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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 01-31-2012, 12:57 PM   #1
Jeffc
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Default Concession Plan in motion

Hello I wanted to share my plans and potentially gather some lessons learned for you concession/vending veterans. Here is where I am

1. Business Plan pretty much done, but when is it really should be a living document. Need a bit more work on the marketing plan, have it in my head but need to get down on paper.
2. Have contacted HD and reviewed all the trailer requirements and they have been very helpful.
3. Talked with City and County lics and permits, will submit once LLC formed.
4. Attorney finalizing the LLC
5. My Accountant is on board and waiting LLC completion to do his submissions.
6. WWW site registered and slowly coming together

In process
1. I am not required to be servsafe certified but there is a class being held in two weeks so I signed up and already studying. This can only be a good thing.
2. Researching trailer vendors
3. Researching cookers

So the biggest capital investment is the trailer and this is where I could use some of our considerations

The menu is based on PP, Brisket, Chicken, sausage and the usual sides and daily specials such as ABT's Fatty sliders ribs etc....

As far as NSF appliances I am still nailing down what I want/need but fridge. freezer, fryer, oven,, holding oven and flat top. Not sure what is the best in regards to holding the pulled pork, sliced brisket if I should do this with a hot hold prep station or what.

So a few questions
1) what do you guys do for the PP and brisket I envision having full butts and briskets resting in the holding oven.
2) How do you guys deal with ice and drinks? just a cooler, this is allowed here with proper handling. I do plan on having sweet tea and fresh squeezed lemonade that I will need to serve up.
3) Do you use a point of sale system on board, sure make sense in my mind. If so what do you use?

As always open to general discussion on this and would love to hear from some of you seasoned folks out there!

Jeff
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Unread 01-31-2012, 05:57 PM   #2
HBMTN
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1) what do you guys do for the PP and brisket I envision having full butts and briskets resting in the holding oven.

I use Cambro's and my smoker for hot holding. Unless you are buying a huge trailer space for a oven may be tight. Also ovens use a gas and electricity, gas expensive and electricity could be a lack of with ac units and hot water tanks etc.

2) How do you guys deal with ice and drinks? just a cooler, this is allowed here with proper handling. I do plan on having sweet tea and fresh squeezed lemonade that I will need to serve up.

I do canned soda's and bottled water and keep them in a cooler outside by the trailer and let people get their own from the cooler. With sweet tea and lemonade I would have to have more room in my trailer, buy cups, lids and straws along with make it. In a 7' x 16' trailer I don't have room

3) Do you use a point of sale system on board, sure make sense in my mind. If so what do you use?

I use a cash register that cost about $200 and does a great job.
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Unread 02-02-2012, 11:50 PM   #3
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Default Following closely

i will be following this thread closely - i am not quite as far along as you are but am working to put a trailer together. I can contribute some info about payments - there are a few companies that offer a service that works with iPads and iPhones - https://www.iphonemerchants.com/ - if you want to accept plastic - I think the payment costs 2.5% of the transaction and the two people around here using this kind of system just tack it on to the bill - personally, i don't mind paying it as it is easier than hunting up a cash machine.

Cheers!
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Unread 02-03-2012, 12:48 PM   #4
Jeffc
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Thanks for the info.

Does anyone have a list of trailer requirements that they used for their trailer build? I am finalizing mine and would be good to check against another to make sure all the bases are covered. Will be sending out to vendors for quotes.
Thanks Jeff
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Unread 02-03-2012, 01:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffc View Post
Thanks for the info.

Does anyone have a list of trailer requirements that they used for their trailer build? I am finalizing mine and would be good to check against another to make sure all the bases are covered. Will be sending out to vendors for quotes.
Thanks Jeff
Who does your Health/Food inspection. Is it the county or the state? Go to the State of Iowa Inspections and Appeals web site the have a list of requirements for vending trailer. Most builder already know the requirements and can give you a price with what ever options you would want. Here is the number for the Food Safety department in Des Moines. 515/281-6538. They should be able to answer any questions you have.
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Unread 02-03-2012, 02:13 PM   #6
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Thanks I have that aspect covered, our county HD has been pretty helpful. I should have been clearer. I was thinking more of general design build requirements such as exterior materials, axles, gen packages etc.. I guess my engeenring background is taking over :). But you are right making the gov is priority one!
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Unread 02-03-2012, 03:09 PM   #7
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My next one will have 50amp service, outlets everywhere inside and out, even inside the lower cabinets for hot water tank and pump hook ups. Minimum 50 freash water supply, outside lighting so I can see all arounf it at night, on board Honda power inverter generator.

You will definaltly want ac and heat if you live in the climates to use them. There is more but this is what I can think of right off hand. Give extremebbqtrailer.com a call they are here on the brethren somewhere and make some nice trailers from what I have seen.
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Unread 02-03-2012, 03:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HBMTN View Post
My next one will have 50amp service, outlets everywhere inside and out, even inside the lower cabinets for hot water tank and pump hook ups. Minimum 50 freash water supply, outside lighting so I can see all arounf it at night, on board Honda power inverter generator.

You will definaltly want ac and heat if you live in the climates to use them. There is more but this is what I can think of right off hand. Give extremebbqtrailer.com a call they are here on the brethren somewhere and make some nice trailers from what I have seen.
I rang him the otherday but no answer, will give him a call back. I have been talking to an outfit down in Florida and another in des moines. The place In fl does really top notch work and hoping we can come together on price I really need to get some one on contract next week and as soon as the LLC is approved by the state. I am hoping to keep the trailer around 30 ft with the porch this leaves around 22 foot for the kitchen should workout given some of the floorplans I have seen. And a big 10-4 on hvac!
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Unread 02-04-2012, 12:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffc View Post
I rang him the otherday but no answer, will give him a call back. I have been talking to an outfit down in Florida and another in des moines. The place In fl does really top notch work and hoping we can come together on price I really need to get some one on contract next week and as soon as the LLC is approved by the state. I am hoping to keep the trailer around 30 ft with the porch this leaves around 22 foot for the kitchen should workout given some of the floorplans I have seen. And a big 10-4 on hvac!
Lampi equipment in Annandale Mn builds vending trailer also, we are happy with ours

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Unread 02-04-2012, 08:49 AM   #10
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I couldn't post the pic on the Ipad

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Unread 02-04-2012, 10:36 AM   #11
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I had James at Extreme BBQ Trailers build mine and I've been very happy with it. It's an 8.5 X 22'. James will custom build to any floor plan you have. Here's a few pics of mine. I've since added metal railings on the back deck and travel with both FEC's on the deck.

Before I had decals put on


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Unread 02-07-2012, 10:32 AM   #12
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you have a great plan coming together, one thing I spotted was such a large menu, with drinks and specials, so how big a trailer are you planning on? Space gets eaten up real quick, and then you have to think about staff and how far will you travel from home base with the supplies and such..The hardest thing I found was helpers on the road...craigs list does help, but just for basic clean up. good luck and get you trailer ordered asap as they take a few months..
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Unread 02-07-2012, 12:28 PM   #13
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Thanks Fellas. The menu listed is more ultimate to help capture the kitchen requirements. And will provide a subset on a day to day basis. As far as the trailer I just sent back some questions to one of the vendors on there proposal. right now we are looking at a 8.6 x 26 ft rig with the Ole Hickory EL IB on the back porch coming through the wall. I am pushing to get it on contract by weeks end
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Unread 02-11-2012, 08:01 AM   #14
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What a week! After wasting a few days with a builder in fl I have requested 4 proposals from 4 great manufacturers. The positive is i did learn quite about trailers/mobile kitchens from them. I have one bid in and the other three will be here by Monday and will hold phone BAFO interviews on Tuesday. Advice make sure you go into the bid process with a good RFP. The first outfit I was dealing with we're definetly shady, not to say they wouldn't have delivered but they weren't playing as they should have. I rcvd their bid and I fired back a bunch of questions and he wanted to address verbally and of course I wanted in writing. I was getting a bad feeling so I created the requirements doc including a rough floor plan. Then sent out to the second batch of folks including the first guys, and yep never heard back from the first folks. The other four I have had good dialog discussing my requirements. Of course the first bid I rcvd is higher than I hoped and nearly 15k higher than the first guys.

Been researching POS systems and working with a sign company to get my logo ready for the trailer. Oh yes will be sending the down payment to Ole Hickory for my cooker on Monday. I decided on the EL IB, but of course while laying in bed last night second guessing and wondering if I should go up another step to the EW.

Cheers Jeff
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Unread 02-11-2012, 08:14 AM   #15
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Hey fellas any thoughts on this type of window? It is different but like have the menu boards like this.

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