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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Old 02-03-2014, 06:47 PM   #1126
landarc
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What my son did with his BBQ food truck with a customer who wanted "x" racks of ribs each week, was that he talked to the customer privately after the first time and asked if this was going to be a standing special order each week. If so, my son would cook extra ribs just for him and make sure they did not get sold. This made the customer feel special, eliminated the risk of waste or other unhappy customers for my son, and guaranteed a set amount of revenue for him that particular day.
My friends did exactly that, and the guy refused to make that order. He said he would not do that, and in fact, he felt it was their job to accommodate his order, and that, as "a paying customer with American money, that he could d*** well buy everything in the store if he wanted"...and with that, we was banned.

An interesting and useful aside. My friend had a policy that any bad Yelp reviews, he would immediately reach out to the Yelper, apologize and ask them to come in to the shop on his account, meet with him and discuss how things could be better. The net result, was that he made it clear on any bad review, that he was prepared to make anyone whole, who did not enjoy their meal, all they had to do was come in person and tell him why. The end result, was that when this guy flamed the coffee shop, my friend replied that "we have attempted to work with the above reviewer, he has refused to honor our requests, we asked him not to return, as his behavior was detrimental to our business and clientele. He refused, and he is now banned from our shop. We regret that he felt the need to flame us." and that flame review went away. Yelp removed it.
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:48 PM   #1127
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Originally Posted by luke duke View Post
LA BBQ does not run out at 1:30-2:30, unless they want to. They are frequently open well into the evening.

https://twitter.com/la_Barbecue/stat...71965354188800
A Cuisine Texicana place is going to take longer than a regular old meat company to run out.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:36 PM   #1128
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I am OK with a BBQ joint doing "until we run out" as long as the place markets itself that way. I have a choice as to whether to go there at certain times if there is a chance I will not get what I want. Of course, it also drives a longer line at open and I get to make the choice as to whether to wait in that as well. This is obviously very common around my parts. On the other hand, if a place has set hours then I expect them to have food reasonably close to closing time and expect it to be of the quality I would get earlier in the day. My favorite Q place is very successful with his multiple pull system, and though I tend to go at open I am just as comfortable going at other times of the day.
I agree that it is more acceptable to run out of food if you advertise your hours as "until we run out." My main beef (pun intended ) is with having a set closing time and repeatedly running out of food before then which, as I understand it, is what Marubozo has been doing. He has talked about people driving long distances to eat his barbecue, which is great, but how long do you think that is going to last if he runs out of food before they get there?

I just saw on his Facebook page that he has sold 1600 pounds of meat during his first week in business, which is incredible. I hope he is able to keep it up.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:36 PM   #1129
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Good yelp tip, landarc. I haven't had any negative online reviews yet, but I've been doing something similar with the few customers who have called in with a complaint. They seem appreciative of the effort and most have come back in to make good on it.

Anyway, today wasn't as relaxing as it should have been given all the errands I had to run, but I did browse through some quick numbers to get a rough idea as to what happened last week, which was just this past Wednesday through yesterday. I'm sure this isn't representative of the long term trend since we just opened, but it's certainly encouraging.

For those five days, we had roughly $9,500 in gross sales. Then if I look at that week's expenses, from payroll, taxes, food, mortgage, utilities, plowing, etc, that came to about $5,600. Food cost came in right around 37%, which is higher than expected. But at the same time, that is to be expected since with all the craziness and shortages, I made a ton of runs to the local market to buy meats and various foods when we ran out, and those items were priced significantly higher than I'd get otherwise.

I'll still need to dig into the fine details when I enter every transaction into quickbooks, but at first glance all I can say is wow. When looking at my original projections in terms of customers and sales, I was planning on only doing about $3,000/week in gross sales, with my break even point at just $2,000/week. So even after the new restaurant honeymoon is over and if sales drop by 50%, that's still far beyond my expectations.

But that's enough business for tonight. After a few naps and personal errands today, it's time for some blues and a bourbon. Then it's off to the radio station tomorrow to record my interview.
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Old 02-03-2014, 09:10 PM   #1130
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Great news so far. I have a couple of questions:
1. are you taking a salary?
2. Are you counting insurance, real estate taxes, etc into all that?

All in all, from what you have described, you look like you are in great shape so far. I wish you continued success. I am a small business owner as well and I always root for the small businessman. I hope to come try it out in the spring!
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Old 02-03-2014, 09:32 PM   #1131
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Originally Posted by oifmarine2003 View Post
Great news so far. I have a couple of questions:
1. are you taking a salary?
2. Are you counting insurance, real estate taxes, etc into all that?

All in all, from what you have described, you look like you are in great shape so far. I wish you continued success. I am a small business owner as well and I always root for the small businessman. I hope to come try it out in the spring!
Well, I'm not taking a salary in terms of getting a check every other week with the payroll run. But I am paying myself a little.

And yes, I'm counting all expenses like insurance, RE taxes, and so on. That's the one benefit of being out here in BFE. The mortgage is low, real estate taxes are low, utilities are low, etc. In fact, I think I pay more on my home electric bill than I do at the restaurant. It's crazy.
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:17 PM   #1132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marubozo View Post
Well, I'm not taking a salary in terms of getting a check every other week with the payroll run. But I am paying myself a little.

And yes, I'm counting all expenses like insurance, RE taxes, and so on. That's the one benefit of being out here in BFE. The mortgage is low, real estate taxes are low, utilities are low, etc. In fact, I think I pay more on my home electric bill than I do at the restaurant. It's crazy.
You are looking good then! Keep it up!
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Old 02-04-2014, 02:00 AM   #1133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marubozo View Post
Well, I'm not taking a salary in terms of getting a check every other week with the payroll run. But I am paying myself a little.

And yes, I'm counting all expenses like insurance, RE taxes, and so on. That's the one benefit of being out here in BFE. The mortgage is low, real estate taxes are low, utilities are low, etc. In fact, I think I pay more on my home electric bill than I do at the restaurant. It's crazy.
I (and I am sure everyone here) really appreciate you letting us in on the back end details of your journey. As has been mentioned many times, you are living the life that so many of us have pondered but never been able to pull off.

As for Yelp, let me know if you need any advice (for some reason or another, I am actually a Yelp Elite). It can be a very powerful tool both good and bad if you manage it appropriately. The one thing I would recommend when you reply is to not make it seem like an automatic form letter. There is a local BBQ joint that replies to almost every review good and bad. Both sound "canned." I have met the guy, and he is a decent owner who puts out solid product. He just needs to put more thought into replying to the exact comments and not just replying.
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Old 02-04-2014, 03:01 AM   #1134
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Jeremy, what radio station are you going to be on and when will the interview air?
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:06 AM   #1135
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Jeremy, what radio station are you going to be on and when will the interview air?
It's 96.1 WSBT. What they are doing is a 30 minute interview and then editing it into a bunch of small segments, which will then run throughout the entire day on Wednesday. I'm not sure if it starts this Wednesday or next week though.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:02 PM   #1136
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I'm sure you are because you mentioned your wife is an attorney, but you are incorporated right? It can have have massive implications if you wind up having a judgment against you.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:07 PM   #1137
landarc
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It's 96.1 WSBT. What they are doing is a 30 minute interview and then editing it into a bunch of small segments, which will then run throughout the entire day on Wednesday. I'm not sure if it starts this Wednesday or next week though.
this is pretty cool
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:41 PM   #1138
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Radio thing went well. It should air next wednesday.

Then I got a call this afternoon from channel WNDU 16. They are coming out tomorrow to film a segment and show off the food.

No pressure or anything. I'm still trying to catch up on sleep.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:44 PM   #1139
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Take all the free advertising you can get! Post a link to it when they post it please.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:52 PM   #1140
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Radio thing went well. It should air next wednesday.

Then I got a call this afternoon from channel WNDU 16. They are coming out tomorrow to film a segment and show off the food.

No pressure or anything. I'm still trying to catch up on sleep.
Congrats maybe we can see a copy of it
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