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Fundraising-Spaghetti Dinner 500+
Ok, I will try to be concise. I am a 24 year old guy, recently engaged during Christmas and I want to have a fundraiser to help pay for some wedding expenses(wedding is in June). In my mind I'm shooting to sell 500+ spaghetti dinners at 7$ a piece. I'm also trying to coordinate having all of these dinners delivered to the individuals and businesses that order. I set the date as Friday, Feb 25th, so I know that I need to get rolling on this project.
I put on a Mexican Dinner last year to raise money for a short term missions trip I went on to Panama and sold 125 plates and managed decently enough with 1 cook and only two delivery drivers. We were able to have a lot prepared beforehand and my cook was experienced with these types of dinners.
I have access to one of our buildings at church that has a full sized kitchen, large capacity fridge(not walk in), and a fair amount of room to work with. I won't be using the same cook that I had last year and I can clearly see now that I will need a lot more help this time around if I can manage to generate the sales that I'm shooting for.
I'd like to have all of my drivers deliver around lunch time between 10:00 and 12:30. The menu I came up with was Spaghetti with meat sauce, seasoned corn, bread rolls, dill pickle, and a fudge round. I figured I could have a lot prepared before the day of to help things move faster, but my fiancee just informed me that dill pickles do not belong in the menu with a spaghetti dinner. I wanted that only for the ease of preparation.
Any and all advice would be GREATLY appreciated including insight on how many people I'm needing to get involved, recipes, substitutions in the menu, time frames on getting the cooking done, what to use to cook this much, budgeting, and especially any advice on how I could get the word out and advertise to sell as much as possible. I have 2-5 groomsmen willing to help me as much as they can manage but I know that we need more help and we especially need the advice of someone more seasoned at this type of a thing than ourselves. Maybe I should start by asking people in my local church?
2 specific questions- Is advertising or recruiting help in the local newspaper a bad idea? Is it wise to publicly offer to pay a couple of people for their time in selling dinners so that we expand our reach faster?
Hello, Kaice,
Had to do some thinking about this interesting request.
Recruit help from people you know. They will be handling money and going to people's homes and places of business, strangers are not a good idea.

You seriously need an experienced cook/manager. The cooking churches are a good place to look.

Please consider doing it in 2 or 3 events. 500 plates at 1 minutes per plate to serve over 2 1/2 hours requires 4 people just serving the entire time, not counting cooks, servers, etc. See how you are outside your help range at 500?

Also, consider a menu change. $7 is a lot for this plate. At the same cost, you could serve lasagna (which is MUCH easier to serve and transport) or meatball or sausage and pepper subs; change the corn for a green vegetable, or corn and pickle for a nice little antipasto salad (marinated green and red beans, a bit of cheese, a couple of cherry tomatoes, an olive or two...), the Italian bread and a nice chocolate dessert. Same cost, easier prep, more serious meal.

Thanks! This helps more than you know. Will get started today