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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 03-12-2011, 06:09 PM   #1
nitelightboy
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Default Business Plan help

Hey guys, I know it's absolutely insane to want to open up a Que joint, but I'm crazy like that . I'm currently in the very early stages of working on my business plan and was hoping that some of you would be able to help. Any info to help me handle the financial aspects, like the break even analysis as well as any other parts of the plan would be much appreciated. I'm looking into about an 1800 sq ft location, primarily a take and go with a few seats. Thanks in advance for the help.

Also, I'm trying to keep a blog going of the process. Just posted up the first one a little bit ago. I want to keep tabs on everything to hopefully be able to help anybody else looking into starting a business. And the link...http://dorkypig.wordpress.com/
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:35 PM   #2
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no help here but good luck
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:50 PM   #3
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no help here but good luck
HaHa thanks
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:48 AM   #4
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contact SCORE, its a non profit group of retired business folks that help people get new businesses started, they were a big help to us in getting our business plan together.
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:40 AM   #5
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I agree with Tinybud...also check out the Small Business Association SBA website...lots of good info there as well.
Good luck!
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:47 PM   #6
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contact SCORE, its a non profit group of retired business folks that help people get new businesses started, they were a big help to us in getting our business plan together.

I actually do have an appt. with them Wednesday morning. Great advice thanks. I was just hoping that someone may have some specifics that they could provide me with from their experiences/business ventures.
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Old 03-13-2011, 04:56 PM   #7
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The SBA will offer you a handbook, really a novel, that outlines the development of a business plan for a small business. This will be invaluable, as are many of the handouts they can offer you. My two cents...

1. Truly perform some detailed market comparisons and write them down. Understand what is, and who is, your real competition. You competition is not other BBQ joints, in fact, you must understand your entire market sector.

2. Truly evaluate your start up and operations costs, again, write down everything as you work through it. Also, you want to contact an business insurance company to really gain an understanding of your needs.

3. Verify your suppliers, identify what your supply and materials needs are. This is part of understanding your costs. The meats, sides and packaging will all play a role in your business. Many food service companies go broke because they fail to understand the supply chain.

4. Work with a qualified contractor and the health department, I have seen several friends dig massive debt holes due to a failure to properly understand just how much and how difficult it is to get a place up and running. Contractor's and architect's often have not kept up on the codes, this can cost a tremendous amount. I remember finishing off a kitchen only to have the inspector come in and tell us that he needed seamless coves, all the equipment had to be removed, flooring removed and redone, everything redone. the owner had to absorb $15,000 of costs due to that failure.

5. Identify operating hours, staffing hours, cooking hours etc...look for and write down efficiencies and money holes.

6. Most importantly, understand the role you must play in the business and how much passion and commitment you must put into the business, thoroughly identify your resources, capitalization and personal ability to perform all of the tasks.
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:24 PM   #8
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Wow thank you for the insights landarc. Really appreciate that. I've just started to do some basic pricing of things like rent, equipment leases etc. I still have a long way to go I'm sure. And thanks for the info on your friend's difficult lesson. It's much easier to learn from other's mistakes.
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:47 PM   #9
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Okay, another thing to remember when looking at places to price rent, determine if it was a restaurant before or not, if the sanitary sewer and bathrooms are up to snuff, if there is a floor sink and refrigerator drain or not.

Code in most states will require you drain all refrigerators and coolers to an air-gap type drain, at least in my state, that means a floor sink, which means you need to plumb from the fridge through the slab to the sewer. You will almost certainly need a grease interceptor as well, UBC requires it and most agencies require it as a result.

Even if it was a restaurant before, make sure it is up to code, I know of a bakery here that the owner of the land evicted, then the property owner thought, why not open it back up. $100,000 later, he was able to reopen, once he addressed all the code violations nobody thought to look for before.

By the way, used equipment, things like smokers are easy, but, when you start looking at stoves, ovens, freezers and fridges, make sure your intended purchases are up to code also. Many great deals turn out to be nightmares, I know of a school that bought a commercial stove, great deal by a 'friend' of the school. He even installed it. Except, it lacked the seismic safety equipment, and since it is installed, the school can no longer cook in it's kitchen until the stove is corrected.
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:48 PM   #10
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Get the feeling I may have been in construction too long? ....I mean
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Old 03-14-2011, 04:40 AM   #11
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My two cents,
Im in the process of becoming a new concession stand owner and I love bbq myself. I enjoy grilling and slow smoking food. Im currently in the U.S. Army however, I have decided (maybe just as crazy as you think you are) to build a concession stand and throw a smoker on it. With that being said Im right at $6,000 into this thing and I'm not finished with it. I made the mistake of getting a business credit card instead of writing a business plan and I really regret it now.
With all of that being said if you are interested in primarily a grab and go joint why not a concession stand?
Hope I was of some help.
Good luck.
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Old 03-14-2011, 07:02 AM   #12
nitelightboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollin Smoke Bbq View Post
With all of that being said if you are interested in primarily a grab and go joint why not a concession stand?
Hope I was of some help.
Good luck.
That would be something to look into in more detail. Just at first glance, there aren't ANY concession stands in this area, not sure exactly why but it could be a sign. BUt I will certainly keep it in consideration. Thanks!
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:40 PM   #13
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For a while, I was looking into a concession/food truck type rig and was actually part way into the research. Then I remembered that I swore an oath never to enter into the food industry again, plus, some days I can barely walk. Still, most cities and counties are pretty easy to deal with in terms of getting one of these up and running. Easy, not cheap, although much easier than a building. San Francisco, ironically, is extremely hostile to food trucks.
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Old 03-14-2011, 02:57 PM   #14
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From what I've seen so far, reading the state's sanitation requirements, it shouldn't be terribly difficult here. Not cheap either I'm sure haha. I was a chef back in the day and really miss that high you get during the big rush when orders just keep coming at you. I know there'll be alot more to what I'll have to do than just that, but I think it'd be something I'd enjoy. Keeping my fingers crossed and going crazy with the research for now. The more I research and really dig in to it, the better prepared I'll be to present a plan to a bank (they like it when you really know your stuff) and if this actually becomes a reality, I'll have a sound plan to fall back on and help keep me guided and on track.
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:00 PM   #15
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I've owned and operated a few restaurants and still do. Today, I am finalizing a deal in a 4000 sq ft tri-level tavern to open a bbq joint/comfort food concept. If you want some advice, call me.

If you want to move to Cleveland, OH I can really help you out.

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