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Brauma
09-14-2008, 08:19 PM
I did my second catering gig this past Saturday. Gory details here: http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=49221

I've got a couple of questions. First, how do you deal with flies? It was brutally hot & humid this past Saturday. I'm talking 98* and high humidity. When it came time for me to bust up the pork, flies came from no-where and were relentless. I shooed them away best I could but it was no use. And I'm sure it looked bad to anyone who saw it. Flies on the cutting board - not good.

Second, how do you guys do it? I mean, I thought I would lose my marbles, quit and walk away by mid-afternoon. Maybe I'm too much of a free spirit but I was on-sight - in the customer's backyard - from 6:30 AM till 8:20 PM. Thats a long farking time. How, I mean, do you... how do I want to ask this?... How do you price your jobs to cover this much time?

When I add up how much I was paid it worked out to $10/hour. Now, I'm not sneezing at this $. This is better than nothing. But that sure was a lot of work and a lot of time away from the homestead on a Saturday. On top of that I worked till 11PM Friday night trimming/rubbing butts and cooking the beans.

I've heard that the health Dept frowns on cooking the meat at your home/backyard, then transporting it to the party. But Ive also heard that you could cook it in a certified kitchen, then transport it to the site and reheat. Is this different state to state?

When I said that I'm a free spirit before, let me explain. My job for the past 23 years has been a field service rep. My vehicle is my office. When ever I have to sit in an office from 8-5 I feel like I'm trapped in a cage. Like I'm in prison. I'm not sure this type catering will work for me. But I'm glad that I'm trying it.

Roo-B-Q'N
09-15-2008, 08:27 AM
Mark,

I understand where you are coming from. It doesn't seem right to be on sight all day and work well into the night and get $10.00 per hour. There are many different ways to price out jobs, i.e. food costs x 3, but I think that is for a simple cook off site and deliver. For the onsights, I believe it should be a whole lot more. Your customers are asking a lot. I do not know that number however. We did about the same thing this summer and will not do it again until we can figure out better pricing.
Health laws are differnt from State to State, and in Nebraska it seems county to county. Get a hold of your health inspector and talk with him or her. They are there to help and get you set up properly. I started talking to mine even before I started building out catering trailer so we were all on the same page.
The cooking in a certified kitchen and delivering food for my county health inspector means I am a caterer and fall under his laws. Cooking on sight for a persons party using my equipememnt and or theirs means I am a Personal Chef and do not come under the health department laws. So again get with them and figure out which way you want to go. Either way keep the publics safety and health utmost in your food preparation and holding.
Just my .02 cents.

Caseyjoenz
09-15-2008, 08:55 AM
I did my second catering gig this past Saturday. Gory details here: http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=49221

I've got a couple of questions. First, how do you deal with flies? It was brutally hot & humid this past Saturday. I'm talking 98* and high humidity. When it came time for me to bust up the pork, flies came from no-where and were relentless. I shooed them away best I could but it was no use. And I'm sure it looked bad to anyone who saw it. Flies on the cutting board - not good.

Second, how do you guys do it? I mean, I thought I would lose my marbles, quit and walk away by mid-afternoon. Maybe I'm too much of a free spirit but I was on-sight - in the customer's backyard - from 6:30 AM till 8:20 PM. Thats a long farking time. How, I mean, do you... how do I want to ask this?... How do you price your jobs to cover this much time?

When I add up how much I was paid it worked out to $10/hour. Now, I'm not sneezing at this $. This is better than nothing. But that sure was a lot of work and a lot of time away from the homestead on a Saturday. On top of that I worked till 11PM Friday night trimming/rubbing butts and cooking the beans.

I've heard that the health Dept frowns on cooking the meat at your home/backyard, then transporting it to the party. But Ive also heard that you could cook it in a certified kitchen, then transport it to the site and reheat. Is this different state to state?

When I said that I'm a free spirit before, let me explain. My job for the past 23 years has been a field service rep. My vehicle is my office. When ever I have to sit in an office from 8-5 I feel like I'm trapped in a cage. Like I'm in prison. I'm not sure this type catering will work for me. But I'm glad that I'm trying it.

I do this on a "part-time" basis, although I take on way more than I should. What gets me is that catering on-site is BACK BREAKING, HARD FARKING WORK. Have to say I wasn't prepared for that, but it is getting better. I do not know how guys do this day in and day out. My back and knees would be finished :shock:

Countryhb
09-15-2008, 11:51 AM
I was on-sight - in the customer's backyard - from 6:30 AM till 8:20 PM.
Do whatever your local HD requires to get away from having to do this. It would be much easier to cook the weekend before at home, freeze, and reheat. or even cook the night before and hold.

TOPS BBQ
09-15-2008, 12:03 PM
I too, do this part time, but how much time are you really working? I just did a job on-site and "worked" for 8 hours. Really, the work came from prepping, setting up and taking down the site. I sat for probably 4 hours while the food was cooking. I was still tired in the end, but you have to put this into prospective. If you are your own boss, you are not going to make a lot of money. It's about doing what you love and getting paid, albeit little.

As for the flies: did you have a tent with walls setup in your prep area? This would not keep flies out entirely, but it helps a lot. You could also setup a fan pointing out of the entrance to keep flies out. Once food is out for serving, that's when you have to make sure you keep the flies away. Keep lids on the food when people are not being served.

Good luck on whatever you decide to do.

smokinit
09-15-2008, 04:32 PM
That is why when I started out I knew that it would be very difficult to preform this type of service on regular basis without an onsite kitchen or commisary and even with one there still are long hours . It's the nature of the beast with good Q

jbrink01
09-15-2008, 04:36 PM
We did it on site just long enough to realize we either neeeded a self contained concession trailer (which allows us to start at home, with certain restrictions), or needed to quit. We now have $100,000 worth of truck, trailer and equipment. Wanna buy it?

Brauma
09-15-2008, 04:59 PM
I too, do this part time, but how much time are you really working? I just did a job on-site and "worked" for 8 hours. Really, the work came from prepping, setting up and taking down the site. I sat for probably 4 hours while the food was cooking. I was still tired in the end, but you have to put this into prospective.

I understand what you're saying but I look at it differently. If I'm away from my home and on a job site, I'm working. It doesn't matter if I have my feet up reading a book - I'm working at the job; I'm not at home playing with mama or the kids. I actually missed my son's first soccer game this year so I could do this job. That sucked.

I've already had a long talk with my partner BeerGuy about this. On-sight cooking gigs are not for me. I'm glad I did it; now I know. I will definitely contact my local HD and see what I need to do to cook at home then transport to the function.

Thanks for the tip on the flies. A box fan would have been nice this past Saturday. The heat was brutal.

Someone told me today that if I had washed down my table with a bleach/water solution it would've kept the flies away. I'll try both techniques next time.

Brauma
09-15-2008, 05:17 PM
We did it on site just long enough to realize we either neeeded a self contained concession trailer (which allows us to start at home, with certain restrictions), or needed to quit. We now have $100,000 worth of truck, trailer and equipment. Wanna buy it?

:lol: Oh, wow. You know, you're just a touch out of my price range. :lol: And if you lived closer I'd come by and check it out. :wink: Thanks for the offer though.

I've got the garlic "business"/hobby and I'm thinking about working with the local HD about converting part of my shop into a kitchen that will pass their code. Making the smoked garlic involves a smoker so I'm picturing a big smoker that will stay put in the kitchen. Then a mobile unit to heat the meat back up on location.

Sounds good huh?