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-   Catering, Vending and Cooking For The Masses. (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=62)
-   -   catering question (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=44359)

grillfella 06-13-2008 03:03 AM

catering question
 
Hey guys I am starting to get legal about my catering business, ie liscense and tax id number. I was told that I had to have a kitchen to prep my food, and my house is not acceptable. What should I do? I am in the process of looking into a small bbq lunch spot with a buddy of mine

Smokin Gator 06-13-2008 05:33 AM

State/city laws vary so much it is hard to give advice on this one. I think the best thing to do is make a call the the county health department and speak to an inspector to get it right from the authority.

parrothead 06-13-2008 07:57 AM

I second that. That is the best way. Work with them not against them

Countryhb 06-13-2008 12:37 PM

Are you asking about catering or opening a restaurant (a small BBQ lunch spot)? If catering, and you plan on prepping/cooking food offsite AND being legit, you need a commercial kitchen to prep in. There are a few spots in LA that'll rent kitchen space to you. If you DO NOT transport cooked product (i.e. you cook and prepare everything onsite), the health department is not concerned with you. You are then considered a personal chef and the same rules as a traditional caterer do not apply.

You really do need to call the health dept and have a chat with them.

Plowboy 06-13-2008 01:01 PM

Look for a space that you can use or rent like a church, school, Elks club, Lodge, etc

NotleyQue 06-13-2008 09:22 PM

I second this.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Plowboy (Post 662291)
Look for a space that you can use or rent like a church, school, Elks club, Lodge, etc


Caseyjoenz 06-13-2008 09:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Countryhb (Post 662278)
If you DO NOT transport cooked product (i.e. you cook and prepare everything onsite), the health department is not concerned with you. You are then considered a personal chef and the same rules as a traditional caterer do not apply.

You really do need to call the health dept and have a chat with them.

Well...in your city maybe. I was hoping to take the Personal Chef route, but was told "no way". I agree with everyone else...talk directly to the man (or woman) and you'll save yourself time and money.

Qcrue2U 06-21-2008 03:18 AM

I actually am going through this as we speak. I have been told by the H.D. that I must find a commensary that is up to date with the H.D. I can ONLY prepare food onsite. You cannot even marinate, unless I rent space from a comminsary that is up to date with the H.D. Then you must have a proper tent with guidlines. This is for a temporary H.D. cert... If you have a mobile unit, then you must file for a MOBILE UNIT Cert. Your mobile unit must be inspected by the HD as well.. Then of course, you need a business license, a home occupance permit, a fictitious business statement, a bank account, and a sellers permit... WOW!!! :( Each county is different, and I agree with eveyone else, talk directly to the HD.

chad 06-21-2008 07:42 PM

Yep. It's a PITA. That's why I don't do any catering except for stuff at the church. I made a run at it for about 3 years. Made a few $$ and had some fun but I was always right on the edge of non-compliance.

The commissary was my main stumbling block...if I had the bucks I'd buy or rent a small place (like an old hamburger stand) and set it up for catering -- maybe do some retail walk-up/carry out business on Friday and Saturday.

I will say, at least in this area, there is plenty of work for a BBQ caterer that will handle small jobs (25 folks) as well as the El-Grande events. I never advertised except for our low key website and would get several calls a month for ribs, BBQ B'Day parties, etc. The work is out there if you can get through the hoops.

Paulie G. 06-22-2008 12:23 AM

Talk to your local church. If they have a commercial kitchen, offer to donate your time, i.e. a free bbq in return for them allowing you to use their kitchen as a commissary.

jbrink01 08-26-2008 12:42 PM

We jump through a few hoops, but our saving grace is our trailer. Cook on site, keep the rig compliant, and think disposable for everything. When we have to do china place settings we rent 'em. That way, they wash 'em.

Bigmista 08-26-2008 03:28 PM

We're in the process right now. Looking for a commercial kitchen so we can prepare ahead of time for vending at different events. It ain't easy but it's got to be done. If you are only doing stuff that you can prepare on site (Chicken, ribs, links tacos burgers, whatever) then the portable sink is your only large hurdle. Most places won't have one onsite and you are supposed to have a 3 basin sink with at least:

20 gal fresh water tank
30 gallon gray water tank

It can be larger but gray water has to be at least 1.5 times bigger.

Countryhb 08-26-2008 05:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jbrink01 (Post 721478)
We jump through a few hoops, but our saving grace is our trailer. Cook on site, keep the rig compliant, and think disposable for everything. When we have to do china place settings we rent 'em. That way, they wash 'em.

Down here (LA/OC) your rig won't save you, as you need a commercial kitchen to park it at.

smokinit 08-26-2008 09:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jbrink01 (Post 721478)
We jump through a few hoops, but our saving grace is our trailer. Cook on site, keep the rig compliant, and think disposable for everything. When we have to do china place settings we rent 'em. That way, they wash 'em.

I went this route also but had mine bulit in to truck. HD will tell you all you need to know. Good Luck!!

ThomEmery 08-26-2008 09:59 PM

I only do private parties. Because Riverside Co. Calif. has no requirements when these are cooked on site. The customers usually want Ribs, Chicken and Tri tip, Quick cooks
We have done high temp cooks to get er done Brisket and Butts

I am really happy we have this Forum on the Brethren


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