A Dilemma.

Yesterday afternoon, I received an email from a rather large corporation (and because it isn't really ripe for discussion just yet, I'll withhold the name and let's just all call it Super Big Company).  The email asked us to respond to the possibility of providing dessert for 2500 guests at annual party hosted by Super Big Company.  TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED. shocked-will-smith


You knew there had to be a catch, right?

The catch is that the budget per person for dessert is .55-.65 cents, including all the materials needed to serve, such as napkins and forks.


So, before you whip out your calculator, on the high end of .65 cents times 2,500...the total payout is around $1,625.  I'm sure half of you will stop reading right now.

Since we are basically quizzing everyone we know about this, here is what we are thinking:

The Pros

  1. Huge honor to be asked to respond to the proposal for Super Big Company.
  2. Opportunity to expose over 2,000 people to PJP and WorldPieDomination, building brand recognition and (hopefully) a legion of new fans.
  3. It would be a huge challenge and Jeanne and I like nothing more than wondering if we can pull something off.

The Cons

  1. At .65 cents a serving, we wouldn't make a single cent of profit...in fact, we might lose a little.
  2. Using our current space to make 2,500 of anything will basically cripple normal PJP Buttonwood operations and walk-in customers probably would have few options on the day before and the day of the event.
  3. We might kill each other because the stress of performing well means one or both of us will cry and probably be shouty with the other one.

So, you can see our dilemma...solid arguments for both sides.  And probably an excellent example of what any entrepreneur deals with as a business grows.  I feel like this should be a problem in a textbook somewhere...much like, "If a big company asks PJP to make 2,500 servings of pie and is willing to pay .65 cents per serving, what is the break-even analysis?  Show your work."  Or maybe even "If Jeanne gets on a  train in Los Angeles with 1,250 tarts and Rebecca gets on a train in New York with 1,250 tarts, who will get to Super Big Company party first?".  But I digress.

We will need to submit an answer by this time next week, so comments welcome.