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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 10-13-2018, 03:43 PM   #1
mwallinford
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Join Date: 10-04-18
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA.
Name/Nickname : Wallys Way
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As i type this, i'm in the process of having a concession trailer built and planing on getting into the business, the menu will be smoked sliders with sides so is there any helpful hints that may help me in my venture.
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Old 10-13-2018, 10:59 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwallinford View Post
As i type this, i'm in the process of having a concession trailer built and planing on getting into the business, the menu will be smoked sliders with sides so is there any helpful hints that may help me in my venture.

Invest in good shoes. Go see your podiatrist and get some orthotics designed for your feet. They're going to hurt.


Be prepared to spend more on inventory than you projected, and when you set your prices don't forget to include the cost of containers, rubs, spices, etc. in the price of the food.


Don't lie. I know a restaurant in our area that brags about their homemade barbecue sauces and smoked meat, when the only thing they actually cook on the premises is their ribs. They use straight Cattleman's barbecue sauces and order their pulled pork and brisket already smoked and sliced/shredded.


Shop for suppliers. We mainly use Sysco but if Sam's Club has better pricing on something, we let them know and most times they'll match the price or beat it just to keep your business.


Use any resources you can. S.C.O.R.E. (www.score.org) offers free mentoring and small business advice that can help you avoid some of the pitfalls of starting a new business.


Get a POS (point of sale) system that allows you to accept credit/debit cards. The number of people who carry cash is getting lower and lower every day.


Use social media! We do 99% of our advertising through Facebook and we can target our area and demographic without spending a ton of money.


Don't overload yourself with debt for expensive equipment if you can get by without it (says the guy who bought an $11,000 smoker). Do as I say, not as I do!
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Old 10-14-2018, 06:45 AM   #3
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Calculate your startup costs, then increase that by 50%.
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Old 10-14-2018, 06:55 PM   #4
mwallinford
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Thanks for the advice, I've been to a couple of seminars with s.c.o.r.e. and was very lucky with buying equipment by getting things from places that were remodeling or going out of business.
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Old 10-14-2018, 10:08 PM   #5
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Calculate your startup costs, then increase that by 50%.
Then increase it again by 25% annually just to keep up with growth LOL I told a restaurant owner friend of mine that one of these days I'd have everything I need and be able to turn a profit. He laughed and said no you won't because once you get to that point the older things you bought back in the beginning will start to wear out and you will begin buying it all over again.
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:58 PM   #6
ynotfehc
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You mean I'm going to need more crap even after I'm set up for all my catering events!!
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Old 10-15-2018, 10:00 PM   #7
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In the 1st month of operating, I've already blown through my marketing budget for the next 3yrs...but im also already getting calls for catering dinner parties, birthdays and weddings. Gotta spend it to make it.
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Old 10-16-2018, 07:51 AM   #8
nachos4life
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Gotta spend it to make it.
that's the damn truth...
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Old 10-16-2018, 03:11 PM   #9
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Get all your licenses and health board approvals and liability insurance sorted out as early as you can.
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Old 10-16-2018, 03:57 PM   #10
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Get all your licenses and health board approvals and liability insurance sorted out as early as you can.
Agreed. That's the biggest pain, but you'll be covered if you cross all your t's and dot all of your i's. I'm going through all of it now, but I'm getting very close.
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:38 PM   #11
Tannhauser42
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Speaking purely as a consumer who doesn't have the best eyesight in the world:
Please use big print on all of your signage and posted menus.
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