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jbrink01
05-01-2011, 05:57 PM
You guys know what I'm doing with my "shack" and I'd love to hear your ideas. The parameters are:
FEC 500, 48" Chargriller, BIG Offset (think 30 butts easy), convection oven, panini press, big warmer (30 pans), plenty of prep and wash area. Open weekends, seating for 32 inside, 24 outside, carryout.

I think I know what I want to do, but would love to hear - What would YOU serve?

PCDoctor_1979
05-01-2011, 09:39 PM
What do you consider your "signature" dish? What is your #1 requested item by your catering customers? That's where I would start and build a menu from there.

jbrink01
05-01-2011, 09:48 PM
#1 requests are beef brisket and twice baked potatoes. Pulled pork is #2.

Ford
05-01-2011, 09:54 PM
I cooked a meatloaf for Carolyn today on the Kettle. For a restaurant having smoked meatloaf with a potato and other side would make a great meal idea. I suggest it because it's not normally what people expect and it's darn good food and once people try it they want it.

Also I've seen BBQ pasta where you boil penne, rotini, etc and add pork and BBQ sauce and some cheese on top. It would be excellent baked.

For vending at events the nachos have been really selling and I'd like to try BBQ personal pizzas this year at an event where I can get extra help in the trailer and where I'm not cooking a contest. With prebaked crust you can have a pizza ready in 10 minutes.

But at the end of the day you want these suggestions as "additional menu items" and in most areas I think you'll hear the #1 seller is ribs, then either chicken or pork with brisket following. A lot of people still don't know what brisket is.

And I make sure I had a deep fryer for the fries. People sitting down in a restaurant want fries. Check out the BBQ chains and it's amazing how many people take fries as a side.

jbrink01
05-01-2011, 10:47 PM
Ford - I like your ideas, and your right, some folks don't know brisket. I've even contemplated keeping brisket as one of our "catering and roadside only" items because timing is so critical to quality. I think I could build on pulled pork, shredded chuckie, chicken or turkey and ribs.

parrdist
05-02-2011, 01:32 PM
Maybe make your Brisket a one day a week special. Say Wednesday is Brisket day. Other than that, Ribs,Ribs, Ribs, pulled pork, shredded beef, And did I say RIBS!!

parrdist
05-02-2011, 01:43 PM
I also like the meat loaf idea. I do a meat loaf on the grill and it's a hit and not too hard to produce a great product. Also the pasta is something that is not expected at a BBQ Shack,, but you also have a place a few steps from you that is known for putting out a pretty good plate of pasta.

jbrink01
05-02-2011, 05:46 PM
I won't try to compete on any level with Hawthorne, so no pasta for me. I do like the meatloaf idea though! I make a good one. We are only gonna be open on Friday, Saturday, Sunday - to start. Maybe back into Thursday if it goes well. For now I'm thinking Pulled Pork, Shredded Beef, Ribs and Meat Loaf (Hot). Cold sandwiches will be beef eye of round, turkey breast and smoked / pulled chicken salad (my own smoked). Sides i'm leaning to are Billy Goat Chips, Cheesy Hash Brown Bake, Potato Salad, Cole Slaw, Baked Beans. 1 salad with or without meat. Maybe too many choices? What should I drop?

Bbq Bubba
05-02-2011, 05:46 PM
Brisket is where the money is.

IF you can cook it, they will come. :thumb:

Decide if you want to be a BBQ restaurant or a restaurant that sells BBQ.

jbrink01
05-02-2011, 06:01 PM
Brisket is where the money is.

IF you can cook it, they will come. :thumb:

Decide if you want to be a BBQ restaurant or a restaurant that sells BBQ.


I cook the CRAP out of it, and, if I do say so myself (along with a few judges and a loyal client base) do a pretty good job. So, are yu saying drop the cold sandwiches and go old school, like we do with our vending trailer? Pork, Ribs, Brisket, Turkey, Rib Tips. Sides. Period? I dont like holding brisket as the quality can suffer. Chuckie holds better. What about pork steaks, it is St. Lou.......

parrdist
05-02-2011, 06:59 PM
It sounds like you have a good start. Let the market tell you what to drop or what to add. Just start with what you know you do well, put out a great product and you will be fine.

Bbq Bubba
05-02-2011, 08:57 PM
I cook the CRAP out of it, and, if I do say so myself (along with a few judges and a loyal client base) do a pretty good job. So, are yu saying drop the cold sandwiches and go old school, like we do with our vending trailer? Pork, Ribs, Brisket, Turkey, Rib Tips. Sides. Period? I dont like holding brisket as the quality can suffer. Chuckie holds better. What about pork steaks, it is St. Lou.......

IMO...if you've made money cooking real BBQ, stay with what ya know.

I've had excellent success holding brisket, glad to compare notes with ya if it helps.

jbrink01
05-02-2011, 09:12 PM
IMO...if you've made money cooking real BBQ, stay with what ya know.

I've had excellent success holding brisket, glad to compare notes with ya if it helps.

You ever cook one whole and re-heat it whole?

Learnin Querve
05-02-2011, 09:50 PM
I have to agree with a point Ford made; a fryer will make a lot of money. French fries, onion rings, maybe other fried appetizers, and don't forget some sort of fried fish/fish sandwich. All frozen product, (at least to start) cooked to order, no holding issues. And they're very profitable. And don't forget the corn dog offering for the kids...

I love good meatloaf, but how well will it hold over the course of an evening? I'm thinking of that raggedy looking stuff sold in the grocery store hot deli that comes out of the oven looking (and usually tasting) fabulous at 4:30 and looks like old dog food by 7:00. And if it doesn't sell, then what? It's the cooks dinner or dumpster filler. I'd do a little experimenting before I committed to it.

Unless you open for lunch, do you really think you need the cold sandwich offerings? Ask yourself what can you offer in a cold sandwich that would compel someone to come to your place instead of stopping at a Subway/grocery deli/convenience store? Other than the occasional person (who probably came in as part of a group of diners) who decides to "eat light" that day, you may be better off without them. But I would offer the chicken salad, as a "light entree" maybe with some fresh fruit or raw veg.

One thing noticeably absent is desserts and beverages. What are you planning there? Anyone who has a sit down place will tell you that the center of the plate brings the customers in, but drinks and desserts are where the real profits are made. Got an ice machine and a fountain head set up for soda? Iced tea and lemonade? What about desserts? Some sort of ice cream is always good, but I don't think I'd run out and buy a soft serve machine...

Just some thoughts...

Chris

jbrink01
05-02-2011, 09:57 PM
Thanks Chris. Fryer is OUT due to space constraints (remember, this place was COMPLETELY equipped and I got it CHEAP so have to work around that). There will be desserts and beverages, just didnt want to post too many details and bore everyone. I'm thinking the cold sandwiches will not happen. Gonna keep it simple. Heck, we've been roadside and catering 5 years in pretty big volume. Just not sure if I should broaden my offereings........

chachahut
05-03-2011, 10:35 AM
You ever cook one whole and re-heat it whole?

Yep = that's exactly how I do my brisket. It's just the wife & I running the joint so I cook on a rolling basis - Wednesday cook for Thursday, Thursday for Friday, Friday for Saturday & Sunday. Cook whole packers, take out of smoker & wrap in foil, rest for an hour, then into the walk-in to cool. Next day - re-heat gently (around an hour for a 6 pound brisket) in a bit of house wash in a full tray covered with foil. Then into the holding unit still in pan with wash/juices. Thankfully - upstate NY is beef country so the brisket turns over quickly. I use the flat for by the pound/platter orders & chop the point for sammies.

On the issue of your menu - I have to agree with Bubba. Be a BBQ joint - not a joint that also sells BBQ. Screw the kids' stuff - they need to learn to eat Q or go hungry. The more you add to a menu's variety - the more overhead & food loss you have. Food loss = financial death. Frozen foods (fries, fish, nuggets, etc.) are crap & not worthy of a great Q joint. You think the legendary joints use frozen food? If you cannot bring it in & use it fresh - why bother?

We went straight up trad: pork, beef & poultry. In our case that means pulled pork, st. louis cut dry rub ribs, beef brisket & turkey breasts. Sides: mac & cheese, bbq beans, 2 types of slaw, collards & trashcan chili. We then run the Items Of The Moment - limited run specials on sides, chili & desserts. Allows us to add new items for a short period - depending on what is fresh & cheap at the market - without keeping them on the menu. We also run sandwich/meal specials. Sloppy Brisket (leftover brisket turned into sloppy joes), Pulled Turkey (leftover turkey shredded pulled pork style with a white bbq sauce) & this weekend The PB&J (pork belly, chopped brisket & candied jalapenos).

Our entire regular menu fits on one piece of 81/2 x 11 paper. When we were planning the menu - I had about twice as many items & the wife convinced me to cut them back. We ended up going with this philosophy:

Can it be cooked in the smokers, on the stove top (not on a griddle or frying pan) or in the oven?

Can it be cooked & held (as in no "live cooking" like burgers or fries) without losing quality?

Can the menu be handled by just two people & perhaps the occasional dish washer/assistant?

Finally & most important:
It is a part of some region's BBQ tradition? We are looking to bring a combination of traditional regional BBQ to upstate NY with our personal spin.

Our belief is "Do one thing & do it well." If you focus on doing BBQ & do it well - people will come & support you. Choose to please those folks looking for REAL BBQ - not those looking for an Applebee's. Trying to have a menu item for everyone who comes through your door will only lead to frustration & bankruptcy.

Much luck - sounds like an amazing opportunity & looking forward to hearing how it progresses.

Let me know if I can help in any way.

cheers,

Bbq Bubba
05-03-2011, 11:40 AM
You ever cook one whole and re-heat it whole?

not one but several thousand. :thumb:

TheMidnightSmoker
05-03-2011, 12:20 PM
I've had excellent success holding brisket, glad to compare notes with ya if it helps.

I for one would be very interested in learning how you hold brisket.

Big_Alvin
05-03-2011, 02:33 PM
usually with 2 hands cuz they're kind of slippery:laugh: (could not resist).
seriously, please post method for holding whole. i've done sliced and sauced which have held nicely and reheated very good but never a whole packer.

jbrink01
05-03-2011, 03:33 PM
ChaCha - Thankyou. I agree completely. Ignoring prices (they are not set yet) take a look at the below and you can see what I have been working towards.......
B&B Labadie Menu




Appetizers
BBQ Nachos
(Nacho Chips, Baked Beans, Pulled Pork, Sauce, Lettuce, Cheese, Ranch)

Sandwiches
(Served with Billy Goat Chips and a Pickle Spear)
Pulled Pork
(Slow Smoked, Moist and Delicious)
Beef Brisket
(Seasoned Perfectly and Smoked 16 Hours. It’s what we do.)
Burnt Ends Sandwich
(Kansas City. ‘nuff Said!)
Grilled BBQ Cuban
(French Bread, Pulled Pork, Swiss Cheese, Mustard, Dill Pickle)
Honey Glazed Turkey Breast (Cold)
(We glaze it, we smoke it. Lettuce, Bacon, Mayo and Tomato. Perfect!)

Old School BBQ
Whole Slab of Ribs
(St. Louis Cut and Fallin’ Off The Bone)
Half Slab of Ribs
Rib Tips
(A Big Order of Bone Suckin’ Goodness)
Pork Steak
(16 Ounce Minimum)







Sides
(Substitute 1 for Chips - $1.50)
(Substitute 2 for Chips - $3.00)
Baked Beans (Our Own Recipe)
Mayo & Mustard Potato Salad
Sweet & Sour Cole Slaw
Cheesy Hash Brown Bake


Dessert
Black Forrest Cheesecake
(With Cherries and Chocolate)
Peach Cobbler
(Warm and Delicious – Add Ice Cream for $1.50))

Drinks
Iced Tea or Lemonade
Bottled Soda
Bottled Water
Beer / Mikes Hard Lemonade
Wine

HBMTN
05-03-2011, 10:40 PM
I think you have a good looking menu. I was thinking one or two items that are not BBQ so if someone in a group does not want BBQ they have a choice on the menu. It looks to me with the turkey sammie and pork chops you have it covered.

chachahut
05-04-2011, 10:29 AM
The Menu looks good.

I'd suggest adding brisket, pork & turkey plates into the Old School section. We do 1 meat, 1 8oz side & corn bread for our plates (or a double meat or 1/4 rack & 1 meat). Adds choice to the menu without adding extra food inventory.

We serve our turkey - both on sammies & platters - hot, but that's just a preference. I would caution on the "Lettuce, Bacon, Mayo & Tomato" as a standard part of the sandwich. That's adding quite a bit of cost to each sammie. Our turkey sandwich comes naked (rubbed & smoked turkey on a kaiser) & we let the customer choose from one of 6 BBQ sauces made in-house. We do not offer mayo, bacon, tomato or lettuce because - as we tell customers - "We are a BBQ joint - not a deli" For toppings, we offer bread & butter pickles, jalapenos, house pickled sweet onions, mustard slaw, sweet & sour slaw or baked beans. As all of these toppings factor into other items or offerings on our menu, we do not add any food cost for sammie toppings. Plus they are far cheaper than tomato, lettuce & especially bacon & have a far longer shelf life.

On the topic of sides, I suggest reading through this thread about portion size:
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=105371

While cost & menu price definitely need to be a factor, you also need to take into account customer perception. Many places choose to go meat & 2 sides with 2 skimpy sides. This leads to customer disappointment. My feeling is give'em a meat & 1 decent size side & if they want more side they'll buy'em. So far I have seen exactly that happen.

Finally - you've got a solid menu & loyal client base that knows you for making BBQ. The last thing in you need - going into a resto situation - is to care about anyone coming to a Q joint who does not want BBQ. Whether they are with a group or not - you're running a BBQ joint. Vegetarian restaurants do not have steaks on the menu for carnivores - so why should a Q joint have anything other than BBQ?

cheers,

jbrink01
05-12-2011, 09:25 PM
So, here it is;
B&B Labadie Menu




Appetizers
BBQ Nachos 6.99
(Nacho Chips, Baked Beans, Pulled Pork, Lettuce, Cheese, Ranch)


Sandwiches
A Full Half Pound!
(All Served with Billy Goat Chips and a Pickle Spear)
Pulled Pork 6.99
(Slow Smoked, Moist and Delicious)
Pulled Beef 7.99
(Seasoned Perfectly and Smoked 16 Hours. It’s what we do.)
Honey Glazed Turkey Breast (Cold) 6.99
(Lettuce, Swiss Cheese, Bread & Butter Chips)
Spicy Sausage 7.19
(A spicy polish, slow smoked until perfect, sliced, on a soft bun)
The Diablo Sandwich 8.29
(Our tribute to Sherriff Buford T. Justice. Piled High with Pulled
Pork, Jalapeno Slices and Spicy Sausage)
The Big Dog 3.99
(1/4 pound all beef Hot Dog on a soft bun. Relish or Onions?)


Old School BBQ
Includes 2 Sides
Slab of Ribs 20.99
(St. Louis Cut and Fallin’ Off The Bone)
Pork Steak 8.99
(16 Ounce Minimum)

Make any Sandwich A Meal!
(Substitute 2 of OUR Sides for Chips - 3.49)
Or,
Baked Beans (Our Own Recipe) 1.89
Potato Salad 1.79
Sweet & Sour Slaw 1.79
Cheesy Hash Brown Bake 2.19

A Little Lighter
BBQ Salad $6.99
(Lettuce, 1 Meat, Cheese, Tomato, Onion, and French, Ranch or Honey Mustard Dressing)
Q’d Tater $6.29
(A big baked potato with 1 meat, baked beans, cheese and onion)

Dessert
Check The Blackboard!!

Drinks
Iced Tea or Lemonade
Canned Soda
Bottled Water
Beer / Mikes Hard Lemonade
Wine Glass / Bottle

Talk to Us About Large Orders, Catering and BULK orders!!

chachahut
05-13-2011, 09:52 AM
Menu looks good. I see you opted out of the brisket thang. Can always run as a special to see how it flies. One personal note - though I know the psychology of if, I've always hated prices that end in 9. I guess I hate then BECAUSE I know the psychology. We price our menu in 25 increments (http://chachahut.com/menu). For our area - it seems to work better than the .99 thang.