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Ahannif 09-27-2013 05:02 PM

Starting a restaurant-the process
Ok so I know I started another thread but thought I'd start this one to keep everyone updated on the process of it all. Maybe someone will learn along the way or maybe someone can give advice along the way. Either one sounds good to me!

So for anyone who hasn't read my other posts here's what's going on. We decided it would be great to start a restaurant. The original idea was to start smaller and have a mobile kitchen unit but things fell into place where it was smarter for us to do the restaurant thing. We have found a building and man does it need some work. It's white walls white floors and white ceilings with lots of glass. It's a little too diner right now and needs some work. But that's the easy part.

The hard part is the kitchen, this building is 30 years old and it's been sitting for the last 9 years it's in GREAT condition for sitting so long. It's got a custom 13' hood that's pretty nice and it's got a walk in cooler and freezer and that's it. I mention the cooler and freezer bc we learned today the nightmare that is them. The people who put them there before literally put them in the middle of the kitchen butted up to the hood. WHY?!? We are working with someone to see if we can change that. I HAVE to get you guys pictures because it's a strange set up. But the price is right on the building. We know how to do a lot of stuff ourselves and we've had a lot of help so far.

The health dept where we are at are VERY thorough before I can even start remodeling I have to submit detailed plans including every detail of the remodel. We have to list every food item where we are getting it from how it is packaged and where it will be stored. Luckily we are getting that underway right now. We are most likely going to be using US Foods and so far they have been very helpful. We have a lot to do and are hoping to get it done quickly but it will be RIGHT first and foremost. You only get once chance at a first impression and we don't want to blow it.

This will be a full service restaurant and we have the menu tentatively done i'm sure there will be tweaking. I will try to get pictures and the menu done for you all to see tonight. We have formed our llc we have opened business accounts and done all of that fun stuff so at least we are moving in the right direction. Hoping to get a smoker in the next week that will be large enough. ANY suggestions. We are looking at one in Georgia from custom pits and fabrication and they've been reasonable and helpful. As always we love suggestions!

Bbq Bubba 09-27-2013 09:38 PM

What kind of pit are you looking at?

Most opt for a Ole Hickory or Southern Pride.

Pyle's BBQ 09-28-2013 02:07 AM

Good luck with your venture.

When you say a full service restaurant, do you mean you have a wait staff and separate cook staff?

I forgot to say. More pictures please!!!!!

Ahannif 09-28-2013 10:22 AM

Yes there will be a small wait and cook staff. I am trying to get pictures from my phone on to here. I'll figure it out soon I'm sure.

DJ_Golden_Child 10-04-2013 12:16 PM

Is there a brethren that would be a good mentor for a start up BBQ restaurant that has already started that you guys could recommend ?

oifmarine2003 10-04-2013 08:21 PM


Originally Posted by DJ_Golden_Child (Post 2647013)
Is there a brethren that would be a good mentor for a start up BBQ restaurant that has already started that you guys could recommend ?

Check out this thread:

Also, Landarc would probably be a good man to talk to.

HBMTN 10-04-2013 08:41 PM

Southern Pride or something that is automatic for a cooker where you can get some sleep. Staying up all night and trying to run a restaurant 5-6 days a week would be rough. I cook 2-3 nights a week plus work a 40hr a week job and don't think I can last much longer without going automatic.

Pyle's BBQ 10-04-2013 10:23 PM


Originally Posted by DJ_Golden_Child (Post 2647013)
Is there a brethren that would be a good mentor for a start up BBQ restaurant that has already started that you guys could recommend ?

You can start a thread here with your questions or PM me. I have been open a year and a half.

Ahannif 10-07-2013 05:21 PM

Well have been so busy lately haven't had time to update... Been a long week and a half. Paperwork is not my thing and that's all we've been dealing with. We had someone come in and plan the restaurant's layout and that went well. We had to have spec sheets on every item we were considering buying before we could begin the health dept process. Had to tell them how every item would be stored and who the vendors would be. Very very detailed. All we were wanting was an initial inspection to make sure everything that IS there is up to code. So met the health dept inspector today to submit plans. Of course he told us that although a smoker did not HAVE to be NSF certified it would be better if it is. Now we are rethinking what kind of smoker we want. Not wanting a giant GIANT expense but seems like it will be less of a headache to just got with an NSF certified smoker. We have to attend a couple of classes for kitchen safety management. Lots of little things that add up to a giant headache but everyone around here is already buzzing about the possibility of a bbq restaurant in town. Can't do anything in a small town especially when your new restaurant is in front of the police station.

Picked out new flooring for the building and I promise to have pictures of the current state of the building tonight. Just have been too busy researching and meeting with everyone to do much else. We have two small kids on top of it all and one started school recently and let me tell you that may be more of a headache than the restaurant. :wink:

And yes, we know we're crazy but when opportunity knocks you better answer or someone else will....

The worst part is with all of the meetings there hasn't been much smoking going on the last few days... :cry:

Ahannif 10-17-2013 09:35 PM

I have decided my phone is trying to drive me off the deep end. I can't seem to get it to let me upload any pictures. Tried emailing them and they don't seem to attach. I will try to find my camera and get pictures on that.

In the mean time I could use some help.. Anyone have any experience with ole hickory pits. I've been looking into them and can't decide on a model. I think a front loader would be smarter for my set up just don't know if anyone has any pros and cons on these smokers. Any and all advice is welcome.

landarc 10-17-2013 09:42 PM


Originally Posted by oifmarine2003 (Post 2647448)
Check out this thread:

Also, Landarc would probably be a good man to talk to.

Thanks Chris, but, no I would not. I have experience cooking, and as a part of teams that have built food service facilities. I would listen to BBQ Bubba, HBMTN, Jacked Up, and Pyle's BBQ. To name just a few. Those guys are the ones I would reach out to, if I ever wanted to get back into cooking for a living. They are the pro's.

erandolph 10-22-2013 02:58 PM

Ole Hickory Pits are the best in my opinion. Just ordered my 2nd and hope to do more business with them. Started out with a CTO for our concession trailer for vending and competition. Just ordered and EL as our operation is growing at an alarming rate. Product is great and more importantly their service is top notch. Margaret in sales handles the northeast, call her and ask for the manuals on the models you are looking into. She is more then knowlegable and helpful. Tell her the handsome devil sent you. Service guys are great and even replied to a question I had after hours on the weekend. You will not be disappointed. On the competition side a 1st, 3 3rd place finishes and a peoples choice award using the CTO this year. When you order an EL or larger it is shipped direct from Ole Hickory, a rep will deliver, show you how to operate and maintain. When I called around other vendors were offering drop shipment at a terminal. Granted it was cheaper but in my opinon you are talking about your reputation/product. I will pay extra to receive the knowledge I need to operate the machine at its best ability.

fyi, a company in long island recently acquired the RUB bbq stores in NYC. They have 6 JR Manufacturing 250RFS and only need 2. Nice units, brand new $24k. Believe they are asking $8k for one used. I was entertaining the idea because of the savings but couldn't sway from Ole Hickory. I have their contact info if you want it.

Ahannif 11-13-2013 09:18 PM FINALLY figured this out! And no the smoker in this picture won't be there in the future!!

Ahannif 11-13-2013 09:19 PM

Ahannif 11-13-2013 09:21 PM

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