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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 03-29-2008, 07:01 PM   #1
Jester
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Default Best setup for Catering - looking at Spicewine

I've been grillin' off and on since the early 90s and have come to a point were I'm ready to get a bit more serious. Currently I'm using a custom setup that a friend built several years ago. It's great for small parties, gigs, etc., but it can't really handle bigger parties over 30 people.

With that said I began looking at all the options out there. I boiled it down to an FEC100 and Spicewine. Leaning heavily towards Spicewine because this is a style of cooking that I'm much more familiar with versus the FEC100.

I'm sure that there are several Brothers on here that have used the Spicewine for catering. Any tips on things to think about or add to the smoker? Right now I'm giving heavy consideration to going with the twin axle setup for portability. Biggest challenge would be storage and places to cook if not on site.

Something I have also kicked around is going with a small catering kitchen that would not cost much to setup. There are a couple of options available to me in Houston.

Thank you in advance for any and all input!
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Unread 03-29-2008, 07:32 PM   #2
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Quote:
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Something I have also kicked around is going with a small catering kitchen that would not cost much to setup. !
HAH! Good luck on the not cost too much to set up. Best bet is a kitchen at a local church, hall, etc. that doesn't get used much and you can help them foot their bill.

Been there done that. PM me, I'll call and chat. No problemo.

Good luck with everything. It is tough to get into.
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Unread 03-29-2008, 09:39 PM   #3
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I'm bias toward the spicewine because I own one I have had it for right at a year and love it.

now have you really researched catering in Houston? not much money to be made way to many fly by night guys the cater and cut prices just my 2cts.
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Unread 03-29-2008, 09:58 PM   #4
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Couple of things to consider when looking at catering:
Place to cook - Parrot said it best. Another option is to find a restaurant that you can compliment their service, but that's harder than finding a church.
Place to store large amounts of food - That's even harder than finding a place to cook.
Equipment - How far are you willing to go? The whole deal with tents, tables, etc? Find a place that you can rent them from and will handle the setup and take down.
Insurance - What is the cost for the liability? Also you need to make sure that your auto will cover you if you are driving to a gig.
Health Department - Every state/County has their own rules. Know them. Know the cost. If I use a kitchen that is certified, then the state/county doesn't care. They only care when I don't use them, then I have them come out and inspect the setup. It's the only way to do it to cover yourself.
Pricing - You can price whatever you want, but people will only pay what they want to pay. Know what the prices are and what you can charge. Then determine if it's worth it.
Time - If you have a full time job and are doing catering - then you will lose your family time.

I'm not trying to blow you away here, but lessons learned by not having to live them is a lot easier than going through them yourself.

These are some of the things I've learned in the last year. I didn't intend to, but sometimes it seems so easy for others when it's a lot of work and money to get to the point where you're making real money.
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Unread 03-29-2008, 10:34 PM   #5
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Sounds Like an Adventure for sure
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Unread 03-29-2008, 10:56 PM   #6
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What I have learned;
If you want to make any money you have to sacrifice a ton of sleep to keep up with the family. It will cost you $50,000 and 3000 hours to make your first $50,000.
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Unread 03-30-2008, 09:45 AM   #7
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Paul Maybe taking Dust out to Lunch would be a good idea
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Unread 03-30-2008, 10:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrink01 View Post
What I have learned;
If you want to make any money you have to sacrifice a ton of sleep to keep up with the family. It will cost you $50,000 and 3000 hours to make your first $50,000.
Thats close to what my investment has been and this is my first full year last year i didn't get rolling until june when my catering/vending truck was done. last year I did about 12k and this year I have about that booked already so it should be a first good full season. Take you time and do all the reaserch it will make you start up much easier. Good Luck!!
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Unread 03-30-2008, 10:49 AM   #9
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To answer you question on the smoker, the only drawback to a FEC is that it requires electricity to run, where as the Spicewine does not. On the catering, do your homework and do it right, it is better to be safe than sorry!!
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Unread 03-30-2008, 02:13 PM   #10
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Thank you to all who have replied both here and via PM. A couple of Brothers suggested I take a look at Backwoods for several reasons, which made total sense to me. So now they are in the mix.

In reference to the startup capital required ($50,000+), that falls in the area that I've been budgeting. My goal is to crawl before I walk. Getting prepared to serve a larger quantity of people will take a ton of planning. From dealing with the Health Department approvals to building a solid back office to support my business.

I hope to hear from others on here regarding their experience as I'm sure others are lurking just like I did!
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