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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 07-03-2013, 07:15 AM   #1
jmoney7269
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So my mother is retiring in a couple months and is under the impression that she can't take it all with her. Which I'm like hell yeah! She is liquidating a few assets and wants to help my sister and I each start our own business. This came about at a Cookoff, I was being asked all kinds of questions by her and was like "why are you asking me all these questions?" Then she told me about her plan. I was like OMG! I don't wanna work at Home Depot all of my life. The only reason I took this job was for the set schedule, vacation all and sick days. I used to be in the restaurant scene. Worked at Applebee's as a bartender amd moved up to kitchen manager. Worked at Chilis as a bartender and became the bar manager. Had extremely good #'s thanks to some business classes I took alon the way at blinn college. I feel extremely confident in this venture and have it all planned out. I would like some of the vendors that do BBQ, sandwiches, sides, catering to chime in and lemme know if I'm missing anything on this truck. At first I plan on using my vault and adding it to a cpt-1 double tandem Pitmaker trailer with a magnum sniper and insulated firebox, towing it and cooking on site. If its as busy as I hope I want to run a double magnum sniper and double vault setup. I have eaten at every BBQ Mecca in Texas and know I can produce the same results. a place right down the road that my buddy manages said i could buy all the meats from him at a few cents/# over cost. Our city has lots of events and cities neighboring have even more. Here is the finished quote and layout.



This is the exterior of the truck but it will have our BBQ logo on it.
Will be serving pinto beans, my moms top secret cole slaw, fries, stuffed pulled pork potatoes, pulled pork sandwiches, brisket, sliced brisket sandwiches, and at bigger events the infamous Disneyland turkey legs, and ribeye blt's. Not pictured will be a butter bath bun toaster for final sandwich assembly.

Last edited by jmoney7269; 07-03-2013 at 09:51 AM..
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Unread 07-03-2013, 07:22 AM   #2
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Now THAT'S a cool thing. Wishing you even more good fortune.
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Unread 07-03-2013, 07:25 AM   #3
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Wow, what a plan! I don't do vending or catering, but as a customer who frequents food trucks & trailers, have you considered a fold out awning on the customer window side. i'm thinking if you make the ordering/pick-up window a comfortable spot (Texas sun & rain) compared to competitors it might just increase your business.
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Unread 07-03-2013, 07:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwfisk View Post
Wow, what a plan! I don't do vending or catering, but as a customer who frequents food trucks & trailers, have you considered a fold out awning on the customer window side. i'm thinking if you make the ordering/pick-up window a comfortable spot (Texas sun & rain) compared to competitors it might just increase your business.
That's a great idea keep em coming. Addded
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Unread 07-03-2013, 08:29 AM   #5
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As a food truck fan I would absolutely suggest the awning as well. In fact, if you can create an ambiance outside the truck, those are always my favorite.

I'd go back and watch every eat street and great food truck race episode you can. And if you have a local food truck association get in contact with them.
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Unread 07-03-2013, 09:11 AM   #6
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I have watched every episode of the Tyler Florence great food truck race. Those trucks are small and under equipped for what I want to do and the volume. It is a great series and love picking up every bit of advise i can. when its something i love doing im like a sponge. Here is the updated layout.
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Unread 07-03-2013, 09:24 AM   #7
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Are you planning on grilling or serving bbq? If BBQ I don't see a smoker on board. Doing that somewhere else and then heating there?
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Unread 07-03-2013, 10:05 AM   #8
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consider to shorten the width of your service counter, you will be reaching over it serving our the window, bending over it and reaching. Going to a 18" profile will let you bellie up a bit closer whil still having some workspace.

Do you have screens or sliding windows over the consession window... Check with your HD to what they want
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Unread 07-03-2013, 10:10 AM   #9
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every successful vendor I've seen at a BBQ event has big obnoxious signs and lights and flags and all that sort of stuff. Maybe think about some sort of marquee that you can put up and take down that would go on top of the truck (plus it would help hide the exhaust hoods).
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Unread 07-03-2013, 10:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpw View Post
every successful vendor I've seen at a BBQ event has big obnoxious signs and lights and flags and all that sort of stuff. Maybe think about some sort of marquee that you can put up and take down that would go on top of the truck (plus it would help hide the exhaust hoods).
Once the project is completed down the road, we are gonna do a complete vynl wrap. Will have a custom canopy tent designed with lighting to create a beautiful ambience. Just gotta get into business first. Will worry about all the red tape later. There will not be screens on the srving window, just a insulated sliding window
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Unread 07-06-2013, 11:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Are you planning on grilling or serving bbq? If BBQ I don't see a smoker on board. Doing that somewhere else and then heating there?
+1? I'm curious about where the Q'in is taking place

Looks like a nice layout though! Good luck!
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Unread 07-07-2013, 12:00 AM   #12
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The plan he stated is to have a trailer rig that can be towed. That would allow more flexibility. I can see problems with that as well, but, the ability to either have the smokers or not, that actually makes sense, especially if you get into a situation where your vend site is smaller than desired, or you end up having to vend something other than Q.

I do wonder, at least out here, all trucks and tents need to have separate money/order windows from food/serving windows. Have you either built in the ability, or determined that you will not need separate windows?

Is that enough refrigeration? Are you going to be vending other than BBQ? If so, that looks a little less than optimal for meats and other items.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 12:13 AM   #13
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I didn't see any mention of where you are going to market your food. Are you planning to do this in Brenham, or take your food truck to nearby Houston?

You can buy the perfect truck, cook awesome food, but in the end, who are you going to sell it to? In the free market world of supply and demand, IMO, demand is WAY more important than supply.

This is where I get sideways with supply-side economics. You can have the money to build a business, but if there is not sufficient demand for what that business makes, you are NOT going to stay in business.

I am self-employed -- have been most of my adult life. I can assure you that having a good supply of capital to start a business is nice, but unless you have a big enough market of consumers to buy your goods, you WILL fail.

Don't just research how to spend your capital on a fantastic food truck, spend twice as much time researching where and how to make money from that food truck. Having the perfect food truck, and not enough customers to keep it in business is worse than not having any food truck at all, IMO.

I am not trying to discourage you. If this is what you want to do, then go for it. But, do it right. have a good plan, and work that plan. Don't just do it because you suddenly you CAN do it. Be patient and get it right.

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Unread 07-07-2013, 12:20 AM   #14
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Honestly, I don't see how anyone with cooking experience would want to work in that kitchen. If you want speed and you do, there is no steam table to hold finished product for sandwiches. You will want a holding area for fries and your baked potatoes. Get a dry toaster the butter one will be a big mess. This is the one I use Prince Castle and get very good results. What are the 6 burner stove, flatt grill and charbroil grill for? You do not have anything on your menu that would dictate that equipment. A cold table near the serving window for cold side would help in serving. These are just a few things I noticed.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 12:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyle's BBQ View Post
Honestly, I don't see how anyone with cooking experience would want to work in that kitchen. If you want speed and you do, there is no steam table to hold finished product for sandwiches. You will want a holding area for fries and your baked potatoes. Get a dry toaster the butter one will be a big mess. This is the one I use Prince Castle and get very good results. What are the 6 burner stove, flatt grill and charbroil grill for? You do not have anything on your menu that would dictate that equipment. A cold table near the serving window for cold side would help in serving. These are just a few things I noticed.
Well, lucky for me that you wouldn't want to work in it then. It's a limited menu and do not require but all of that. I'm about fresh sliced In front of the customer service. If you don't do that in Texas, you probably don't have a very successful BBQ restaurant.
The 3 foot table near the fryers will have a Glo-ray infrared heat lamp. The burner is a step up design that has a convection oven below. On that we will make the BBQ sauce fresh, pinto beans and whatever else we need it for. The reach in will have all the cold sides along with the sandwich build, which the last pic clearly shows ;) That is a full sized proofer that can hold 25 briskets including sides, without sides even more. The flat top will be for burgers, the charbroiler will be for the ribeye sandwiches. I will have a butter bath bun toaster, the same one I used in Chilis for 5 years similar to the one you posted with a pan to roll them first. if the service window is of a certain size it will pass HD Inspection. The guy that is going to build this IMO is top of the industry. He builds them according to your states HD codes, all you gotta do is pay him and they make it happen. This is not gonna typical food truck you see on tv the little 18-20 footers, its a 31' long freightliner with a 26' work area. There will be no cramping. I have worked in high volume commercial kitchens (45-70k weekly sales average)since I was old enough to work and even before that when my parents owned a restaurant at one of my grandmas hotels. There is a big following of vending in our area and I expect no problems of business and will choose my own hrs and events. Got 2 friends that vend carnivals and antique festivals and make over 100k with just a basic vending trailer with a flat top, fryer and beverage station, nothing fancy. Will be mainly Doing Brenham football games, ATM games, antique festivals, and local carnivals. Might even open up one day a week like snows bbq. just like debeers diamonds, hold back product, create demand. It will have a HWH hydraulic leveling system so I can pull up anywhere, push a button to level up, push a button to get the generator going and prep and cook. Generator uses 1/2 gal hr of fuel@50% load which is right about where I will be. All advertisement will be from a website that will sell all of my rubs once I market them, and the vinyl wrap will have info on it, as well as social media advertising which is free via Skype, Facebook and twitter. Hell you never know, guy fieri might even stop by one day. I appreciate some of the concerns, but I pretty much got it all figured out.

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