Quick: Pancake Breakfast Prices

I’m quickly trying to plan a breakfast for the week of the 18th, and need to know what other team usually charge for a ticket. Pricing for seniors/children is welcome also. I know it won’t be as good as a well planned one, but we need money fast. I’ve been reading the whitepaper from NEMO on the subject, but teams with suggestions/comments are welcome.

There’s no way anyone’s talking me out of doing this, btw. The team members are so enthusiastic about it. :slight_smile:

My church youth group usually charges somewhere around $6-8 (IIRC). They also have an auction. I have no idea what they make.

I would start by figuring out you costs per person. figure out how many pancakes a person will eat. I personally can eat maybe 4 of the small 6 inch diameter ones with syrup before i am not hungry anymore. so maybe count on four per person.

what else are you going to have there to eat? milk, coffee, juice (apple/orange), muffins, eggs, bacon, sausage, cereal,

a microwave? coffee machine(s)? cups, plates, napkins, forks, spoons, knives. Definetely need hotplates.

you can get like 20 pound bags of pancake batter. hit up your local costco/samsclub/wholesale store for materials.

how many people are going to come?
I would recommend a saturday.

Where are you going to host it? churches are good with this sometimes. the school might let you.

I would suggest a raffle. Maybe have a presentation and video ( I can give you our teams recruit ment ones if that would help you)

how big is your town?

How are you going to advertise?

how many people are too many people?

-vivek

what else are you going to have there to eat? milk, coffee, juice (apple/orange), muffins, eggs, bacon, sausage, cereal, Yeah, just about all of those.

a microwave? coffee machine(s)? cups, plates, napkins, forks, spoons, knives. Definetely need hotplates. Uh-huh. Especially the hotplates.

you can get like 20 pound bags of pancake batter. hit up your local costco/samsclub/wholesale store for materials. We got a Sams Club in a nearby town.

how many people are going to come?
I would recommend a saturday. We don’t know yet, still in progress. Hoping for Saturday

Where are you going to host it? churches are good with this sometimes. the school might let you. Looking for a church, but will take the community center also.

I would suggest a raffle. Maybe have a presentation and video ( I can give you our teams recruit ment ones if that would help you) Raffle may not happen this time, but vids/presentation is a must. Go to the IRC, plz.

how big is your town? My mom knows my friends’ moms. They went to the same highschool, grew up on the same street, and knows all the politics/administrators. You can’t do something that the rest of the town won’t know about. Exact size, I don’t know.

How are you going to advertise? **Flyers in local stores/businesses, school paper, radio/local tv (next time), **

how many people are too many people? I’m thinking more than fifty, but it depends on venue, funds, and time.

You can charge about the same as you would for a pasta dinner in your town - what do those go for usually? Here I would say the $6-8 range is about right.
Krusteaz pancake mix offers a rebate I think - look on the back of the big packages.
Make sure your team is trained on how to be wait staff - nothing worse than being at a team pasta dinner/pancake breakfast, dying for coffee, juice, SOMETHING and seeing a bunch of students and mentors hanging around in groups talking… :eek: Not only do they need to learn how to serve properly, they also need to be assigned tables and be attentive AND how to schmooze at the same time. “So… are you familiar with FIRST robotics???” as they pour coffee… and “Did you know that we built that robot (points) in a mere 6 weeks???”… and “I love being part of this team because…(fill in the blank)”… and “Did you know that our team relies on sponsors from the community because we are not funded by the school budget? Would you like to see our wish list???”… and “Because I’m a member of this team, I’m eligible to apply for $9M of scholarships to college!” and… well, you get the picture!

We are actually having a pancake starting at 8o’clock tomorrow morning as a fundraiser its the first one we’ve done. Were charging 5bucks a person and thats all i know as far as details. were doing it before we host a little mini competition in our team with some others

My previous team does pancake breakfast fundraisers almost every year (I think they’re doing one next weekend, as a matter of fact; so if you can, check it out! :smiley: ) They have always charged $5, and it seems to make a pretty good profit. (Although you must also keep in mind that the students pre-sold some of the tickets, and we had a few weeks to spread the word around.)

Good luck with your endeavors! Hope this helps a little bit!
:slight_smile:

People who have an unexpectedly nice experience at some dumb pancake breakfast sometimes turn into SPONSORS. A single $1000 sponsor is worth a whole pancake breacfast, maybe more. So, the parts about “good wait staff” and “schmooze” are so very important.

Oh, and the Krusteaz (no relation to Herschel Krustofsky) stuff tastes Great!

Don

Krusteaz it is! I like it too, my aunt works at Sam’s Club. Also, $5 sounds just about right. I’m just working on a venue, need to get everyone on the same page. I’ll keep you guys posted.

Alivia, I would, but I don’t have a car right now. Hopefully I can pull this off, I do work at a restaurant now, so that helps a lot.

We get 90% of the foodstuffs donated. Ask around. It’s an easy donation. Duncan Donuts donated a HUGE tank of coffee.

Another easy thing you can do is sell advertising on paper placemats 11x14. $25 for a business card size, $50 for a double business card. $10 for a two line ad. Printing shop donated the printing for a double size ad.
Profit alone on the placemats was $500.

VERYYY good advice! I forgot to mention that in my previous post. We also got most of the items we used donated. That way, it’s (almost) entirely profit.

And don’t worry about not being able to make it to Team Hammond’s Pancake Breakfast. I was just letting everyone know, in case they wanted to come as well.

Let us know how it all turns out!

As EricH mentioned, our church youth group has had a huge pancake breakfast for years (100’s of people, 1000’s of $$, and a rented portable kitchen downstairs). Based on their success, I have some suggestions:

Since this is your first time, keep it simple! Focus on the pancakes–maybe a couple variations in flavor (add chopped banana) and toppings (2 kinds of syrup, whipped cream). Starch: pancakes, so you don’t need muffins, cereal & milk. Protein: sausage, maybe bacon (but sausage is cheaper). Eggs are expensive, messy, and increase the risk of food poisoning if not handled properly. Fruit: in addition to OJ, if it’s not too expensive (i.e., if it’s donated), you could use large cans of pie filling for alternate toppings. Or just have fresh fruit available.

If you have just plain pancakes, butter, syrup, and sausage, I don’t think people will complain. If you make it fancy, you should price your tickets higher.

a microwave? coffee machine(s)? cups, plates, napkins, forks, spoons, knives. Definetely need hotplates. Uh-huh. Especially the hotplates.

Unless your facility has very good electricity, beware of hotplates! Aside from blowing a circuit or two, the cords can pose a tripping hazard, especially if your servers are standing behind the table. For masses of pancakes and sausage, professional-style steam trays with Sterno cans underneath are better, especially if you can borrow them. You’ll need extra trays for trading with the kitchen. Save the electricity for the coffee pots.

how big is your town? My mom knows my friends’ moms. They went to the same highschool, grew up on the same street, and knows all the politics/administrators. You can’t do something that the rest of the town won’t know about. Exact size, I don’t know.

Your city web site puts the population under 15,000 in the year 2000. But your town culture is more important than its size.

how many people are too many people? I’m thinking more than fifty, but it depends on venue, funds, and time.

How can there be too many people for a fundraiser? On a Saturday, you should be able to send someone on an emergency supply run if needed. (Confession: sometimes team 330 has to do this for our spaghetti dinners.)

If you presell tickets at one price, then charge $1 more for people who buy at the door, you might have a better idea how many are coming. Plus, it can be a selling point so people will donate, even if they don’t come.
You could have separate pricing for adults and for kids under 12; that way, more families will want to come. Make clear whether it’s all-you-can-eat, or per plate. (I think most people prefer the former.)

Make sure the food you serve is good, and the presentations/ raffle/ entertainment are fun. Then your guests will want to come back next year.

About the hotplates, it was late when I posted that. I meant those food warmers with the little candle things. Safety is still an issue with those, I know. Unless you really think the plates would be better. Thanks for the advice, Karen! Tommorrow after work I’ll be calling the church for a venue and checking the local Sam’s Club and Costco for donations/prices.

Also, what do your tickets look like and contain? Obviously location, price, date. What size do you use? Business card?

Strange side problem. I was IM’ing one of the other team members about planning, and she said the she wouldn’t be able to go to another church (besides her home one) for anything. I don’t know why exactly, very perplexing, but I acknowledged it, but the problem is the school’s cafeteria… leaves much to be desired, no good community center. Plus, I’ve been in here, it’s nice.
Is it worth it to sacrifice one team member for a better venue, or to include her in a place that may not work out as well? I’ve talked to a couple of other people, and they all agreed that this church would be best.

Tickets–
Talk to whoever will be printing them about the best ticket size–bigger than a business card, for sure. Maybe about 6" wide by 2" high. The printer will know what size is economical, but big enough to be read easily.

For accounting purposes, it may be handy to have a stub. Or each person selling tickets could have a printed sheet where they can write the number of tickets sold. (The sheet would also have selling instructions, so everyone knows what to do.) This is necessary if you use a 2-tiered pricing scheme. Let’s say you sell adult tickets for $7, and kids under 12 for $5. You would have those items printed on all the tickets, with check boxes or circles for the seller to mark which price they sold. The sellers would also have to mark, on the stub or the sheet of paper, which one they sold.

This way, you only print one set of tickets. You don’t have to number the tickets, either. If you have door prizes or a drawing, you can just buy a standard roll of raffle tickets to be sold or distributed at the event.

On the other hand, if you have a one-price scheme and distribute the tickets to team members in blocks of 10, then you can simply record how many blocks went to each team member. On the day of the breakfast, or maybe the night before, team members will need to turn in all the money and unsold tickets. They should also keep track of donations made in addition to tickets sold.

Other than having all the essential information on them, I don’t remember what our tickets look like. The tickets should be attractive, of course. They should have a professional, uncluttered look so that people will be able to decipher them quickly. (Remember, your best customers may be in the over-40 crowd that often needs reading glasses.) Your team logo, and one or two phrases of team “advertising” plus a contact phone number would be a good idea. Above all, make sure that the information is accurate. Have someone with a sharp eye proofread the artwork before they’re printed.

Facility–

It is essential that you have an adequate kitchen and equipment. Be specific about what your requirements are, so you can be certain which facilities do / do not fill the bill. Is it a question of adequate vs. best? Or adequate vs. inadequate? (Our church has an inadequate kitchen. For large gatherings, we are always improvising, hence the rented portable kitchen. But our organizers also have plenty of experience improvising. :slight_smile: )

If your team member belongs to a church that forbids its members to set foot in any other church, then she must do what they say. It may be helpful to clarify what the real reason is. Maybe you should talk to the head clergy of her church to find out what the policy actually is, because church members sometimes get confused about church policies. I can’t advise you on what decision you should make, but if you can clarify what’s going on, the situation may turn out to be different than what it appears.

As a person that has little fund-raising skills, I have little to add except my opinions…

Don’t forget the local newspaper for a blurb. Our town newspaper likes prewritten articles as it’s less writing for them and fills the paper. Make sure you get it to them in plenty of time. Monday or Tuesday for a Thursday issue (weekly publishing) right before the Saturday breakfast.

I like the idea of ads on the placemats – never would of thought of that. Even a picture of the robot would be good.

If you presell tickets at one price, then charge $1 more for people who buy at the door

Presell tickets at a discount, regular price at the door. Note how that sounds better, even if they are the same prices? You can reach more people with the presales, at school, neighborhood, etc.

Bring any robots you have to the breakfast, and have them on display or drivable in a separate area. The youngsters like to watch/drive after eating as the grownups sit around and chat after eating. And, after all, that is what you’re showing off. If you don’t have one, pictures of what you’re doing would help, with people that can clearly explain what’s going on. (Make sure the syrup is washed off the hands first!)

As for a member not being allowed to go to another church other than her own, that is unusual but not unheard of. There are many possible reasons, and many possible rebuttals, but this forum is not the place for that. If she is comfortable not going, or not comfortable going, give her an excused absence. There’ll be other fundraisers.

I can only say that, unless the church is very small (one room), rental functions such as pancake breakfasts and the like are not in the sanctuary itself but in a separate, more neutral function room. As a matter of fact, the church will probably block off the sanctuary.

Portable kitchens? There are such a thing? (I’m getting a Homer Simpson moment there…)

Remember, while this is a fund raiser it is also an interest raiser. You never know where somebody, somewhere, somehow, will pop up and want to help. One person with a check, or even better, with hands and a mind that can help build a robot, is worth more than all the pancakes you can cook.

Finally, after reading all this, I’m ready for a big stack of pancakes!

Roger.


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Yep! Everything from backpack stoves to little fold-up units for when you go camping in the woods, to monsters like this. The one our church youth group used last spring was maybe 8-10 feet long, mainly used for the pancake griddle. I’ve seen the mid-sized ones used in a couple other places, too. You can be out in the middle of a community soccer field and have a real kitchen sink, complete with hot and cold running water.

Somewhere, somehow, some inventive geniuses think up wonderful things like these…

We managed to make $1441.80 off of the breakfast (thats minus grocery costs). In addition to that we also had a raffle with all donated baskets and raised $966.50 on that. We also sold some baked goods for $73.50. So in total we raised 2481.80 of pure profit in one day.

gasp… me wants details how many ppl came? tickets charged? how advertised? details porfavor’

thanks, vivek

That’s awesome. The pancake breakfasts and pasta dinners are usually no-brainers for fundraisers. People like to eat. That’s why NEMO created the white papers on them.

We sold tickets for $5/piece, under age 5 free. Each student was given 10 tickets to pre-sell. Tickets were also available at the door. We ran an article in our weekly town paper each week, starting three weeks prior. Our community is very supportive of school activities. We held our breakfast in conjunction with a Mini-robot competition, inviting an area team and their mentee, and a team we are mentoring. Parents took care of serving pancakes, sausage, juice, milk, and coffee. Students took care of competition details. Two enthusiastic moms took on the raffle and collected over $1200 donated items from area businesses, put together 20 great baskets, sold tickets for $1/piece, 6 for $5, 25 for $20. People put their tickets in the can that went with what they wanted to win. Our popular privately owned pizza place donated a certificate good for 1 pizza a month for a year worth $150! There were 178 tickets in this can!! Event combined fund raising, raising awareness of FIRST, and networking among new teams in the area.