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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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Unread 08-19-2013, 02:25 PM   #1
smitty68521
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Default Looking to start a Mobile BBQ

I have been smoking ribs, brisket and also bbq'ing for a long time out of my backyard. I have people who come over year round to eat. I love to do it and yeah, it even boosts my ego a little bit when everyone is saying how great it tastes.

I am currently in IT and want to venture out into something I love even more. I don't have a ton of cash to invest but would like to start out small doing some catering and such and build to a mobile bbq. I have already done some research as far as health department regs and such but want to get some pointers on what to look out for in starting this. I want to see what I can get going starting next summer.

Thanks for any input
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Unread 08-19-2013, 02:36 PM   #2
Bludawg
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Since FREE BBQ it the best BBQ it is time to test the market. The next time all your free customers come to eat charge 'em if they grumble don't quit the day job.
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Unread 08-19-2013, 03:08 PM   #3
Pyle's BBQ
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Check out the catering sections. There are a lot of us over there that will give unfiltered assessments.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=30

You say mobile BBQ. There different types. More specifics will be required.
Also, the mods may move this to the catering section any way.
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Unread 08-19-2013, 03:19 PM   #4
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there's a ton to consider. First off your health department. I don't know about your state. but in NY most food trucks fall under whats considered "mobile fast food" truck. Which means you need to have a commissary or commercial kitchen that you do most of your prep work/cooking. After the health dept requirements. there's a ton more.

First off, a decent truck, or truck and trailer is going to run you between 60-100k. if you get into an accident, something doesn't work, you're not making money that day.

Secondly, you need a place to park it, where it's highly accessible, easy to park, and on a road with plenty of traffic.

Think a lot about this, food trucking is a hard business. Don't forget the saying, the best way to make a small fortune in the restaurant business is to start with a large one.
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Unread 08-19-2013, 03:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty68521 View Post
I have been smoking ribs, brisket and also bbq'ing for a long time out of my backyard. I have people who come over year round to eat. I love to do it and yeah, it even boosts my ego a little bit when everyone is saying how great it tastes.

I am currently in IT and want to venture out into something I love even more. I don't have a ton of cash to invest but would like to start out small doing some catering and such and build to a mobile bbq. I have already done some research as far as health department regs and such but want to get some pointers on what to look out for in starting this. I want to see what I can get going starting next summer.

Thanks for any input
I'm in IT right now too and I am planning my catering/vending business. Funny, with what you just said, you sound a lot like me!

That being said, I would suggest you take your time and let the business opportunities come to you in manageable pieces. Here's how I started and why I'm headed down the BBQ biz route.

I had people telling me how good my BBQ was, and that I should open a restaurant. So, I tested the waters a bit by doing a free cook for my job. I simply told everybody not to plan lunch on a Friday, and that I would provided some BBQ... just because. So, I did pulled pork, beef brisket, homemade sauce and some coleslaw. Very simple but enough to test the waters. They absolutely loved it! I didn't pull the pork or slice the brisket until lunch time, so you can image how the BBQ smell filled the air all over the office. My manager came, his manager came, some of the partners came, and before lunch was over, I had a paid catering gig on my calendar from one of the managers. Word of mouth got out and before you know it, I was doing at least one catering gig a quarter without even really trying.

Now, I have people asking me to cater all the time. Many times I have to turn them down because my day job gets in the way. But I think I have enough of a following to at least ramp up the catering a bit more, and do some vending at a few events. 2014 is the year I really begin to market my business with promos, real sales efforts to get business, and participating in vending opportunities. I have my LLC and my EIN, and I have my business bank account with options for payroll and taxes already in place. I still need to renew my ServeSafe certification and get some liability insurance. These are all "infrastructure" items I need to have in place before January 2014. I have ample cookers to do catering events of up to 100 people, but no larger, so a new smoker is in the plans and I will have it by Q2 2014.

Lastly, I am going to participate in more competitions so I can get some additional "Award Winning" accolades I can put on my banners because right now I only have one! LOL!

Anyway, my point is I have a 2-year plan for really getting my business off the ground. I have a lot to do, so I am trying prioritize everything so that I do the business stuff right, and so I can enjoy the fun of feeding people BBQ.

I hope some of these ramblings on helps in some kind of way! Good luck brother!
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Unread 08-19-2013, 03:30 PM   #6
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The food truck business is just starting to get going here. One truck who has a really aggressive marketing strategy has specific days that it goes to different businesses. We have a large industrial park, and a really large research park that they frequent. They email the menu the day before he will be at your building and you can pre order if you want. They do a booming business. They are also not afraid to let people know if they are just not getting enough business out of that stop, and will let you know they are just down the street etc.... There is always a line for the truck. It is not a BBQ truck, more of a specialty sandwhich truck.

There are also two other food trucks that pretty much live just outside two local taprooms. They do a pretty good business as well. One of these is a taco truck, the other is a burger truck.
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Unread 08-19-2013, 03:58 PM   #7
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What is with IT guys and BBQ!! LOL

I am an IT Geek for a living as well ... spent the last 6 months getting catering and cooking all figured out. Took 2 different Dept of Health classes for Food Safety and Food Management. They came and looking over my pit and my cooking area. I have 2 indoor dogs so I had to setup a kitchen (Fridge, running water, and a prep table) in the garage. I am in process of getting a LLC for insurance and some protection.

I by no means am going to do it as a every day food business... market it tough for that but weekend catering seems to be sustainable and if done right should yield a couple grand a month, just depends on how hard I work to get gigs (Fellow Geeks see what I did there :P ).
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Unread 08-19-2013, 04:22 PM   #8
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With all the IT guys starting BBQ business I might need to get a job in IT ...LOL just playing around ...I wish everyone nothing but the best
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Unread 08-19-2013, 04:24 PM   #9
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1 more quick thing IT doesn't mean internal temp. does it
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Unread 08-19-2013, 04:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
Since FREE BBQ it the best BBQ it is time to test the market. The next time all your free customers come to eat charge 'em if they grumble don't quit the day job.
If it's FREE, they can't be "customers". So, charging people who normally get free chow will of course cause a rumbling.
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Unread 08-19-2013, 07:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by letdasmokeroll View Post
1 more quick thing IT doesn't mean internal temp. does it
No! It means: I'm Tired of working for other people! LOL!
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Unread 08-19-2013, 07:44 PM   #12
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hahahahahaha
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Unread 08-19-2013, 10:05 PM   #13
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I think I'm going to start doing IT part time.
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Unread 08-19-2013, 10:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyle's BBQ View Post
I think I'm going to start doing IT part time.

You should Pyle's. I heard it's a great way to get into BBQ!
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Unread 08-19-2013, 10:48 PM   #15
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I know a guy in Neb that is on a different forum, I haven't chatted with him for some time , but he was cooking and selling bbq. I'll pm you. His name is Jeff T
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