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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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Unread 05-13-2013, 06:08 PM   #1
Smoke House Moe
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Join Date: 09-13-12
Location: Robbinsdale Minnesota
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Default Hotbox's. What to get.

Hey guys,

I am getting ready for my first catering gig, and just rounding up all the equipment as I need it.

What size is good to start with for hot box pan holders? Keep in mind: This first year I am doing mostly farmer's markets and a few parties. All gigs likely under 200 people. I was thinking a box that can fit three or four full pans.

For BBQ sauce, what do you guys do? Leave bottles out for everyone, use individual condiment cups, etc?

Do you provide paper plates and plasticware in the price or sperate?
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Unread 05-13-2013, 07:21 PM   #2
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The first thing I suggest you do is find out what the HD, in the areas you plan to serve in, allows. Depending on the venue you may be required to prepare your food(s) in a licensed kitchen and there may be items that you are not allowed to sell on site.

For festivals we cook onsite and serve as product is finished.

For catering we use Cambro S-Series carriers.
Size will depend on the amount of product you need but the above link will help determine what you may need. If available check locally to see if you can rent this type of item since they are not cheap. We purchased since we do not have a rental option near us. They can run around $400 new.

Check this thread for good info on how much pans will hold.

We tried using condiment cups for individual BBQ sauce serving once (I emphasize we only did this ONCE). It was a nightmare filling them all and trying to keep up with more when we ran low/out. We put bottles out (in an iced container for HD regs reasons) and just figure that cost in with the overall price of the items we are selling.

For catering we do provide paper plates (heavy duty Chinet brand) and plastic silverware (good quality clear utensils from SAM's since the cheap ones break too easily). Again this is calculated into our over all sales pricing.

For festivals/farmers markets we use Dart foam hinged lid containers for sammies and Dart foam 6 oz deli containers w/lids for sides. We have found that paper plates are not good for festivals/farmers markets due to the wind factor (it is very windy at times in KS ). Peeps like to have the ability to cover up their food if needed and the cost difference is negligible.
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