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.
Southern Brethren BBQ Competition Team
"It's all about getting paid!" - Myron Mixon
"I love being hated in my hometown!" - David Hair
KingFisher Gator Rotisserie cooker, WSM, Stainless 5 burner with IR gas grill, Turkey Fryer, Weber JD Commemorative grill, slightly used Bandera chamber for future use as a cold smoker, Masterbuilt 40" insulated ELECTRIC smoker