View Full Version : What got you into catering?

11-19-2010, 09:24 AM
I am wanting to cater my BBQ as well as compete and do festivals in the fall. What got you guys into it? Would you just cater or would you do festivals as well? I really want to make a career out of my Q, but have decided that a restaurant is just too risky at the moment but catering could be just what I wanted to do. Not looking to get rich, just want to do what i love to do.

Any thoughts?

11-20-2010, 10:52 AM
What got you into catering?

The love of food and the loss of an income got me started. I started out doing weekends at the local pub then when I was made redundant the only way to make any cash was with BBQ so we started looking at festivals, weddings and other special events. It's not a full time gig and I'm back in a job but I don't think I will ever give up the Q.

11-20-2010, 11:46 AM
We've now catered just enough to know it's not for us. Our intention is, as it has always been, to earn enough $ to pay for our competition habit. I have never felt that we can charge enough to cover all the time that goes into catering. So, we have been working the drop-off or pick-up orders and it's doing fairly well for us.

11-20-2010, 12:42 PM
True I have a drop off tonight and man it feels good to let the cooker do the work while sleeping all day then getting up in time to pack and deliver three miles away and returning home.

JD McGee
11-20-2010, 12:54 PM
What got you into catering?

Everyone that has tasted our BBQ at competitions asking if we cater...:becky:

11-20-2010, 02:53 PM
Because chicks dig a fat middle aged man with a badarse smoker...

11-21-2010, 01:11 PM
I love BBQ, love to smoke BBQ and I lost my mind.

12-03-2010, 12:21 PM
I worked in food service, since I was a teenager. Did the culinary school thing, and worked as an executive chef for a couple of years, which included some catering.

I had 2 heart attacks several years back, and had to quit the high pressure of the chefs job, due to doctors orders. After six months of trying to figure out what to do with my life, I opened a roadside BBQ stand. A logical offspring from that, and much more lucrative, was the catering. I have been doing both now, for 4+ years, and love it. :cool:

Wouldn't change a thing.

Dave (A.K.A. Meadmaker)
P.S. My doctor, says that I am back in 100% form.

12-04-2010, 07:31 AM
5 years ago we were selling BBQ roadside at my recently departed Dad's vending spot (he sold vegetables and pumpkins from our farm). People kept asking if we catered. We do now!

12-04-2010, 04:42 PM
We built a large BBQ smoker after years of Chargrillers and cheapo's. In the process we decided to enter a BBQ competition and loved it. After a few years competing all the locals would always ask if we would cater for them and not being legal we always said no. After putting a lot of thought into it and looking for extra ways to make income we decided to take the plunge. Best thing I ever did, I love it and can't wait for spring!

Mister Bob
12-10-2010, 10:04 AM
Hoping to make enough money to support my Competition BBQ addiction!

12-21-2010, 05:26 PM
love of the game. I am lucky to have a flexable job with the city which allows me to do both.

C Rocke
12-21-2010, 07:42 PM
Still trying to figure out why and how i did it...

12-22-2010, 07:08 AM
Just asked myself that question before I took this break to sit down. It's 8am and I have been cooking since 4am after all day yesterday as well. Just finished the 6th gal of baked beans. We have PP, brisket, ribs, slaw, Psalad,
and coconut flavored rum cake. Three parties to deliver to today. This is a part time gig. It sure is a lot of work. Sometimes there is no joy and other times I love it. Not loving it today.

12-30-2010, 10:48 AM
This is great! I've been sitting behind a computer for 11 years now. I cook on the weekends and Love cooking for people. my ribs are fantastic (toot toot), I did one Highschool Party for about 70 people and fell in love with it.
I'm on my way to catering and looking to do roadside for a while. it's just so dang hard to give up a good job....

The Pigman
12-30-2010, 10:52 AM
Do love the drop off or pick up way. you can cook for mutipul parties at a time and dont have to be there. It also saves them money which works for all.

We've now catered just enough to know it's not for us. Our intention is, as it has always been, to earn enough $ to pay for our competition habit. I have never felt that we can charge enough to cover all the time that goes into catering. So, we have been working the drop-off or pick-up orders and it's doing fairly well for us.

12-31-2010, 05:45 PM
I catered my sisters wedding almost 3 yrs ago. We did enough meat and sides for 250 people. took me forever to get everything together. Had a small backyard brinkman that would hold 4 butts. I had to cook all week to get the meat done. We had a blast putting it all together. When it was all said and done we picked up two more jobs from that one wedding and our catering company was born. Been doing a couple of gigs a month ever since.

01-08-2011, 06:27 PM
Well the love of bbq got me into the bbq biz..... which then got me into catering.

01-08-2011, 07:39 PM
We just cater enough to help pay for our BBQ hobby in competition.

01-08-2011, 09:49 PM
I used to have a sweet place with riverfront property. We had a lot of big parties, many with kegs and a few with live music. Cooking Pork shoulder and ribs was way cheaper than steak (well, ribs used to be cheap!) and after I got those figured out people starting throwing cash at me to cook at their parties. I enjoyed it so it's kept getting bigger, but I still only cook for acquantances. Trying to change that this year though. Starting competing a few years ago cause I guess I am mad at money for some reason.

01-18-2011, 06:41 AM
In searching for catering business information one of the things people don't talk enough about is the marketing your business. It is so important to keep your name out there, that means networking. Networking is just a complicated word meaning talking to people.

OL' Timer
01-18-2011, 04:36 PM
My life was much like Meadman's in restaurants for over 40 years. Was Executive chef at an exclusive beach side beach and tennis club in FL for 15 years and had a stroke. Docs said I need to quit. Went back to work for 6 more months and had 2 more strokes within an hour. Docs put me out to pasture early. That was 02 been hunting and fishing for the last 7 years and got bored.My great grandfather and grandfather taught me how to smoke meat and fish when I was little and I decided last year to try vending and it grew into catering and festivals.

01-28-2011, 12:07 PM
Started out cooking for our church functions, then doing a few fund-raisers for church, then birthday parties for our family, then birthday parties for friends families, then weddings, then work parties, then parties for people we didn't know, then...

It kinda snow-balls and before you know it - you're "catering".

Glad it started!!!

BTW - "drop-offs" are BEST!!!!!!!

03-07-2011, 05:03 PM
Started smoking stuff for people at home- thanksgiving, christmas, etc. and friends would ask me to smoke either turkey, chicken, or fish for their b'day parties and functions; some church folk then asked to do fundraisers, etc. etc.
Most importantly, I'm getting ready to retire in a few years and will need someting to keep me busy!
It's a load of work but I just love people telling me how great my stuff is/was!