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Jeff_in_KC
05-15-2006, 07:49 AM
We've discussed in the past promoters advertising that the public can sample BBQ at contests as being the reason that competition teams must fight off the visitors to protect our work when they waltz right in and start grabbing. Well, last night I was watching the news on Fox 4 here in the KC area when a commercial for the Great American BBQ Contest came on. They advertised it as a big social event and invited the public to come out and participate in all sorts of activities and they said "The best part of it - you can sample it all!" DAMN THEM!! This was not a GAB commercial but rather a commercial the WDAF ran as they are a sponsor. I don't blame GAB for this except you'd think they'd ask to review any advertising sponsors were doing for the GAB's event.

What's your opinion of this? I think we're going to have a bunch of Fox 4 viewers trying to swipe Q! :roll:

HoDeDo
05-15-2006, 08:02 AM
Last year, they gave all the teams the option of selling Q. I'm sure they assume that everyone wants to sell :roll:

They ran the same types of ads last year, and it didnt seem to be an issue. Or I just dont remember.... lots of parts of that weekend I don't remember....:shock:

BBQchef33
05-15-2006, 08:07 AM
hers some of the previous feedback from lastyears N.E. issues.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13841

Jeff_in_KC
05-15-2006, 08:20 AM
I just sent an email off to them...


To Whom It May Concern:

Last night while watching your 10pm newscast, I saw a commercial you ran promoting your sponsorship of the Great American BBQ Contest. I was fine with it until I heard the part where it said something to the effect that "the best part is that you can sample it all". That is completely INCORRECT. No one from the public can sample my barbeque nor can they sample anyone's who isn't a vendor or a friend who has invited them I'm not being rude about it. It's for a few reasons:

1. I do not have a health department permit to sell or give away my food or liability insurance if they get sick, as most teams do not.
2. I am sure that the vendors who ARE selling BBQ at the contest would be upset, as would the GAB, if I was giving it away.
3. I work hard to get the best samples I can to turn into the judges. I can't have folks grabbing it off my tables!

This does in fact happen. As competition teams, we are always fighting the misconception that people can just come around and help themselves to our work. That's not at all how it works. At the American Royal last year, we had strangers wander into our cook camp and start looking for food to pick up without an invite or asking. To some cooks I know, that's a good way for a person to lose a hand!

Most cooks at contests such as the GAB and the American Royal have private parties where team sponsors, friends and family join them on Friday evening for dinner. Generally our friends and families won't sue us if they get sick. The public, however, represents a huge liability if something unexpected happens.

Granted, you will probably find a few teams who are willing to share a sample with someone who politely comes up and visits and asks questions about the BBQ process or contests in general. Most if not everyone you see on the KCBS circuit are some of the nicest, friendliest folks you'll ever want to meet. But all of us put thousands of dollars, lots of labor and effort into our craft and to have someone stroll in and start grabbing, sometimes without even asking, is unacceptable. I know of some people who compete who had a guy come in and just pick up a rib from the slab he was trimming to put in his turn in box for the judges! I'm not sure if there was any pain inflicted but I imagine that guy won't soon be picking up anyone's BBQ!

So I hope you will re-consider the airing of this commercial any further without editing that part out. If you have any questions about my email, I can be reached by cell at ....

Respectfully,

Jeff Stith
Big Creek BBQ
Pleasant Hill, Missouri

Jeff_in_KC
05-15-2006, 08:32 AM
Andy, I plan on being able to remember ALL of the weekend! I've got some chicken points to get! And I'll be darned if I'm gonna score low in pork again!

Sawdustguy
05-15-2006, 08:43 AM
Well stated Jeff. I hope they got the message.

HoDeDo
05-15-2006, 08:46 AM
Andy, I plan on being able to remember ALL of the weekend! I've got some chicken points to get! And I'll be darned if I'm gonna score low in pork again!

This should be interesting... the chicken rubber match. Can the self-proclaimed "diciple" beat master.... hmmm.

GRASSHOPPER! Your only job should be to keep Atwood away from any whole limes that may be present. THEN you can focus on Chicken. :twisted:

Ron_L
05-15-2006, 08:47 AM
This probably won't work, but how about a sign (or two or three) outside of your space that says "No samples available right now! Sorry!". Make it a friendly looking sign. It may not stop everyone, but it might slow them down!

Jeff_in_KC
05-15-2006, 08:55 AM
Good idea, Ron! I'll probably do something to that effect. Thanks!

River City Smokehouse
05-15-2006, 09:53 AM
Good email Jeff. I'm considering a sign at this point to help. Maybe I can get some yellow police tape. By the way. I will be in space 139 this weekend.

spicewine
05-15-2006, 01:08 PM
Just had some signs made that say :

Competition in progress
No visitors between
10:00 AM and 2:00 PM
Thank You
Team Q

homebbq
05-15-2006, 05:15 PM
you know Jeff, I see your point... But there needs to be a happy medium here..

The one thing I have noticed in the 4 years I have been competing is the prize money going up, and its a direct result of the public popularity and the attendance going up. Because of the public, the sponsors are handing over more money,etc.. etc..

The bottom line is we need to figure out how to keep the public coming to contests, and have that increase. There are a select few that are happy just to see the rigs, but most are there to eat bbq, period. If they can't do that, then they will get upset and not come back. I have never had anyone steal my turn-ins, but I have had plenty ask for samples. If it has been remotely convenient, I have done so. Those people I know will return.

In my opinion, more needs to be done to keep the public interest. Whether that's done by cooking demo's, an organized method of sampling (many contests do this already and call it peoples choice). But for the prize money to keep going up, and for us to keep having contests to compete in, the public needs to be there, and they need to be happy they were there.

Jeff_in_KC
05-15-2006, 09:26 PM
you know Jeff, I see your point... But there needs to be a happy medium here..

The one thing I have noticed in the 4 years I have been competing is the prize money going up, and its a direct result of the public popularity and the attendance going up. Because of the public, the sponsors are handing over more money,etc.. etc..

The bottom line is we need to figure out how to keep the public coming to contests, and have that increase. There are a select few that are happy just to see the rigs, but most are there to eat bbq, period. If they can't do that, then they will get upset and not come back. I have never had anyone steal my turn-ins, but I have had plenty ask for samples. If it has been remotely convenient, I have done so. Those people I know will return.

In my opinion, more needs to be done to keep the public interest. Whether that's done by cooking demo's, an organized method of sampling (many contests do this already and call it peoples choice). But for the prize money to keep going up, and for us to keep having contests to compete in, the public needs to be there, and they need to be happy they were there.

I don't disagree with you at all, Kevin. Contests are pretty much like any other sport... you need visitors/fans/groupies... whatever you want to call them for the prize money to grow from more sponsorship. You make great points. You're correct that there should be a happy medium. My point is just that careless announcements like the one made last night in the commercial I saw don't do anything to help. Your points definitely make me want to "put on a show" for visitors... hand out samples, show off and explain how my unique smoker works, etc. But being usually one or two people, our time is extremely limited. We don't have the ability to do all that with the "team" we have. And many teams are in the same position. We practically have no choice but to turn folks away who are looking for handouts. I suppose I'm flattered because when you think about it, we are the attraction they came to see (well except for Osage City when we got up-staged by Rick Springfield. :roll: ). With my situation, I'd almost have to bring someone along just to visit, vend, etc. to accomplish this.

MilitantSquatter
05-15-2006, 10:03 PM
All good points by everyone... Prize money & popularity of BBQ contests come from sponsorship. Sponsorship will only be there and grow if potential future customers are in attendance. It's the promoters job to draw the attendance but in a responsible manner.

Still, while the contestants are the face of the contest & culture, it should never fall to the teams to make sure the public is fed. If the contest promoters fail to advertise with caution, post signs at the admission gage etc. that I don't see a problem with a team being rude to a pushy patron.

Just because it's a cooking contest, doesn't mean you get free food. I've been to classic car shows etc.... I always paid an admission fee knowing that I was not going to get to test drive the car or even sit inside or tough the exterior. I was there as a spectator... to watch, not actively participate.

I don't think a fence is in my budget this year, but a big sign will waiting in the background if I deem it is needed based on what I see is going on.
Anyone opening my pit, cooler etc. looking for lunch will not be happy with what will come next. I'd rather be deemed a bad guy that get taken advantage of.

Brauma
05-15-2006, 10:09 PM
If you are selling your Q at a competition, offer a sampler of some sort for a dollar or 2. Like a small cup of pulled pork or one rib. People will gladly pay for a bite then if they like it they'll buy a whole sandwich or rack. This last competition I was at in Richmond charged $15 to get in and that was it. I saw very few vendors offering a sample. You just had to walk around and decide from the sites and smells who you were going to buy a whole sandwich or rack of ribs from untasted.

Ive been to beer festivals where the admission price also gets you a few tickets for samples of beer. When you find one you like you buy a full beer. The vendors collect the tickets and get reimbursed.

MoKanMeathead
05-15-2006, 10:45 PM
Jeff,

I kind of like to see the contest getting the press. It received the same press last year - FOX4 is a BIG sponsor of this contest and they filed a cooking team. We didn't have a bit of a problem last year with spectators - although noone wants to know about a Lang when they can ask about a Spicewine cooker!!

Good luck on the CK points - gotta love your enthusiasm!! Getting a top 5 in CK at this contest would be huge!

beerguy
05-16-2006, 03:29 AM
If you are selling your Q at a competition, offer a sampler of some sort for a dollar or 2. Like a small cup of pulled pork or one rib. People will gladly pay for a bite then if they like it they'll buy a whole sandwich or rack. This last competition I was at in Richmond charged $15 to get in and that was it. I saw very few vendors offering a sample. You just had to walk around and decide from the sites and smells who you were going to buy a whole sandwich or rack of ribs from untasted.

Ive been to beer festivals where the admission price also gets you a few tickets for samples of beer. When you find one you like you buy a full beer. The vendors collect the tickets and get reimbursed.

Bruama has a way to keep people from opening his cooler. On the top he wrote "FISH HEADS AND DEER GUTS" . May not work at a food competition, but at a big party it keeps mooches from his beer!

Good luck to all competing this weekend.

cmcadams
05-16-2006, 06:12 AM
I'm thinking a fence of organized crime enforcers around the area, with signs saying "You touch my stuff, you answer to Guido".

We were warned last year about grabbers, so we moved out stuff to the back table, but, sure enough, the one time something was in reach, some grabbed some pulled pork.

I need to read up on Indiana's open carry laws... :) I do think the promoters could do a much better job of give the public better info. Why not put up signs from 10 or 11 to 1:30 or so around the area ... big red signs saying turn ins are in progress, please don't bother the teams.

Jeff_in_KC
05-16-2006, 08:36 AM
Jeff,

I kind of like to see the contest getting the press. It received the same press last year - FOX4 is a BIG sponsor of this contest and they filed a cooking team. We didn't have a bit of a problem last year with spectators - although noone wants to know about a Lang when they can ask about a Spicewine cooker!!

Good luck on the CK points - gotta love your enthusiasm!! Getting a top 5 in CK at this contest would be huge!

I agree with ya on getting exposure for contests. It's too bad the smaller ones don't get similar. I just think the sponsors and organizers of various events ought to be just a little more cautious about what they tell the public because like was mentioned in the "Fence" thread, ultimately, we as teams will take the heat for things not being the way it was advertised if they are unhappy. As I watched the commerical spot for the GAB the other night, I'm sitting there thinking "Cool! Great publicity!". :grin: Then the part came on where they claimed they could sample it all and I just kinda deflated. :sad: I immediately thought of the "Fence" thread here.

I'm sure it'll be OK and there will be few problems overall for the teams. I'm not anticipating any, especially how I'm planning to organize my site (the cooker goes in back, Wayne! Totally out of site of the public! This Hollywood stuff isn't all it was cracked up to be! :lol: :lol: :wink: ). I just hate to see folks have to deal with the handful of people who think you owe them BBQ. That's all. :smile:

Oh and on the chicken points, I guess I forget that there's 200 teams and some big guns involved at the GAB! You're absolutely correct... it would be HUGE to come away with a top five finish in any category... not something I'm expecting, just hoping for! I'm just going to do my absolute best and hope I get a table that's full of judges who are impressed with the results! :grin: Any given day! :wink: