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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 12-19-2011, 07:21 PM   #1
mjljr13
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Default competition vending advice

I just wanted to know if the other brethren think I'm on the right track for making a little cash this summer. I'm planning on vending BBQ at competitions I was planning on doing pulled pork sammiches, sammich plates with chips and a drink. A boat of cheese nachos and shaved ice will be on my menue. I can get a case for approximately 1.40 a lb so........ .60 x precooked weight (of 8lb butt) = 4.8 lbs / 4oz pork per sandwich = 19.2 sandwiches is what I figured it out to be.....4.50 for a 4-5oz sammich 6.50 sammich chips and can soda or water. 3.50 nachos. And 2$ for shaved ice....I will have spicy reg and mustard sauce available. And they always say cook on site but I dont see that possible I will most likley cook the butts in advance...just wondering am I on the right track here. Thanks brethren!
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Unread 12-19-2011, 08:16 PM   #2
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Check the venues. Often you won't be able to sell drinks-the venue reserves that for themselves. Also, usually at least 10% goes to the venue. Nachos and sandos and shaved ice??? Dude, I hope you have some help.
Good luck.
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Unread 12-19-2011, 08:30 PM   #3
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Should I have some more? I figured that would have been quick and easier than a big menu....besides the shaved ice which that's all my partner.

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Unread 12-20-2011, 05:34 AM   #4
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Well, prime vending time is about 10 AM - 2 PM and that's when you are busiest with turn-ins.
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Unread 12-20-2011, 01:37 PM   #5
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It's rare that I see competitors vend on turn-in day. Last time I saw this I decided to pay more attention to them. They did one portion right in that they had 2 people seemingly working the competition side and another 4 people working the vending side. I was surprised that they didnt seem to be selling as much as I'd have thought. Afterwards I did notice that in a small sanctioned competition they didnt make finals in any event nor were they top 10 in any... I'm thinking we may not see them back again.

Mind you, their experience and yours could be completely different. However, dont underestimate the man power and focus needed to make money vending. If you're taking that away from competition, you may be "averaging down", both on the vending and the competition side.
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Unread 12-20-2011, 03:43 PM   #6
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When we vend we vend only and if we compete we do just that and only that. We find it's hard to focus on having everything done and turn out right if you have a lunch line of hungry customers. We see some vendors in some places do both which amazes us. Some competitions rules prevent vendors from selling depending on the event, so be sure to check rules first.
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Unread 12-26-2011, 11:27 AM   #7
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It's tough but can be done, I've done it several times.

".....4.50 for a 4-5oz sammich 6.50 sammich chips and can soda or water. 3.50 nachos."

If it were me it would be $5 per sandwich, $7 per combo. If it's cash sales you don't want to have to deal with a ton of quarters, and if it's "Pig Bucks" they don't deal in $.50 increments. We're trying to move a sandwich to $6 here. Been at $5 for 6+ years and the profit margin is falling out.
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Unread 12-26-2011, 12:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rub View Post
It's tough but can be done, I've done it several times.

".....4.50 for a 4-5oz sammich 6.50 sammich chips and can soda or water. 3.50 nachos."

If it were me it would be $5 per sandwich, $7 per combo. If it's cash sales you don't want to have to deal with a ton of quarters, and if it's "Pig Bucks" they don't deal in $.50 increments. We're trying to move a sandwich to $6 here. Been at $5 for 6+ years and the profit margin is falling out.
What is a Pig Bucks?
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Unread 12-26-2011, 12:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
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What is a Pig Bucks?
Common name around here for the fake currency used by organizers at bbq contests. The public buys pig bucks dollar for dollar, public uses them to buy from vendors. Vendors cash them in at the end of the day and around here typically receive $.80 on the dollar. The organizers way of making their 20% off your sales. No cash sales allowed.
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Unread 12-27-2011, 08:53 AM   #10
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remember depending on where you are vending you may need to get health department permits. Used to be here in FL there was no need but I'm seeing it now at some contests. Just a matter of time till you need to add on that license fee for vending.
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Unread 12-27-2011, 09:08 AM   #11
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check when you will be paid, sometimes it takes weeks to get a check for your vending efforts. I have seen 50% payout and no drink sales allowed. It is usually a loser unless you have friends who will do the work while you compete. If you are paying for staff it is surely a loser. I have also see it where you are limited in what you can charge. 2oz cups of pulled pork is about the only winner.
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Unread 12-27-2011, 11:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rub View Post
Common name around here for the fake currency used by organizers at bbq contests. The public buys pig bucks dollar for dollar, public uses them to buy from vendors. Vendors cash them in at the end of the day and around here typically receive $.80 on the dollar. The organizers way of making their 20% off your sales. No cash sales allowed.
Around here they just call them tickets, although most events do not use them, we have vended for two years and have never dealt with them yet.

We vend for fun so we pick and choose what we vend.
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Unread 12-27-2011, 07:35 PM   #13
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To add to the confusion: At some events you can vend ONLY if you compete. Often primary vendors just throw something in a box and don't care how they place.

It's always a balancing act.
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Unread 12-27-2011, 08:43 PM   #14
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We vend and compete at every event we go to. If you plan on making money, make sure you have staff that can produce while you do turn ins. I have events that will not allow you to vend if you do terrible in the comp. Winning sells food. Do them both it can be done. You need a staff to make big money vending there is no way to do it yourself. I usually got with 6-8 people depending on the event.
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Unread 12-27-2011, 09:09 PM   #15
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Here's a request from a competitor who also vends on occasion.
If you have a small team, doing both can be a bitch! Unless I have plenty of help, I won't do both because I'm a compeititor first!
But my request is this. If you're a competitor who is vending, PLEASE take some pride in what you vend.
Nothing like serving up folks who have just thrown complete meals in the trash because that's where they belonged and believe me, they'll be happy to tell you where they bought 'em, too. The last such occurance found some of our freinds visiting an event where we were not vending. We recommended a team that was serving the full meal deal. We remarked how they were a successful competition team and we assumed they would get a good lunch. We could not have been more wrong. So, we fed our friends from our comp "leftovers" and they loved 'em.
Then you know what happens? The team that served the disgusting meal ends up Grand Champs.
Do I expect your vend to be as tasty and tender as your boxed entries? Well, hell no but could you please make it at least comparable or could we please at least not allow it to be crap?
I am very probably preaching to the choir here but spread the word, would ya? We attract a lot of folks who are happy to shell out they're hard earned sheckles because they've always hear that competition bbq is so much better than restaurant bbq. I for one (and I bet you do too) take pride in what I hand out or sell to anyone. The less than good bites go in the trash. I won't sell 'em or hand 'em out.
I think it's a tradition we should talk about at our events and we should insist upon! Maybe we can start with the Bretheran. In other words, if you sample or purchase from a Bretheran team you can count on it being competition quality! I like that approach. How about y'all?

(OK off my box of soap)
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