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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 05-02-2014, 02:21 PM   #1
Smokesignalsfromtx
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Default Same story, different guy...

Ok, like most of us I've been doing Q for awhile now. More and more I'm asked to do some briskets or butts for others for different occasions (birthdays, engagements, etc...) I'm not at all interested in the whole catering gig, but wouldn't mind Q'n the meat for them to pickup and serve themselves. If I were to do this what should I be charging, or how should I charge? Seems word of mouth travels extremely fast!......😳😁
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Unread 05-02-2014, 02:31 PM   #2
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When I cook extra for a friend, I charge them the raw cost of the meat and add $5 usually. I am already cooking something for myself and I usually have the room so all I am covering is the cost of seasonings and some of the pellets. I am not looking to make money, just cover costs.
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Unread 05-02-2014, 02:49 PM   #3
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When I cook meat for others, I tell them what the meat and materials will cost. That is what I charge. I never charge for my services or time, I don't want to be at all responsible as a business, legitimate or not, for what happens once the meat is done and delivered. If I am not going to be there, I will rarely cook at all for people.

If I was going to do what you are planning on doing, I would decided to whether to do it right, nor not do it at all. Since I see it as taking money away from someone who has a legitimate business, I prefer not to cook on the sly for people I do not know, or for events I will not be attending. Let the real caterers make money.

To do the charge right, simply charge 3x the cost of the ingredients. At least then, the pros have a fighting chance to compete
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Unread 05-02-2014, 03:49 PM   #4
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Of course I would do it right. I wouldn't serve poorly cooked food!

Jk!

Landarc I think you answered my question. If I decide to do it, I plan on doing it properly. I have very close friends that own their own catering business and they have also asked me to prepare briskets for them instead of them purchasing it by the pound from say dickeys BBQ. They have offered to pay what the local "big boys" are asking. They would prepare and serve. I have no interest in that. I guess I was asking more to see if it would be worth getting permits etc to do it.
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Unread 05-02-2014, 04:55 PM   #5
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$85 for a whole brisket and $50 for pork butt. Doing 2 briskets for a party tonight. Going the extra mile and making them burnt ends.
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Unread 05-02-2014, 05:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokesignalsfromtx View Post
Seems word of mouth travels extremely fast!......😳😁
It can to the health dept too Sorry had to say it LOL just keep that in mind though. I can tell you that cost x 3 is a standard formula to get a ball park amount
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Unread 05-02-2014, 07:36 PM   #7
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Ok, now is 3x the standard for just the cook, uncut and delivered? I want to make it clear that I will only be cooking. NO SLICING, SERVING, NOTHING! Just the meat and dats it!
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Unread 05-02-2014, 11:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokesignalsfromtx View Post
Ok, now is 3x the standard for just the cook, uncut and delivered? I want to make it clear that I will only be cooking. NO SLICING, SERVING, NOTHING! Just the meat and dats it!
Yes, that is what most of us use. I would get that in writing too. That way everyone knows what is expected.
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Unread 05-03-2014, 07:39 AM   #9
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As HBMTN stated, the HD will eventually find out what you are doing. All it takes in one caterer to hear about your operation and chooses to rat you out to the HD. Believe me it happens more often than you think.

You need to be aware that what you are talking about is performing food service to the public. It will be a food service business and along with that you are accountable for having a number of licenses, access to a licensed commercial kitchen to do prep and clean wares, insurance (liability for sure), following all HD regs, etc, etc.

The HD can shut you down if you are not complying with the regs.

One, or more, customers get sick and you can be sued. If you are not incorporated or operating under a well constructed LLC you will be risking all of your personal assets.

And as Pyle stated, put it in writing. We use contracts for our sales. Everything is spelled out so there is no guessing or assuming. We also require a non-refundable deposit (equal to the cost of the food) so we are covered if the customer cancels after our specified date.

I don't mean to dissuade you but please be aware of all the consequences that may apply. It all depends on what level of risk you are willing to take.
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Unread 05-05-2014, 12:01 PM   #10
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Thats how it starts.

Then its Little Johnny's Bday party, only 20 folks or so...

Then its Suzies graduation only about 75 people...

All with "dude your brisket is awesome, pleeeeassse"

Next thing you know your trying to make a living doing it, failing to research the actual vending laws in Houston before you purchase a very expensive trailer so you can set up shop "just like they do in Austin" which is not allowed in any shape or form here..

Sorry, got carried away.

If your buddies are caterers, they should understand the 3x food costs, its kind of the rule of thumb we all fly by. Now, with Brisket being over 3 bucks a pound, you might have to dial that back some for beef.

Good luck!
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Unread 05-08-2014, 08:58 AM   #11
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Just a quick FYI, if you want to be legit in FTW, I believe you need to do two things:

1. Get your food handler's permit - you should do this anyway, you'll learn a lot about safe handling of food. When I did it way back in high school it was a most-of-a-day class with a test at the end.

2. Get a temporary food vending permit for every event you cook: http://fortworthtexas.gov/health/temporary/

The restrictions are MUCH less than for caterers or mobile food vendors, being in compliance is something that's pretty easy to do with minimal equipment. Check the PDF at the bottom of that page. Basically what you would use for a competition setup will be pretty much what you'd use for a temporary vending site. The only extra requirement is that you restrict access to the smoker and cooking area.
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