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Catering, Food Handling and Awareness *OnTopic* Forum to educate us on safe food handling. Not specifically for Catering or competition but overall health and keeping our families safe too.


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Unread 09-12-2013, 08:53 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roychopper View Post
It's the best idea to start a business, but planning is essential for it to succeed. Here is a sample. Dickey’s BBQ, a nationwide chain based in Texas, is having a big day. Today only, Dickey's BBQ is offering its Pulled Pork Big BBQ Sandwiches for $1. There is a limit of two per customer, but that’s enough to fill up just about anyone.
Please elaborate on how exactly this applies to what the OP was asking? Because I must be missing how this information helps him.

@jeffh - since I recently took this plunge and we don't have a permanent site for our trailer yet, we have to cook prior and reheat. It's not what I had in mind when I started but its what I currently have to do to keep from working 24 x 7.
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Unread 09-12-2013, 10:04 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbq Bubba View Post
The short answer is that you can't start small and expect to do anything but lose money.
You need permits for the mkt. which will require a large expense for everything they require.
You need liability insurance.
You need smokers large enough to cook AND hold product while its sold.
When i began i had a licensed trailer, a Lang 84 and everything in between that required me to be legal. ANYTHING but starting small.

Cook for friends and family and do some off the books catering to get your feet wet and then decide if your ready to make the next step.
Ahhh.....the good old days!!!!!!!!
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Unread 09-13-2013, 10:50 AM   #18
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Jeff...
Jump in with both feet if you plan to do this. Not having the proper gear to meet the volume is a sure fire way to end before you get started. Don't fast cook.... Like was said... QUALITY product.. You serve chewy greasy product you won't get gigs. Also ... 2 pulled pork for a buck.... that sounds like a recipe for disaster... to your wallet. Don't sell too cheap... try starting at FC of 25% and work down to 35 to 33% if you need to to be competitive... People don't mind paying a bit more for a superior sandwich.
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Unread 09-13-2013, 03:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PanamaExpat View Post
Jeff...
Jump in with both feet if you plan to do this. Not having the proper gear to meet the volume is a sure fire way to end before you get started. Don't fast cook.... Like was said... QUALITY product.. You serve chewy greasy product you won't get gigs. Also ... 2 pulled pork for a buck.... that sounds like a recipe for disaster... to your wallet. Don't sell too cheap... try starting at FC of 25% and work down to 35 to 33% if you need to to be competitive... People don't mind paying a bit more for a superior sandwich.
This seems to be the hardest concept for alot of folks starting out to understand. What everyone else charges only plays a small role in what you should charge. Do your math, pay yourself, and make a superior product. You'll have a better shot at success, and ultimately making money...
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Unread 09-13-2013, 03:24 PM   #20
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Back when I did vending, I NEVER did BBQ, because I couldn't cook on site, and I didn't want to ask my mentor for cooker time (after all, he had a restaurant to cook for). But, running with 4 square feet of grill, and direct cooking of meats, it was madness. 4 people in a booth was barely able to keep up. It was hot, I got burned a lot, people had to wait anyways, and that was for grilled sticks of meat.

If you want to cook on site, a PBC is just not going to work. Especially for ribs, which take up an unbelievable amount of space for very little meat. Most of the folks I know who vend ribs and chicken are running 84" or 120" cookers, and they are still precooking the larger meats. Vending pulled pork is the easy thing to do.
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Unread 09-13-2013, 05:00 PM   #21
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We had a new BBQ joint open up in town that served really, really good BBQ, but they consistently ran out of food in the middle of, or just before, dinner time. In less than six months they're just about done, and it's sad.
The point I'm making is make sure you've got the capacity to cook and hold food so you have something to serve when people start lining up to eat your food.
Good luck!!!
Arlin
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Unread 09-16-2013, 03:18 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlin_MacRae View Post
We had a new BBQ joint open up in town that served really, really good BBQ, but they consistently ran out of food in the middle of, or just before, dinner time. In less than six months they're just about done, and it's sad.
The point I'm making is make sure you've got the capacity to cook and hold food so you have something to serve when people start lining up to eat your food.
Good luck!!!
Arlin
Bad timing by that place. That is a shame, Running out isn't a bad thing, but the timing of when you run out sure can be!

There are places around the country that run out everyday and it is a lunch time race to get a spot at the counter. And they continue to cook the same way. But they are very established BBQ joints.

When we vend, we would rather run out, than take food home. Taking food home will be one of your biggest expenses. You can't reuse it if you don't have proper storage. But again, we would rather run out at the end of the day, vs. during the prime serving time.

We have found in our four years on the trail that if you run out of something, they will order something else. 98% of the time it is BBQ they want. The type of meat isn't as important as the type of food.

The opposite can be true as well. Some BBQ joints will get a reputation of having flavorless, dry meat. This comes from reheating or reserving the previous days product.
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Unread 09-26-2013, 10:52 AM   #23
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Arlin I ask with the utmost respect (meaning I'm not try'n to be a wise ass or doubt what you are saying), but how does a place close shop b/c they sell out everyday? Sounds like Yogi Berra "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."

To correct this issue create more product to keep up with the demand or raise the prices. Perhaps the prices were too low.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlin_MacRae View Post
We had a new BBQ joint open up in town that served really, really good BBQ, but they consistently ran out of food in the middle of, or just before, dinner time. In less than six months they're just about done, and it's sad.
The point I'm making is make sure you've got the capacity to cook and hold food so you have something to serve when people start lining up to eat your food.
Good luck!!!
Arlin
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Unread 09-30-2013, 12:14 AM   #24
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Great Advice !!!
This is what your getting into if your selling to the public..
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbq Bubba View Post
The short answer is that you can't start small and expect to do anything but lose money.
You need permits for the mkt. which will require a large expense for everything they require.
You need liability insurance.
You need smokers large enough to cook AND hold product while its sold.
When i began i had a licensed trailer, a Lang 84 and everything in between that required me to be legal. ANYTHING but starting small.

Cook for friends and family and do some off the books catering to get your feet wet and then decide if your ready to make the next step.
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Unread 09-30-2013, 08:55 AM   #25
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You tell the health department what they want to hear, not what you're doing. ;)
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Unread 09-30-2013, 05:51 PM   #26
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You tell the health department what they want to hear, not what you're doing. ;)
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Unread 09-30-2013, 08:07 PM   #27
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I'm sort of in the same boat. They're opening up this chicken processing plant in Texas in the near future, and I'm really tempted to work there. Tired of all this sitting on my ass typing at the keyboard for my paycheck. Also tired of Skyping for hours out of the freaking day for 'meetings.' It's not a farking meeting, it's a damn Skype conference. Don't tell me it's a meeting. I don't get to sit in my boxers at a real meeting. Wanna actually talk to people. Plus I miss cutting things off of other things, and getting paid for it.
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Unread 09-30-2013, 11:43 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaspipe1 View Post
Arlin I ask with the utmost respect (meaning I'm not try'n to be a wise ass or doubt what you are saying), but how does a place close shop b/c they sell out everyday? Sounds like Yogi Berra "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."

To correct this issue create more product to keep up with the demand or raise the prices. Perhaps the prices were too low.
This can happen if a place does not have the reputation to make getting the food desirable. If you can gain the reputation of being something worth having, and sacrificing at any cost to get, then you can stay in business. But, if you are selling out before dinner consistently, then people will stop coming. Eventually, you no longer sell out, but, you can't draw people back to your restaurant.

This is actually far more common in the restaurant business than you might think. People who do not have the capital, or experience, have a great product, but, cannot deliver is consistently. The market will work away from you. Now, you could talk Franklin's, or any number of older establishments, but, the older places had great reputations. Franklin's, quite honestly, went viral. He managed both his pits and his press in such a way, that people came to desire his product beyond what reason would dictate.

I would add, that some restaurants simply cannot scale up, either because the owner's do not want to allocate responsibility, or their building does not allow for growth. These are real issues, especially if you create a situation where the food is hard to get.
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Unread 10-01-2013, 12:11 AM   #29
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You need a bigger cooker.
You will always need a bigger cooker. Whatever you were planing on buying, get the next biggest size. I started with a medium Spicewine and needed a Large within the 1st year.

One thing you could hypothetically use to your advantage: HD Inspectors have no idea how long it takes to cook a brisket or a pork butt. They also don't come to your house to see if you are cooking there. I'm not telling you what to do. Just sharing a few facts.

Everyone says to get insurance. I disagree.

Get MORE Insurance.
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Unread 10-01-2013, 12:30 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlavorSavor View Post
You tell the health department what they want to hear, not what you're doing. ;)

"One thing you could hypothetically use to your advantage: HD Inspectors have no idea how long it takes to cook a brisket or a pork butt. They also don't come to your house to see if you are cooking there. I'm not telling you what to do. Just sharing a few facts."


I've heard this a few times Let's say the earliest time you can get into the event is to set up by is 8am and you have your cook time down to 7/8 hours just have that much pre cooked to cover you til 4/5pm. You'd still be cooking on sight for the most part.

EDIT: For some reason the quotes went away from Bigmista's statement???

Last edited by mikeleonard81; 10-01-2013 at 12:32 AM.. Reason: Quotes went away
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