MMMM.. BRISKET..
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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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Old 01-27-2020, 11:59 AM   #1
e11even
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Join Date: 07-15-19
Location: Florida
Name/Nickname : Steve
Default Tips and advice for running a BBQ Business

Hey all. I have lurked here for awhile and recently signed up and started posting. The reason is, I am going to be starting my venture into the world of selling BBQ and could use any advise and tips from you pros that have been doing this for awhile or even are just starting out like I am.

I hope this thread can not only help me but others like myself that want to start selling their BBQ or already are. So please feel free to add any comments or questions to this thread.

I am in the process of acquiring equipment and just bought a pair of used J & R Little Red Smokehouse smokers. I was only looking for one but found a deal on Craigslist I couldn't pass up. So at least I will have room to expand if the time comes. My plan at the moment is to sell my BBQ from a food truck on Sundays. A local food truck has given me the opportunity to sell my BBQ out of his truck when he is closed on Sunday. I am really grateful for this opportunity to allow me to test out my BBQ and to start getting a following. I have a good 9-5 job with benefits that I cant give up and also a wife and two year old son at home so want to start off slow and see how things go and incorporate catering and doing events in the future. If I see this as a viable full time job then I would look into opening a brick and mortar with counter service.

So to start one thing I was wondering is how those of you that are slicing brisket to order are keeping it hot? Are you keeping it in a warming drawer or cabinet like an alto sham or cvap and taking it out when a order comes in, slicing it then putting it back in the cabinet? I have seen this done at some places. Or by some other means? In the food truck they have a steam table(that holds one hotel pan) but no warming cabinet. So do you think holding it in a cambro during service would maintain safe temps for the whole lunch service or do you think I will need to put it in a pan on the steam table to keep it hot for service? I figure the brisket may not stay hot if I am pulling it in and out of a Cambro or cooler.

Thanks guys and gals. I have more questions but wanted to just start off with one and hope to get some responses.
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Old 01-27-2020, 04:49 PM   #2
airedale
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Speaking as a former SCORE small business mentor: You're worrying about the wrong stuff. How will you find places to park the truck? How will you attract customers? How long do you expect to lose money before you reach break-even? How much cash will it take to get to that point? What certifications, permits and licenses do you need? From whom? How will you transport and store you food and supplies? Is a week between cooks too long to carry over raw and cooked food? The list goes on and on. https://www.score.org
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Old 01-27-2020, 09:02 PM   #3
ynotfehc
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So really you need to consider all the equipment on the truck you are going to use. What I do or anyone else does doesnt matter so much, because youre talking about an entirely different setup and one that you cant readily change.
Going in and out of a cambro will not work. Every time you open it you lose the heat and it wont be able to recover. Are you going to need the steam well for other dishes? Whats your menu and what needs to be held hot? What other equipment is on the truck?
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Old 01-28-2020, 10:14 AM   #4
e11even
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Join Date: 07-15-19
Location: Florida
Name/Nickname : Steve
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Airedale...Yes I plan to go and speak with SCORE before starting. they have a chapter here in my area. I am not starting this Sunday. It will take some time to get everything in place business wise before I start my first cook.

ynotfehc...Thanks for the feedback. Thats what I figured that a Cambro wouldnt work. I would start out with serving just brisket and pulled pork and offer it in a sandwich or plate with two sides. Would serve mac and cheese and beans as sides to start. The truck has a flat top, steam well, cold sandwich prep table, fridge and freezer but no oven. there is electric available so I could use an electric cambro or something similar to keep the meats hot and then use the steam table for the sides. I dont see myself in the food truck long term and its more of a way to test out my BBQ and recipes to see what people like or dislike before venturing into catering or doing events and to also learn the process of everything.
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Old 01-28-2020, 07:10 PM   #5
C Rocke
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Will you carry your own umbrella liability policy? Will you be covered on your friends insurance for his food truck? How are you handling business license issues? How about employees working on your friends truck? Who's going to cover gasoline and propane use for the truck? Lots of details before you ever sell a sandwich...
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Old 01-28-2020, 07:17 PM   #6
JiveTurkey
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Chris what's up amigo! Long time no see. I still have the Spicewine!

Eleven, if you go brick and mortar then definitely read this: https://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/s...d.php?t=161123

Good luck!
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Old 01-28-2020, 07:42 PM   #7
C Rocke
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JiveTurkey View Post
Chris what's up amigo! Long time no see. I still have the Spicewine!



Eleven, if you go brick and mortar then definitely read this: https://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/s...d.php?t=161123

Good luck!

Damn son - Glad to hear from you! We moved to AZ. PM me your contact info, and hold onto that Spicewine!
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Old 01-28-2020, 09:40 PM   #8
ynotfehc
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So you're only worried about the brisket? You need to keep your sides hot, pork and brisket. Most likely you will need 2 countertop electric food warmers or need to setup a double boiler setup on the flattop.
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Old 01-29-2020, 10:21 AM   #9
e11even
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Name/Nickname : Steve
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Not just worried about the brisket just wanted to start out with a question to start the conversation. I think I will plan on using an electric cambro to hot hold the food like the brisket etc. and use the steam well and some 1/3 pans to keep my sides hot and pulled pork. When running low I will pull from the cambro to top off. The double boiler is a good idea.

C Rocke, Thanks for the questions all things I will be addressing. Can you help with some tips and advise also. Would love to hear some lessons learned type of posts. Thank you.

Jive Turkey, I have read through that whole thread in the past. Lots of good info in there.
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