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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 10-18-2013, 08:18 AM   #31
RangerJ
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Of course there is another layer of bureaucrats to escape as well, the HOA, if you have one. They typically don't like 20 ft trailers or trucks parked in the 'hood for extended periods of time.

also, you might have zoning regulations against creating a kitchen in your house. All things that have to be considered. I can have my trailer at my house for the weekend, but long term, it's frowned upon. Which means I'm paying for storage and smoking lots of meat at the storage lot.

Lots of good advice here and just know its going to cost money, everyone has to get their share and at the end of the day, the majority of it helps keep people from getting sick. I'll give an example of what I'm dealing with currently.

I live in Ft. Bend county just out side of Houston. Here is the trailer with pits mounted.



The back is being screened in as we speak. You see that circle, just to the lower left of the facebook logo? That's my atmospheric vent.

It's above the waste water tank as it should be. This passes all the inspections around here , except.. the city of Houston. What does this mean? Means I can't vend festivals within the city, or ever park on rented land, lets say within the city, or daily go to the two new food parks which are within city limits. there are 4M people within the city limits.....

So, I'm taking bids to have it moved. I don't have to, and I could go park for a day or two within the city at various locales I've already contacted, however, in today's social media age, if I was to ever get shut down, it would kill the current momentum I've created.

Not an expense I had budgeted for and, had I paid more attention to the requirements one I could have fixed before I paid for the expensive wrap. But like the others have said, I believe the survivors are the ones who do it right and can survive the short term pains. I'm trying to do it right, but the short term is very painful...

Now, I'm all in at this Texas Hold 'Em table so its what I have to do. What I can tell you also is people, want good Barbeque, period. So if your product is good and you want to pursue this, know its going to cost some cash and follow what needs to be done.

Good luck!
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Unread 10-21-2013, 09:36 AM   #32
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Thank you everyone for the information.
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Unread 10-21-2013, 10:35 AM   #33
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What about a concession trailer with a rented commissary? In my county (Blount, TN), at least, you have to have all the necessary equipment, but you can have part of it at a commissary, and that can be any licensed, inspected food establishment, best I can tell. For example, if the commissary has a 3-compartment sink, you don't need one in your trailer, etc. They said food trucks "don't make it?" Does that mean they're not legal, or that they don't stay in business? Never heard of a place where food trucks were illegal.
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Unread 10-25-2013, 10:23 AM   #34
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He was stating the food trucks don't do well in evansville.
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Unread 10-25-2013, 08:23 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warren.miller View Post
I called the HD...

They pretty much said I would have to buy or build a brick and morter. I asked about food trucks and he said they are not making it in our area.

My only option would be to make my garage or a temperorary kitchen.

He was taling about ceiling tiles smooth wall ect.. ALL heard was cha ching cha ching...

He also stated my smoker has to be under roof.


There has to be a way to get this done.

Can you explain the HD's statement regarding "food trucks"? Are they saying that they are not profitable or that they are not passing their inspections?

If they are saying that they are not profitable then I would ask them how they know this and I would not necessarily take their word on that. I would do some research with actual operators to see what they say regarding profitability. It could be the HD's way of discouraging food trucks. Food trucks cause the HD inspectors more work, due to the manner in which they need to inspect them, so they may not like having them in their area. Off the cuff statements like "food trucks don't make it in this area" is a convenient way to ease their work load.

If they are saying that they do not pass their inspections then I would ask what the specifics are regarding the inspection failures. Once you know this you can build/operate in a manner which "passes".

Personally I believe a licensed mobile kitchen is your best bet for what you are wanting to do.
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Unread 10-26-2013, 04:52 AM   #36
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I agree! Don't overload the expenses when you have the opportunity to reduce it out of the gate, JMO.
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Unread 10-26-2013, 01:48 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wearcd View Post
Never heard of a place where food trucks were illegal.
I know I haven't been a part of this discussion, and not trying to hijack, but here in Manhattan, KS, food trucks are illegal. Including ice cream trucks. I believe a local lawyer started a hot dog push cart and had to fight in court to keep it. The city had to enact special legislation to allow the Food Networks "Great Food Truck Race" to stop and film an episode here several years back.
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Unread 10-26-2013, 03:56 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerJ View Post
Of course there is another layer of bureaucrats to escape as well, the HOA, if you have one. They typically don't like 20 ft trailers or trucks parked in the 'hood for extended periods of time.

also, you might have zoning regulations against creating a kitchen in your house. All things that have to be considered. I can have my trailer at my house for the weekend, but long term, it's frowned upon. Which means I'm paying for storage and smoking lots of meat at the storage lot.

Lots of good advice here and just know its going to cost money, everyone has to get their share and at the end of the day, the majority of it helps keep people from getting sick. I'll give an example of what I'm dealing with currently.

I live in Ft. Bend county just out side of Houston. Here is the trailer with pits mounted.



The back is being screened in as we speak. You see that circle, just to the lower left of the facebook logo? That's my atmospheric vent.

It's above the waste water tank as it should be. This passes all the inspections around here , except.. the city of Houston. What does this mean? Means I can't vend festivals within the city, or ever park on rented land, lets say within the city, or daily go to the two new food parks which are within city limits. there are 4M people within the city limits.....

So, I'm taking bids to have it moved. I don't have to, and I could go park for a day or two within the city at various locales I've already contacted, however, in today's social media age, if I was to ever get shut down, it would kill the current momentum I've created.

Not an expense I had budgeted for and, had I paid more attention to the requirements one I could have fixed before I paid for the expensive wrap. But like the others have said, I believe the survivors are the ones who do it right and can survive the short term pains. I'm trying to do it right, but the short term is very painful...

Now, I'm all in at this Texas Hold 'Em table so its what I have to do. What I can tell you also is people, want good Barbeque, period. So if your product is good and you want to pursue this, know its going to cost some cash and follow what needs to be done.

Good luck!
Haha, Fort Bend County. That's my county too. I'll keep my peepers peeled for your trailer.
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Unread 10-26-2013, 11:42 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cds9333 View Post
I know I haven't been a part of this discussion, and not trying to hijack, but here in Manhattan, KS, food trucks are illegal. Including ice cream trucks. I believe a local lawyer started a hot dog push cart and had to fight in court to keep it. The city had to enact special legislation to allow the Food Networks "Great Food Truck Race" to stop and film an episode here several years back.

Makes a person wonder if Cox Bros did a little lobbying to cut down on BBQ competition in the area?? (not saying that happened but it is known to occur).

I have never understood when communities enact ordinances that keep business away. All too often it is done for reasons of protectionism and in so doing actually hurts the community imho.

But that is definitely something to check into when doing due diligence for a business plan.
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Unread 10-27-2013, 09:45 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerJ View Post
Of course there is another layer of bureaucrats to escape as well, the HOA, if you have one. They typically don't like 20 ft trailers or trucks parked in the 'hood for extended periods of time.

also, you might have zoning regulations against creating a kitchen in your house. All things that have to be considered. I can have my trailer at my house for the weekend, but long term, it's frowned upon. Which means I'm paying for storage and smoking lots of meat at the storage lot.

Lots of good advice here and just know its going to cost money, everyone has to get their share and at the end of the day, the majority of it helps keep people from getting sick. I'll give an example of what I'm dealing with currently.

I live in Ft. Bend county just out side of Houston. Here is the trailer with pits mounted.



The back is being screened in as we speak. You see that circle, just to the lower left of the facebook logo? That's my atmospheric vent.

It's above the waste water tank as it should be. This passes all the inspections around here , except.. the city of Houston. What does this mean? Means I can't vend festivals within the city, or ever park on rented land, lets say within the city, or daily go to the two new food parks which are within city limits. there are 4M people within the city limits.....

So, I'm taking bids to have it moved. I don't have to, and I could go park for a day or two within the city at various locales I've already contacted, however, in today's social media age, if I was to ever get shut down, it would kill the current momentum I've created.

Not an expense I had budgeted for and, had I paid more attention to the requirements one I could have fixed before I paid for the expensive wrap. But like the others have said, I believe the survivors are the ones who do it right and can survive the short term pains. I'm trying to do it right, but the short term is very painful...

Now, I'm all in at this Texas Hold 'Em table so its what I have to do. What I can tell you also is people, want good Barbeque, period. So if your product is good and you want to pursue this, know its going to cost some cash and follow what needs to be done.

Good luck!

What's with the atmospheric vent. Is it required ?
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Unread 10-27-2013, 10:22 PM   #41
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Bizznessman,

The hot dog push cart was not illegal at first, but the local restaurants in Aggieville and/or downtown (where he sold) said it was taking business away from them. Says a lot about a business IMO if a hot dog cart can make such a large difference.
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Unread 10-28-2013, 09:06 AM   #42
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@bullofthewoods

In the city of Houston, yes. Not mentioned in the other counties I've looked at.

3 new ( the only ones currently) food truck / trailer parks opened in Houston this year all within the city limits. Without my city Medallion I can't park on their properties to vend and they have been packed now that the weather has turned.

@jazzybadger - what part of Ft. Bend.? big A@@ county as you know. I'll let you know when I'm all legal and where I land. You can check out the facebook page or follow me on twitter as well.
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Unread 10-28-2013, 09:41 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cds9333 View Post
Bizznessman,

The hot dog push cart was not illegal at first, but the local restaurants in Aggieville and/or downtown (where he sold) said it was taking business away from them. Says a lot about a business IMO if a hot dog cart can make such a large difference.
Yes it does. Protectionism never works. It stifles business and leads to limited services/options for customers. I am sad to hear that the business community there chooses to take this approach. A free market has a tough time existing when monopolies are created by governments.

Okay, I am stepping down off the soap box now.

We have some friends that ran into this type of situation where they live in Colorado. The city enacted a similar ordinance. But the County has nothing against food trucks. So they set up 100 feet outside the city limits on leased private property. Problem solved. And the city has been losing out on city sales tax revenue ever since. And they do a banner business.

There is often more than one way to "skin a cat".
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