A Terrific Summer Job for Many Reasons

My 10 yr old has gone into biz for himself. It all started with the cookbook and the notion of cooking and charging his family. I told him we were the taste testers and he couldn’t charge us. But I did share the idea of cooking for friends and neighbors. Well, he made Ricotta and Spinach Stuffed Shells. And I must say they were better than mine. You should have seen the look of pride. I told him the neighbors would love to have such a tasty home cooked meal. He wrote out a menu with prices. We talked about how businesses figure out the cost of their products. First he was going to charge what the book listed as the cost to make the dish. I explained that price would be just ingredients then he would have no profits. So he figured Ingredients plus profit. That is better thinking but I explained that businesses also have to take into consideration overhead. So for him it would be electricity, rent of my kitchen, water, gas. I told restaurants double or triple the base cost on their menus. Since he is just starting, he decided to double it. And I decided to be a nice mom and not charge overhead. In fact I even paid for the first batch of ingredients. He has to pay for the ingredients after that out of his profits. I explained to him that if he adds meat then he can charge more since meat is an added cost. He packed one stuffed shell for each household and walked them over to the neighbors. He explained that he was taking orders for his home made food and here is a sample of the stuffed shells. Then he had to be patient and wait for the orders to come in. Of course grandma and grandpa ordered one of everything on his menu. Even during their visit he got out the fry pan and made pancakes on the spot. The grandparents were impressed with how focused he was making them. A few days later he got his first order from the neighbors. He is funny. He told them he is not open on the weekend and he can only handle 2 orders at a time.

Here is the menu he passed out. Each item feeds 3-4 adults.

The Amazing Menu

A Dozen Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells with Marinara

With Extra Lean Ground Turkey….$18.00      Without Meat ….$12.00

Dinner Salad …….$5.00

Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and Garbanzo beans.

Homemade Lemonade

by the cup…$1         by the Pitcher…..$5.00

Wheat Pancakes with your choice of toppings…….$3.00

Topping Choices …. M & Ms, Blueberries, or Cranberries

So being the teacher that I am, I couldn’t let this venture go without getting a few academic lessons in. I have him making a bar graph of menu items with number of orders on the other axis. Then he has another chart with a running total of customers and their order totals. And finally a subtraction problem deducting the amount he has from the $300.00 that he is trying to earn.

I paid for the ingredients to make the first batch so that he could make 2 orders of stuffed shells. Now that he has some money I made him pay for his own ingredients. He was shocked that the cost of the ingredients was so much. So after filling the 5th order at the cheaper price, we decided to raise the price of the stuffed shells from $10-$18. (i think it is still a bargain for a nice family size dinner entree.) He wanted to raise it to $30. I told him people might not want to pay that. I explained once he gets a fan base, then people will pay higher for his food because they know how good it is.

He has added a new item on his menu. Did I tell you he is a chocoholic? I found him a recipe for chocolate fudge. He has never had fudge. I told him it is a type of candy that is denser than a brownie and very sweet. We’ll see how it goes.

So the cafe is a success. He is just delivered his 9th order of stuffed shells. He has his heart set on buying a digital camera with his money. So we went comparison shopping at Office Depot, Best Buys, and Costco. He purchased a Nikon CoolPix in electric blue. Very cool. He is very proud of his purchase and has gone around snapping many pictures. I’ll see if I can get him to figure out how to get photos onto the blog.

2 b continued. please check back.

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