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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 07-23-2013, 11:14 AM   #1
Big Dan
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Default Catering out of your home

Have any of you catered out of your home, or are you still doing it???? I'm thinking of offering smoked Brisket, to others for their backyard parties and such. My questions are, what kind of trouble may I run in to with the city/ county? Are they going to require inspections and such? I have a food handlers license, but I would like to keep this as a "side job" ie: under the table for a while, without any government interference, if you get my drift. I am just going to offer smoked Brisket and it will be delivered to their home on the day of their event. I may add more items later as word of mouth gets around, and I get more pit space.. Your thoughts????
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Unread 07-23-2013, 11:20 AM   #2
DownHomeQue
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probly should post this in the Catering Section not Q-Talk would probly get more answers
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Unread 07-23-2013, 11:45 AM   #3
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+! catering section. Also, think INSURANCE.
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Unread 07-23-2013, 12:53 PM   #4
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The farking world of liability in which we live. So much dictated by L I A B I L I T Y ... I'll stop mid foot-up with the soapbox liability speech now ...
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Unread 07-23-2013, 12:57 PM   #5
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As others said, catering forum will have some details for you.

In short... it's illegal and you could lose everything without insurance, which you can't get without being up and up.

That said, there's probably many people doing it.
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Unread 07-23-2013, 02:10 PM   #6
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Don't disrespect those of us that are legal and don't want people with your train of thought ruining the BBQ deal for us. Is that plain enough? Change your whole plan if you want help from anyone that's worth giving it. Steve.
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Unread 07-23-2013, 02:40 PM   #7
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Most if not ALL Health Department regulations do not allow for the use of a residential kitchen for the production/prep of food products for sale to the public. A licensed commercial kitchen is a requirement in most (if not all) states. You will either need your own or access to one for all of your food prep. Even mobile smokers are usually (again possibly all) are required to have access to a licensed commercial kitchen for washing their wares on a daily basis. Before starting anything contact your local HD for information and regs.

It is a business not a hobby when you start charging. Along with the business designation comes a great deal of legal regs and responsibilities. If you decide to operate "under that table" then be prepared for any consequences that could come your way.

We tried this once but found that the risks were just too great.
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Unread 07-23-2013, 02:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bizznessman View Post
Most if not ALL Health Department regulations do not allow for the use of a residential kitchen for the production/prep of food products for sale to the public. A licensed commercial kitchen is a requirement in most (if not all) states. You will either need your own or access to one for all of your food prep. Even mobile smokers are usually (again possibly all) are required to have access to a licensed commercial kitchen for washing their wares on a daily basis. Before starting anything contact your local HD for information and regs.

It is a business not a hobby when you start charging. Along with the business designation comes a great deal of legal regs and responsibilities. If you decide to operate "under that table" then be prepared for any consequences that could come your way.

We tried this once but found that the risks were just too great.
This guy right here is a smart fellow. If you operate under the table and get people sick you are in for a world of litigation.

I will cook bbq for friends if they ask me too, but I do not solicite any sales. I do it as a favor to them if they buy the meat. Most of the time, they end up giving me a some extra money as a thank you. They also know that I am doing this as a friend and not for any type of business gain.
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Unread 07-23-2013, 02:55 PM   #9
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One possible option - depending on local regulations - may be to hire yourself out to cook for events. I believe in that case that the organization that hires you is responsible for providing the kitchen and you just need to cook.
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Unread 07-23-2013, 03:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
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One possible option - depending on local regulations - may be to hire yourself out to cook for events. I believe in that case that the organization that hires you is responsible for providing the kitchen and you just need to cook.

As Hank states this is a good option to look into.

However, in this scenario most States will consider you a Personal Chef. They could require licensing, certifications & liability insurance (on your part). The laws/regs vary from state to state so be sure to research this very carefully to protect yourself.

You local HD should be able to give guidance on this as well.
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Unread 07-23-2013, 04:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssbbqguy View Post
Don't disrespect those of us that are legal and don't want people with your train of thought ruining the BBQ deal for us. Is that plain enough? Change your whole plan if you want help from anyone that's worth giving it. Steve.
Steve, why do you always have to be dick? I am sure that you and prefect self got a start somewhere? I have never heard of a start up caterer or restaurant just investing a couple hundred grand without trying out their product and perfecting it. Why dont you try to give some helpful advice instead of that condescending worthless rant that you give everyone that asks a good question.

Get over your self....

Sorry for the hijack but I have anger management issues towards azzholes....
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Unread 07-23-2013, 04:45 PM   #12
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It's pretty easy to see that you're setting yourself up for a world of hurt from health authorities, people already in the business, and even mildly distressed customers.

Any way you can link up with an ongoing operation and learn the ropes on how to protect yourself from all these land mines?
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Unread 07-23-2013, 05:07 PM   #13
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Be careful. I know you got good intentions but its a sue happy world out there and it could bite you in the a$$. Maybe check with the local authorities and see if you could "give away" your Q and accept donations for your kindness? Just a thought.
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Unread 07-23-2013, 05:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotribe28 View Post
Steve, why do you always have to be dick? I am sure that you and prefect self got a start somewhere? I have never heard of a start up caterer or restaurant just investing a couple hundred grand without trying out their product and perfecting it. Why dont you try to give some helpful advice instead of that condescending worthless rant that you give everyone that asks a good question.

Get over your self....

Sorry for the hijack but I have anger management issues towards azzholes....
You could have said all this without the name calling.
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Unread 07-23-2013, 06:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotribe28 View Post
Steve, why do you always have to be dick? I am sure that you and prefect self got a start somewhere? I have never heard of a start up caterer or restaurant just investing a couple hundred grand without trying out their product and perfecting it. Why dont you try to give some helpful advice instead of that condescending worthless rant that you give everyone that asks a good question.

Get over your self....

Sorry for the hijack but I have anger management issues towards azzholes....


All the angst aside I have to add that this is a real issue.

There are many established businesses that may view your operation as a threat. They have invested large amounts of money, time and reputation in their business and that means OVERHEAD COSTS.

The one event we did, out of our house, was seen as a threat to a local restaurant (they don't even serve BBQ...???) and they turned us in to the local HD. We got a polite but stern visit from the HD and that is when we decided that it wasn't worth the hassle or possible liability.

Our solution was to rent a licensed kitchen on a per event basis. We also purchase per-event liability insurance for each catering job. We only do 2-3 per year so this works best for us. If we were to decide to do this as our sole income, or a large number of events, we would go ahead and build/purchase our own commercial kitchen.
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