PDA

View Full Version : HELP! Im in big...lol


Hardluck
07-28-2013, 12:16 PM
I have done a handfull of cooks for money but im entering in to a world I know nothing about. I was asked to set up at a local festival that is pretty big. I need to know the best way to hold my food at safe temp without drying or overcooking(butts and ribs). also best way to hold slaw? on ice ot in a refrig? I have no idea how much food to even cook? I may be in over my head here... any help would be great!...

I have already talked to local health department,My Insurance company and state IRS. and I will be insured with liscense and HD inspected before I start!

mdsgpro
07-28-2013, 02:27 PM
Find out more about your event so you have a better idea of the quantity of food you need. There are specific time and temp requirements you'll need to meet to be safe which If you don't already know that information you may be in over your head! I just finished my Certified Food Service managers class and certification so I have all the info fresh in my head and in writing and would be willing to help you if I can!!
Mike

Pyle's BBQ
07-28-2013, 03:39 PM
What equipment do you have available? What type of vending set up will you have? For butts, keep them whole as long as possible. Even if you don't use them right away. I reheat my whole butts to over 160*F and hole that way until I am ready to use them. When you reheat the butts, save the drippings from the pan for moisture later.

Ribs are tricky. For a large event, I would cook as many ahead as you can hold in refrigeration and just reheat on a smoker at the event.

Coleslaw will depend on your equipment and setup.

If you need help on a setup, PM me. I vend at farmers markets on a small scale, but have done several events with 30,000+ people.

Hardluck
07-28-2013, 04:20 PM
Thanks guys, Mike I do have the temp requirements which is why I was asking holding temp questions.

Pyles BBQ, I will have one residential fridge and several coolers for cooling. I will have a couple trailer smokers for cooking. I want to fix my ribs Johnny Trigg style. You think I should cook up a bunch the first day of the 3 day event? It will be a slow day until the evening.

HBMTN
07-28-2013, 07:15 PM
Are you under a canopy or in a trailer or what? Asuming you are under a canopy see if they will let you use chafers to hot hold your pulled pork. As for slaw I'd break it down in to 4oz Styrofoam containers in a refrig if possible. How ever you do it you need to be able to maintain proper temps.

Figure out how many people will be there and cook for 10% of that Example - if they expect 1000 then cook enough for 100. If you make through the day ok then grow from there. Good Luck

Hardluck
07-28-2013, 08:30 PM
Are you under a canopy or in a trailer or what? Asuming you are under a canopy see if they will let you use chafers to hot hold your pulled pork. As for slaw I'd break it down in to 4oz Styrofoam containers in a refrig if possible. How ever you do it you need to be able to maintain proper temps.

Figure out how many people will be there and cook for 10% of that Example - if they expect 1000 then cook enough for 100. If you make through the day ok then grow from there. Good Luckgood advice! thank you and yes im under canopy

acguy
07-30-2013, 03:24 PM
Pyles BBQ, I will have one residential fridge and several coolers for cooling.

Unless your only putting food that's at 40 and not opening the fridge very often, I wouldn't even bother with a resi fridge. It can't recover in time to do you any good. You're better off with ice chests and lots of ice.

Bbq Bubba
07-30-2013, 06:43 PM
I have done a handfull of cooks for money but im entering in to a world I know nothing about. I was asked to set up at a local festival that is pretty big. I need to know the best way to hold my food at safe temp without drying or overcooking(butts and ribs). also best way to hold slaw? on ice ot in a refrig? I have no idea how much food to even cook? I may be in over my head here... any help would be great!...

I have already talked to local health department,My Insurance company and state IRS. and I will be insured with liscense and HD inspected before I start!

Gotta ask, WHY?

I know everybodys gotta start somewhere but why on earth would you do a festival having zero experience?

I gotta believe once you talk to your HD you may see the light as to why this is left up to the professionals.

Hardluck
07-30-2013, 07:18 PM
You said it.... You gotta start somewhere. :-D....

I have talked to the HD already and YES I talked to my insurance company and YES I talked to the Income tax people....
I am disappointed in the "Professionals" lack of interest in trying to help someone....Seems they only wanna tell me im stupid?.... Trade Secrets I guess!! (Thanks to everyone who attempted to help me)

mdsgpro
07-30-2013, 07:41 PM
I asked questions to give you answers!
Had you answered with amount of people, quantity of food needed and duration of event instead of the fact you knew the temps, that's why you asked the questions I'm sure there are many that would give you good, positive advice! Just my opinion!!
Mike

Hardluck
07-30-2013, 07:46 PM
I asked questions to give you answers!
Had you answered with amount of people, quantity of food needed and duration of event instead of the fact you knew the temps, that's why you asked the questions I'm sure there are many that would give you good, positive advice! Just my opinion!!
Mike
.. I appericated the fact you were willing to help I just dont know any additional information to give it to you...I am learing more stuff about it each day. I was not trying to be rude to anyone please dont take it that way I even gave you the thumbs up "thanks" after the post...

Smoke House Moe
07-30-2013, 07:51 PM
Well, a definite congrats.
I have to agree with BBQ Bubba though. A big festival may not be the smartest place to start. I understand "BiG" is relative. County fairs in MN and TX are bigger than state fairs in most other states.
Talk to those that run the festival, and get some contact info for vendors that have been there previously. Buy them a cup of coffee and get some serious answers that will save your ass. Expected head count; how much do they expect to sell; is their menu 10 items or just 5(compare with yours); how much cash to have for change; equipment tips (maybe they are full time and would rent some to ya); and so many more questions.
To hold pulled pork at temp without drying, keep them wrapped in foil inside a thermo box (hot box). As soon as you pull pork or slice brisket it starts to dry. Keep it whole and wrapped as long as possible.
Checklists, prep, and planning will make it as simple as you can get it. That may not make be very simple, just as simple as its gonna get.

Hardluck
07-30-2013, 07:58 PM
THANK YOU MOE!!! Great advice and a great place to start,I will do just that! Thanks again

bizznessman
07-31-2013, 01:23 AM
I have done a handfull of cooks for money but im entering in to a world I know nothing about. I was asked to set up at a local festival that is pretty big. I need to know the best way to hold my food at safe temp without drying or overcooking(butts and ribs). also best way to hold slaw? on ice ot in a refrig? I have no idea how much food to even cook? I may be in over my head here... any help would be great!...

I have already talked to local health department,My Insurance company and state IRS. and I will be insured with liscense and HD inspected before I start!


We also started out at a festival and had no prior experience so I feel your pain.

Holding cold food: As stated earlier a non-commercial refrigerator will not recover temp fast enough if opened frequently. This can create a hazard for cold items. Since you already spoke with your HD I am assuming they have approved the use of the non-commercial fridge. They should be able to give you information on what types of cold-hold methods you can use at a festival. That is where we got our information for our event. The HD official spelled out what equipment could and could not be used. The issue you run into with ice is that the food product cannot come in direct contact with the ice or there is a risk of cross contamination.

Holding hot food: We use commercial counter top warmers. This link shows the brand/model we use. http://tinyurl.com/kfmro4o We use one of these for pork and one for brisket with full-size 5" deep restaurant pans. This makes it easy to fill new pans and drop them in as needed. We use a third unit with two half-size 5" deep pans to serve sides from. This assumes you have electricity available at your booth. For bulk holding we use our Backwoods Smoker Competitors to cook and keep bulk product ready for the hot/hold pans. As mentioned by another Brother earlier we also only pull/cut what will fit in our hot/hold units unless the pace is quick and then we will pull/cut extra and cover the pans with foil and keep them in one of the Competitors. Pulled pork/brisket is the best type of item to serve at festivals since it makes into a sandwich and the consumer finds this easier to handle while moving around the festival grounds. I wish you well on serving ribs at this type of event. We tried it one time and have never done it again. Too many variables for us to contend with so it just wasn't worth it. And the profit margin was much lower also. I am not attempting to discourage you from serving ribs but just be aware of the extra effort for less profit that this type item brings in a festival setting.

Amount of meats to cook: As others have wisely stated this is somewhat of a crap shoot. IF the event does not have any quantity requirements (yes, some actually do) and IF the event does not state that you must not run out before a specific length of time (yes, some do that also) then I suggest that you cook to run out the first day and then adjust up for successive days. It is better to sell out than to have to waste product. As others have stated you should do your due diligence by talking to the event coordinators, any other vendors that you can contact, etc to try to ascertain how many people they expect to attend. What percent of that total that will purchase from you is a factor of how many other food vendors, that sell similar products to yours, that will be there. You can adjust your prep for the following days based on the first days sales.

Sides: We sell Cole Slaw, Smoked Baked Beans & Country Creamed Corn. We prepackage a set amount of these items, just prior to service beginning, in 6oz Dart styrofoam cups (w/lids) and pack them into coolers. (with a 1/4" air gap at the top of the cup there is only approx 4 oz servings in these cups) One cooler (with ice in the bottom) for the Cole Slaw and one cooler for the Beans/Corn. As the numbers are drawn down by sales we replace with more packages filled from our Hot/Hold table top unit. The event we do annually brings in approx 3-4 thousand people and we sell approx 300 "meals" during a 6 hour period. It is a one day event. We usually prepackage 30 cups of Beans & Corn, and approx 60 cups of slaw due to, to start the service. We are cooking corn and beans during the event so that is why we prepackage less of these items. The slaw is made ahead and therefore can be prepackaged in more of a bulk fashion.

If you are selling beverages stick to bottled water unless you have a source that will take back canned beverages that you don't sell. Otherwise you may end up with a LOT of soda to drink at home over the following months. :mrgreen:

It feels like I just wrote a novel. LOL I hope this helps in some small fashion.

Let us know how it turns out!!

Hardluck
07-31-2013, 06:31 AM
Bizznessman thanks for the novel! Lol... Lots of great information there!!! I read it twice to let it soak in.... Makes since with the fridge, I may scrap that idea and stick with coolers... I don't see anything in the paperwork about running out of food, your suggestion is kinda what me and my 2 partners were thinking.... SAMs club is only a few miles away! The pre packing of sides is a must, Great idea! I am going to call a rental place today and check on renting the commercial warmer and a cambro.... I agree 100% about the ribs being a crap shoot i am going to practice run a case of ribs this weekend and see what I think?
Thanks again for your help!!

mdsgpro
07-31-2013, 07:42 AM
The "novel" says it all, Exceptional Advice! Holding in the smoker and serving from the tabletop warmers are what we are going to do from a 13' long BBQ Food Truck! We'll be doing 150lbs of meat per day (plus Cole slaw, bbq beans, Chile & smoked chicken salad) 300-400 plates over 12 hrs! Truck is self contained commissary!
Be careful and Be Great!
Mike

mdsgpro
07-31-2013, 08:30 AM
I'll be glad to help you in any way I can with equipment specs and alternative stuff you can use to be successful!
Post crowd and food quantity info if you get it!
Mike

Hardluck
07-31-2013, 12:48 PM
I'll be glad to help you in any way I can with equipment specs and alternative stuff you can use to be successful!
Post crowd and food quantity info if you get it!
Mike


Friday is the first day of the Event. I think Im going to cook 15 racks ready for lunch then see how they do... If there going good I will cook another 15-30 racks for dinner.... I will do the same with pork butts start with 4 and see how they do at lunch.(you think I should start smaller or go bigger or that this is a good starting point?)

The info on the crowd is limited... its free so there are only guesses on the size. I hear over the 3 days they have estimated 10,000-20,000 people... I dont know where that number came from?

bizznessman
07-31-2013, 01:00 PM
Friday is the first day of the Event. I think Im going to cook 15 racks ready for lunch then see how they do... If there going good I will cook another 15-30 racks for dinner.... I will do the same with pork butts start with 4 and see how they do at lunch.(you think I should start smaller or go bigger or that this is a good starting point?)

The info on the crowd is limited... its free so there are only guesses on the size. I hear over the 3 days they have estimated 10,000-20,000 people... I dont know where that number came from?


Rule of Thumb: Figure 50% of "estimated" crowd numbers. Event organizers always want to make the event sound BIG. Without ticket sales there is no data to know the actual event attendance numbers and it is normal for them to unintentionally inflate the numbers due to their zeal.

Personally I would feel comfortable with those numbers to start off with. It is always good to have to cook more the next day than to have lots of leftovers the first day. :grin:

How are you selling the racks? Full racks, half racks, by the bone? At festivals events I would think the majority of customers will want 2-3 bones with sides. Not as many will buy half/full racks. (but I could easily be proven wrong)

Hardluck
07-31-2013, 01:10 PM
I have the menu and its fairly simple...
Pork Sandwich
Ribs full rack
Ribs Half Rack
Ribs 3 bone
Dinner - 3 bones, pork, slaw, baked beans and bread with a drink
Slaw
Beans
I was thinking about smoking some naked fattys just for people to try them... What do you think about the menu? too simple?

__________________

bizznessman
07-31-2013, 01:15 PM
I have the menu and its fairly simple...
Pork Sandwich
Ribs full rack
Ribs Half Rack
Ribs 3 bone
Dinner - 3 bones, pork, slaw, baked beans and bread with a drink
Slaw
Beans
I was thinking about smoking some naked fattys just for people to try them... What do you think about the menu? too simple?

__________________

At festivals a simple menu is the best. Get the order quick, get it filled quick, get the money quick, on to the next. :grin:

May I ask the pricing for your menu items?

Hardluck
07-31-2013, 01:22 PM
Pork Sandwich $4
Ribs full rack$20
Ribs Half Rack$12
Ribs 3 bone$6
Dinner - 3 bones, pork, slaw, baked beans and bread with a drink$10
Slaw$1
Beans$1
__________________
None of the prices are set in stone.... Thoughts?

bizznessman
07-31-2013, 01:46 PM
Pork Sandwich $4
Ribs full rack$20
Ribs Half Rack$12
Ribs 3 bone$6
Dinner - 3 bones, pork, slaw, baked beans and bread with a drink$10
Slaw$1
Beans$1
__________________
None of the prices are set in stone.... Thoughts?

This is just my personal opinion, and I realize regional differences in price expectations by customers can drive the final price, but I would increase the PP Sammie to $5 and the Dinner to $12 (that's a LOT of food on that plate and more time expended to plate it up).

I base this on what we charge here. We no longer offer a "Dinner Plate" since people were always wanting to change up the menu item mix on us which slowed down our plating and delivery times. We sell everything separately priced. We will "plate up" their order as a "dinner" but the menu items are charged out individually.

Here are the menu items we offer:
1. PP or Brisket Sammie (approx 6 oz of PP/Brisket) $6
2. Sides (approx 4 oz) $1
3. Drink (can/bottle) $1 (limited selection of canned sodas and 20 oz water)
4. Ribs - your prices are in line with what we charge for catered events, as long as your costs are such that you are making the desired margin at those prices I would say you are okay

We have never had anyone balk at the $6 Sammie price since we are generous with the 6 oz serving size. And most folks don't realize how much 6 oz of meat is until they see it spilling out around the bun. We use 3.5" burger buns so it makes the amount of meat look even LARGER. :-D All Sammies served dry with bottles of sauce available for those who want a wet Sammie.

We keep everything at even dollar amounts for ease of calculating total bill and making change. (that way we don't need coins for making change :grin:)

You are on the right track. Don't let the details overwhelm you. Be sure to enjoy the experience!!

Hardluck
07-31-2013, 01:56 PM
Thank you! It's nice to hear some kind words... I have put a lot of time in it already. Thanks for the help and advice new pp price is five bucks

Willie G
08-01-2013, 01:50 PM
So far, the advice I agree with the advice that has been given to you. On this end of the Commonwealth we have a festival that we have worked for ten years now. As far as sides go, we buy them at Sam's.....not enough help or time to make them on our own. Then pre package them like stated earlier.
We used to sell sodas.....at our event we were required to buy them from Pepsi and the event set the price at $1.50 for a 16 OZ. We made a huge mistake our first year and over ordered. We eventually evolved into this....we offer lemonade, sweet, and un-sweet tea. We do still caryy bottled water. The lemonade and tea is made by us and there is a huge profit margin. Think about it.:-o

Hardluck
08-01-2013, 03:45 PM
So far, the advice I agree with the advice that has been given to you. On this end of the Commonwealth we have a festival that we have worked for ten years now. As far as sides go, we buy them at Sam's.....not enough help or time to make them on our own. Then pre package them like stated earlier.
We used to sell sodas.....at our event we were required to buy them from Pepsi and the event set the price at $1.50 for a 16 OZ. We made a huge mistake our first year and over ordered. We eventually evolved into this....we offer lemonade, sweet, and un-sweet tea. We do still caryy bottled water. The lemonade and tea is made by us and there is a huge profit margin. Think about it.:-o

Thanks Willie. I am buying my slaw locally so i dont have to try and make it there... I also plan on packing it in small bowls with lids and storing on ice in a couple coolers.... The beans I am going to make on site,Well make is a streach. I just kick up some Bushes baked beans my own way... Again just to try and keep it simple.

They are selling coke cans at the show and I can buy for $8 a case so ill just buy a few at a time. HOWEVER I like your idea with the tea and lemonade! something to think about! Thanks man!! Im gonna test run a case or ribs Saturday so we will see how it goes.

Smoke House Moe
08-01-2013, 07:13 PM
Great advice Bizzman!

Smokinwright
08-02-2013, 09:52 AM
Good luck. Best advice that I could give you is go with someone to a bigger event, and soak in all the knowledge and how they do things. That is exactly how I got started. Helping out someone who has been doing it for quite a few years. There are many things that you pick up on, that save your butt, that you will never think of.

I have an event the 24 th of August. It will be a smaller event, with around 800-900 people, but I am the only food vender, and all will be coming to me for a meal.

Another thing is, keep things as simple as you can. Is there anyway away from the slaw, being it is your first event, and go to something simple, such as chips? You are going to have your hands full with keeping the meat at right temps, yet keeping the flavor and moisture in it. Unless you do what is stated earlier in the post, is to package the slaw in foam containers prior.

The event I am doing, I am keeping it really simple. Chips, beans, pulled pork. Beans will stay in the warming box of my trailer pit, pork in a roaster after it is pulled off the smoker and pulled, chips are ready to go straight out of the box.

Are you responsible for drinks as well?

Edit: Just saw that you are offering drinks, and I would take the advice of others and do tea and lemonade. That is where your best profit margin is.

mmcooker
08-03-2013, 02:31 AM
You may consider a chest freezer vs a fridge....they recover faster. Some HD's will not allow ice coolers for all day events.