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BigD'sTarheelBBQ
06-10-2014, 04:12 PM
How do you pay for competitions?

SkinEz
06-10-2014, 04:16 PM
How the actual transaction happens, or how do we come up with the $250 or so clams?

TroyA65
06-10-2014, 04:17 PM
I open my wallet, and fork over the cash.

Fat Freddy
06-10-2014, 04:18 PM
I hide the checkbook from the wife so she dont spend any extra money or see what i write checks for.:-D

DawgPhan
06-10-2014, 04:19 PM
How do you pay for competitions?


I am sort of a big deal so I get most of my entries for free....



at least that is what I tell the wife.

yuck yuck yuck.

Carolina OutlawZ
06-10-2014, 05:03 PM
Big D, I'm probably in the same boat as you. I'm pretty much alone and cover all expenses. Entry, Meat, Supplies, Cost to and From, etc. etc. I think most teams have teammates that help cover expenses. I know of 1 team that's able to divide it 4 ways. That's a hecka of a lot easier than forking out the 100% and worrying if you will get anything in return.
Like all hobbies, it seems to be pretty expensive. I have a supporting wife and family and we are hoping to do another competition as a whole. Me, wife, and 2 daughters. Have fun with it and hope to cross paths again soon.

Wayne
Carolina OutlawZ

Gowan
06-10-2014, 05:27 PM
The same way you pay for golf, bowling, fishing, flea market junking or any other hobby.

Competition BBQ is one place to spend that mad money you have after paying all your bills at the end of the month. If you don't have any extra funds, you don't compete. Easy Peasey.

Uncle Buds BBQ
06-10-2014, 05:54 PM
golf, bowling, fishing, flea market junking
I could do ALL of these and it would still be CHEAPER than competition BBQ!!!

:frusty:

BigD'sTarheelBBQ
06-10-2014, 06:43 PM
Yes I was talking about how you pay to enter... uncle buds you are correct.

Ron_L
06-10-2014, 07:01 PM
Yes I was talking about how you pay to enter...

Usually I send a check in the mail along with the application, but some competitions allow you to do it all online.

BigD'sTarheelBBQ
06-10-2014, 07:32 PM
Maybe a better question... how many competitions do you try to do in a year? I would love to do one a month but that's not feasible with my budget.

J&B'sBBQ
06-10-2014, 07:44 PM
We can budget for about 1 per month, but there are some months that we do none and others we do two, so we just spread them out. We're an all inclusive team too so I know what the financial burden feels like and when we're not in a financial place to afford one that month, we just don't do it.

Ron_L
06-10-2014, 08:29 PM
We've done 16 a season a couple of times, but with gas and meat prices up we've cut back to 9 or 10.

CSchieck
06-10-2014, 08:48 PM
Me and my three teammates divvy up the entry fee and each are responsible for purchasing our own meats. Our families knew each other before starting on this journey. We all take the comps serious and invite our families out to the competition enjoy the fruits of our labor after the last turn in. Keeps cost down, keeps our families involved, and allows us to have low stress comps with the division of the labor and effort. Less chance of the spouses complaining under those circumstances, and allows for more comps!!

Wicked Smoke BBQ
06-10-2014, 08:55 PM
We try to budget for 1 a month. Right now were signed up for Spruce Pine, Maggie Valley, Franklin, and Union. We've done 3 since first of the year.

fnbish
06-10-2014, 09:17 PM
We did 22 last year and this year I thought we had to cut back, but for the first time ever we are above break even. We'll see how long that lasts :-D. Im hoping now to do the same amount this year. Just paid for the Royal and that made me flinch :-P

Pole D
06-10-2014, 09:21 PM
I take all of my winnings from the previous competition and then add $250. :-P

In all seriousness, we found a sponsor that covers our entry fees and in return we hang a banner and wear the company's shirts during the comp. We take care of the rest.

Gowan
06-10-2014, 10:04 PM
Yes I was talking about how you pay to enter... uncle buds you are correct.

Most events ask you to send a check, since they need you to sign the waiver anyway.

As an organizer, on rare occasions I accept cash payment the day of the event, but only for teams I know well and can trust and if I have space available that has not already been paid for. Popular events that sell out well in advance virtually always work on a "you're not registered until we have your money" basis.

Also, remember that BBQ contests go on rain or shine and refunds are not ordinarily given, unless the organizer is able to sell your spot to a replacement team.

MattG
06-10-2014, 10:04 PM
We did 6 last year and we will do 5 or 6 this year. We vend most events of the events were competing.

pwa
06-10-2014, 11:41 PM
I use my business to pay for it. I also try and vend a few times a year that goes straight to my comp gear and expenses.

Clint

BigD'sTarheelBBQ
06-11-2014, 07:52 AM
Jason your GC at cornelia helps a ton!

I just didnt know if people were securing sponsors or fund raising for your team.

Thanks for the info guys.

Candy Sue
06-11-2014, 08:48 AM
Checkbook! It's got to be a passion you'll pay for, in my opinion, no matter how you justify it. For me, it's marketing money. As a part owner of BBQr's Delight, I have taken on the responsibilities as chief pellet pusher. I use that to buy t-shirts to give away, contribute to prize money (check out the Arkansas Diamond Cup on Facebook!) and cook contests. Entry fees are tax deductible! As is mileage, pit repairs and other hard costs. I don't include meat costs.

Lake Dogs
06-11-2014, 09:36 AM
For us, it's purely a hobby. We have nothing to market nor anything to lose nor gain at a competition, other than enjoyment of the comraderie and the competition itself. We started out in chili competitions (much less expensive, averaged less than $200 per competition) and did I think it was 36 the first year, had to cut back and did 22 the next, then around 17-20 the next good many years. At the end of that we began converting to BBQ. The problem is that I was funding this 100% myself. BBQ for us starts at $800/comp when it's all said and done with, and goes up to almost $2,000 for MBN competitions. Self funded, this is tough, even though I'd usually make back roughly 1/2 of it (averages being averages). Factor in that I haven't had anything resembling a raise in over 6 years... Anyway, for the last few I've had to resign to only judging, even though I'd really prefer being on the other side of that table... Things are looking up, both for me financially and also for a few team mates. With any luck, we'll do 2 this fall, and perhaps another 2 or 3 next spring. I'd like to do 6 to 8 every year. Frankly, I'd like to become one of the anchor teams at Big Pig Jig...

BigD'sTarheelBBQ
06-11-2014, 11:24 AM
Lakedogs it definitely takes a time/money commitment. Im just a backyard team right now and would like to try the pros next year but a little worried over the money... I know I know just win and it wont matter right haha.

Lake Dogs
06-11-2014, 11:49 AM
It is, and it's tough. Honestly, only the very practiced teams break even or make a few dollars when it's all said and done. For those like Candy Sue, it's marketing. For many others, it's the same. They are largely funded by a (or their) company, tax deductable, etc. For the pure hobbyist as most of us are, it's pure expense.

It's tough. I know it personally. Every darned contest that I've judged the last few years I've grumbled about being on the wrong side of the table... :-)

Having a partner or two who share the costs will help greatly.

Gowan
06-11-2014, 12:54 PM
Hance has it right.

You can count the teams that make their living with Competition BBQ on one hand, and even those rely more on classes, product sales and endorsements than contest winnings to pay the bills.

A successful team is able to break even across the whole season. Sometimes a windfall comes along, but typically that big check goes right back in to upgrading equipment (ask Jim Burg how much of that $50K Sam's check he has left after buying and equipping the new trailer).

There are also a few wealthy guys who can afford to cook a lot on their own dime. The rest of us do what we can afford, scratching together the money as best we can.

Kave Dweller
06-11-2014, 01:28 PM
We figure a grand per comp, that doesn't include any equipment (Guru's, smokers, trailer, etc). Fund it ourselves, win a little here, I cater to keep the Mrs's kind of off my back (side note: if you cater for competition money, your wife might change her anger from the "you spend a lot" stance, to the "your cooking again" stance, I've decided this is a lose/lose situation, not the answer). I personally feel if you don't have a little disposable income, this would be a really tough thing to do.

VanBo BBQ
06-11-2014, 03:16 PM
Hance has it right.

You can count the teams that make their living with Competition BBQ on one hand, and even those rely more on classes, product sales and endorsements than contest winnings to pay the bills.

A successful team is able to break even across the whole season. Sometimes a windfall comes along, but typically that big check goes right back in to upgrading equipment (ask Jim Burg how much of that $50K Sam's check he has left after buying and equipping the new trailer).

There are also a few wealthy guys who can afford to cook a lot on their own dime. The rest of us do what we can afford, scratching together the money as best we can.

I figure a lot the teams that are competing all over the nation are out there for advertising and selling their brand of product. Either a restaurant, smoker, sauce or something. It just wouldnt make financial since other wise.

dosvans
06-11-2014, 03:37 PM
I figure a lot the teams that are competing all over the nation are out there for advertising and selling their brand of product. Either a restaurant, smoker, sauce or something. It just wouldnt make financial since other wise.

Actually, that's not really the case. Majority of the teams I know are not trying to sell or advertise anything. We all just do it as a hobby and because we enjoy it. Just like golfing, fishing, whatever!

Untraceable
06-11-2014, 04:17 PM
Team of brothers here. split 50/50
all winnings go into the team account
We sell our leftovers as sponsor packs (4 @ $50 each) and that gets returned to the team account.
team account goes directly to future entry fees or agreed purchases.

Kept us afloat so far this year (first year doing this team account). still plenty of cost coming out of pocket but just having entry fees deferred has been a big help. Our prize isnt walking home with $$$, its being able to compete again.

Also helps tremendously doing it with a family member. I suposed one of us could run off with the money, but when your family, your stuck together.

rabidawg
06-11-2014, 04:44 PM
Through mental accounting, of course.

If you eat leftovers for a week after the contest for two meals a day (or use the leftovers to make other things like soups, stews, tacos, burritos, etc.), that's 14 meals. Assuming a standard meal costs $7, that's around $100 you've already made back. If you and your spouse both eat leftovers for a week, you're up to $200. Add in the opportunity cost benefit of not spending $50+ going out to dinner and seeing a movie on Friday night, and you've just made back your entry fee. :thumb:

TroyA65
06-11-2014, 05:14 PM
Through mental accounting, of course.

If you eat leftovers for a week after the contest for two meals a day (or use the leftovers to make other things like soups, stews, tacos, burritos, etc.), that's 14 meals. Assuming a standard meal costs $7, that's around $100 you've already made back. If you and your spouse both eat leftovers for a week, you're up to $200. Add in the opportunity cost benefit of not spending $50+ going out to dinner and seeing a movie on Friday night, and you've just made back your entry fee. :thumb:


I like the line of thinking (not sure it will sell but...). I pointed that out to the wife, of the $150 I spent on meat for my first comp, less than $25 went to the judges the rest went into our freezer or her brothers freezer and our bellies. My first comp I covered all the costs, the next one I'm looking to pick up a teammate to split the cost with.

Palm Leaf Pit Masters
06-11-2014, 09:09 PM
pay for it all myself since its a hobby. average about 500 a comp. i just have to budget myself and since im a single 25 yeard old...i dont have a female sucking my account dry haha. I try to 3 or 4 comps a year. deffinetally wish i had a partner to split the cost with

CBQ
06-12-2014, 08:03 AM
We are lucky enough now to get enough calls to cover our operating costs - we break even on entry fees, meat, and other supplies. We don't cover the cost of our cookers, the RV, etc. though.

On the other hand, we starting doing this in 2006, and we didn't start doing really well until the last 2-3 years. There is an investment to be made, for sure. Unless you are super-talented or just lucky, you are going to have to cook 10+ contests a year to get good enough to get regular calls.

I just keep telling my wife "Well, at least I didn't get a boat." :becky:

Slamdunkpro
06-12-2014, 08:10 AM
I just keep telling my wife "Well, at least I didn't get a boat." :becky:
That's close to the line I use "Remember dear, you can't eat golf balls":mrgreen::mrgreen:

hedge
06-12-2014, 01:32 PM
My team is very new to the BBQ scene. It's purely a hobby for us right now, but we are only doing backyard comps this year. Got our first call in May and plan on getting more at our next comp. It is an expensive hobby, but all of them are.

Candy Sue
06-12-2014, 01:57 PM
Through mental accounting, of course.

If you eat leftovers for a week after the contest for two meals a day (or use the leftovers to make other things like soups, stews, tacos, burritos, etc.), that's 14 meals. Assuming a standard meal costs $7, that's around $100 you've already made back. If you and your spouse both eat leftovers for a week, you're up to $200. Add in the opportunity cost benefit of not spending $50+ going out to dinner and seeing a movie on Friday night, and you've just made back your entry fee. :thumb:

Food Saver was the best gift I ever got! Freeze portion size meat servings for quick meals. (It took a while to learn this!) If I score at a contest, I'll always write that down. It's amazing how a frozen pouch of BBQ is appreciated too. Keep some on hand at the office for VIP give-aways. Makes a personal BBQ gift that they'll actually consume (unlike pellets!).

Branded BBQ
06-12-2014, 01:57 PM
Jeez... I must really be a sucker for punishment. I'm in a band (Which is an expensive hobby for the most part) AND doing BBQ. Must have some severe mental issues. Haha. They say the easiest way to have a million dollars making music.....is to start with two million. Lol.

CBQ
06-12-2014, 04:42 PM
Jeez... I must really be a sucker for punishment. I'm in a band (Which is an expensive hobby for the most part) AND doing BBQ.

I have two other expensive hobbies, one of which is playing poker. I spend more money on BBQ than poker. (Maybe it's good I'm not doing the Mohegan Sun contest. I already have a player's account there. :icon_shy )

There is a BBQ team in New England that just bought a boat. My comment was not aimed at them, but I'm just waiting for them to see this thread. :becky:

I used to have a boat when I was younger and always said I would get one again, but the RV purchase was my boat. (I also sometimes represent it as my version of the mid-life crisis car.)

timzcardz
06-13-2014, 07:36 AM
In my other hobby, I spend hundreds of dollars on little pieces of old cardboard! :shock:

Candy Sue
06-13-2014, 09:32 AM
I figure a lot the teams that are competing all over the nation are out there for advertising and selling their brand of product. Either a restaurant, smoker, sauce or something. It just wouldnt make financial since other wise.

It's a "justification for spending the money" thing! You can't qualify or quantify promotion efforts (thank goodness!). And the only contribution from my company is all the broken bags of pellets I need!

Guarantee, I'd be out here doing this if my team name was Candy Sue Que and I was cooking on WSMs. It's the passion, the people and the ever moving challenge of cooking barbeque that doesn't offend more than one judge on a table and is pleasing to at least 5. Oh, and the anticipation of possible achievement calls at the awards.

musicmanryann
06-13-2014, 09:54 AM
One thing that has helped us is selling our leftovers. For $350 family friends and acquaintances "sponsor" a contest and get 35-40 pounds of championship quality meat vacuum-sealed in to family meal sized portions and frozen. The past three years we have sold almost every contest we have competed in.

We have a party/fundraiser every spring the kick off the season where I cook a mess of BBQ and sides, we have a band and "refreshments" and set out all of our trophies and awards. Always a great time. People sign up to sponsor us at this time so we get the funds up front and then deliver the week after the contest. I like to call it "community based sponsorship". :grin: I find this system works a whole lot better than trying to sell it ala cart by the pound. Either way, selling leftovers is a good way to subsidize costs.

cpw
06-13-2014, 10:24 AM
One thing that has helped us is selling our leftovers. For $350 family friends and acquaintances "sponsor" a contest and get 35-40 pounds of championship quality meat vacuum-sealed in to family meal sized portions and frozen. The past three years we have sold almost every contest we have competed in.

We have a party/fundraiser every spring the kick off the season where I cook a mess of BBQ and sides, we have a band and "refreshments" and set out all of our trophies and awards. Always a great time. People sign up to sponsor us at this time so we get the funds up front and then deliver the week after the contest. I like to call it "community based sponsorship". :grin: I find this system works a whole lot better than trying to sell it ala cart by the pound. Either way, selling leftovers is a good way to subsidize costs.

that's Brilliant! We try to sell the leftovers after the fact, but have never tried beforehand.