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agold791
12-07-2010, 10:54 AM
A friend and I are working on starting a small BBQ business in NY and I'm trying to figure out our budget. We want to get this started the right way and be totally legit. Besides the HD permits, insurance, and business registration, what is the rough cost of startup? What cooker would you recommend? Any info would be a big help.

Grillman
12-07-2010, 11:05 AM
Step number 1
Go to the Health Department, in person, find out what the requirements are for what
you want to do. Some require it all to be built from Stainless Steel. Find out what the
Health Department laws are for where you live. They will likely have these regulation
printed out...so you don't make any mistakes.
Don't spend any money until you have talked to the Health Department. You don't
want to spend money on equipment that you can't use.

Don't assume that something is Legal and OK, because you saw somebody else on the
street doing it. Some people avoid the Health Department regulations by only selling
food on the weekends; when the Health Dept. is closed and they are unlikely to
get caught.

chromestacks
12-07-2010, 11:30 AM
The HD is going to tell you that you need a commercial kitchen or commisary. Your home kitchen will not qualify! If you do not have something in the works, check with your church, fire dept, or butcher shop. The insurance that you mention does this include NYS disability? workmans comp? They are also required in addition to liability insurance. What type of catering are you offering? is all food to be cooked onsite? Do you intend to also have a BBQ stand that you sell out of? Grillman also made a valid point about not buying anything until you talk to the HD. GO There In Person. You will have a better understanding of the requirements when you leave. As far as start up cost, at the very minimum I would think you are looking at 8K-15K

agold791
12-07-2010, 12:05 PM
The HD is going to tell you that you need a commercial kitchen or commisary. Your home kitchen will not qualify! If you do not have something in the works, check with your church, fire dept, or butcher shop. The insurance that you mention does this include NYS disability? workmans comp? They are also required in addition to liability insurance. What type of catering are you offering? is all food to be cooked onsite? Do you intend to also have a BBQ stand that you sell out of? Grillman also made a valid point about not buying anything until you talk to the HD. GO There In Person. You will have a better understanding of the requirements when you leave. As far as start up cost, at the very minimum I would think you are looking at 8K-15K

Initially, the plan is to provide a drop-off only service and no bbq stand. We may vend at festivals on occasion if this gets off the ground (I am aware that this would require a separate permit).

jbrink01
12-07-2010, 08:49 PM
Matters not how you serve it, the HD will be involved if you go legit. My trailer passes HD, has refrigeration, an FEC500 and hot / cold water / 3 well, etc. $30,000 + $1500 a year in insurance and permits. Pellets at $700 a ton,....................etc

chromestacks
12-07-2010, 10:08 PM
you will still need a commisary or a vending truck/trailer that passes the HD requirements. You need this no matter when/where/how you serve

big brother smoke
12-08-2010, 12:18 PM
you will still need a commisary or a vending truck/trailer that passes the HD requirements. You need this no matter when/where/how you serve

That statement has a lot to do with the state you live in. However, personal chefs in most places I heard, can get around the commisary issue. All must simply be done on site and must be a private function! YMMV!

HandsomeSwede
12-08-2010, 03:26 PM
The "private chef loophole" is a falsehood. Listen to chrome, looks like he's done this.

PorkQPine
12-08-2010, 03:57 PM
If you are going the private chef route make sure you know the rules.

HBMTN
12-08-2010, 05:13 PM
I did it last winter, I spent about $30-35k if you count equipment I already had. The all season long it seemed I needed more and more so I spent another $5000 during the season. Now in winter I am looking at growing pains and could spend another $12,000 if I had it. I wouls say done on the cheap you could do it as cheap as $5000 and ski is the limit on the high end.

BigBellyBBQ
12-08-2010, 05:40 PM
A friend and I are working on starting a small BBQ business in NY and I'm trying to figure out our budget. We want to get this started the right way and be totally legit. Besides the HD permits, insurance, and business registration, what is the rough cost of startup? What cooker would you recommend? Any info would be a big help.
Big question here is what your main objective is, full time or just local parties and events. New York State is tough with the comp laws and such to have a workforce, so start out small where the two of you can handle it and cost is up to you and what you have to spend, but be ready!
try to find someone in your area that you wont be stealing thier customers and belly up to them and ask questions, help out on a busy night...

big brother smoke
12-08-2010, 05:56 PM
The "private chef loophole" is a falsehood. Listen to chrome, looks like he's done this.

Ok, I guess, I have no farking idea what I am talking about. :becky:

I also guess, I have never catered a single event :rolleyes:

That term comes from my HD, not a term, I farted out my arse!:becky:


Now, iffin he is doing drop off only, he will need to have a commisary.

I digress!

HBMTN
12-08-2010, 06:54 PM
I'm with Big Brother Smoke, here in Va while the personal chef thing walks a fine line I was told pretty much by the HD that they would not have a problem if I cooked onsite but if I cooked and transported food that is where they get involved. If you do the personal chef way it would be a lot cheaper to start out. MY only concern is do you want to set up in a strangers yard the night before and cook all night and use thier kitchen?

JD McGee
12-08-2010, 09:05 PM
That statement has a lot to do with the state you live in. However, personal chefs in most places I heard, can get around the commissary issue. All must simply be done on site and must be a private function! YMMV!

Thant's how I roll...on site private catering only! :thumb:

you will still need a commissary or a vending truck/trailer that passes the HD requirements. You need this no matter when/where/how you serve

Not true brother...(at least here in WA)...as long as all meats are prepped and cooked on site and you are not selling to the general public...youre good to go! :-P IF you want to serve the general public then you can apply for a vending permit and use a comp set up for hand/dish wash and sanitizing...still an on-site prep and cook...:cool:

JD McGee
12-08-2010, 09:07 PM
I'm with Big Brother Smoke, here in Va while the personal chef thing walks a fine line I was told pretty much by the HD that they would not have a problem if I cooked onsite but if I cooked and transported food that is where they get involved. If you do the personal chef way it would be a lot cheaper to start out. MY only concern is do you want to set up in a strangers yard the night before and cook all night and use thier kitchen?

Think hot-n-fast cooking neighbor! :thumb: I can arrive on site @ 6am prep and cook brisket and pulled pork and be ready to serve by 1pm...seriously...:cool:

Mister Bob
12-08-2010, 09:28 PM
I've been to the HD in Orange Co., NY and I can tell you that among other things, you absolutely do need a commissary with a HD certified kitchen that you're affiliated with. Technically, NY State requires that your mobile food vending establishment goes to that 'brick and mortar' commissary at least every 72 hours to re-stock, clean, store food, etc.

It doesn't matter how well your truck is outfitted, there are not exceptions. I know this requirement does not apply in some other states, and it defies logic, but you're considering business in NY, and those are the rules here.

You don't need Workers' Comp insurance as long as you and your partners are principals of the business and don't intend to hire any other employees.

HandsomeSwede
12-09-2010, 09:08 AM
Ok, I guess, I have no farking idea what I am talking about. :becky:

I also guess, I have never catered a single event :rolleyes:

That term comes from my HD, not a term, I farted out my arse!:becky:


Now, iffin he is doing drop off only, he will need to have a commisary.

I digress!

You cater in NY a lot do ya? Because I believe that is the state he was inquiring about.

big brother smoke
12-09-2010, 01:58 PM
That statement has a lot to do with the state you live in. However, personal chefs in most places I heard, can get around the commisary issue. All must simply be done on site and must be a private function! YMMV!


What part of this was unclear? You generalized that Personal Chefs were a falsehood. All of this could have been avoided had you said NY.

Let's move along please, I wish you wellness :thumb:

C Rocke
12-09-2010, 03:56 PM
Ok, I guess, I have no farking idea what I am talking about. :becky:

I also guess, I have never catered a single event :rolleyes:

That term comes from my HD, not a term, I farted out my arse!:becky:


Now, iffin he is doing drop off only, he will need to have a commisary.

I digress!

We all know you are a famous (Or infamous) Taco Guy of the Central CA Coast - No license, no insurance, no problem! And you've never had any idea what you were talking about...

Everyone knows that I know nothing as well!

HandsomeSwede
12-09-2010, 06:52 PM
A friend and I are working on starting a small BBQ business in NY

Didn't think I needed to state it since it was the focus of the entire thread.

Ford
12-09-2010, 07:14 PM
First good luck - you must be crazy. NY laws are different than MI and sound a little like Florida with a commissary. As to personal chef as my HD in MI says there's no such thing legally. But a person can go to another house and cook for their party and accept a gratuity for doing it. To get legal is a whole other story and a lot of work even if you stay as just a partnership. Get a lawyer and draw up papers if forming a business enterprise even if informal. Trust me it's a good idea. The HD will work with you and you can get going for a reasonable amount if you want to cooperate. Obey the rules makes sure you don't PO them or it's a real pain for years.

And to everybody on this thread remember it's just BBQ and it's Christmas. I think I'll go back to my fresh squeezed OJ and vodka now. Maybe have to put lights on the palm tree soon.

bbqbull
12-09-2010, 07:57 PM
The personal attacks on each other shall stop now!

Thank you!

daddywoofdawg
01-14-2011, 12:44 AM
Back to the question of a starting budget.I would think most NSF approved smokers start at about 3500.I don't know about NY but some states say you must use NSF equipment if not to cater then to vend.(Find out before you buy)but if your planning on spending that kind of money buy NSF the rule could come to your town soon.I would also think you could by most of your equipment used and cheap being in NY I would think there would be a closing raunt in NYC everyday.buy only the basics to make basic meals and as you go along and customers ask for things then get that other piece of equipment.