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Hoosier Chef
03-29-2011, 05:07 PM
Hello. I am a classically trained chef with a passion for the que. I own a BBQ catering company and am planning to dive into competition this season. I know my way around a smoker, although competition is new to me. I've taken some classes, read a thousand pages from the masters (multiple times) and believe I am ready to tackle my first season. I am as ready as anyone that started in competition...at least I think so...lol.

Last night, I secured a sponsor to pay all entry fees, expenses and product. In return, I give back all winnings and money earned from vending. The goal is to break even and\or make them some cash in the form of fundraising. I will have all of the help I can handle provided by the sponsor, so I can concentrate on the competition, while others can work on the vending. I am not looking to profit from competitions at this point. I want the experience and hopefully some glory to establish my catering company. This would be a long term relationship with the sponsor, assuming I can break even and/or raise the sponsor some funds, while getting their name out to the public.

My question is this.....How much money can I expect to earn in vending at a small to medium sized competition? Is it a reasonable assumption that I could break even with local contests (nothing far away)?

Thanks for any input. If you see pitfalls in my plan, please point them out.

Have a good one.

Dr_KY
03-29-2011, 05:38 PM
Hello. I am a classically trained chef with a passion for the que. I own a BBQ catering company and am planning to dive into competition this season. I know my way around a smoker, although competition is new to me. I've taken some classes, read a thousand pages from the masters (multiple times) and believe I am ready to tackle my first season. I am as ready as anyone that started in competition...at least I think so...lol.

Last night, I secured a sponsor to pay all entry fees, expenses and product. In return, I give back all winnings and money earned from vending. The goal is to break even and\or make them some cash in the form of fundraising. I will have all of the help I can handle provided by the sponsor, so I can concentrate on the competition, while others can work on the vending. I am not looking to profit from competitions at this point. I want the experience and hopefully some glory to establish my catering company. This would be a long term relationship with the sponsor, assuming I can break even and/or raise the sponsor some funds, while getting their name out to the public.

My question is this.....How much money can I expect to earn in vending at a small to medium sized competition? Is it a reasonable assumption that I could break even with local contests (nothing far away)?

Thanks for any input. If you see pitfalls in my plan, please point them out.

Have a good one.

Vending at competitions isn't really done here so I can't comment on what you can expect to average but I am a little concerned with the sponsorship deal you cut. Let's say you have a superior year and end up at the Jack or Royal and winning the whole shooting match would be happy to hand over that check and all those before it to your sponsor? What business is your sponsor in?
Doc

Hoosier Chef
03-29-2011, 05:46 PM
Vending at competitions isn't really done here so I can't comment on what you can expect to average but I am a little concerned with the sponsorship deal you cut. Let's say you have a superior year and end up at the Jack or Royal and winning the whole shooting match would be happy to hand over that check and all those before it to your sponsor? What business is your sponsor in?
Doc

While I appreciate your faith in me, I am not expecting to take home Grand Champion at the Royal. Wait, let me dream about that for a second.......:pray:

This year is all about learning and the experience. There is no contract and the sponsor is a non-profit culinary organization that I am a member of. They are looking for some community exposure, while giving a few members the experience of competing. The sponsorship would take the pressure of expenses from me, so that I can concentrate on competing, while giving back to the organization.

KC_Bobby
03-29-2011, 05:58 PM
While I appreciate your faith in me, I am not expecting to take home Grand Champion at the Royal.

I don't think anyone does.

As far as vending profits vs. comp expenses ... profits should outweigh expenses. Are you planning on vending at each comp you will be sponsored at?

Dr_KY
03-29-2011, 06:01 PM
This year is all about learning and the experience. There is no contract and the sponsor is a non-profit culinary organization that I am a member of. They are looking for some community exposure, while giving a few members the experience of competing. The sponsorship would take the pressure of expenses from me, so that I can concentrate on competing, while giving back to the organization.
Ahh now I see said the blind man. Sounds like it should work well for both of you. :thumb::thumb:

SirPorkaLot
03-29-2011, 07:16 PM
Biggest issue i see with your plan is that competition & vending is two different animals.

Most comps we go to they don't allow the competing teams to vend (at least not from their cook site), and they don't allow vendors to compete (from their vending site)



Vendors require health dept. inspections, licensing, and ability to churn out a lot or product in a short time
Competition Teams: Don't have to have licenses or HD inspections (other than on-site meat inspection), and turn out very little product (but high quality).

There are some contests you can do both, but you have to be set up to do so.

HBMTN
03-29-2011, 07:25 PM
If you vend you will pay all your expense, what is the plus for involving a sponsor? If you vend and give him the money the you are sponsoring him. Or I must be missing something.

Giving the sponsor the profit of vending and the winnings sounds like a SWEET deal for the sponsor.

luckyduk
03-29-2011, 09:45 PM
Sounds like you are their workhorse.....
you could get some experience for just your effort...which is a big plus!!
A fair deal would be to give them the vending profits and you get any winnings :thumb:...or at least a portion of them

jbrink01
03-29-2011, 09:56 PM
What is the KCBS rule on selling out of your contest pit? I am under the impression that it is verbotten!

TooSaucedToPork
03-29-2011, 10:23 PM
What is the KCBS rule on selling out of your contest pit? I am under the impression that it is verbotten!

It is...

Neil

Jeff Hughes
03-29-2011, 10:36 PM
Most comps around here don't have vending opportunities.

Also, most comp sites won't pass health dept vending requirements...

jbrink01
03-29-2011, 10:58 PM
Most comps around here don't have vending opportunities.

Also, most comp sites won't pass health dept vending requirements...
I'm toying with vending at a contest in St. Louis this fall, but if we do we'll take our vending pit / trailer and crew it whilst I contest cook out of my toyhauler.

KC_Bobby
03-29-2011, 11:24 PM
Most comps we go to they don't allow the competing teams to vend (at least not from their cook site), and they don't allow vendors to compete (from their vending site)

Seems like around the Midwest it's the opposite. In order to vend, you must be a competition team and turn in at least one entry in order to vend again the following year.

SirPorkaLot
03-29-2011, 11:31 PM
Most comps around here don't have vending opportunities.

Also, most comp sites won't pass health dept vending requirements...

This is what I see too. If there is vending opportunities, it is on a different part of the site.

Of course, I'm not talking about people's choice events, or samples.

SirPorkaLot
03-29-2011, 11:33 PM
Seems like around the Midwest it's the opposite. In order to vend, you must be a competition team and turn in at least one entry in order to vend again the following year.

Interesting.
We seem to get a mixed bag in the southeast, but for the most part, you rarely see a team that is competing, vending at the same event.

Hoosier Chef
03-30-2011, 01:06 AM
Sounds like you are their workhorse.....
you could get some experience for just your effort...which is a big plus!!
A fair deal would be to give them the vending profits and you get any winnings :thumb:...or at least a portion of them

Like I said before, I plan to concentrate on putting out the best product possible, without having to worry about costs involved the first few times out of the gate. I am doing it to support the organization I am a part of and is sponsoring, while gaining experience. It is a win-win.

What is the KCBS rule on selling out of your contest pit? I am under the impression that it is verbotten!

That is news to me, but I am a rookie. I read the entire rules book and supporting docs on KCBS.com and saw no mention of this. I could be wrong. I have sent an email to the contest sponsor for clarification.

I wonder if I smoke butts and brisket the day before and reheat onsite on a different pit or grill, if I can sidestep this supposed rule.

Seems like around the Midwest it's the opposite. In order to vend, you must be a competition team and turn in at least one entry in order to vend again the following year.

That's what I was lead to believe.

Interesting.
We seem to get a mixed bag in the southeast, but for the most part, you rarely see a team that is competing, vending at the same event.

I figure there will be lots of hungry folks wanting barbecue, while they watch the contest. I've got people that will focus on vending, while I focus on the comp. Like I said, I'm a rookie. I probably have lots of false assumptions, but that is why I posted the topic....to have you guys poke holes in my plan.

Thanks to all that responded. You definitely helped my brainstorm. I'll let you know if I actually will vend or not. It's tough being a rookie, cause you have to learn everything on the fly....

Have a good one.

Rich Parker
03-30-2011, 06:54 AM
Ford vends and competes using the same rig everywhere he goes. If he doesn't find this thread shoot him a PM and he will give you an idea on numbers.

timzcardz
03-30-2011, 07:59 AM
What is the KCBS rule on selling out of your contest pit? I am under the impression that it is verbotten!

It is...

Neil

What rule is that based on?

I wasn't aware of it and am unable to find it in KCBS' 2011 Rules and Regulations, so if it is a rule please point it out for Hoosier Chef's benefit (and the rest of us).

RobKC
03-30-2011, 08:43 AM
Yeah, I don't see where KCBS would have any jurisdiction over the vending part of a competition. That would be up to the local organizer and HD.

Balls Casten
03-30-2011, 09:08 AM
He is not vending out of a contest site. He is competing out of a vending site.

Big Sticky
03-30-2011, 12:00 PM
I do think that more comps should try and get venders. When people go to a BBQ competition they want to try BBQ. You also can not have too many venders. The venders need to be able to make money.

The more people the comps draw the more likely it is for the organizer to get sponsorship money. That makes it better for the teams.

Hoosier Chef
03-30-2011, 02:11 PM
He is not vending out of a contest site. He is competing out of a vending site.

Well, I am signed up for the contest site and hope to vend from it. I'm not sure what the difference is. I Googled vending at KCBS contests and found examples all over the country of people vending at contests. If it is a rule, as some have said, it is not being enforced.

I talked to the coordinator, who is also brethren. Since I am fundraising, I am hoping to work out a deal with the event sponsor, who is also fundraising with some que. They are soliciting teams to provide some que for them. I am offering to provide all the que and split the profits between our fundraisers when they and I vend to the public. Hopefully they will see that it is a good deal.

I do think that more comps should try and get venders. When people go to a BBQ competition they want to try BBQ. You also can not have too many venders. The venders need to be able to make money.

The more people the comps draw the more likely it is for the organizer to get sponsorship money. That makes it better for the teams.

Agreed. I think it is a little different, since I am vending for a non-profit. I hope to compete, gain experience and raise money as well. As Charlie Sheen says, it is so full of win....lol.

Hoosier Chef
03-30-2011, 02:19 PM
Ford vends and competes using the same rig everywhere he goes. If he doesn't find this thread shoot him a PM and he will give you an idea on numbers.

I'm kinda new here and don't know everyone. Could you either send him a pm about this thread or let me know his handle here. I've got questions. Thanks.

JD McGee
03-30-2011, 02:27 PM
Vending while competing is common here in our neck of the woods and most vendors do well with making a profit...the big money is in pulled pork, brisket, and tri-tip sandwiches. Good luck!

Balls Casten
03-30-2011, 03:03 PM
Well, I am signed up for the contest site and hope to vend from it. I'm not sure what the difference is. I Googled vending at KCBS contests and found examples all over the country of people vending at contests. If it is a rule, as some have said, it is not being enforced.

Point being anyone who signs up for a contest can not just start selling food. regs need to be met, organizer needs approval, etc., etc

I was associating a vendors "site" with having approvals to vend. A contest or contestants site does not.

JD McGee
03-30-2011, 03:18 PM
Tru-dat...permits are needed here as well as an onsite hd inspection...first stop...the local hd for the info on vending onsite...

Hoosier Chef
03-30-2011, 03:19 PM
Point being anyone who signs up for a contest can not just start selling food. regs need to be met, organizer needs approval, etc., etc

I was associating a vendors "site" with having approvals to vend. A contest or contestants site does not.

I understand now. Your post didn't make sense to me at first. I will definitely be legit. My point of this thread was to get feedback, so that I know the right questions to ask.

Tru-dat...permits are needed here as well as an onsite hd inspection...first stop...the local hd for the info on vending onsite...

Definitely will. I am working all summer at a farmers market and catering privately, so I am well on my way to getting permits all over the area.

You guys are awesome and have helped tremendously. Thanks!

Balls Casten
03-30-2011, 03:49 PM
i.e. here is a vendor app for the Waterloo contest in Iowa.
http://www.mainstreetwaterloo.org/assets/UploadedFiles/Themes/2011%20BBQLoo%20-%20Vendor%20Application.doc
This is seperate from a team app
http://www.mainstreetwaterloo.org/assets/UploadedFiles/Themes/2011%20BBQLoo%20-%20Team%20Application.doc


Talk to the event organizers, they will tell you what you can and can not do.

SirPorkaLot
03-30-2011, 03:56 PM
Talk to the event organizers, they will tell you what you can and can not do.

^^^That is the key.

Best of luck.
I love competing, I hate vending.
In fact i dislike dealing with the public in anyway, they are a pain. :doh:

5-0 BBQ
03-30-2011, 04:00 PM
I did a competition once where we vended and competed as a favor for the event coordinator. He was lacking vendors and wanted to have something for the public to experience. The day turned out to be 107 with the heat index so very few people showed and we broke even.

I vowed to never do it again. It was too crazy even with extra help.

SirPorkaLot
03-30-2011, 04:02 PM
I did a competition once where we vended and competed as a favor for the event coordinator. He was lacking vendors and wanted to have something for the public to experience. The day turned out to be 107 with the heat index so very few people showed and we broke even.

I vowed to never do it again. It was too crazy even with extra help.

I think I just bought the latest maverick from you. :thumb:
or at least the amazon confirmation i got said it was shipped by 5.0 bbq

meatinc
03-30-2011, 04:06 PM
At the comps we attend we can also do People's Choice or Taste of BBQ. We call it vending but we are not vendors - we are a BBQ team. There are food vendors at some of the events we do but they are not competitors. I don't know of any teams that are true Food Vendors AND a Comp Team. Most would require two separate entry fees and would allocate two separate spaces - one space for each activity.

Now PC or Taste of BBQ is great for us because #1 - we aren't really that good at competing :tsk: BUT #2 - we are pretty good at People's Choice :-D. The people's choice is usually split with the organizer's charity - typically 50/50 split. So depending on how many poeple the promoter and the teams get to attend the event will determine how much PC we can sell. Some are better than others - Stagecoach is a HUGE draw and a captive audience. Havasu would have been better if the rain didn't decide to show up. Other events would have been better if we weren't in the bank parking lot (Sorry Dale G - I had to say it). Some events are crazy good - see some of the PC comments from AZ BBQ Festival - some of the teams sold over 1500 samples / PC!

Bottom line is - we typically don't break even - except at 2 or 3 comps throughout the year - those comps offset the loss for the rest of the comps we attend.

Vending - true food vending - is a different story. That would be based on the crowd, how much competition you have, and the percieved value from your potential customers. If you are truely a food vendor at a comp that has PC, the crowd will probably spend most of their money on PC from the BBQ teams. If the event is large enough, you may do OK but probably on food items that are not BBQ - like kettle corn, water, and things kids like to eat.

5-0 BBQ
03-30-2011, 04:12 PM
I think I just bought the latest maverick from you. :thumb:
or at least the amazon confirmation i got said it was shipped by 5.0 bbq
That is us. Just my wife and I with a BBQ store outside of Baltimore.

JD McGee
03-30-2011, 04:39 PM
We do a lot of public sampling in conjunction with charity events for our local comp sponsors...we are still inspected by the local hd but because we are not selling no permit is required. I love competing and I love catering...but I will never combine the two...

pat
03-30-2011, 04:52 PM
I was associating a vendors "site" with having approvals to vend. A contest or contestants site does not.

I understand now. Your post didn't make sense to me at first.


Doug probably hasn't started drinking yet today so he is hard to understand until that time comes :becky:

Balls Casten
03-30-2011, 05:00 PM
Doug probably hasn't started drinking yet today so he is hard to understand until that time comes :becky:

Made sense to me. :becky:

worthsmokin
03-30-2011, 05:32 PM
I had no idea it was forbidden in the eyes of KCBS.

We vended at NKC, made enough to pay our entry (my fault for cooking way to much, first experience).

We are going to Sugar Creek competing and vending then the next week at St. Joseph vending and competing. At St. Joe I know you have to compete to vend

ThomEmery
03-30-2011, 08:39 PM
We vend at contests most of the time out here

BigBellyBBQ
03-31-2011, 08:27 PM
A true sponsor expects you to promote thier products or buisiness and incorporate that into your process of selling your BBQ and while you are promoting & also building YOUR deal, you should not work for nothing, if that is the case just compete and promote them that way..but to break your butt and hand over the cash should be re-thought..