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Old 09-04-2015, 23:22   #1
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Provisioning Service Cost?

Has anyone used a food provisioning service in the Miami/Florida Keys area? If so, could you please tell me approx. cost per day for basic breakfast, lunch and dinner? My husband, 4 children (all girls, all normal appetites) and and I just arrived home from our bucket-list, saved and scrimped for, 4-day sailing trip in that area. We used a small catering service for food provisions recommended by the company we chartered the boat from. She didn't send me a food checklist, just asked about what we liked, what I was comfortable cooking, etc. The food was all grocery bought and good quality, but nothing too fancy (cold cuts, potato salad, ground beef, etc.) We did ask for two bottles of wine (in the $10 - $15 range) and a 12 pack of Becks. I got the bill this morning. Almost $900 which included a 22% service fee. Yes - we are a family of 6. Yes - my husband and I had beer and wine. But $900 for 2 days of breakfast, lunch and dinner and 2 days of just breakfast and lunch??? I was hoping to get some feedback about whether my sticker shock is valid or not. Thank you!!!
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Old 10-04-2015, 03:16   #2
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Re: Provisioning Service Cost?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, aspenlily.
I agree, that those numbers seem very pricey.
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Old 12-04-2015, 13:46   #3
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Re: Provisioning Service Cost?

Yikes! This is outrageous. Note to a Miami liveaboard who needs extra money: Start a concierge service to provide provisioning and other gofer services. I met a woman who has a very successful concierge service in Carrabelle in the Florida Panhandle. The port is popular with anglers but is in the middle of nowhere. She shops, shuttles people to the city for shopping or doctor visits, picks up at the airport, ad inf. I believe some cities have such services as Gal Friday or Personal Shopper. Your mistake was probably in going to a caterer. They usually deal with people who are on a splurge.
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Old 12-04-2015, 14:13   #4
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Re: Provisioning Service Cost?

900 less possibly 6% sales tax? less a 22% service fee...that's $846 then $659...less $50 for the beer and wine...So call it $609 for the food itself? $100 per person for two dinners and four other meals is more than what you could buy them for at the super-market, but not a total shock for "hotel" dining rates.


I don't say it is reasonable but these days when a gallon of Coke, gasoline, or milk all cost the same four bucks in many places...I'd note that over the last ten years a lot of companies have spent a LOT of money offering "online shopping", which is basically the same as "provisioning". Even Publix, the big and widely praised supermarket chain in Florida. And they stopped offering it because they couldn't get reliable shoppers, and the customers kept complaining "they didn't pick a good head of lettuce...the steaks were too fatty...the milk had a short date..." You know, all the things one shopper might not notice while the other demands perfection?


Of course in Miami and places like that, you can spend $20-30 on a ride, spend an hour or two shopping (the supermarkets conveniently sell wine and beer, although not hard liquor) and another ride back...and I'd bet the $900 becomes $350, maybe $425 with the cabs, but it will cost you a half day of your vacation time. If they did a good job picking quality provisions...that's hard enough these days.
Boar's Head coldcuts, $12/lb. Store brands? Half of that. USDA Prime Meat? Enough to make you have a cow. Pun intended.
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Old 12-04-2015, 15:54   #5
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Re: Provisioning Service Cost?

Simple math. You served 6 people at 10 sittings. So call that 60 meals. At 900 dollars total thats 15 dollars per individual meal.

Put it another way. Each time your family of 6 sat down to eat the 'restaraunt' bill was 90 dollars. And you did the cooking/cleaning/serving.

Think it was worth it?
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Old 20-04-2015, 11:37   #6
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Re: Provisioning Service Cost?

It was definitely not worth it! We are in the process of contesting charges. Thanks for your feedback!
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Old 20-04-2015, 11:59   #7
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Re: Provisioning Service Cost?

@ aspenlily38,

Sorry you feel you got burned.It is a tough call.Certainly seems pricey to me though knowing what goods you received would give idea of price fairness.

Perhaps,if there is a next time,ask more questions of provider.Maybe service you and daughters may provide.


All the Best
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Old 20-04-2015, 12:02   #8
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Re: Provisioning Service Cost?

Why would provisioning take half a day? Last time we did an extended trip, 11 days St.Pete via Dry Tortugas and Key West to Palm Beach, we took a cab at Tampa airport straight to Costco. Negotiated with the driver a flat rate all the way to the marina in St. Pete. Got all of our shopping done in one place as Costco has a liquor store next door and were at the boat 2.5 hours after our touch down in Tampa. 4 adults 11 days, lots of booze and food our total bill was around $600-650. That's about $5 a meal INCL. alcohol, $5.50 if you include the cost of the taxi.
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Old 20-04-2015, 12:16   #9
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Re: Provisioning Service Cost?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
Why would provisioning take half a day?

If you have ever been shopping with my Wife, you would understand. All I can say
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Old 20-04-2015, 12:38   #10
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Re: Provisioning Service Cost?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
If you have ever been shopping with my Wife, you would understand. All I can say
She must be related to my g/f.

Then it's not a question of half a day but "will we be done by X-mas?"
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Old 20-04-2015, 13:40   #11
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Re: Provisioning Service Cost?

@ Island Time 025,

That's the way to do it. Next trip, we will for sure be self-provisioning!!
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Old 20-04-2015, 13:43   #12
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Re: Provisioning Service Cost?

@ hellosailer -
Thank you so much your feedback! You raised a lot of good points. In this case, however, transportation cost would have been $0 since there is a grocery store located in Grove Harbor, Miami where we chartered the boat. I would have lost an hour or more in time, which, given the short length of our vacation, would not have been ideal, but definitely not a major deal. Also, the charter company normally provides an in-house provisioning service at flat $50 fee, which is very reasonable. However, the company's new VP of Operations told us he was trying to establish a relationship with local catering company. He said the the fee would be the same - $50. But the catering company charged us a total of us $217.55 in shopping and delivery fees + $625 in provisions. Had I received a shopping list to review, I would have cut the amount of food in half. We agreed to pay $550. They said they'll "settle" for $820. The charter company is now telling us that they don't want to be involved in our dispute with the caterer. And the whole thing is sadly, a big fat EXPENSIVE mess!
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