Knowing what I know now, I would have done a lot more preplanning. I have a business where I have to go out and cook at the customer’s site. This is a pain when doing something like a church wedding in the rain. Sitting out in the parking lot with tents and a smoker for 15 hours is not fun. Doing business without proper equipment and storage space is a real mess. I did buy a 16 enclosed trailer to haul all the equipment around in, but the Health Department will not allow me to prep food inside of it. I have to set up all of my cooking stuff up in tents outside. If I was to do it again, I would defiantly get a Health Department approved trailer (I am working on that now) for cooking and prep work. They are a real time saver and a warm and dry place for you to cook.
I have a rented storage shed to keep the equipment in because I do not have a garage. It is extra stress on your family also. I love catering, but my wife hates it and my kids and other family only help out for the money. It is fun work, but that is how you have to look at it, work ....It's a JOB. Don't think that it will be an easy way to make a few bucks. In fact, for the first little while, you will pay out a lot more than you will bring in. There is an old saying "The best way to make a little money in BBQ, is to start with a lot of money!" I did not make a profit my first year at all. The cost of doing business the legal way is high. Business license $100, Health Department permit, $225, Insurance, $250, storage shed $60 month, basics just to set up in tents to cook will run at least $1000.
All this is just to "start" selling. I see a lot of guys just selling out of their backyards with no license or insurance. You have to ask yourself, is it worth losing your house and everything you own if you serve bad BBQ and get sued? It’s always best to go the legal way.
Don't get me wrong. Catering can be a very fun business, but you will have to treat it like a business and not a hobby. It's a lot of work, but it beats digging ditches!
There is a lot of good reading on this site about starting up a catering business.
Search it out and good luck if you want to try and do it.
There are a lot of helpful folks here that can help guide you through it.
Yes, I would do it again.
Hope this helps,
Last edited by Dutchovendude; 12-06-2009 at 05:05 PM..