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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.

View Poll Results: Gauging Competitors Interest in Commercial Cooking
Have you ever vended, worked in a restaurant or owned a restaurant? 15 22.39%
Do you currently vend, work in a restaurant or own a restaurant? 20 29.85%
Are you interested in vending, working in a restaurant or owning a restaurant in the future? 24 35.82%
No interest in cooking for the public. 8 11.94%
Voters: 67. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-01-2011, 02:38 PM   #1
Babbling Farker
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Join Date: 08-07-06
Location: huntington, ny
Default Catering/Restaurant Inclinations


It would help to know how many competitors are interested in (or have already been involved in) vending, catering, working in a restaurant or owning a restaurant.

Your participation would be truly appreciated.


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Old 04-01-2011, 02:40 PM   #2
is One Chatty Farker
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Join Date: 06-22-04
Location: Islip NY

i have done all of the above
Will B

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Old 04-01-2011, 02:54 PM   #3
Lake Dogs
Quintessential Chatty Farker

Join Date: 07-14-09
Location: Lake Sinclair, GA

Have done all, and it's PAST TENSE. No thanks. To do it well it's a labor of love. For me, it's just not worth the long hours for the very little money.

Been there. Done that. I've since had the tattoo removed.
Hance - Lake Dogs Cooking Team - MiM/MBN/GBA CBJ and comp cook
Lake Sinclair, GA (strategically about an hour from darn near anywhere)
Started competing in chili cookoffs back in the 1990's and have competed in more than I care to count. I became a CBJ in MiM in 2005, then MBN and in GBA in 2010. I've probably judged 130+- BBQ comps (sanctioned and unsanctioned) over this time. That said, I really enjoy competing more than I enjoy judging, and hope to get back to doing 4 or 5 a year in the near future.

Last edited by Lake Dogs; 04-01-2011 at 03:41 PM..
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Old 04-01-2011, 02:55 PM   #4
Big Sticky
Got Wood.
Join Date: 10-02-10
Location: Eolia MO

I cook Tuesday thru Saturday in Troy MO unless I'm at a comp or catering.
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Old 04-01-2011, 03:57 PM   #5
is One Chatty Farker

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Join Date: 06-04-07
Location: Lake Grove, NY

I get three out of four, Eric. You need to make your categories mutually exclusive or enable multiple selections.


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Old 04-01-2011, 05:01 PM   #6
Jeff Hughes
is one Smokin' Farker
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Join Date: 02-03-06
Location: tulsa oklahoma

I have vended(no more), I cater, and I consult with restaurants...
Klose 72" Mobile
Medium BGE
HastyBake Legacy
22" Weber Kettle(10 bucks@garage sale)
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:00 PM   #7
is one Smokin' Farker
Join Date: 10-06-09
Location: Centerville TN

I cook a few times a month and I am currently building a BBQ joint to cook on fridays and saturdays a couple times a month when not competing
Rub Won Out BBQ Team,Brisket 180 club
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:01 PM   #8
JD McGee
somebody shut me the fark up.
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Join Date: 06-28-07
Location: Duvall, WA

Kind of a confusing poll...I have worked in a restaurant and currently cater...no desire to open my own place...
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:53 PM   #9
Babbling Farker
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Join Date: 03-14-07
Location: Culpeper, Virginia

I have also worked in restaurants, catered and vended...An can think of no greater Horror then to ever have to do it again...so last option was perfect!
Certified Master Judge #5382

What is best in life? "To crush your BBQ opponents, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:17 AM   #10
Bbq Bubba
somebody shut me the fark up.
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Join Date: 05-03-07
Location: New Baltimore, Mi.

I am a restaurant Pitmaster, caterer, vendor & comp cooker.

Livin the dream my arse.
Pitboss @ Lockharts BBQ
Beer Snob
I cook the best brisket north of Dallas. Get over it.
Michigan State Lead-Operation BBQ Relief
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Old 04-02-2011, 12:21 PM   #11
is one Smokin' Farker
Join Date: 11-24-09
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Default It's hard work....

I currently own a few restaurants, cater, vend a few events & cook about 15 comps a year. Restaurants are hard, which is why you have to hold out for a sweet heart scenario that fits into the lifestyle that you want. Most that I have met are already talking about number two and lose sight of doing one well.

I had zero food business experience before I started a restaurant, but the terms were so good that I left a great paying software job. It's on a college campus and it allows me to take the month of December off and 2.5 months in the summer to do what I like. I now own three restaurants within 500 yards of each other...1. Bar & Grille 2. 50's Diner 3. BBQ Joint & Tavern. It is hard work, which is why I wouldn't do it unless I was operating in "fantasy land" and the money was top notch. With that being said...it is really nice operating in "fantasy land".

My best advice is know what you want and have an exit strategy. As my grandfather once told me...they are made to be sold, not bought. Don't expect to get rich and do expect to put in more work than you think.

It isn't fun if you aren't making money!!!
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Old 04-03-2011, 01:03 AM   #12
Bama Q
On the road to being a farker

Join Date: 03-29-10
Location: North Alabama, Home of White BBQ Sauce

Done all of the above. Owning a restaurant is a labor of love, BBQ is labor intensive, Making good home cooked sides takes time. your employees will take short cuts on you, changes recipes. They do not have the same, sense of Quality that you want your customers to experience. Your food has to have the same taste all the time, replete business, time after time. Taste and quality, Lets not forget customer service. Then you got to cook. got to keep books, payroll. I could keep on. I love it, a lot of work, not a fast way to get rich. Sometimes great satisfaction. Someday you might make the cover of Southern Living
Good Luck

Last edited by Bama Q; 04-03-2011 at 01:05 AM.. Reason: Left something out
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:26 PM   #13
Knows what a fatty is.
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Join Date: 08-01-04
Location: Huntington, NY

I am currently the GM at a neighborhood Tex-Mex restaurant. Never vended before. I have tons of catering experience.
Would I love to own and operate my own place....absolutely!
Darren Lora

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KCBS Certified BBQ Judge
2 WSM's
22.5 inch Kettle
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:16 PM   #14
Smoke'n Ice
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Join Date: 05-08-09
Location: Plano, TX

Own a Cafe and Tea Room and am open from 11 to 2 Monday thru Saturday. Open for afternoon tea from 3 to 5 with reservations. We do not serve bbq but instead ladies soups salads and sandwiches. That being said we cater with a mix of bbq and other finger foods. No experience 6 years ago (retired electrical engineer and only thing I knew about restaurats was eating in them) until I bought but keeping on top of the cooks for quality and repeatability are a challange. Books and other little cost control items sometimes get in the way of competition but, we are having fun and the comp season for us starts next week in Stillwater OK. CU there.
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:12 PM   #15
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Join Date: 08-17-06
Location: Washington, Missouri

Own a successful catering and vending business. Contemplating bricks and mortar.....
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