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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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Old 11-16-2008, 09:11 PM   #1
Jacked UP BBQ
Babbling Farker
Join Date: 06-09-08
Location: Forker River, NJ
Default Vending a first year event

We have exclusive rights in contract to vend a first year event. This will be incorprated with BBQ comp in NJ. We are going to sell PP, Chicken 1/4's and ribs. We also have exclusive rights to sell drinks. They are expecting somehwere around three thouand people. It will be friday night for six hours and saturday for nine hours. I am lost on what to make. I am trying to work a deal with a local restaurant to buy any left overs that we never have to take out of the reefer truck, but he is looking into that. We have a good rep in the area and people love our food, so I think we can get a good turn out but I am not sure of how much to cook. I don't want to short hand ourselves or be way over and get killed on waste. Any input would be great. Thanks
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Old 11-16-2008, 11:03 PM   #2
is Blowin Smoke!
Join Date: 08-08-07
Location: Cartersville, GA

First year events are almost impossible to guess accurately. The organizers say they expect 3,000 people, but where is that number coming from? Odds are they pulled it out of the air and it is very optimistic unless they have pre-sold tickets.

My advice is invest no more than you can afford to lose if your sales only amount to $100. You can figure on making that much out of the guilt-ridden organizers alone even if you have bad weather and virtually no public. Beyond that, be conservative. Better to sell out than lose money, I say.
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:00 AM   #3
Jacked UP BBQ
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Location: Forker River, NJ

Well said.
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:57 PM   #4
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Join Date: 10-28-08
Location: McCune, Kansas

I don't know if this will help, but here goes.
I don't know if your state laws will allow you to prepare ahead of time. If so, cook the meat about 2 to 3 days before the event. After the meat is done, fast chill it down to 40 degrees, try to do this in 2 hrs. or less. Then you can pack it up in lb. packs, freeze them and pull them as you need them. You must heat them up as fast as when you cooled it down. The meat will taste just like you took it off the smoker, if it's done right.
This way, if you do overcook, you can keep it in the freezer until needed.
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:11 AM   #5
Jacked UP BBQ
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Join Date: 06-09-08
Location: Forker River, NJ

Thanks - that sounds good
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Old 11-21-2008, 08:59 AM   #6
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Join Date: 08-29-06
Location: Arlington, Nebraska

There is a thread on here that deals with the quantities for vending that takes into consideration the number of vendors, the number of people who will not eat ect ect. We used it for the first time we vended and ended up purchasing way more then we needed due to the organizer inflating numbers.
We bought most of our stuff at Sam's so we were able to take back alot of the purchase so that helped. However we cooked alot of PP prior to the event and it carried us through without having to cook the rest. We were able to put that into the freezer and was able to cook and sell it for catering events later in the summer.
Like somebody said above better to run out than have a bunch left over. You might want to add something to your menu that you could cook quick if you find yourself with several hours left to vend and no food.
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Old 11-21-2008, 09:19 AM   #7
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Join Date: 09-10-06
Location: Fort Worth, TX

If this event is in conjunction with a BBQ cookoff, I would imagine that a good number of those attendees are going to be guests of the other cooking teams and that may impact your sales.

I guess the better question to ask is what is the event going to include besides a cookoff? That will allow us to better judge what is going to conspire. 3000 folks is a huge number.

I did an event early this year that had two really good bands and the admission fee to enter included free dinner with each BBQ team donating one brisket and one pork butt. It was a total bust as far as the promoter was concerned. They expected to have several thousand folks attend but they were lucky to get 200.

I would suggest that you prepare brisket and pulled pork at least then, what you don't sell you can freeze and use at a later date. Another option is to ask the promoter to give you a guaranteed minimum number of folks and ask that he pay for anything less than that. If he balks at that you have to ask yourself why. Sort of feel him out. Do they have advanced ticket sales? I have yet to see where the numbers ever add up, the only other question to ask is what will the true numbers really be?

Even at 3000 which it most likely will not be, you can only count on feeding a certain percentage. That number will vary if folks are able to also bring their own food. What time of the year is this event going to be held? How much advanced notice will be given to the public?
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