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View Full Version : so, you want to sell your Q


boogiesnap
09-28-2011, 09:04 AM
hi everyone. over the winter i have a project...

i'd like to get legal to sell some BBQ.

VERY small scale to start, but legal. maybe a bit of roadside on saturday afternoons by a home depot/lowes kind of thing or a small catering gig now and then.

granted i realize i won't get rich or prolly even turn a profit on this scale, but, still want to proceed...for now.

now, my question is step 1.

do i just call the health dept, tell whoever answers what i'd like to be able to do and follow their instructions?

after that, fire dept, insurance, and taxes?

do i have this correct?

thanks for any help/direction.

chachahut
09-28-2011, 09:22 AM
Yep - you've got the correct.

Start with the DOH. They'll give you the framework for what you'll have to have to be legal - that usually entails a commercial kitchen that will be certified by the DOH & regulations on your serving set up. (For example - I have a commercial kitchen but no trailer. When I do a mobile gig - DOH specifies what kind of tent, water supply, holding temp, etc. I need at the mobile location.)

Once you have the DOH regs, you'll need to check with local building & fire codes to build out your kitchen. Once the kitchen is in place - you'll need to talk to your insurance agent about covering the kitchen, mobile set up, liability, etc.

boogiesnap
09-28-2011, 09:31 AM
thanks frank.

shoot, how could i have forgotten commercial kitchen?

THAT will have to be step 1. finding one i can use. i cannot build one out.

boogiesnap
09-28-2011, 10:06 AM
i think i found one to rent by the hour, just minutes from my house in fact!

Bikini BBQ
09-28-2011, 10:12 AM
Also may I add - write up a business plan, even though you may think this going to be small scale, a plan will cover all aspects of having a "business", you'll be amazed what you will uncover while getting going, etc...
Good luck & post pics when you get going !

HBMTN
09-28-2011, 06:13 PM
When you say small scale what exactly do you have in mind? Do you mean weekends or once a month or what?

boogiesnap
09-28-2011, 07:12 PM
i'm thinking offering services for small backyard gatherings, kids parties, maybe promo cooks at freinds stores, maybe a friday lunchtime roadside. stuff like that.
no festival vending, brick and mortar, weddings, or stuff like that. don't have the equipment or experience.
see if i can get any traction or interest and possibly then, move into larger gigs or everyday lunch, as well as investment.

deguerre
09-28-2011, 07:23 PM
i'm thinking offering services for small backyard gatherings, kids parties, maybe promo cooks at freinds stores, maybe a friday lunchtime roadside. stuff like that.
no festival vending, brick and mortar, weddings, or stuff like that. don't have the equipment or experience.
see if i can get any traction or interest and possibly then, move into larger gigs or everyday lunch, as well as investment.

Whatever what you decide to do, I wish you much success.

HBMTN
09-28-2011, 08:13 PM
I can only speak for my area but if you were here you would need a HD Certified Kitchen annual HD fees are about $300 business license, litter tax and other fees are about $250 annually and insurance $1000. I have many more bills than that accountant, s corp, chamber of commerce, advertising ect, but I would say just to do the small things you could expect $1500 in annual fees to be in business not counting equipment and things. In my area the money making time is May thru October so that is 6 months of pay days.

So figure you need to make $250 per month during those 6 months to pay the legal fees of being in business. If your good with that hen I would go to the HD and ask them what you need in your area to get a permit to operate and they will help you. This would be the minimal start and I would recommend having $5000-$10,000 cash on hand. Good Luck!

boogiesnap
09-28-2011, 08:33 PM
thanks guerry. i will take that wish with me for a long time. :thumb:

HBMTN, thank you for your thoughts. i'm comfortable with risking $1500, i think. seems a fair amount to sacrifice to chase a dream.

now, seeing as this is not a restaurant, what you you expect the 5-10K would be needed for?

while i'm rambling, how does a commercial kitchen work for a BBQ'er as we are not actually cooking there? is it for prep? must ingredients/meats, etc. be stored there exclusively?

when i call them tomorrow i'd like to know a little what i'm talking about or looking for. if anybody has a minute to explain a bit.

thanks alot everyone. i will document my progress here for others to learn.

tomorrow...call certified kitchen rental.

Twelvegaugepump
09-28-2011, 09:56 PM
I wish you luck and love the idea of you posting the notes from your journey. You are chasing my dream. Can't chase it myself right now due to other commitments, but watching you will be a treat. Thanks and once again good luck!

HBMTN
09-29-2011, 04:49 PM
The 5-10k will cover unseen costs and epuipment needs and things like that. You may do it on less but the last thing you want to do is be set up ready to go and broke to your A$$. When I started it was like $11k in trailer/kitchen, $600 trailer logo's, $2k trailer sinks refrig water heater plumbing, $4k equipment, $1k starting S-Corp, $500 licenses, $2k in stock/supllies, $2k 1st food/supplies order to vend, $500 advertising, and more but it can be done with less than I did, I did not cut any corners. I went into it with everything I could afford and if it did not work then I would not have to think well what if I had done ....

boogiesnap
09-29-2011, 07:28 PM
ah, i see. that makes sense.

i have to back my way into it. i have a little something planned in the spring that could lead to a good stream of business. so i'd like to be legal by then, in order to be able to offer professional services. this thing would be a private party. as it gets closer, i'll divulge more.

as far as step 1, i have a call in, waiting for a return call. will follow up tomorrow.

then, it's attorney time. uh boy.

Cook
09-29-2011, 10:32 PM
while i'm rambling, how does a commercial kitchen work for a BBQ'er as we are not actually cooking there? is it for prep? must ingredients/meats, etc. be stored there exclusively?

You don't THINK you'll be cooking there, but your HD might just tell you that you have to. You also might find that you are not able to use your current smoker.

At a minimum you will need the commissary to dump your graywater.

And yes, you also may learn that your meats might need to be stored there also.

I think you're in for an education...but a good one.

boogiesnap
09-29-2011, 11:46 PM
You don't THINK you'll be cooking there, but your HD might just tell you that you have to. You also might find that you are not able to use your current smoker.

At a minimum you will need the commissary to dump your graywater.

And yes, you also may learn that your meats might need to be stored there also.

I think you're in for an education...but a good one.

agreed for sure.

well, we'll find out what they say about it tomorrow, if i can get through to the right person.

and yes, my cookers do not have a "hold" button. so, again, we'll see.

i'll be calling my local county HD and comply, what happens if i travel to another county and they have totally different regulations?

chad
09-30-2011, 06:35 AM
And don't forget the tax man! Here is FL I had to setup a Doing Business As (DBA) name, then apply to the state and feds for my tax numbers. The number from the Feds is yours forever!! It's the EIN (Employer ID Number) that you need to get a business license, business bank account, state tax number, etc.

Cook
09-30-2011, 07:42 AM
agreed for sure.

well, we'll find out what they say about it tomorrow, if i can get through to the right person.

and yes, my cookers do not have a "hold" button. so, again, we'll see.

i'll be calling my local county HD and comply, what happens if i travel to another county and they have totally different regulations?


BBQ pits are not required to have a 'hold' button. That isn't needed and will not be an issue. It's a matter of what regulations your state has for pits...NSF or non-NSF pits. Every state is different.

Counties will not have totally different regulations. They all simply enforce the state code. However, you just may need to register in multiple counties if you plan on doing business in them. That is a question for you to ask when you have the conversation with the HD.

Ground Pounder
10-01-2011, 12:42 AM
Boogiesnap, here's another idea that might better suit you starting out.

Find a local, small-scale restaraunt or bar & grill in your area, and offer to partner with them on a weekend barbeque menu - a type of "add-on" to their normal business.

While it may sound a bit difficult, it may be just the ticket to what you're trying to accomplish.

If I were to do it, I might approach it this way: Think of your pitmaster skills as a service. Offer to provide the equipment and labor to prepare and cook the food for a set fee. Allow the restaraunt to cover the food costs, and reap the benefits from an expanded menu. Work with the owners and/or managers on exactly what you would require as far as quality and quantity of food.

In essence, you're like the house band, or in today's world, a karaoke guy. You're not a directly employee of the restaraunt or bar, but you provide an add-on attraction to their business. You maintain a certain level of responsiblity, and work in cooperation with the existing business to expand their offering. And by doing so, you're paid for your services.

Not saying it would be easy, but it may be a more simple and direct approach from a business-standpoint to get to where you want to be - which is offering your 'Q to the public.

Good luck on your ventures!

tntjz3
10-01-2011, 08:17 PM
Dont let anything get between you and your dreams! You could be the next big BBQ guy in your area! If there is a will there is a way! Trust me.

Captainjack
10-02-2011, 12:42 AM
1st thing I did last winter is contacted my accountant and got a plan together. I contacted the HD with my ideas and they sent me in the right direction. My HD required I get Serve Safe certified, which I did.
My cooker was NSF already and I had most all the small stuff I needed. I was able to use a certified kitchen to do my prep work and use their coolers. I hooked up with a meat supplier that let me keep my meats and salads in his coolers till I needed them.

We hit the ground running and had a great 1st year. 4 weddings and a bunch of smaller catering events. We got a small vending trailer and did our county fair and a few other smaller events in the area. I ended up having to buy a new truck so my tax exposure won't be too bad. By mid-summer I bought another cooker to keep up with the volume and be a backup just in case. That was a great idea because I got a bad batch of pellets and it took my original one out for a few weeks.
I know this is not typical but it shows what can happen if you play your cards right and get really lucky.

Good luck on your venture, don't let anyone tell you it can't be done.
It's a huge amount of work but all worth it when people tell you how good you food is.

Jack

The Cosmic Pig
10-02-2011, 09:24 PM
ah, i see. that makes sense.

i have to back my way into it. i have a little something planned in the spring that could lead to a good stream of business. so i'd like to be legal by then, in order to be able to offer professional services. this thing would be a private party. as it gets closer, i'll divulge more.

as far as step 1, i have a call in, waiting for a return call. will follow up tomorrow.

then, it's attorney time. uh boy.

Attorney for the Corporation? I have heard that "Legal Zoom" is good for setting this up at a reduced rate. Surely someone on here has used this service and can comment? I personally have set up two non-profits as corporations and saved them the $750 attorney fees, and it really wasn't rocket science. But I don't know about this type of thing. Might not be that much different!

boogiesnap
10-04-2011, 07:58 PM
thanks for the input everyone.

i think i'll need to plan this out weekly as opposed to daily.

work needs to come first.

until i can make this work. :wink:

bobaftt
10-26-2011, 10:46 AM
We signed up to cook at a festival in a smaller town near me. Health department really had no horrible restrictions.
Food had to be prepped on site
Tent had to be screened
had to have test strips for the bleach water
had to have 3 sinks
had to have a hand wash station.

30 bucks later we had a 97 on our inspection (no thermometers in the fridge and freezer.)

Code3BBQ
10-29-2011, 03:11 PM
Just following up to see how your call went with the HD and what the regulations were on the kitchen rental?

nthole
10-29-2011, 04:42 PM
Great thread. I'm going to be paying attention to this as well as a lot of folks in my neighborhood and office are asking me to start cooking for parties and I've been turning them all down as I don't want to do it unless I'm legal. Might be time for me to pick up the phone to the HD as well.

Farmer Rob
12-19-2011, 01:18 PM
great thread

that's hot
12-19-2011, 06:53 PM
i'm interested ,i'll be staying tuned !1


M

BigFatDaddys
12-20-2011, 04:33 PM
Congrats on your new endeavor! The mobile roadside is the way to go for start up. The all in one trailer-kitchens can be bought used for a song (building one to specs can get a bit costly.) These mobiles are usually inspected and permitted by the Health Dept once per year depending on the state you are in.

Generally a Serv Safe person ie Certified Food Manager is also tied to the biz and that is recognized nationally now.

Now here in the lower northeast states we still must have our mobile or pop-up tents attached to a full on liscensed facility--since they want to know where the trailer or mobile unit is getting water from, dumping waste water at, or storage of food when not in the trailer itself.....If your health district requires that you can generally rent a kitchen from a community organization or non profit, where you can donate a portion of your profits to them. We did this for some time before we had our own facility, and were able to store our leftovers there and get water , dump water, and recycle our grease. A friend of ours did the same with a church he belonged to.

Now I caution this to you because some states are doing away with the renting saying that the original facility's permit is non-transferrable, but legally a commercial owner can sub rent to whomever they want. When we did rent we were required to carry our own liability insurance naming the kitchen owner as an additional insured, which was costly in itself.

It seems some states will consider your mobile unit THE certified kitchen but it's getting harder now. Many states are a bit stricter now.