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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 09-28-2011, 08:04 AM   #1
boogiesnap
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Default so, you want to sell your Q

hi everyone. over the winter i have a project...

i'd like to get legal to sell some BBQ.

VERY small scale to start, but legal. maybe a bit of roadside on saturday afternoons by a home depot/lowes kind of thing or a small catering gig now and then.

granted i realize i won't get rich or prolly even turn a profit on this scale, but, still want to proceed...for now.

now, my question is step 1.

do i just call the health dept, tell whoever answers what i'd like to be able to do and follow their instructions?

after that, fire dept, insurance, and taxes?

do i have this correct?

thanks for any help/direction.
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Unread 09-28-2011, 08:22 AM   #2
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Yep - you've got the correct.

Start with the DOH. They'll give you the framework for what you'll have to have to be legal - that usually entails a commercial kitchen that will be certified by the DOH & regulations on your serving set up. (For example - I have a commercial kitchen but no trailer. When I do a mobile gig - DOH specifies what kind of tent, water supply, holding temp, etc. I need at the mobile location.)

Once you have the DOH regs, you'll need to check with local building & fire codes to build out your kitchen. Once the kitchen is in place - you'll need to talk to your insurance agent about covering the kitchen, mobile set up, liability, etc.
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Unread 09-28-2011, 08:31 AM   #3
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thanks frank.

shoot, how could i have forgotten commercial kitchen?

THAT will have to be step 1. finding one i can use. i cannot build one out.
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Unread 09-28-2011, 09:06 AM   #4
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i think i found one to rent by the hour, just minutes from my house in fact!
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Unread 09-28-2011, 09:12 AM   #5
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Also may I add - write up a business plan, even though you may think this going to be small scale, a plan will cover all aspects of having a "business", you'll be amazed what you will uncover while getting going, etc...
Good luck & post pics when you get going !
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Unread 09-28-2011, 05:13 PM   #6
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When you say small scale what exactly do you have in mind? Do you mean weekends or once a month or what?
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Unread 09-28-2011, 06:12 PM   #7
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i'm thinking offering services for small backyard gatherings, kids parties, maybe promo cooks at freinds stores, maybe a friday lunchtime roadside. stuff like that.
no festival vending, brick and mortar, weddings, or stuff like that. don't have the equipment or experience.
see if i can get any traction or interest and possibly then, move into larger gigs or everyday lunch, as well as investment.
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Unread 09-28-2011, 06:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogiesnap View Post
i'm thinking offering services for small backyard gatherings, kids parties, maybe promo cooks at freinds stores, maybe a friday lunchtime roadside. stuff like that.
no festival vending, brick and mortar, weddings, or stuff like that. don't have the equipment or experience.
see if i can get any traction or interest and possibly then, move into larger gigs or everyday lunch, as well as investment.
Whatever what you decide to do, I wish you much success.
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Unread 09-28-2011, 07:13 PM   #9
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I can only speak for my area but if you were here you would need a HD Certified Kitchen annual HD fees are about $300 business license, litter tax and other fees are about $250 annually and insurance $1000. I have many more bills than that accountant, s corp, chamber of commerce, advertising ect, but I would say just to do the small things you could expect $1500 in annual fees to be in business not counting equipment and things. In my area the money making time is May thru October so that is 6 months of pay days.

So figure you need to make $250 per month during those 6 months to pay the legal fees of being in business. If your good with that hen I would go to the HD and ask them what you need in your area to get a permit to operate and they will help you. This would be the minimal start and I would recommend having $5000-$10,000 cash on hand. Good Luck!
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Unread 09-28-2011, 07:33 PM   #10
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thanks guerry. i will take that wish with me for a long time.

HBMTN, thank you for your thoughts. i'm comfortable with risking $1500, i think. seems a fair amount to sacrifice to chase a dream.

now, seeing as this is not a restaurant, what you you expect the 5-10K would be needed for?

while i'm rambling, how does a commercial kitchen work for a BBQ'er as we are not actually cooking there? is it for prep? must ingredients/meats, etc. be stored there exclusively?

when i call them tomorrow i'd like to know a little what i'm talking about or looking for. if anybody has a minute to explain a bit.

thanks alot everyone. i will document my progress here for others to learn.

tomorrow...call certified kitchen rental.
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Unread 09-28-2011, 08:56 PM   #11
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I wish you luck and love the idea of you posting the notes from your journey. You are chasing my dream. Can't chase it myself right now due to other commitments, but watching you will be a treat. Thanks and once again good luck!
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Unread 09-29-2011, 03:49 PM   #12
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The 5-10k will cover unseen costs and epuipment needs and things like that. You may do it on less but the last thing you want to do is be set up ready to go and broke to your A$$. When I started it was like $11k in trailer/kitchen, $600 trailer logo's, $2k trailer sinks refrig water heater plumbing, $4k equipment, $1k starting S-Corp, $500 licenses, $2k in stock/supllies, $2k 1st food/supplies order to vend, $500 advertising, and more but it can be done with less than I did, I did not cut any corners. I went into it with everything I could afford and if it did not work then I would not have to think well what if I had done ....
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Unread 09-29-2011, 06:28 PM   #13
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ah, i see. that makes sense.

i have to back my way into it. i have a little something planned in the spring that could lead to a good stream of business. so i'd like to be legal by then, in order to be able to offer professional services. this thing would be a private party. as it gets closer, i'll divulge more.

as far as step 1, i have a call in, waiting for a return call. will follow up tomorrow.

then, it's attorney time. uh boy.
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Unread 09-29-2011, 09:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogiesnap View Post
while i'm rambling, how does a commercial kitchen work for a BBQ'er as we are not actually cooking there? is it for prep? must ingredients/meats, etc. be stored there exclusively?
You don't THINK you'll be cooking there, but your HD might just tell you that you have to. You also might find that you are not able to use your current smoker.

At a minimum you will need the commissary to dump your graywater.

And yes, you also may learn that your meats might need to be stored there also.

I think you're in for an education...but a good one.
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Unread 09-29-2011, 10:46 PM   #15
boogiesnap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cook View Post
You don't THINK you'll be cooking there, but your HD might just tell you that you have to. You also might find that you are not able to use your current smoker.

At a minimum you will need the commissary to dump your graywater.

And yes, you also may learn that your meats might need to be stored there also.

I think you're in for an education...but a good one.
agreed for sure.

well, we'll find out what they say about it tomorrow, if i can get through to the right person.

and yes, my cookers do not have a "hold" button. so, again, we'll see.

i'll be calling my local county HD and comply, what happens if i travel to another county and they have totally different regulations?
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