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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 10-09-2013, 09:52 AM   #1
warren.miller
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Default Starting a Drop off catering buisness

Hello,


I am Starting a Drop off catering buisness. That could possibly turn into something more. Catering, Food truck ect...


However, I want to build it with a strong foundation. I have been scanning the board for a few years. Which has helped alot. I was curious if you could give me some helpful hints when starting out. Or some possible pitfalls I could hope to avoid. Or even somethings that might seem like a no brainer to you guys but I might have over looked.

I have did a few small jobs however, I am working on a website to try and get my name out there.

Thank You
Warren Miller
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Unread 10-09-2013, 04:06 PM   #2
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Why drop-off?
Why not on-site?
Drop off means your cooking out of a licensed kitchen?
Either endeavor requires you to be legal just the same.
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Unread 10-09-2013, 04:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warren.miller View Post
Hello,


I am Starting a Drop off catering buisness. That could possibly turn into something more. Catering, Food truck ect...


However, I want to build it with a strong foundation. I have been scanning the board for a few years. Which has helped alot. I was curious if you could give me some helpful hints when starting out. Or some possible pitfalls I could hope to avoid. Or even somethings that might seem like a no brainer to you guys but I might have over looked.

I have did a few small jobs however, I am working on a website to try and get my name out there.

Thank You
Warren Miller
Well, I'm about 45 days into a Que business, drop off, pick up, catering on site, basically whatever pays me money until I can find a brick and mortar site.

Be prepared to work very hard, blow through giant wads of cash and wonder if you'll ever get to reach for the brass ring. It seems soooooo far over there.

Probably no help, just sayin'...
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Unread 10-09-2013, 05:05 PM   #4
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Like BBQ Bubba said it costs the same to be legal to do drop off or full catering as well as concessions. Those are all things that are going to put you out in front of people to help get your name out there.
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Unread 10-09-2013, 05:20 PM   #5
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Are you operating out of a licensed kitchen? Do you have a food license? Do you have liability insurance? Do you have a business license (if your city, county, state requires it)? Are you remitting sales tax to your state department of revenue?

If you have sold food then governing agencies consider you as a business and some or all of the above apply. These points must be addressed first if you want to be legal and continue to be legal.

These are just some of the costs of starting a business.
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Unread 10-10-2013, 10:20 AM   #6
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Guys,

Thank you for the quick response. I am in the infancy stage of this. I am working on a website and acutally trying to figure out a name. My competition name is AddcitionBBQ. Which seems to abrasive for a catering business. Any IDEAS??? I honestly did not know you had to cook out of a licensed kitchen!?!? How do you do this rent one or build one ect???? Can you run one out of your home??

I was aware of all this:
Do you have a food license? Do you have liability insurance? Do you have a business license (if your city, county, state requires it)? Are you remitting sales tax to your state department of revenue?

But I could use all help I can get with the red tape part of it.

Thank You,
Warren Miller
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Unread 10-10-2013, 10:23 AM   #7
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Guys,

Also that made sense of why not just be on site instead of drop off. Those of you who do Drop off. How does it work for you??

What are some ways to get your phone ringing??


Thank You,
Warren Miller
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Unread 10-10-2013, 11:41 AM   #8
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It works great. I get to cook out of my trailer, load everything up and drop it off. Must have clear comms with the customer on what your bringing, plastic wear, paper plates, condiments etc.

Cooking on site, is not really cooking on site, I'll start a fire and get smoke in the air but most of the big meats I cook the day prior, they are being reheated on site. Ribs and chicken a bit different.

Network, Network, Network... Feed the neighbors, friends and family and have them tell two friends and so on and so on. Social Media helps, website is a must.
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Unread 10-10-2013, 01:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warren.miller View Post

What are some ways to get your phone ringing??


Thank You,
Warren Miller
If you cook good BBQ, they will come.
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Unread 10-10-2013, 06:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warren.miller View Post
Guys,
I honestly did not know you had to cook out of a licensed kitchen!?!? How do you do this rent one or build one ect???? Can you run one out of your home??

www.extremebbqtrailers.com - I have heard nothing but great things about these guys and I'll probably call them for my next trailer.

You can run one out of your home in Virginia but it can not be the kitchen of your home, you have to build a second kitchen that has been pre approved by the health dept first. Make much more sense to me to get a trailer where you can vend or use on a catering job though.
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Unread 10-10-2013, 09:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warren.miller View Post
Guys,

Thank you for the quick response. I am in the infancy stage of this. I am working on a website and acutally trying to figure out a name. My competition name is AddcitionBBQ. Which seems to abrasive for a catering business. Any IDEAS??? I honestly did not know you had to cook out of a licensed kitchen!?!? How do you do this rent one or build one ect???? Can you run one out of your home??

I was aware of all this:
Do you have a food license? Do you have liability insurance? Do you have a business license (if your city, county, state requires it)? Are you remitting sales tax to your state department of revenue?

But I could use all help I can get with the red tape part of it.

Thank You,
Warren Miller

My advice for starting a new BBQ biz is always as follows:

The very first thing you should do is contact your local Health Department. They should inform you of all the requirement to meet code to run this type of business. Most if not all States do not allow you to use your home kitchen. In KS if you use your home your "business kitchen" and any other "business space" must not be accessible from your home. They can be attached but must have separate entrances.

Work up a detailed business plan. Topics in the plan should contain Capital Investment costs, Initial Setup costs, Operational costs (labor, insurance, utilities, licenses, etc), Projected Sales, etc. This will guide you through the rest of the process and help you to decide if the prospect is profitable.

Once you have decided to go ahead then get all of your business requirements setup. If you operate as a Sole Proprietorship all of your personal assets are at risk. An LLC will help to protect you. Obtain business/tax licenses, etc.

Just remember that you are entering into business and not a hobby. Be prepared for red tape.
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Unread 10-12-2013, 11:35 AM   #12
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I really appreciate it guys. Any mistakes you do not want to make again.
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Unread 10-14-2013, 10:07 AM   #13
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Well This kitchen requirement has me wondering what you guys do:

Did you make a kitchen at home for use?
Do you use a churches kitchen?
Do you rent one??

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Unread 10-14-2013, 08:26 PM   #14
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We currently rent kitchen time in a local restaurant. We tried the church kitchen option but in KS the license granted to most churches is not a full fledged commercial kitchen license so that won't work for us. We are considering doing an add-on structure to the residence but that will require a large capital outlay, and possible zoning issues, so we are staying with the kitchen rental for now.

A check of your local licensing and zoning requirements will give you an idea of your own options.
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Unread 10-14-2013, 11:19 PM   #15
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You can have what they call a tear down kitchen. Then the hd has to come out every time you cook. In Ohio you are allowed this 10 times per county per year. This might be your cheapest bet to get started and still follow all the rules.
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