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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 07-07-2013, 02:03 AM   #16
TailGateJoecom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmoney7269 View Post
Well, lucky for me that you wouldn't want to work in it then.....
No need to speak to someone that way when they are giving you legit advice that you asked for. This is a pretty quick way to turn people off from offering any advice, just my opinion.

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....... I appreciate some of the concerns, but I pretty much got it all figured out.
Great that you "have it all figured out." Than why did you start this thread?
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Unread 07-07-2013, 02:27 AM   #17
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No need to speak to someone that way when they are giving you legit advice that you asked for. This is a pretty quick way to turn people off from offering any advice, just my opinion.



Great that you "have it all figured out." Than why did you start this thread?
The thread was started to add any ideas to the already existing ones. Don't go hacking up what I said like the liberal media. Already and pretty much aren't the same. Pretty sure I don't need any lessons in semantics, but how else are you supposed to respond to Pylebbq's opening statement. Some people post to degrade, down, help, debate, naysay, and even whistleblow. Just depends on the nature of a post and how it's construed. Sorry if ya took it the wrong way. What was gonna be your helpful Idea to the OP?
People that poke have no problems takin pokes also.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 02:41 AM   #18
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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?
where you live again? Oh yeah that's right CA. We were doing a job there a few years ago and rented a lull telescoping lift and it popped a hydraulic line spilling about 3 gal of hydraulic fluid on a aspalt parking lot. Before we knew it there was police and a hazmat crew that we had to pay for to dig up the parking lot surface and repave it. Talk about a crock of ****! Wtf is in asphalt? Petroleum hot oil! Needless to say we never accepted a job there ever again. Anywhere else you just sprinkle a bunch of absorbent granules on it, scoop it up and dispose of it properly, but noooooooo we had to do it the $10k
Way. Just pokin at ya a little lol
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Unread 07-07-2013, 07:43 AM   #19
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You started the threading get help and see what everyone else would do and when they offer advic you insult them. Best of luck in the venture but I think it is time you are taught some humility through a bought lesson. Every successful business owner listens for advice from everyone.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 08:08 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by little bit of r & r View Post
You started the threading get help and see what everyone else would do and when they offer advic you insult them. Best of luck in the venture but I think it is time you are taught some humility through a bought lesson. Every successful business owner listens for advice from everyone.
So you beleive that this venture needs to fail for me to be taught a lesson? Thanks, but no thanks. And I'm here to listen. There have been some great ideas posted here. Some through email and pm also. Lets not make this thread about the Fable of the scorpion and the frog. If ya have any helpful advise for the truck, then by all means please post it, and leave the personal attacks at me out of it. Thanks for all the posts guys. I have made some changes according to some comments.

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Unread 07-07-2013, 10:07 AM   #21
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I have no idea why I'm going down this rabbit hole...

J, I'm curious as to what the rules / laws in your counties about the prepping of the food. Seems like the truck itself will meet all the needs of a commercial kitchen but no one allows food to be cooked at home and many require the pits to be screened in. I guess if your hauling your pits behind you and cooking onsite your good to go but if your plan is to cook and hold for like Brenham football, etc. Where are you going to do the actual smoking?

I punted on the food truck idea for two reasons, a.- no one is liquidating any funds my way and it was not cheap as I'm sure you know. b.- I could not figure out the pit issue. Well I could but I'm giving into the "Texas Hype" and using "non gassers".

so, I'm going with a trailer and a screened in porch. allows me to smoke just about where ever I'm at.

Looks like an awesome rig!
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Unread 07-07-2013, 10:20 AM   #22
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stuffed pulled pork potatoes and turkey legs are two of my favorite things. Especially in events. I would hire you for a small 50 person work party we have every year if you were in SC.

Good luck and keep the updates coming. This is a 10 year down the line dream of mine and I am anxious to see how it goes for you.

Out of curiosity what is your start up budget if you dont mind me asking
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Unread 07-07-2013, 01:51 PM   #23
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I have no idea why I'm going down this rabbit hole...

J, I'm curious as to what the rules / laws in your counties about the prepping of the food. Seems like the truck itself will meet all the needs of a commercial kitchen but no one allows food to be cooked at home and many require the pits to be screened in. I guess if your hauling your pits behind you and cooking onsite your good to go but if your plan is to cook and hold for like Brenham football, etc. Where are you going to do the actual smoking?

I punted on the food truck idea for two reasons, a.- no one is liquidating any funds my way and it was not cheap as I'm sure you know. b.- I could not figure out the pit issue. Well I could but I'm giving into the "Texas Hype" and using "non gassers".

so, I'm going with a trailer and a screened in porch. allows me to smoke just about where ever I'm at.

Looks like an awesome rig!
Rabbit hole? Thats where the adventure begins. Wes thanks for the inquiry. I will check into it further, but there are several restaurants that my buddy's own or have owned that did not have screened in pits. The trailer will be hooked up via receiver hitch and will just be leveld via lynx drive on levelers. You can cook and hold or you can cook on site if you have a permit and your kitchen is inspected via local city HD. If the pit is not inside or part of the building it's not necessary for it to be stainless or NSF approved and screened in. That's for insect control mainly, but there will be no prepping done near the pits so I'm good. Very good questions. Definitely need to have all the bases covered.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 01:53 PM   #24
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stuffed pulled pork potatoes and turkey legs are two of my favorite things. Especially in events. I would hire you for a small 50 person work party we have every year if you were in SC.

Good luck and keep the updates coming. This is a 10 year down the line dream of mine and I am anxious to see how it goes for you.

Out of curiosity what is your start up budget if you dont mind me asking
$200k
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Unread 07-07-2013, 02:49 PM   #25
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Since I am new here, but not new to being self employed I hate starting off with a critical post. If your start up budget is 200K and you sink all of that into the truck and smoker that you pull behind it then I must ask what are you going to operate on? 200K is peanuts in the business world. And that truck is going to run close to that.

Now for your truck. Have you ever been inside a Utilimaster chassis? How many people are going to be working in it at the same time? Your center aisle is going to be what maybe 26 to 28 inches wide at best. Putting a stove and flat top right across from your customer window is pure folly. You have a window person and a cook... They are going to be pretty tight up and butt bumping continuously. The first time your counter help bumps into your cook and goes off balance you are going to have a burn injury on your hands. Moving your gen set center chassis and your stove grill aft makes far more sense. Looking at your design I doubt that you have enough room to swing open the doors on your freezer and fridge. Your layout needs a lot more editing and thought overall.

Now let's take up your attitude.... IT SUCKS. You ask for help and then rain on anyone that offers positive advice. You can't be self employed and have an attitude like that. You will have a rep like Amy's Baking Company before you know it. I am not hating or denigrating I am just telling you that you need to change modes before you step off the end of the dock.

I wish you all the luck with your start up... But please mellow out and take the suggestions you receive better. Mobile food is a whole different animal than theme restaurant brick and mortars.

But then again.... As you said... You have it all figured out. You need to add some humility to that recipe.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 02:49 PM   #26
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With 200k you would've better to open a restaurant than trying to vend. Vending is not as glorious as it seems.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 02:56 PM   #27
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I recently took possession of a newly built 38' gooseneck concession trailer. The first issue that jumped out to me based on my limited experience is the size of your water tanks, especially when you are selling fountain sodas. Also, you have to consider the source and quality of water when doing that. You will be required to get water from an approved source.

After getting your water from the approved source, you have to get it to the fountain at the correct rate of flow (additional pumps w/pressure tanks), and it will likely need to be filtered of chlorine after leaving the tank. I learned about the chlorine filter the hard way when at my first event, the soda tasted like it was made with pool water.

Also, I do not see any notes about an ice machine. We go through an incredible amount of ice, and the cold plate on your fountain will consume far more than you think. Even with a 200 pound ice maker, we are constantly using bagged ice to keep up with demand.

We carry about 200 gallons of water in our tanks, and have 200 gallons more in a support vehicle tanks. (support vehicles could be their own topic) The support vehicle tanks were purchased out of necessity in the middle of a long event where we ran out of water.

Even with the fountain, you will also need to carry plenty of bottled water and cans of soda/gatorade. You are building something with a big footprint (as I did) and it is going to be critical that you maximize profits in every way possible, as your costs are going to be much higher than others. You might be paying 3x what the guy is paying who erected a 10x10 tent paid just to get into an event. Odds are, you can't afford to just be sitting there selling BBQ (the lowest profit item on a BBQ menu).

I don't want to speak on the BBQ business, as I am not necessarily a BBQ guy. I do enjoy it, will sell it, but usually prefer to leave that to guys who do it exclusively. One thing I have noticed about many food trucks and concession trailers at events is the bottleneck at the window. When you talk of cutting the brisket in front of the customers and also selling them fountain sodas out of that same window, it immediately concerns me.

One last bit of advice, you really need to work hard on the business plan and be realistic before you build anything. I have had to modify my menu numerous times to get into events because many are looking for product diversity. I knew that going in and built my business to be agile in that sense. If you are going to commit to a BBQ business, you need to figure out how you are going to compete with the thousands of other BBQ businesses that exist. Also, be prepared to be turned away because they already have three other BBQ guys. I can't tell you how many people think the food business is as simple as making great food. That is just one component, and often the easiest. Getting in position for someone to buy your food is the challenge.

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Unread 07-07-2013, 03:18 PM   #28
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^+10 on that business plan. That will be the toughest two weeks of your career writing one up that is based on reality and not pie in the sky. Those short term and 2 or 5 year projections will snag you by the short hairs. But that is the key to determining if your idea is viable or not.

Remember I am not saying you don't have what it takes. Nor am I saying you will fail. I just think you are doing a lot an a dream and not enough on paper.

I am working on a similar idea and like Fooskey said you need to take water and ice into serious consideration. I am looking at a trailer that will haul 1000 gallons and am not sure that will be enough. You are going to have a nice rig if you build it correctly but don't forget your support vehicles... I am looking at not only the food truck trailing the smoker but two full size pick ups pulling the rest of the portable restaurant.

Another thing you may want to take into consideration is a propane fired gen set. Here they are about $3.5K and produce 7500 watts continuous. They are also much quieter and better smelling than their diesel counterparts.

Last edited by PanamaExpat; 07-07-2013 at 08:08 PM..
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Unread 07-07-2013, 04:09 PM   #29
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"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." - jmoney7269.

Sorry for giving my assessment of what you are missing. After running my BBQ place for over a year and having to make changes that would improve work flow from the original lay out. I pointed out things that I though would make your life easier. I don't care if you slice in front of customers or not. You will need something to hold the meat between customer. If you plan on running back to the proofer every time you make a sandwich that is your call. Also pulled pork will have to be somewhere, I didn't see where you are holding that. Since you have this all figured out.

Good luck.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 04:29 PM   #30
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^+10 on that business plan. That will be the toughest two weeks of your career writing one up that is based on reality and not pie in the sky. Those short term and 2 or 5 year projections will snag you by the short hairs. But that is the key to determining if your idea is viable or not.

Remember I am not saying you don't have what it takes. Nor am I saying you will fail. I just think you are doing a lot an a dream and not enough on paper.

I am working on a similar idea and like Fooskey said you need to take water and ice into serious consideration. I am looking at a trailer that will haul 1000 gallons and am not sure that will be enough. You are going to have a nice rig if you build it correctly but don't forget your support vehicles... I am looking at not only the food truck trailing the smoker but two full size pick ups pulling pulling the rest of the portable restaurant.

Another thing you may want to take into consideration is a propane fired gen set. Here they are about $3.5K and produce 7500 watts continuous. They are also much quieter and better smelling than their diesel counterparts.
Yup. Then when you add water capacity, GVW becomes a concern. My trailer is already approaching 30k pounds and requires a CDL. What is the GVWR on the step van in the OP?
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