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Nocode27
12-27-2013, 09:57 PM
Ok guys, I'm in need of some advice I am getting into the catering business and need to know if, it can be done out of a tent or does it have to be in a trailer. I was gonna just get a mobile handwash station. If I can use a tent where do I start looking for a tent? Thanks

Know Bull
12-27-2013, 10:22 PM
I am not in MT, but I am sure the health laws are similar to other states. You must be licensed by the state (and possibly local) health department. You will have to either (a) have a trailer that will pass health department inspection to cook out of, or (b) have an inspected commercial kitchen to cook in and then transport all prepared food to the location. You are not allowed to cater out of a home kitchen.

I mean no disrespect, but if you cannot afford the equipment and fees that it takes to get licensed by the health department, then you should really rethink your business model. Health laws have a bona fide purpose in protecting the public, and violating those laws is just a recipe for disaster.

Best of luck with the new business.

SkinEz
12-27-2013, 10:27 PM
Ok guys, I'm in need of some advice I am getting into the catering business and need to know if, it can be done out of a tent or does it have to be in a trailer. I was gonna just get a mobile handwash station. If I
can use a tent where do I start looking for a tent? Thanks
Im in the early stages of looking into this myself. You really need to schedule an appointment with your Health Department to see what they will allow. Also, everyshete is different. What is good in one area may not be in another. I was planning on trying to serve my tri-state area. But, the laws in WV & Ohio are different. What info I have gathered is an enclosed work area is preffered, and you will need a commercial kitchen. Im planning on using my churches kitchen at first. Hope this helps.

SkinEz
12-27-2013, 10:34 PM
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=177110
Here is a link to a threax I started that a lot of issues were discussed rhat may help you out.

CivilWarBBQ
12-28-2013, 03:55 AM
Given that you live in Montana, I would say a tent probably would not be practical with the weather you have up there.

bizznessman
12-28-2013, 06:48 AM
Given that you live in Montana, I would say a tent probably would not be practical with the weather you have up there.

I agree with CivilWarBBQ. The first thing that came to mind was weather. We tried a tent the first year and that was the last year we used one. Also, depending on your HD regs a tent may not be feasible/allowed. This first year we setup ONLY at festivals which are under different regs but limited to 10 events per year.

In KS the catering regs (non-festival events) require a "ground barrier", walls, insect shielding, etc for tents. We decided if we had to have all of that we may as well go with a trailer. The trailer also requires less setup/tear-down time. We do use the small 10'x10' "First-Up" canopies for serving under. These are relatively inexpensive and easy to setup/take-down.

As others have already stated the FIRST thing you need to do is talk to your HD about your business model to find out what requirements you will need to meet.

sunrise
12-28-2013, 11:03 AM
been there, done all that, be glad you live in MT and not in CA. Go to the local HD, be prepared to just smile & agree, and do what ever the regulations are no matter how dumb or stupid they may seem to you. Good luck

NazBQ
12-31-2013, 10:06 AM
Tents work fine if the weather is good! But a trailer you can store everything in would be much easier.

Smith's Pig Pen
01-02-2014, 11:27 PM
been there, done all that, be glad you live in MT and not in CA. Go to the local HD, be prepared to just smile & agree, and do what ever the regulations are no matter how dumb or stupid they may seem to you. Good luck

How bad is CA? We're in NorCal. Taco trucks all over the place but no idea of rules/ regs. Any feedback is great. Might be able to share professional kitchen.

Thx

sunrise
01-05-2014, 07:49 PM
How bad is CA? We're in NorCal. Taco trucks all over the place but no idea of rules/ regs. Any feedback is great. Might be able to share professional kitchen.

Thx
I live & cater in Ventura, which everyone says is the worst & hardest place to do business with the HD in CA. The rules dont even make sense most of the time, & I think they make them up as the go. Example- I opperate under a TFF (temporary food facility) permit) I have to use a tent, with 4 enclosed sides, it has to have serving windows 16"x24", no bigger. I have to have a 3 comp. sink, that has to have drain boards on each side equal to the sink size. 30 gal freash water, 45 gal grey. heater up to 120 degrees. I can prep all my products inside the tent, but I have to buy them only the day of the event, unless I deal with a comissary. Can't store anything at home. coolers have to be 6" off the ground. I can cook & smoke outside on my smoker trailer, and bring inside to sell.
If I had a trailer (that I really want) I can only cook inside the trailer, not outside, even though I can do it now. When having a trailer or truck, you then opperate under a Mobile Foof Facillity, and can only sell 100 ft from a bathroom. If you want to hear more, e mail me, I'm sure these guys done want to hear this stuff....lol

jeffry1970
01-05-2014, 08:47 PM
As mentioned before your best bet is to get in touch with your local health department and discuss what you want to do. Every county is different.