Motivation for the pros
This question is more for the professionals in this forum (those makin $$).
I was just curious... what was it that made you decide to do this for a living, or as a side business? Was it suggested by friends/family? Did you see others makin $$, and said "I could do that too"?
What put the "smoke in your lungs, and the sauce in your viens"? Was it a cassual backyard hobby that you took forward?
I KNOW that this is not an easy business (food services in general), so, what made you decide to abuse yourselves in this way. I will share my answers with you shortly (at least the FS side).
Also, do yall do competitions? If you do, do you do it for the sport or as an advertising tool?
Well, I started as a competition cook in 2003. We were lucky and won our first contest (Harpoon, Windsor VT). We also won the second day grilling contest. This got us a lot of press in Vermont
Winning got us into the "Jack". It's expensive going down to Tennessee so my brother hired me to cook a tailgate party at the Eagles stadium for the grand opening night. I had a ball and made some money. The next year we were hired to cook at a local golf course for a few tournaments under the license of the "19th Hole". I did this a couple years earning money to compete.
In 2007 I cooked 10 contests traveling over 10K miles including 4 contests in 3 1/2 weeks, I was burned out. In 2008 i got a job (have been self employed since 1983) and it got harder to get the time off to compete. Over the years I cooked for many charity events and passed my cards out. The phone seemed to ring off the hook (exaggeration) with catering jobs. Time to get legal and cook.
Here in Vermont we have a very relaxed Health Department Laws. I have a license to cook in my home and on the road. Insurance is $105 per quarter.
I am now unemployed and am going to cook roadside trying to promote the catering business. I'm booked for 2 golf tournaments and 5 weddings so far. We did 5 weddings last year. BBQ is a cheaper alternative.
Looking forward to the new venture, I really like cooking large amounts.
We got into selling BBQ as a request from people in our community. There are few to no good BBQ places here. We got into vending and made money hand over fist, but the money wasn't worth the burnout.
We cater alot and may still open sporadically for vending. We do comps, but mainly for an outlet for the family.
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