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early mornin' smokin'
05-15-2014, 03:54 PM
So I wanna start this out with "i'm not trying to be a dick".

But there is a frequent question/questions on here that infuriates me.
It often goes a little something like this;
"so i've got this catering gig this weekend, I cook out of my house for fun because everyone loves my food yada yada yada, how much should I cook for XXX amount of people?"

Now let me explain my frustration. I own, and operate a BBQ joint on Long Island, NY. And I do it completely legally, 3 food managers onsite at all times, insured, inspected by numerous agencies, list goes on(if you're in the business, you know what i'm talking about). I'm not naming names here, i'm just using it as an example.

Lets say "Fred BBQ" likes to cook up some que, his "buddies" all love it and they want to hire him to do a party. He goes to restaurant depot(sams, bj's, whatever) buys meat, doesn't understand a proper markup on product when you have to operate a real restaurant, and gives the guy a price that a real caterer can't come close to. My real problem with this is 99% of the time the people have absolutely no clue what they're getting themselves into liability wise.

a few of the common problems;
NEVER servsafe or food manager certified
have no idea why they need a 3 compartment sink
no business
no business insurance or any personal protection
not registered with the department of health
no sales tax id
cooking out of personal kitchens

the list goes on and on and on. but people still ask the same questions, and expect us(and me) to answer, when in reality we're biting our tongue because if you've actually put money on the line to pursue a career in BBQ you know how much capitol and time it really takes.

Basically, if you're not going to cater, or road side vend legally and correctly, please don't go asking on a public forum for advice. Some may say this goes against the spirit of the brethren. But I'd strongly disagree, there are plenty of brethren on here, who've poured blood sweat and tears into brick and mortar, vending, food trucks, farmers markets, and have all done it legally.

If you want to get into this, don't do it because its your hobby, do it because you're a businessman, with some sense of numbers. Every week the guys who are actually doing it put THOUSANDS of dollars on the line filling walk ins and hoping customers show up. It's a risk, but so is every other business you get yourself into. Making $100 on a catering gig, buying a 12 pack and hanging out with friends isn't catering a party.

rant over, hopefully this touched some people the right way

acguy
05-15-2014, 04:26 PM
I hope your rant blew off some steam. Although I sympathize with what you're saying, I doubt your primary concern is the liability exposure of the ignorant.

This type of situation exists in blogs from electricians to ebayers. Most of these "fly by night" operations don't last more than a job or two. The jobs they do can be really poor and will just make the pros look better. If these people did some simple searching, they would find all the info they need on previous posts. That should tell you something about the ones posting new questions. They are either too lazy or too ignorant to search. I've also seen questionable responses to business questions by the "experienced caterers" on this board. Ignore them all and focus on more positive issues. :-D:-D

BBQchef33
05-15-2014, 05:15 PM
Sorry Pat, but its not why we are here... First off, this has been brought up many times here, especially by business owners.. from all the times its been discussed, it seems that individuls doing stuff on the side is an evil that will always exist to ANY business owner.. Its like Dad telling the neighborhood kids not to go around mowing lawns because it impacts the landscapers, or a friend whos a mechanic, electrician, plumber, etc... not to take on any side jobs because it hurts someones business.. its just not gonna happen..

But anyway, from the perspective of THIS forum and its intent.. Notice the title..

Catering, Vending, and cooking for the masses..

This forum is to educate folks.. period.. no other reason. We dont pick and choose who asks, what they ask and the reason why they ask. Some may be coming to get answers which may help them DECIDE if they want to open a business. No one goes into it cold, and the folks here are the ones who may help someone make an informed decisions.. The answer he gets here may make him realize what they are getting into, be it opening a business or cooking for a 200 person party.. just maybe our answers would enlighten them to say... 'no way, i cant handle that'... Dont have capicity?? refrigeration isnt available, etc.. we educate.. they decide, or act.. Even our experts here at times will tap others here to help on a job, to get ideas, or get advice. we cant decide whos legit and whos not when they post.. its not in our pay grade.

So, if Uncle Fred wants nephew Johnny, who is a member here, to cook for his daughters graduation of 100, then guess what.. we are here to help. Is Johnny supposed to tell uncle Fred to go hire a caterer? Mabe after he finds out what he needs, he may do that.... maybe not.. but he wont go in unprepared.

When brethren teams and members are going to join forces and gather at at a national guard base and feed 2500 troops.. This is where they start and we are here to help..

The past 2 years and going on the 3rd this year, we fed 800 War Veterans at the Northport VA hospital and its discussed on this forum to get quantities and ideas of how to do it. We do that becase WE want to cook for them to say thank you, and we do NOT want to hire a caterer to do it. I know these are not what you were talking about specifically, but the purpose of this forum has multiple angles..

Our members cook for ronald macdonald house, breast cancer organizations as well as the families and I personally have cooked to raise funds for battered woman organizations, cancer sucks, breast cancer, childrens foundations, etc.. and I never considered getting a license.. Im servsafe certified, follow all food handling procedures and even have a 3 bay sink in the trailer.. but what i, and many others here do are not to make make $$, but to help others and THIS FORUM is the first place we come to to make sure we do it right, or at least the best we can.

I understand your plight and your reasoning, but expectations to stop free flow of information here is unreasonable. Its just not why we are here.

Fooskey
05-15-2014, 05:15 PM
I started a food business last year. I feel very fortunate that I was successful enough in another career to be able to afford all the hoops we are required to jump through to sell food. What bothers me at times is all the talented folks who do not have that opportunity.

I get protecting the public, but I also think someone using their skill to start a small business is what makes America great. I HATE all of the barriers we are erecting so it seems like the "haves" are keeping the "have nots" down. People have been cooking for each other for as long as there have been people. I think we sometimes make it way too complicated.

As far as answering their questions, I look at the alternative, which is having them fly blind and possibly hurting someone. I would rather share whatever knowledge I can, in the hopes that they do it right and perhaps turn it into something, or say it is too much work and leave it to the pros.

gtr
05-15-2014, 05:31 PM
People are always free to not answer questions they don't want to answer here.

I learned a lot in this forum about doing fundraising cooks for my kids' school - I am very grateful for that and it's one of the many reasons I pay for a subscription to this site.

early mornin' smokin'
05-15-2014, 05:42 PM
poobah, i've been there for one of your charity cooks. And the brethren do great things. It's just when I see a post that goes like "...ive been cooking meals at home to order for some time now, and i'm going to take my go at a roadside stand this weekend." As a guy who's put in months of labor, thousands of dollars to do it right. A post like that is blood boiling.

Trust me, if I could've circumnavigated the DOH, Servsafe, building and fire inspections, I would've. But the truth is, you can't without trying to get yourself shut down.

I guess it comes down to using the search function this great forum has before starting another......"how many, what if" post. There's countless threads about quantities, starting a business, catering, etc. If people looked a little before asking a lot of this frustration could be squelched.

mods, delete the thread if necessary, sorry if feathers have been ruffled. It's a free world, read it if you want, answer if you dare.

mchar69
05-15-2014, 05:43 PM
I sympathize with the OP - 'fly by nights' ruin the reputation of
my field (home improvement.)
However, I think the food safety reasons alone are enough for
a question here. Some lady in S. MD fed chicken to a church group
and put the chicken back on the unwashed chicken plate and EVERYone
got sick.

JazzyBadger
05-15-2014, 05:57 PM
poobah, i've been there for one of your charity cooks. And the brethren do great things. It's just when I see a post that goes like "...ive been cooking meals at home to order for some time now, and i'm going to take my go at a roadside stand this weekend." As a guy who's put in months of labor, thousands of dollars to do it right. A post like that is blood boiling.

Trust me, if I could've circumnavigated the DOH, Servsafe, building and fire inspections, I would've. But the truth is, you can't without trying to get yourself shut down.

I guess it comes down to using the search function this great forum has before starting another......"how many, what if" post. There's countless threads about quantities, starting a business, catering, etc. If people looked a little before asking a lot of this frustration could be squelched.

mods, delete the thread if necessary, sorry if feathers have been ruffled. It's a free world, read it if you want, answer if you dare.

If people searched for 90% of the questions asked on this forum, and people used tags in the original threads to make the searching easier, we'd hardly see any thread activity through most of the different sections on the forum.

Every single Thanksgiving we see a slew of turkey questions in Q-Talk, and I guess we could just start telling people, "Look it up farker!" but I think it makes sense to answer the question.

I think the most important question here is: Has the catering section of the forum lost integrity? :heh:

Ron_L
05-15-2014, 06:12 PM
poobah, i've been there for one of your charity cooks. And the brethren do great things. It's just when I see a post that goes like "...ive been cooking meals at home to order for some time now, and i'm going to take my go at a roadside stand this weekend." As a guy who's put in months of labor, thousands of dollars to do it right. A post like that is blood boiling.

Trust me, if I could've circumnavigated the DOH, Servsafe, building and fire inspections, I would've. But the truth is, you can't without trying to get yourself shut down.

I guess it comes down to using the search function this great forum has before starting another......"how many, what if" post. There's countless threads about quantities, starting a business, catering, etc. If people looked a little before asking a lot of this frustration could be squelched.

mods, delete the thread if necessary, sorry if feathers have been ruffled. It's a free world, read it if you want, answer if you dare.

I understand your points, but I think you may have missed an important point in Phil's response...


But anyway, from the perspective of THIS forum and its intent.. Notice the title..

Catering, Vending, and cooking for the masses..

This forum is to educate folks.. period.. no other reason. We dont pick and choose who asks, what they ask and the reason why they ask. Some may be coming to get answers which may help them DECIDE if they want to open a business. No one goes into it cold, and the folks here are the ones who may help someone make an informed decisions.. The answer he gets here may make him realize what they are getting into, be it opening a business or cooking for a 200 person party.. just maybe our answers would enlighten them to say... 'no way, i cant handle that'... Dont have capicity?? refrigeration isnt available, etc.. we educate.. they decide, or act.. Even our experts here at times will tap others here to help on a job, to get ideas, or get advice. we cant decide whos legit and whos not when they post.. its not in our pay grade.



Your experience is exactly what these folks need. Educate them and help them understand what they are getting into and what it takes to do it right. They can learn from your experience.

As far as using the search function, that is a common complaint of every forum I have ever visited. And it will never change. As pointed out, if everyone searched, our traffic would drop considerably. But, to me, worse than that, we'd end up being BBQ-pedia instead of The BBQ Brethren. Yes, folks could look up the answer, but here they get more than the answer (sometimes way too much more :-D). They get advice and help and, best of all, the make some friends.

Oh yeah... About this...



mods, delete the thread if necessary, sorry if feathers have been ruffled. It's a free world, read it if you want, answer if you dare.

If we deleted posts just because of a little feather-rustling, half of the forum would be gone :-D

JazzyBadger
05-15-2014, 06:27 PM
If we deleted posts just because of a little feather-rustling, half of the forum would be gone :-D

My usual haunt wouldn't even exist. :shocked:

Chuckwagonbbqco
05-15-2014, 06:39 PM
I have been catering for 25 years, and do not reply to posts that ask questions that should have been answered before accepting a "catering" job.

I think that with today's BBQ television programs, and numerous BBQ Forums, that many folks want to attempt to make money with their hobby. It all sounds like making money while having fun, however sooner or later it still becomes "work" with a little "fun" thrown in.

I like to reply to posts where another BBQer has a problem that I can help solve. Sometimes when posting I feel like a "3rd base coach" because I am saying "Run, run, run fast." but it is great when a problem is solved.

Business minded people will always rise above hobbyists, although sometimes it is frustrating to be under bid by someone that is not business minded. There are enough good jobs out there to keep us all busy

early mornin' smokin'
05-15-2014, 06:54 PM
I guess what really got me up in arms was someone local to the area, freely posting that they cook at home, and they're gonna go setup a roadside stand. I'll be the first to chime in if there's something I can legitimately help with. Too much, not enough, charge more. sure. But when I read someone who's clearly making numerous health code violations when I have to stand there in my own store wondering when is the next time my health inspector is going to walk thru the backdoor.

Live and learn. I wouldn't be bbq'ing today without the brethren.

Sometimes I get a little lost in the business end of things and let things like legalities frustrate me. Maybe it's a bit of jealousy that someones getting away with it, and I probably could've too if I took the chance.

Ron_L
05-15-2014, 06:56 PM
I guess what really got me up in arms was someone local to the area, freely posting that they cook at home, and they're gonna go setup a roadside stand. I'll be the first to chime in if there's something I can legitimately help with. Too much, not enough, charge more. sure. But when I read someone who's clearly making numerous health code violations when I have to stand there in my own store wondering when is the next time my health inspector is going to walk thru the backdoor.


Why not help him understand where he is violating health codes or breaking the law. He may not be aware. That's part of eduction as much as helping with costs, how much to cook, etc.

va_connoisseur
05-15-2014, 07:37 PM
Why not help him understand where he is violating health codes or breaking the law. He may not be aware. That's part of eduction as much as helping with costs, how much to cook, etc.

I agree with you Ron. This forum has helped me make the decision to throw my hat in the ring as a caterer.

I am just starting out, have not done any advertising yet, because I did want to learn how to do it the right way but there are times when people on this forum make it seem so daunting that it discourages people.

For me, this forum is helpful and I think if people provide honest insight about the ups and downs of catering then we all are better for it. And the truth is that when my cigar buddies ask me to "cater" an event for them, it's because (1) they trust me, (2) they like my food and (3) they want to help me succeed. And probably they would rather have me there to hang out with around the smoker than a stuffy, non-involved person.

Some of us have no desire to open a B&M, this is a hobby for us and we get all the legal/health stuff taken care of as protection but it's not going to replace our 9to5.

smoke ninja
05-15-2014, 07:50 PM
As a fully licensed and insured ninja I don't even consider Shinobi who aren't. My clients won't even consider them so we are not even competing.

bigabyte
05-15-2014, 07:52 PM
I honestly assumed every time I saw this thread title that it was about the Woodpile.

Imagine my surprise.

txschutte
05-15-2014, 08:47 PM
This forum serves a huge purpose.

Yeah, fly-by-nighters kill us. But, my biggest fear is making somebody sick. This very forum taught me about ServSafe, insurances, and pricing.

Simply put, if it weren't for this forum, I would still be catering bootleg gigs for someone that can't afford a caterer.

I supplement my bbq habit with a few gigs a year, and that dinero keeps me somewhat relevant.

You can pass information, but you can't make people use it. The best you can do is hope someone has a conscience and does things right. In my experience, those fools that do it illegally don't last long.

You can choose to chime in, or ignore it.

landarc
05-15-2014, 08:48 PM
In general, most of us who answer (and I am no pro cook anymore) try to gently, or directly let the person asking know that they are going down the wrong path if they are suggesting they are going to charge. There are many times i have let a question go, because I didn't like the posters intentions. If a person comes on and starts talking about undercutting professionals, and they respond negatively to the first one or two suggestions about doing it right, I will let it go.

I do try to help, and also when needed, I come here to ask, for confirmation and/or guidance on larger cooks.

SkinEz
05-15-2014, 09:39 PM
I have slowly (over two years) went through the painful steps to start a genuine bbq catering business. I have absorbed a plethora of knowledge from this site. I appreciate all responses to all the questions I pose here (some way more silly than others/ in retrospect). I have gone through the pains of acquiring a business license(LLC), reserved the use of a commercial kitchen, located affordable insurance, so on and so on. I would not have been able to push forward without the vast knowledge I have acquired here. I appreciate all of it. I appreciate all the time and effort some who put into their responses. I also appreciate some of the "devils advocate" answers i get. It is good to get the "do you know what you are getting yourself into responses", just as much as the "you go guy" responses. I understand what you are saying. I have put two years into building up enough resources, capital, and experience to begin stepping into the arena. However, I dont think it conducive to discourage anyone from posting here. A lot of the posts are redundant. However, it is good to get new eyes on certain topics from time to time.

JazzyBadger
05-15-2014, 10:12 PM
In all honesty it's the redundant questions that are the most important.
There's a reason the same people ask the same things over, and over, and over again.
Also it brings a smile to my face every single time I see a post in Q-Talk along the lines of, "Help! My first brisket! What do I do?!" and when I look in the thread you've got the key threads linked to, a bunch of new advice, some more questions asked, some more answers covered. The icing on the cake is when some dude shows up into the thread and he's all, "I've been wondering about the same things, but I was too scared to ask and couldn't find anything when I tried to use the search. This is a great thread!"

Like Ron L said, it's what makes this place the Brethren.
Well, that and page three.

BBQchef33
05-15-2014, 10:12 PM
Something else about using the search to get answers.. Our forum goes back 11 years..2 million posts... thats alot of answers... and more importantly, times have changed and some answers from 2005 may not apply today, or there just may be a better way now.

bigdogphin
05-15-2014, 10:19 PM
I agree with you Ron. This forum has helped me make the decision to throw my hat in the ring as a caterer.

I am just starting out, have not done any advertising yet, because I did want to learn how to do it the right way but there are times when people on this forum make it seem so daunting that it discourages people.

For me, this forum is helpful and I think if people provide honest insight about the ups and downs of catering then we all are better for it. And the truth is that when my cigar buddies ask me to "cater" an event for them, it's because (1) they trust me, (2) they like my food and (3) they want to help me succeed. And probably they would rather have me there to hang out with around the smoker than a stuffy, non-involved person.

Some of us have no desire to open a B&M, this is a hobby for us and we get all the legal/health stuff taken care of as protection but it's not going to replace our 9to5.

This....

I have been a successful competition cook for several years in my area... And with that have been numerous requests to cater.. At first I said no, but then I realized I could make a few bucks to help pay for competitions. I had no clue where to start. Here comes this forum. I have mainly searched for questions that have already been asked. Well as I was only doing stuff "for friends" yes I was doing it at home. Now a couple years later. I realized I need to do this legit. I had a food handlers card from the beginning. Now it's time for insurance, and a county license. I tried opening my own kitchen but in reality I don't have the Capitol and with all the city codes and regulations these days not gona happen anytime soon. I found a certified kitchen to rent.

Long story short. I was the guy in the garage doing small stuff on the side. Now I am legit and have my own business although not full time.. A lot of it has to do with this forum and members like you.

Thank You to you and all who have contributed in this forum.

Jesse

bizznessman
05-15-2014, 10:22 PM
Early Mornin,

I feel your pain. Every time I see a post from a hobbyist/newbie I :roll:. For some time I internally railed against them.

Then came the realization that:

A) They know they are doing business illegally and just don't care (and therefore deserve any repercussions that come their way)

B) They are unaware of the food service laws/regs and need guidance and instruction to become legal (I believe that 99.9% of the folks doing things out of compliance fit this category).

I view my role on this forum as an unpaid consultant. My goal is to assist people by answering their questions and informing them of what it truly is that they are contemplating - going into business - and all the responsibilities that entails.

When we first started thinking about doing Q for the public we had no clue as to the laws regarding public food sales. To be honest it didn't even cross our minds since we never thought of it as a business. That may sound very naive but I bet if you ask 100 people at least 90 will say that very same thing. We did a couple of festival gigs out of our home kitchen. We honestly didn't know any better. After these gigs I started doing some research and found some forums (this one is the very best I have ever come across) and quickly realized that we were at great risk. It was this very forum that helped me to focus on what we needed to do to be legit.

The laws/regs can be very confusing, and sometimes difficult to even find, that most people don't know where or how to find them. I spent a good 3-4 months researching food service regs here in KS before I felt that I had a good handle on what we needed to do to be legal. This is where sources such as this forum can be a Godsend. Here they can have access to people who know the business, from both legal and operational aspects, who can lead them in the right direction.

I understand that it can be frustrating at times to feel like every answer to new posts is a repeat of every past answer. However, I then think back to how I/We got started and realize that I may be helping them to be safe, secure and profitable in a business that they may truly love.

I do have one suggestion for this site. If the Search function was located at the top of the page(s) and was more prominently displayed it might help new Users to find/use it. The majority of webpages locate their Search functions near or at the top so most Users are expecting to find it there. I was using this site for over 6 months before I even noticed it at the bottom of the page(s)

BBQchef33
05-16-2014, 12:10 AM
Early Mornin,

I feel your pain. Every time I see a post from a hobbyist/newbie I :roll:. For some time I internally railed against them.

Then came the realization that:

A) They know they are doing business illegally and just don't care (and therefore deserve any repercussions that come their way)

B) They are unaware of the food service laws/regs and need guidance and instruction to become legal (I believe that 99.9% of the folks doing things out of compliance fit this category).

I view my role on this forum as an unpaid consultant. My goal is to assist people by answering their questions and informing them of what it truly is that they are contemplating - going into business - and all the responsibilities that entails.

When we first started thinking about doing Q for the public we had no clue as to the laws regarding public food sales. To be honest it didn't even cross our minds since we never thought of it as a business. That may sound very naive but I bet if you ask 100 people at least 90 will say that very same thing. We did a couple of festival gigs out of our home kitchen. We honestly didn't know any better. After these gigs I started doing some research and found some forums (this one is the very best I have ever come across) and quickly realized that we were at great risk. It was this very forum that helped me to focus on what we needed to do to be legit.

The laws/regs can be very confusing, and sometimes difficult to even find, that most people don't know where or how to find them. I spent a good 3-4 months researching food service regs here in KS before I felt that I had a good handle on what we needed to do to be legal. This is where sources such as this forum can be a Godsend. Here they can have access to people who know the business, from both legal and operational aspects, who can lead them in the right direction.

I understand that it can be frustrating at times to feel like every answer to new posts is a repeat of every past answer. However, I then think back to how I/We got started and realize that I may be helping them to be safe, secure and profitable in a business that they may truly love.

I do have one suggestion for this site. If the Search function was located at the top of the page(s) and was more prominently displayed it might help new Users to find/use it. The majority of webpages locate their Search functions near or at the top so most Users are expecting to find it there. I was using this site for over 6 months before I even noticed it at the bottom of the page(s)


i put it at the bottom to make it unobtrusive. I have a plane to catch in the AM, so cant do it now, but if you remind me next week, we can try it at the top and see what feedback we get. Send me a PM.. otherwise it will go poof out of the brain.

DaveAlvarado
05-16-2014, 09:53 AM
Trust me, if I could've circumnavigated the DOH, Servsafe, building and fire inspections, I would've. But the truth is, you can't without trying to get yourself shut down.
That's fine, it's ok to point those things out. A lot of people don't understand the risks and the liability, and there's nothing wrong with educating them on that point. If they decide to go ahead and do it anyway, that's not on you. If they're not stealing business from you, what does it really matter to you in the grand scheme of things? And if they *are* stealing business from you, call the health department and rat them out.

The fact is, anybody can cook. I completely understand your perspective, it's the same problem that wedding photographers (for example) have. Any yahoo with a camera can do wedding photography on the cheap. The fact is though, they might do one or two gigs, then some hacked off wives put an end to that quick. They realize that they saved $1000 over hiring a pro, and got what they paid for. Same deal with the roadside stand. Either they sell a bunch of Q and go legit, or they fail and they're not competition to the legit business owners anymore.

You put in a lot of hard work to get where you are, and that's commendable. You know *why* you had to put in all that hard work too. No sense in getting your blood pressure up when somebody else chooses to take shortcuts. As you well know, there's a pitfall at the end of each of those shortcuts. If you care about the poster, chime in and point out the pitfalls. If not, let 'em fall in one. Either way, no skin off your nose, and no blood pressure meds necessary. :wink:

Bamabuzzard
05-16-2014, 11:24 AM
I understand where the OP is coming from. When I decided to bottle my BBQ sauce I did it the right way. I had it lab tested, got my own UPC barcode and #, had a co-packer make it for me etc. All of which cost me roughly about $5,000 of my own money to get started.

Yet I know three people right now who make their own bbq sauce in their home kitchen and sell at some of the same shows we go to. However, the problem for them is they've limited how far they can go by cutting corners. They cannot get into the Kroger stores (like I have) because you've got to have UPC barcodes and number, proof of insurance etc. So in essence I have nothing to worry about because they've cut their own throats with regard to future success.

I think it is the same with these people the OP is talking about. Consumers aren't stupid. They can quickly tell the difference in a legit, professional operation compared to someone who's trying to fly under the legal radar. By cutting corners these folks have already undermined any type of future success. Sure, they might get a gig here and a gig there. But it won't be anything that will significantly cut into someone who's legit.

At times it does tick me off because I've done it the right way. But I remind myself by cutting corners they have already sunk their business.

Ron_L
05-16-2014, 11:28 AM
I do have one suggestion for this site. If the Search function was located at the top of the page(s) and was more prominently displayed it might help new Users to find/use it. The majority of webpages locate their Search functions near or at the top so most Users are expecting to find it there. I was using this site for over 6 months before I even noticed it at the bottom of the page(s)

There is a search function at the top of the page that is available to subscribers :becky:

sunrise
05-18-2014, 12:05 PM
From the replies, it looks like I am in a minority here, I AGREE with with everything you say. For years I was a professional fishing guide, I only wish I had 1 cent for every guy that "only wanted to take his friends out". These guys only ruin it for the legitimate people. It is no different in the catering business, these people take jobs from us, and when the customer has a bad or not so great experience, they just dont hire caterers. I have asked questions on here, and received great help, but I am a legitimate business. I had to learn the hard way, I will help anyway I can, but I do agree with having a license and being a "real" business, and doing things the right way.

Pitmaster T
05-18-2014, 12:48 PM
I know a joint that pulls their chick from the smoker at 145..... 145... then piles it in tubs and places it in a dedicated HOLDING oven at 170 until it all reaches 165... then each tub is introduced to their dedicated 150 holding oven for service.

Best chicken other than mine I have ever had.

Hopefully you see the point.

Now... outside that I understand what you are saying but also think to STOP the freeflow of info here is stupid.

Finally, to let you know I Get what you are saying... one of the frustration I myself have is the pressure of people to cater without the proper credentials in my state.

I always tell them I will return to being a legitimate caterer with Texas credentials and do it right..... an to be caught doing it wrong or to be flagged will forever make myself a target from the local HDs.

HBMTN
05-18-2014, 09:17 PM
I sold a little BBQ on the side under the radar before I went legal. There are several in my area that do it and have been doing it for 15 plus years and are known for it. When I decided to make a business out of it and go legal 5 years ago I gained the most powerful tool in my barbecue arsenal and that is the power to advertise and let people know what we have to offer and my being legal it's allowed me to serve more barbecue that all of the under radar guys combined. The guys that are doing it illegally are getting all of the people looking for low ball barbecue and I get all of the money events (along with other legal q'rs in the area) Yes sometimes I get my skin ruffled by them, especially when the HD knows they are selling and do nothing about it. I have to say if it were not for the Brethren here helping me in the beginning it would have been a much tougher journey. So I try to help when I can but I understand where you are coming from.

landarc
05-18-2014, 09:34 PM
I do have to say, at least in my experience out here, any time I have setup a cook, and there have been lots of folks, or it was in a commercial area, I have had health dept. roll up and ask if we were legal. At least from my point of view, the HD has been on the money for taking the large bulk of fly-by-nights off the street. Sure, they may still cater, but, not much you can do about that.

Dadeo719
05-18-2014, 11:02 PM
I can see everyone's perspective I guess. My only suggestion maybe is to put the vending and catering in it's own separate forum and cooking for the masses in another separate one. That way if uncle joe is cooking for 100 people for fourth of july he has somewhere to go and the people that need business help have another place to go. Just brainstorming. :confused:

Wampus
05-19-2014, 06:50 AM
Something else about using the search to get answers.. Our forum goes back 11 years..2 million posts... thats alot of answers... and more importantly, times have changed and some answers from 2005 may not apply today, or there just may be a better way now.

Yeah, I've been a paying member here for years and know the forums well. I have tried the search thing for the very reasons mentioned and after having waded through pages of search results I've often thought, "Oh fark it, I'll just ask."





As many have already said, this place is where it all started for me. I came here to figure out how to modify an ECB and that was it. The fuse was lit. I was one of the guys posting "HELP! My first brisket!" and "How much pork for 80 people?" and "How can I hold pork for 6 hours?". I got help specifically BECAUSE this place is what it is.

I get what the OP is saying, too, but I also have a hard time believing that every single person out there who runs a legit BBQ restaurant, vending or catering biz dropped tens of thousands of dollars before ever selling their first pound of pork. I think people tend to forget where they came from once they're fully invested. People have to start somewhere. People are GOING to start somewhere. I, for one, am just glad that this place exists to offer people some awesome guidance.

Another thing to consider: if your Q and service is good, your business will surpass your competition, even if you lose out once in a while to "Fred BBQ".

bizznessman
05-19-2014, 09:26 AM
I can see everyone's perspective I guess. My only suggestion maybe is to put the vending and catering in it's own separate forum and cooking for the masses in another separate one. That way if uncle joe is cooking for 100 people for fourth of july he has somewhere to go and the people that need business help have another place to go. Just brainstorming. :confused:

Dadeo,

I was thinking the very same thing. A "Business" designation could possibly funnel those who are "already legal" away from those who aren't aware that they need to be? Maybe call it "The Business of BBQ: Vending & Catering". Just adding my brainstorming. :mrgreen:

Hawg Father of Seoul
05-19-2014, 09:41 AM
I just spent money on a lawyer to ensure my rights to "White Plate BBQ". Now I have to ask him to throw in "Fred's BBQ" as a freebie :roll: just because it will now have huge hits on Google. Do you know how much sway this site has with Google?

Now if a person wanted to shamefully increase their exposure to search engines... they might reply to a related post with with the name of what they wanted to market. Mentioning the name of the search engine does not hurt either.

Personally, I see the Brethren as an altruistic entity that let's you be a little selfish once in a while, but knows you'll pay it forward when someone needs it.

Fred (now of Fred's BBQ)

acguy
05-19-2014, 01:14 PM
Dadeo,

I was thinking the very same thing. A "Business" designation could possibly funnel those who are "already legal" away from those who aren't aware that they need to be? Maybe call it "The Business of BBQ: Vending & Catering". Just adding my brainstorming. :mrgreen:

I occasionally participate on a mechanical trades blog. Similar issues as HO's are always trying to get info, beat down contractor's price, etc. They have 2 levels of membership. Anyone can access a limited number of threads. Once you prove your a tech, contractor, business owner, there's access to the entire board. Just offering another point of view.

Dadeo719
05-19-2014, 02:05 PM
Now granted I fall under the category of "cooking for the masses" more often than not but I truly appreciate all the help I get here. This site is usually the first site I look at when I log on and the last before bed. I do however use temporary permits when we occasionally do vending so I am aware of those laws only because of you guys. I have no idea how hard it would be to make another category or if that is even in the spirit of the Brethren to do that.

Smoke House Moe
05-22-2014, 02:36 AM
The Catering page helped me three years ago when I wanted to cook for my best friends bachelor party.
If I had not done that(sought advise on this forum;cooked some wings, abt's, and pulled pork that weekend), I would have never heard one of our friends say, "Moe, you need to be selling this."
And that was the spark. Now catering for two years, I still ask questions and try to answer questions on the Catering page.
But the point is, it all started when I was not licensed, not certified, not cooking in a commercial kitchen. i.e. Cooking for the masses.
If this page helps another man or woman follow a similar path, or even help another person avoid a path they aren't fit for, the page is doing it's job.

The natural progression of the BBQ caterer starts with those off-hand gigs like a buddies bachelor party, or your own family reunion.
Love this page.
Early Morn has been immensely helpful in answering some of my questions and I can understand the frustration. He's a pro.