - thinking those cake box cookies would be easy and relatively inexpensive.

But I am pretty sure that after thinking about this all night, I don't think I can supply all the drinks, servingware, fruit, soup, entree and dessert for less than 9.00 and that will be me determining the menus.

Still looking for input, I appreciate all the responses. And Lorraine, we are so NOT high-end here. I gather he is from the Pittsburgh area, which I find hard to believe that he could get this for that price down there, but maybe is is trying to low-ball me.
More help from my friends, please?

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