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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 11-18-2011, 01:15 PM   #1
Bigg Higg's BBQ
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Brethren,
I have been presented with the opportunity to open a restaurant.
14 Tables, Fully equipped kitchen, Walk-in freezer, Walk-in Cooler
Fryers, Flat top grill, flatware, dishes, pots, pans, etc.....
No Smoker or Pit but it does have a concrete area to put one and make it
health department compliant. The Rent is $500.00 per month + utilities, insurance, etc..

The space is located downtown on main street of a small town, population 6000. Corporate office of a bank and Town Hall across the street and the usual small shops line Main St. It has been a restaurant for many years. One of which stayed in business for 15+ years. As of late it has changed hands 4 times. Each new owner not staying in business more than 6 months. There is only one other Barbecue place in town an it aint that good. It has been in business 10+ years.

My potential partner has been in the restaurant business 20 +/- years and at one time operated a decent Barbecue joint although he did not cook he strictly managed.

My concern, well one of my concerns, I have several, is that i cannot work this full time. I have a full-time job and 2 side businesses already. I have my opinions and preferences on how barbecue should be cooked and served. I cant do that with my current time restraints. I could however teach someone the process.

I have no experience running a restaurant.


Your thoughts and opinions ??
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Unread 11-18-2011, 01:28 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigg Higg's BBQ View Post
Brethren,
I have been presented with the opportunity to open a restaurant.
14 Tables, Fully equipped kitchen, Walk-in freezer, Walk-in Cooler
Fryers, Flat top grill, flatware, dishes, pots, pans, etc.....
No Smoker or Pit but it does have a concrete area to put one and make it
health department compliant. The Rent is $500.00 per month + utilities, insurance, etc..

The space is located downtown on main street of a small town, population 6000. Corporate office of a bank and Town Hall across the street and the usual small shops line Main St. It has been a restaurant for many years. One of which stayed in business for 15+ years. As of late it has changed hands 4 times. Each new owner not staying in business more than 6 months. There is only one other Barbecue place in town an it aint that good. It has been in business 10+ years.

My potential partner has been in the restaurant business 20 +/- years and at one time operated a decent Barbecue joint although he did not cook he strictly managed.

My concern, well one of my concerns, I have several, is that i cannot work this full time. I have a full-time job and 2 side businesses already. I have my opinions and preferences on how barbecue should be cooked and served. I cant do that with my current time restraints. I could however teach someone the process.

I have no experience running a restaurant.


Your thoughts and opinions ??
You live in the Piedmont area of NC. BBQ is king there, but only if it is good. Posers are quickly found out.

If you are talking Troy (I'm from Albemarle), then 24/27 would be a great draw, but main street not so much, unless you can pull folks in off the highway.

Cooking bbq for the masses takes a lot of love and time. If you don't have both of the above to spare, I would not recommend it.

My 2 Cents
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Unread 11-18-2011, 01:35 PM   #3
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If you are limited on time with a full time job and two side business then I would say no way. If you have any chance of making it work it will consume 60 plus hours a week of your time. If you set it up where someone else does all the work you will be paying them all the money.
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Unread 11-18-2011, 02:36 PM   #4
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I agree with HBMTN - if you can't commit STEP AWAY!! If it's "too good to be true" then it probably IS!!
The rent is good, and having a partner is great, but if you can't commit to cook and run the place the way you want it to be - you need REAL DEEP POCKETS to get a cook/chef/manager to run it your way.
"I have no experience running a restaurant" is important. Do you ever watch Restaurant Impossible or Kitchen Nightmares??
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Unread 11-18-2011, 04:52 PM   #5
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with a full time job i would imagine it impossible to run/cook a restaurant.

BUT,

it sounds like you have someone to run it. possibly offer that partner your services as a consultant, less cut, then as time or finances allow, step deeper in?
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avatar by grillman. patent pending. :mad2::becky:
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Unread 11-18-2011, 05:20 PM   #6
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I have a catering business and a full time job. We tried a restaurant, and it killed us. It's all we did for 3 months straight so we walked away from it.
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Unread 11-18-2011, 07:57 PM   #7
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Full time or no time.
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Unread 11-20-2011, 09:54 PM   #8
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there are success stories with absentee owners and present working owners. If you think you can do it all yourself, you cant. You are going to have to hire people depending on your volume. I have a 46 seat bbq restaurant and do a lot of take out. I have a working partner and I take off mondays. Every other day I am there from 11am - 11pm sometimes earlier if we are lucky. It is very rewarding if you can make people happy, but if you go into it with no restaurant knowledge you might be in for a big heart break. Be prepared to have a strong personality or the business can make you fold up!
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Unread 11-21-2011, 10:28 AM   #9
The Cosmic Pig
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Have you considered a "part-time" business? Maybe do Friday - Sunday, and cater along with it? Some big-time BBQ joints operate this way. And $500 is dirt cheap rent, especially considering all the equipment comes with it! Do you have to sign a lease? If not, you could give it a shot and see how it goes. If it were me, I would be all over it!
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Unread 11-21-2011, 02:02 PM   #10
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Downtown will be more lunch business than evening and weekend business.
If you are not willing to live/breath/sleep this joint it will NOT last. Usually, if it's super cheap, there's a reason for it. I would tell you to pass.

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I'm a newbie here but been in the restaurant/hospitality business most of my life and q is the future
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Unread 11-21-2011, 09:33 PM   #11
Bigg Higg's BBQ
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Met with the Owner of the building today and did a detailed inspection. No problems i could find. She stated that there has been lots of upgrades recently and its obvious.
No Ice machine or steam table but everything else is there in working order. Have been thinking about this for several days, prayed about it and talked to my wife about it (which is strange, I usually subscribe to the ask forgivness instead of permission theory). I Love cooking BBQ, I love seeing people smile while eating barbecue i cooked and i'll admit i love the compliments. With my current time restraints i wouldnt be able to enjoy it. Im gonna pass. God willing i'll retire in 12 years and open one then. I appreciate all the comments and opinons. I dont usually put it out there for comment but knew i would get honest feedback here. Thanks Again ! Virgil
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Unread 11-22-2011, 12:55 AM   #12
The Cosmic Pig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigg Higg's BBQ View Post
Met with the Owner of the building today and did a detailed inspection. No problems i could find. She stated that there has been lots of upgrades recently and its obvious.
No Ice machine or steam table but everything else is there in working order. Have been thinking about this for several days, prayed about it and talked to my wife about it (which is strange, I usually subscribe to the ask forgivness instead of permission theory). I Love cooking BBQ, I love seeing people smile while eating barbecue i cooked and i'll admit i love the compliments. With my current time restraints i wouldnt be able to enjoy it. Im gonna pass. God willing i'll retire in 12 years and open one then. I appreciate all the comments and opinons. I dont usually put it out there for comment but knew i would get honest feedback here. Thanks Again ! Virgil
If you've prayed about it then you've certainly done the right thing! I'm right there with you, my friend. I've been wanting to try this for a long time, and I'm thinking I may hold out until retirement as well. I have looked into mobile vending, and that's a good part-time opportunity I might try a little earlier than retirement just to see if I like the commercial side of BBQ. Oh, btw, I operate the Yadkin dams over your way, so I know exactly the area you're talking about. Beautiful country, and great folks! Good luck!
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