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View Full Version : How do people afford to be in all these competitions?


Bamabuzzard
06-30-2009, 03:25 PM
I was watching the foodnetwork last night and they showed a re-run of the rib cook off in Reno. They were saying that each team had to buy like 600 lbs of meat that would cost them $17K and the payoff to win the comp was only $7,500. :confused:

My question is how do people that routinely enter these comps keep being able to enter them without being filthy rich or sponsored? I know most payouts for winning a comp isn't something you're going to get rich over.

Brian in Maine
06-30-2009, 03:36 PM
While I've never competed my understanding is that the average team will cook 2 butts, 2 briskets 3 racks of ribs, and about 16 - 20 chicken thighs. They must buy very expensive meat.:-D

The Pickled Pig
06-30-2009, 03:40 PM
600 LBS @ $2/LB would only be $1200. For us, we spend less than $200 on meat for most of our comps.

Comps are expensive. So teams do a great job of getting sponsors or mini sponsors and some even pre-sell leftovers to help defray costs.

Bamabuzzard
06-30-2009, 03:45 PM
600 LBS @ $2/LB would only be $1200. For us, we spend less than $200 on meat for most of our comps.

Comps are expensive. So teams do a great job of getting sponsors or mini sponsors and some even pre-sell leftovers to help defray costs.

I might have gotten the LBS wrong but I definitely heard the $17K correctly. I don't know much about comps with regard to what all goes into it but just common sense reasoning would figure that if you're not winning then it's costing you some money to do it. :mrgreen:

KC_Bobby
06-30-2009, 03:46 PM
Speaking of which - I have an extra half pan of pork if anyone wants to buy it. :twisted:

Smokin' D
06-30-2009, 03:50 PM
I think at that rib comp in Reno, the competitors were also able to sell to the public. Most comps don't allow that, but being able to sell your wares goes a long way to defray costs.

thillin
06-30-2009, 04:00 PM
I compete in Texas. Most entry fees have been like $60-100. I have a sponsor that covers entry fees for local comps. Meat cost me about $60-100. I don't have to take off of work to compete. Leftovers go to lunch and dinners the next week. Even when I pay entry, I can come in on the low end of meat costs. Rubs and sauces I buy in bulk and use the same at home.

sampson
06-30-2009, 04:22 PM
The deal is that you MUST vend to the public... These guys make far more vending than they even think about from prize money. The currently are serving for five full days to crowds of 30 to 50 thousand per day, depending which day of the week it is. I've been most every year they've done it and at times you can wait in line at a booth for 30 minutes to get your fix. This event is a total money maker for all of the cooks evidenced by the long waiting list to get an invite to participate. And no one is giving away their product. If I remember right, I believe we paid about $7 for a three bone sampler last year. All worth it though, this is one of the best parties on the west coast...

Cahusky
06-30-2009, 06:15 PM
The deal is that you MUST vend to the public... These guys make far more vending than they even think about from prize money. The currently are serving for five full days to crowds of 30 to 50 thousand per day, depending which day of the week it is. I've been most every year they've done it and at times you can wait in line at a booth for 30 minutes to get your fix. This event is a total money maker for all of the cooks evidenced by the long waiting list to get an invite to participate. And no one is giving away their product. If I remember right, I believe we paid about $7 for a three bone sampler last year. All worth it though, this is one of the best parties on the west coast...

It definitely is a great party!!! I live in Reno and usually go down to the rib cookoff at least 3 or 4 days during the 5 day event. AS Sampson mentioned the teams make a ton of $$$$ vending at this event as it attracts nearly 500,000 attendees over the 5 day period.

Bentley
06-30-2009, 06:43 PM
We competed next to a team at Best Dam BBQ competition in Boulder City one year. The guy did the corn on the cob vending at the Reno event. He said he, I think it was grossed $80,000 in 5 days...Thats Corn on the Cob!

CajunSmoker
06-30-2009, 09:03 PM
It's been costing us around $700 to do a KCBS comp within a 5 hour drive. Luckily this year we've won a little back to help out.

Shotgun
06-30-2009, 09:51 PM
Speaking of which - I have an extra half pan of pork if anyone wants to buy it. :twisted:
would that be the overly salty pork?

KC_Bobby
06-30-2009, 10:11 PM
Yes, but I can sauce the chit out of it to mask it like I did my turn in

sampson
06-30-2009, 10:14 PM
It definitely is a great party!!! I live in Reno and usually go down to the rib cookoff at least 3 or 4 days during the 5 day event. AS Sampson mentioned the teams make a ton of $$$$ vending at this event as it attracts nearly 500,000 attendees over the 5 day period.

Not sure we'll make it this year, looks like we're doing a cook off in Boise that weekend... I lived in Reno most of my life, born in Fallon. We left for quieter pastures about 3 years ago and other than a few things like the rib cook off, New Yalk Pizza and Joe Bob's chicken wings, we haven't been too sorry we made the move. I sure don't miss that danged wind blowing all the time. But I sure wish I had a slice of New Yalk right now:cry:

Jacked UP BBQ
06-30-2009, 10:16 PM
I know one of the vendors there and he sells 250 cases of ribs in those five days. 250 X 15 = 3750 racks X 25 a rack = 93750 and forget about the pork and the ribs. I know he drives a long way. Must be well worth it.

DocStl
07-01-2009, 02:52 PM
Im spending my childrens inheritance! :-D

SoEzzy
07-01-2009, 03:56 PM
Im spending my childrens inheritance! :-D

Ha! It's not theirs till your dead... keep going, and die with the funeral paid for, and just the two pennies to cover your eyes in the pot under the bed, it's fine by me, the way I plan on doing it given the choice! :biggrin:

beam boys bbq
07-01-2009, 05:30 PM
i pre sell all of my meat if i can that way it is all ready sold on what i don't turn in to the judges

just an fyi

MattG
07-01-2009, 05:47 PM
I’ve only done 2 comps but I had all of the left over sold before I even started. That helped me out a lot.

Brauma
07-01-2009, 06:55 PM
I do practice cooks throughout the year and announce to a loyal friend/fan base that I'll have pulled pork, ribs, or brisket for sale. Their $ is considered a friendly sponsor of Cat Sass BBQ.

Rub
07-01-2009, 07:59 PM
The rib burns like you mentioned are no where near the same as the typical contest discussed on this site. Those are high volume vending gigs for the most part - those guys can make a small mint at one contest if all goes their way.

As far as the typical contests we discuss here, my bbq habit has to pay for itself - no $$ is used from my day job. In the beginning I catered, vended, and pre-sold bbq to pay for a contest. If I was lucky and won a little bit, that went into the bbq fund as well. When I had enough saved up, I would enter another one. I was (and still am) one of the low budget guys at a contest. I take my meat, beer, pork rinds, a bag of peanuts, and some sunflower seeds. That gets me through the weekend. 8-)

Smokin Mike
07-01-2009, 08:19 PM
I joined a team... just because of costs!

moocow
07-01-2009, 08:44 PM
I joined a team... just because of costs!
That seems like the way to do it! I took on three team mates and we split everything. An average costs us about $100 each. I don't think that's to bad.

SmokeInDaEye
07-01-2009, 09:02 PM
According to CNN, you can never get rich cooking competition bbq. :)

Seriously, for me it's the only hobby I have and I limit it to a few contests a year. If I cook well, I'll break even.

Kevinbrown22
07-02-2009, 12:11 AM
Thanks for this post, I saw that show and was wondering too. I mean Australia!

The Pigman
07-02-2009, 08:35 AM
In vegas they are selling for 4 to 6 days and after all expenses some are walking away with $40,000.00

Podge
07-02-2009, 10:14 AM
I can't afford to cook many contests. It all comes out of MY pocket.. no one to split costs with. I first chose a contest where I think I have a good chance to make some of my money back. Usually I shoot for contests with $7,000 or more in prize money, and I look at the teams that will be there. Contests cost me around $600-$800 each. If i figure one or two good calls can get me about $400 or so back, then I'll go. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Fortunately this is the 3rd year in a row I've at least broke even.

TN_BBQ
07-02-2009, 03:21 PM
I think for most folks, it's a hobby that ends up costing money (same as golf, fishing, hunting, skiing, motorcycles, boats, etc.).

A very small percent of folks make a profit, and I'd say most of those aren't profitable on just the prize money. They most likely have other BBQ revenue streams (catering, merchandise, restaurants, sauce, rubs, etc.).