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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 04-06-2019, 07:57 AM   #1
BuffaloDave
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Default Thoughts on potential business model

ok guys let me preface this with a little backstory.

local butcher- first person in my city doing local whole animal butchery. He's very talented, classic french style butchery with no waste. Opened a year ago just 1 day a week featuring local farms. We became friends as I gave him a ton of business and promoted his place on social media. He in turn is always giving me cuts to bbq that I would otherwise not have such easy access to, and at discounted prices.

Now his business took off and he's open 4 days a week, and looking to expand to a bigger spot. This is where I come in. He doesn't have a smoker which would really help his business- he makes bacon, sausage but with a smoker he could do hocks, hams etc. At any rate he wants to bring me on board. The place he is looking at has a big yard that would be great for events. He would already have the permits in place to vend, I'd have a kitchen to work out of which I could grow into offsite catering business. He is having an argentinian grill built for events, and there is a huge parking lot next door available. I think he wants me to rent the lot ($600 a month) as my part of the expansion.
Realistically there is NOWHERE I could go, get the access to kitchen space and all permits in place for such a small amount of $$$$. Basically he's thinking about me coming on board and working the smoking side of things with the ability to do popups, events, etc. He has already given me the green light to vend at his location free of charge, but I really think this business model could work. Am I crazy for thinking about going full time bbq?
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Old 04-06-2019, 12:45 PM   #2
Bbq Bubba
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Your in Buffalo NY?
You only have 6 months of vending weather.
His meat cutting permits are not even close to what you'll need to vend bbq.
You have some homework to do.
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Old 04-06-2019, 03:12 PM   #3
BuffaloDave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbq Bubba View Post
Your in Buffalo NY?
You only have 6 months of vending weather.
His meat cutting permits are not even close to what you'll need to vend bbq.
You have some homework to do.
Who said anything about meat cutting permits? He has permits in place to sell prepared food. While I may only have 6 months for vending outside (I realize I would need insurance+ more permits to vend offsite) I could sell on location. The place was previously a restaurant, and he wanted to open a lunch place in it. Def homework to do this is just an idea right now....
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Old 04-06-2019, 03:30 PM   #4
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Would you be his partner, employee or separate entity? Would you be smoking meat for him to sell and his catering jobs, or just what you sell outside and your catering jobs.
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Old 04-06-2019, 03:50 PM   #5
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Do you really want to make a job out of what now is an enjoyable activity?
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Old 04-06-2019, 05:22 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ynotfehc View Post
Would you be his partner, employee or separate entity? Would you be smoking meat for him to sell and his catering jobs, or just what you sell outside and your catering jobs.
I would think employee as I'm taking on zero risk and he's likely to have 600k + invested. He brought it to me like he's looking to expand, we would mesh well and I would have free reign to sell as I like onsite. If I did get onboard I would negotiate so that all catering would be my revenue. Maybe even have the catering be a separate entity/brand I could build over time.
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Old 04-06-2019, 05:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bschoen View Post
Do you really want to make a job out of what now is an enjoyable activity?
I want to make a living out of an enjoyable activity. I've been in the food/resto business in all different aspects for my whole life. I'm not some hobbyist looking to make a living. I see a market for good bbq in a burgeoning food scene and I see a means of having a supplier, a place to prep, and an ability to be creative. I'd be able to learn a ton to boot- as I said he's a highly skilled butcher by trade.
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Old 04-06-2019, 07:44 PM   #8
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Zero risk??? Do you not have a career now that you would be giving up to try this?

I think everyone’s financial situation is totally different...Someone might need to smoke and sell 50k or 75k in goods to survive...others might need to do 300k plus.....guess it depends on what your goals and current situation is. Good luck my man


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Old 04-06-2019, 09:37 PM   #9
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Yes, it can work and you could do great. I'd take Bbq Bubba's advice and think about ways to get some cash flow for those winter months. Maybe start out part time if possible so you don't give up other income avenues of it doesn't take off as quick as thought. I read somewhere that 90% of restaurants fail in 12 months but of those, the majority fail because they underestimated the needed cash flow to get them through to the next stage. Good Luck!
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Old 04-06-2019, 10:13 PM   #10
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If you are looking at catering, that would provide cash flow for your winter months. Also, don't limit yourself to just BBQ. A diverse menu will help keep people coming to try new things.
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Old 04-07-2019, 06:53 AM   #11
BuffaloDave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtsum View Post
Zero risk??? Do you not have a career now that you would be giving up to try this?

I think everyone’s financial situation is totally different...Someone might need to smoke and sell 50k or 75k in goods to survive...others might need to do 300k plus.....guess it depends on what your goals and current situation is. Good luck my man


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Zero risk is a reach- I guess minimal risk given my current life situation. I'm debt free and house is paid off, wife no kids and she works. I wouldn't be taking out a loan. I'd be giving up future 401k matching/vacation pay. Wrong to say zero risk as there is no such thing in job switching. But I am confident if things fell through I'd land on my feet.

I'm not trying to get rich. I live pretty modestly and quite honestly I'd be thrilled if I could make 50k in a year to start off (I think even that is a lofty expectation to start).




I just brought it to the forum as I have never seen a business model like this. There has got to be a butcher/bbq place somewhere???

One of the biggest ways to fail in food service is high waste and this butcher has little to none. He's making all kinds of sausage, I could sell those at $8 a pop and they'd fly out the door. I've been in and around the Buffalo food scene for a while. People are paying a premium for locally raised meat. Farmers are becoming more transparent and the quality is really amazing. Whole animal butchery, custom cutting with onsite smoker. Space to run small resto or use as commercial kitchen. Space outside to host events and parking lot available to rent. I have my reservations for sure but the way I see it there are a bunch of options to generate revenue.
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Old 04-07-2019, 01:14 PM   #12
BuffaloDave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyle's BBQ View Post
If you are looking at catering, that would provide cash flow for your winter months. Also, don't limit yourself to just BBQ. A diverse menu will help keep people coming to try new things.
True. I say bbq but I think if I went the catering route I would offer options. For onsite events probably themed with some live fire cooking. I have a Korean/BBQ popup in the works with another guy which is going to be a blast.
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Old 04-07-2019, 03:29 PM   #13
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Original question I guess was if you're crazy for going full-time bbq. I would say no crazier than me or many of us on here. So yes! The situation seems to need some clarity to figure out the exact structure it seems. I would ask for his business plan for the expansion, and roles, conoensation, and just more detail in general. You dont want to get into a situation where you have to start your own business and smoke meat for his business for free labor on product he sells, then in 6months, he's making good money and you're doing all the work, and becomes more work than what the cost of renting the space would be. Just seems messy to me from here.
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Old 04-07-2019, 06:42 PM   #14
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Debt free, wife has a good job with no kids to worry about and a dream chance here. Heck yea go for it!
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Old 04-08-2019, 04:08 PM   #15
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To piggyback on what everyone else here has already said, no matter how good a friend this guy is, get an attorney and make sure the business arrangement is in writing. Too many times people go into business with a friend and find out friendship is easily trumped by money. Handshakes are good for little things, contracts are better when sharing a business arrangement.

Other than that, I say go for it. You only live once and you don't want to spend the rest of your life thinking, "what if?".
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