While I agree with those offering caution, I also need to add it CAN be fun running a Q joint. You do still get the chance to shoot the chit though I have a strict "no adult bevvies" policy while working (don't want to get too sloppy). My customers love to talk BBQ - want to see my smokers - ask a lot of questions. It's a great deal of fun to be serving food people - especially strangers - really dig. Yes - long days & much hard work - but that's pretty much any self owned business.
We opened The Cha Cha Hut in January 2010 after several years of hearing "you should open a Q place". Had a great 4 month run (in the middle of a Catskill Mountains winter no less) then promptly burned down right before Memorial Day. (Gotta love the timing of the BBQ Gods...) We've been doing a front yard roadside thang on Saturdays during the summer. I have to say - if there is a choice between roadside & finding an actual Q joint - go with the joint. Roadside is a real bitch! Set up in the morning - take down at night - repeat... Plus - much more work keeping on the good side of the DoH. (BTW - make VERY good friends with your local DoH & things will be MUCH easier.) We now are working on re-opening in a new location & the community has been very excited about us continuing. To me - even with the long hours - having fans like that IS fun & really does make it worth it.
Personally, I say go for it (as long as you do it legally). The only thing you have to lose is money. Make sure you - and any significant other - are willing to make that gamble. If you can find a small location somewhere - perhaps a local ice cream stand - see if you can work out a deal to partner up. Our new location is going to be in the back of a general store/gas station. There are opportunities out there if you look for them.
Cha Cha Hut BBQ : 43311 Route 28 (corner of Route 28 & County Road 38: Arkville, NY : [URL="http://chachahut.com"]chachahut.com[/URL]
Backwoods Pro Jr.
busted Backwoods Fatboy
Weber 22.5 Kettle
some stainless wood fired thing