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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 09-21-2014, 09:29 PM   #2476
marubozo
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I'll have a better update later, but this picture sums up my week. On Wednesday, both walk-ins have every shelf packed with a few thousand pounds of meat. This pic was the state of the walk-in this afternoon. Didn't have a single ounce of BBQ to sell.

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Old 09-21-2014, 09:40 PM   #2477
landarc
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I assume you have meat coming tomorrow
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:40 PM   #2478
EvilSwine
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Maybe you should give US Foods a chance at keeping your walk-in full :)
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:41 PM   #2479
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That's good!!! New smoker has to earns it's keep.
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:48 PM   #2480
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Looks like you have your supply and demand down to a science.
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Old 09-21-2014, 10:25 PM   #2481
marubozo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
I assume you have meat coming tomorrow
Closed tomorrow, but delivery is Tuesday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilSwine View Post
Maybe you should give US Foods a chance at keeping your walk-in full :)
It's already full, but I did just sign up with US Foods to help with some products they can get at a better price. That kicks in next week.

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Originally Posted by GrillsGoneWild View Post
Looks like you have your supply and demand down to a science.
That is one of the good things about the situation. We're at a point where our orders each week are almost spot on. Usually we have a few things that carry over come sunday, but not this week. Then again, we were using the second smoker to keep up this weekend, so that threw things off a bit.
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Old 09-24-2014, 01:51 PM   #2482
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Awesome story. My family and I will be taking a trip up to Michigan from Cincinnati next spring and we will def stop in. Just hope I can wait that long!!!!
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Old 09-25-2014, 07:22 AM   #2483
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marubozo View Post
I'll have a better update later, but this picture sums up my week. On Wednesday, both walk-ins have every shelf packed with a few thousand pounds of meat. This pic was the state of the walk-in this afternoon. Didn't have a single ounce of BBQ to sell.

Post the "before" picture sometime when your delivery is made!
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Old 09-26-2014, 06:45 AM   #2484
insaneh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marubozo View Post
I'll have a better update later, but this picture sums up my week. On Wednesday, both walk-ins have every shelf packed with a few thousand pounds of meat. This pic was the state of the walk-in this afternoon. Didn't have a single ounce of BBQ to sell.

There's the problem. There's walking space in that cooler! Pick up a drone and pluck your meat out with a claw.
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Old 09-26-2014, 11:34 AM   #2485
EricD
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Just made it through this entire post! Took me a couple weeks (and a few scoldings by my boss)
What a fantastic journey! Thank you for sharing Jeremy.
I hope to be able to get out to Niles sometime, but it's quite a drive from Taxachusetts.
I really heve nothing more to add that hasn't been said already. Keep up the great job your doing and please continue the updates!
Curious though, With all the Brethren stopping by, have any of your employees found this thread??
Hope to meet you soon!
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:19 PM   #2486
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Well, I thought I was going to give an update the other day, but where has the time gone?

It has been a busy and amazing few weeks. For starters, I went to a big food show up in Lansing a week or two ago. I learned a lot, but most of it is very depressing when you see what the standards are across much of the restaurant industry. EVERYTHING is just pre-packaged BS food. It explains a lot about the quality of food you see in most mainstream places though. You don't need to be a chef to open a restaurant. You just need to open some cans or tear open a bag and warm something up. Hell, there were at least three companies there trying to sell me pre-cooked BBQ meats. One had pre-cooked (and sliced, mind you) brisket. And some nasty ass rib tips, frozen pulled pork in like big tubs. Insane. And then this one popular dressing company, who I won't name, all but called me stupid for "wasting time" making my own coleslaw dressing instead of buying it already made by the gallon. WTF? How hard is it to make coleslaw dressing? It takes all of five minutes to make enough to last the entire week. And it's fresh!

Just amazing really. And sad. When walking from booth to booth people almost seemed shocked that we are actually cooking at the restaurant. They were amazed and asked dumb questions like, "wow, but doesn't that take a lot of time?" Just have to shake your head.

In other food related news, we are starting with US Foods next week to pick up some of the slack on produce. They come in a little better in pricing on a few of our staples like potatoes, cucumbers, and cabbage, and since every penny counts, we'll see how that goes. They are a bit higher on some of the meats and/or carry slightly cheaper meats but not from the packers I want, so no moves on meat yet.

Football season has been kicking our ass. The past two Saturdays have been just insane. Last weekend we had the main smoker stocked full, plus had a few briskets, ribs, a dozen chicken, plus keeping warm 4 briskets and 4 butts in the Shirley and it still wasn't enough meat to last the day. On game day people come in and just order massive meat by the pound to go. 5 pounds here, 7 pounds there. Hell, that's like a whole butt or brisket gone right there. And we went through a record 7 pans of corn bread. There's 35 pieces to a pan, so that's almost 250 pieces. And corn bread only comes with dinner platters, not sandwiches or by the pound unless they add it separately.

And I'm just finishing up a menu refresh this weekend. Trying to make adjustments for higher food costs mostly. But also going to stipulate that additional sauce cups with to-go orders will cost extra. Early on I didn't mind letting people try multiple sauces because I wanted them to find something they like. Well, we're taking a big hit on all those freebies now, especially when people want to try three or four sauces, or are just regulars who want an extra one thrown in. Each sauce cup/lid alone costs about a nickel and then you've got about $0.18 in sauce, give or take depending on the sauce. So just giving away 50 extra sauce cups a day is like throwing $12-$15 away every day. $60 a week, or $250 a month isn't chump change. So, not looking to make a bunch of money on extra sauce or turn customers off, but 25 cents or something for an extra sauce will at least cover our cost so that I can recoup that.

Coupons. Let me address coupons. Holy ****. These bring out the worst in people. They are a double-edged sword. Coupons are great because they get new customers in the door. Every time we run a groupon or deal with the local news station, most people who come in tell us they never even heard of us until they saw the coupon pop up in their email or whatever. That's great. But then you have the other 20% of people who are just trying to get the world for free. They come in with a group and want to place a $100 order and then stack a half dozen coupons to get it all for free, you get people who come in months after they expire and treat you like a piece of trash if you don't accept it anyway. From a customer service (and sanity) standpoint, coupons are just downright awful and not worth it. But for getting new people in the door, they are very beneficial. It's all give and take, but given how business has been thus far, I'm slowly winding down all of our coupon offers.

Time. I don't have any. EVERYBODY wants a piece of your time. My cell phone rings off the hook. Yesterday my voicemail box finally hit 100% full. I think I had at least 40 unread business related emails. If they aren't calling me, they are calling the restaurant and want to speak to me so they can sell me something, or schedule an appointment, or have me come to their event, or speak to their group, etc etc. Even outside the restaurant I can't escape it. Seems no matter were I go somebody is pulling me aside to talk BBQ. Just yesterday I went into a hardware store to grab batteries and one of the employees spotted the logo on my shirt and then followed me around for five minutes and just wanted to talk and talk. Don't get me wrong, it's quite flattering and all, but I hardly have enough time during the day to take a piss, so when I've got people all day every day just begging for a few minutes of my time, it's just hard to find the time to manage the business or take care of personal stuff.

Not you guys though. I love you all and even if I am extremely behind in answering your PMs, I will get around to it I promise!

Speaking of time management, I've got a new chef starting next week. They are seasoned and ready to go, and we need the help in the kitchen so that we can turn our focus on all the pressing catering issues that are piling up. I think we've already got six events on the books for October, from a wedding, to a few BBQ contests, fundraisers, and even a corporate event. My kitchen staff and I are already doing 50-60 hours just maintaining the restaurant, so catering business has been shoved to the back burner and it sucks to turn money away.

I'm sure I've missed a few things, but my hour break is over and I need to get back to the restaurant to make sure we're ready for the friday night insanity. And I will get to those lingering PMs and emails in the next few days.
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:25 PM   #2487
landarc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marubozo View Post
Coupons. Let me address coupons. Holy ****. These bring out the worst in people..
I am sorry, but that cracked me up. It is amazing how some folks will behave with coupon/groupon thingies.

BBQ Groupies...who knew? I hope they're not all fat, middle aged, men in overalls
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Old 09-26-2014, 02:43 PM   #2488
GrillsGoneWild
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So when is your vacation time coming up?????
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Old 09-27-2014, 10:52 AM   #2489
jayhopeishere
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2 days later and I am finally at the end of this thread. Great thread marubozo and congratulation on your success. After reading all the problems you had starting off with the contractors and inspectors I am glad once you open your restaurant it was a instant success. This thread will help many who one day may want to take the plunge and open a restaurant. People in your area probably have been waiting a long time for a good bbq restaurant since they had to suffer with eating prepackage bbq from other restaurants. Glad you are providing good que in your area.

I am newcomer to this forum and just starting to learn how to bbq myself. My bbq have improve some just the short time I been a member of this forum.
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Old 09-27-2014, 12:52 PM   #2490
Randy3269
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Did I miss the pics of the new Shirley Fab cooker loaded with meat?? I've been dreaming about those photos.
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