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Catering, Vending and Cooking For The Masses. this forum is OnTopic. A resource to help with catering, vending and just cooking for large parties. Topics to include Getting Started, Ethics, Marketing, Catering resources, Formulas and recipes for cooking for large groups.


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Unread 06-07-2011, 10:46 AM   #1
Pa_BBQ
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Default Advice on vending my first fair.

Our county fair is not huge, we are a very small rural community so its a great place to start. BBQ is almost un heard of and to be honest do not ever remember seeing a BBQ vendor at our fair ever.

I am mainly going to do pulled pork, chips and canned drinks to keep it simple.

I do have to submit a menu in the next few days and can not offer anything that is not approved on that menu.

I am wondering if I should add ribs and chicken to the menu in case I want to cook those some days, but have the pulled pork as the main offering.

I am guessing you do not HAVE to keep stock of each item but you can not decide to offer it if it was not already approved on the application.

For those who do fair's what do you offer and are there any items to avoid.

The nice thing about our small fair, is that the space is quite inexpensive, so will be great to get our cooking out to people for very little cost.
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Unread 06-07-2011, 10:51 AM   #2
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How are you going to store the food and what will use for cooking? How many days will you vend?
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Unread 06-07-2011, 11:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getyourrubonbbq View Post
How are you going to store the food and what will use for cooking? How many days will you vend?
We are in the process of building a vending trailer, although it will be a temp food permit and not have to be an approved mobile facility. We were in the process of getting a mobile vending license when we decided to do the fair.

Here in Pa you can get 3 temp permits a year with out having to have a regular vending license. We should have our regular permit by then, but if not can easily have the temp permit.

We will have a clean dry place with refrigerator, coolers and 3 compartment sinks along with a hand sink to prepare food. Food will be brought in mornings that are sealed and in coolers from Sams. I will also have a 10X10 tent with table and chairs to serve under.
I will be vending for 6 days.
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Unread 06-07-2011, 11:51 AM   #4
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For the first outing, keep it simple. Pork sandwiches, chips, and drink is a great start. Next year or next time you can add to the menu!
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Unread 06-07-2011, 12:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
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For the first outing, keep it simple. Pork sandwiches, chips, and drink is a great start. Next year or next time you can add to the menu!
Listen to the old fart.
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Unread 06-07-2011, 01:44 PM   #6
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Go with you original idea then add turkey legs to the menu. They hot-hold very well and that's something you are going to need to consider.


I find that turkey legs sell out big time! With a family on a budget they tend to look for the best bang for the buck, we post a big ol sign announcing the turkey legs (aprx) weight and price. It's easy math for the customer- Buy a 1/4 pound cheese burger or a 1 pound smoked fresh turkey leg for about the same price? Everyone sells processed burgers but turkey legs offer more for less and two people can eat off one.

Whenever anyone orders one the girls at the front start yelling "TURKEY LEEGEGGGGG!!! and ring the triangle. It's a huge attention getter. I even started autographing the finished bone then zip tied my business card to it. Bring it back tomorrow and we give you a buy one get one half price.

We try and make food fun at events like festivals.
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Unread 06-07-2011, 01:50 PM   #7
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what do you get for a turkey leg?
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Unread 06-07-2011, 01:53 PM   #8
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How will you reheat the pulled pork?
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Unread 06-07-2011, 01:59 PM   #9
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How will you reheat the pulled pork?
Either in a foil pan on the ts120 or a roaster
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Unread 06-07-2011, 02:01 PM   #10
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Things are way different over here, we go .50p above whatever the burgers (usually around 3.30-4.00 for a burger from a festival vendor.) are going for at other vendors. I don't know anyone that vends them here so it has to be a a good price being new to the masses. We could be asking more but most places have been overloaded with food stalls.

They are not too expensive direct from the butchers.
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Last edited by Dr_KY; 06-07-2011 at 05:11 PM..
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Unread 06-07-2011, 02:57 PM   #11
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Go big or go home. Thats jacked up's theory for vending. Be there to make money or dont do it.
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Unread 06-07-2011, 03:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Go big or go home. Thats jacked up's theory for vending. Be there to make money or dont do it.
True that but we were just saying don't go "all in" your first time.
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Unread 06-07-2011, 03:27 PM   #13
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Just contacted the fair, with the deadline this Friday to sign up, they are excited to have their first BBQ vendor (us)

I believe I am going to offer BBQ chicken (thighs) and Ribs. I find ribs and chicken easy to cook and I will have my cooker there. I will not have Ribs every day, may offer them on day 3 and advertise them as while they last and see how they go.

I am looking forward to this especially since they have never had a BBQ vendor before.
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Unread 06-07-2011, 03:41 PM   #14
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Good luck.
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Unread 06-07-2011, 04:39 PM   #15
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Odd as it my sound, I've added smoked chicken legs to my festival menu. People like them because they are easy to eat while walking around. They get done in a couple of hours or so and hot hold pretty well. Selling price is $2.00 each or 3 for $5.00 making for a nice margin. I get them at Sam's and they are pretty good size, approximate cost each is $0.50. The price gets better if you purchase by the case.
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