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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 09-30-2011, 05:35 AM   #16
somebody shut me the fark up.
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And don't forget the tax man! Here is FL I had to setup a Doing Business As (DBA) name, then apply to the state and feds for my tax numbers. The number from the Feds is yours forever!! It's the EIN (Employer ID Number) that you need to get a business license, business bank account, state tax number, etc.
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:42 AM   #17
is One Chatty Farker
Join Date: 12-23-10
Location: Mount Pleasnt, SC

Originally Posted by boogiesnap View Post
agreed for sure.

well, we'll find out what they say about it tomorrow, if i can get through to the right person.

and yes, my cookers do not have a "hold" button. so, again, we'll see.

i'll be calling my local county HD and comply, what happens if i travel to another county and they have totally different regulations?

BBQ pits are not required to have a 'hold' button. That isn't needed and will not be an issue. It's a matter of what regulations your state has for pits...NSF or non-NSF pits. Every state is different.

Counties will not have totally different regulations. They all simply enforce the state code. However, you just may need to register in multiple counties if you plan on doing business in them. That is a question for you to ask when you have the conversation with the HD.
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Old 09-30-2011, 11:42 PM   #18
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Join Date: 03-16-11
Location: Garden City, MI

Boogiesnap, here's another idea that might better suit you starting out.

Find a local, small-scale restaraunt or bar & grill in your area, and offer to partner with them on a weekend barbeque menu - a type of "add-on" to their normal business.

While it may sound a bit difficult, it may be just the ticket to what you're trying to accomplish.

If I were to do it, I might approach it this way: Think of your pitmaster skills as a service. Offer to provide the equipment and labor to prepare and cook the food for a set fee. Allow the restaraunt to cover the food costs, and reap the benefits from an expanded menu. Work with the owners and/or managers on exactly what you would require as far as quality and quantity of food.

In essence, you're like the house band, or in today's world, a karaoke guy. You're not a directly employee of the restaraunt or bar, but you provide an add-on attraction to their business. You maintain a certain level of responsiblity, and work in cooperation with the existing business to expand their offering. And by doing so, you're paid for your services.

Not saying it would be easy, but it may be a more simple and direct approach from a business-standpoint to get to where you want to be - which is offering your 'Q to the public.

Good luck on your ventures!
If I told people what I use to cook, they probably wouldn't want to eat my food...
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:17 PM   #19
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Dont let anything get between you and your dreams! You could be the next big BBQ guy in your area! If there is a will there is a way! Trust me.
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Old 10-01-2011, 11:42 PM   #20
Found some matches.
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Join Date: 05-23-10
Location: Montello WI

1st thing I did last winter is contacted my accountant and got a plan together. I contacted the HD with my ideas and they sent me in the right direction. My HD required I get Serve Safe certified, which I did.
My cooker was NSF already and I had most all the small stuff I needed. I was able to use a certified kitchen to do my prep work and use their coolers. I hooked up with a meat supplier that let me keep my meats and salads in his coolers till I needed them.

We hit the ground running and had a great 1st year. 4 weddings and a bunch of smaller catering events. We got a small vending trailer and did our county fair and a few other smaller events in the area. I ended up having to buy a new truck so my tax exposure won't be too bad. By mid-summer I bought another cooker to keep up with the volume and be a backup just in case. That was a great idea because I got a bad batch of pellets and it took my original one out for a few weeks.
I know this is not typical but it shows what can happen if you play your cards right and get really lucky.

Good luck on your venture, don't let anyone tell you it can't be done.
It's a huge amount of work but all worth it when people tell you how good you food is.

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Old 10-02-2011, 08:24 PM   #21
The Cosmic Pig
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Join Date: 10-09-09
Location: Maryville, TN

Originally Posted by boogiesnap View Post
ah, i see. that makes sense.

i have to back my way into it. i have a little something planned in the spring that could lead to a good stream of business. so i'd like to be legal by then, in order to be able to offer professional services. this thing would be a private party. as it gets closer, i'll divulge more.

as far as step 1, i have a call in, waiting for a return call. will follow up tomorrow.

then, it's attorney time. uh boy.
Attorney for the Corporation? I have heard that "Legal Zoom" is good for setting this up at a reduced rate. Surely someone on here has used this service and can comment? I personally have set up two non-profits as corporations and saved them the $750 attorney fees, and it really wasn't rocket science. But I don't know about this type of thing. Might not be that much different!
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Old 10-04-2011, 06:58 PM   #22
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Join Date: 04-22-10

thanks for the input everyone.

i think i'll need to plan this out weekly as opposed to daily.

work needs to come first.

until i can make this work.
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Old 10-26-2011, 09:46 AM   #23
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Join Date: 04-12-08
Location: Chattanooga TN

We signed up to cook at a festival in a smaller town near me. Health department really had no horrible restrictions.
Food had to be prepped on site
Tent had to be screened
had to have test strips for the bleach water
had to have 3 sinks
had to have a hand wash station.

30 bucks later we had a 97 on our inspection (no thermometers in the fridge and freezer.)
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Old 10-29-2011, 02:11 PM   #24
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Join Date: 10-09-10
Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Just following up to see how your call went with the HD and what the regulations were on the kitchen rental?
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Old 10-29-2011, 03:42 PM   #25
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Location: St. Louis

Great thread. I'm going to be paying attention to this as well as a lot of folks in my neighborhood and office are asking me to start cooking for parties and I've been turning them all down as I don't want to do it unless I'm legal. Might be time for me to pick up the phone to the HD as well.
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Old 12-19-2011, 12:18 PM   #26
Farmer Rob
Found some matches.
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great thread
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:53 PM   #27
that's hot
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i'm interested ,i'll be staying tuned !1

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Old 12-20-2011, 03:33 PM   #28
Found some matches.
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Join Date: 12-08-11
Location: Baltimore, MD

Congrats on your new endeavor! The mobile roadside is the way to go for start up. The all in one trailer-kitchens can be bought used for a song (building one to specs can get a bit costly.) These mobiles are usually inspected and permitted by the Health Dept once per year depending on the state you are in.

Generally a Serv Safe person ie Certified Food Manager is also tied to the biz and that is recognized nationally now.

Now here in the lower northeast states we still must have our mobile or pop-up tents attached to a full on liscensed facility--since they want to know where the trailer or mobile unit is getting water from, dumping waste water at, or storage of food when not in the trailer itself.....If your health district requires that you can generally rent a kitchen from a community organization or non profit, where you can donate a portion of your profits to them. We did this for some time before we had our own facility, and were able to store our leftovers there and get water , dump water, and recycle our grease. A friend of ours did the same with a church he belonged to.

Now I caution this to you because some states are doing away with the renting saying that the original facility's permit is non-transferrable, but legally a commercial owner can sub rent to whomever they want. When we did rent we were required to carry our own liability insurance naming the kitchen owner as an additional insured, which was costly in itself.

It seems some states will consider your mobile unit THE certified kitchen but it's getting harder now. Many states are a bit stricter now.
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