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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 08-16-2013, 10:30 AM   #1
cmohr74
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Default Bi-weekly BBQ Catering Idea looking for feedback

Looking for feedback on an idea. I saw this when I was on vacation once and it sparks interest in me in transitioning into the bbq world. Maybe jumbled with information, so bare with me please. I am looking into getting into small catering things and got quotes in the insurance and forming an LLC to CYA. Once every other week, generally on a Friday or Saturday, I would rent out the certified kitchen space at the park district. I would also rent out space at the park next to the kitchen facility that has the soccer and baseball fields and whatnot. To help offset costs and promote the park district and get possibly reduce the cost of the rental space, a percentage of the total would go back to the park district. This way I could get rental fees for free for promoting their memberships. I would hand out flyers at the park district and hang a banner at the park a week ahead of time that Friday night is BBQ night at this location. I would have them call or email to verify a number of people so that I could figure out an amount. If you show up that day it is at least $1.00 more/pp. One standard dinner of pulled pork sandwich, side of baked beans, bag of chips and a drink is the specificed dollar amount. Any thoughts or feedback on if this idea is worth pursuing would be appreciated. Thank you ahead of time. Figured this would get my foot in the door for getting my name out there.
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Unread 08-16-2013, 02:26 PM   #2
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is the idea of this to be able to use the kitchen? there is a commerical kitchen near us in Carol Stream thats fairly cheap if you want info on it
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Unread 08-16-2013, 02:41 PM   #3
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In the county where I live I wouldn't do it since I would need to have that commissary inspected and get a catering license for my business with the commissary address to do what you are talking about and that's about $1k in permit costs. That's too much money in my book for what you are looking to do. If you could use that kitchen at other times for catering or other events it would make sense. Before you think too far into this, go immediately to the health department and sit down with them and go over your idea. Remember, food safety is their primary goal so keep that in mind with any plans or ideas you present them.
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Unread 08-16-2013, 04:42 PM   #4
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I too strongly suggest you speak with your HD about your plan to find out if there are any licensing/permit aspects that you are not aware of.

Then sit down and write up a detailed business plan. Research ALL of your costs; rents, permits, licenses, fees, cost of goods, cost of consumables, etc, etc (don't forget to add in the cost of Your Time). Then put the total real/estimated costs up against your estimated gross receipts (be careful not to over-estimate your gross receipts). See if it looks like it it worth your while. If so give it a try and see how it pans out in reality. There is always Risk in business.

One possible issue I see may be the manner in which you plan to "take orders". If the prospective customer phones/emails orders ahead of time what happens if they do not show up? You have prepared food based on these numbers and you could end up with a large amount of waste. My suggestion would be to cook "X" amount and plan to sell out. Then adjust the cook quantity up for the next time based on your sales experiences from the last cook.
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Unread 08-16-2013, 10:37 PM   #5
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Yes go for it! Make your first call to the health dept and find out what they will require and put your plan in motion. Good Luck
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