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Catering, Vending and Cooking For The Masses. this forum is OnTopic. A resource to help with catering, vending and just cooking for large parties. Topics to include Getting Started, Ethics, Marketing, Catering resources, Formulas and recipes for cooking for large groups.


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Unread 01-18-2009, 02:16 PM   #91
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Take the plung we'll be here for ya.

I've never shown this on the board. For now at least I intend for this to be my branding. Let me know what you think. The trade mark is in the wrong place, so I have to fix that.
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Unread 01-18-2009, 02:39 PM   #92
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Nice I like it
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Unread 01-21-2009, 12:32 AM   #93
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It gets my attention.
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Unread 01-25-2009, 02:01 AM   #94
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Our first week is now in the books... Things are tough right now with the weather. We are in the grips of a inversion. Everything is gray and cold. So to say that we started out rough is and understatement. Wednesday it rained like crazy and it was bone chilling cold. Didn't do much but get some attention from passers by. Thursday was a little better. I started out just offering sammies. Every person that came to the window wanted meals. Sold them what I could and took notes.
Friday (weather was much better) I threw together some beans and ran a 2 meat combo as the special. Brisket, Pulled pork or sausage were the choices. Came with beans and a bag of chips. We sold several of those. Got pretty excited by the number of folks that stopped for grub on our second real day of service.
Today (Saturday) left me scratching my head. Ran a one meat meal as the special and didn't sell one of them. Can't predict the public. We are getting some great feedback which is encouraging.
Next week I'm back at it. Gonna start on tuesday this week just to see what kind of turn out I might get. I'm going to run specials again, Tuesaday PP sammie, Wed - 2 Meat Combo, Thurs - Tri Tip combo, Fri i'm thinking of doing a rib special. Thinking about a family meal with a couple of racks and sides. Enough for 4-6 people. Saturday we are booked with auction gigs so I won't be out there.
I'll keep you all posted as we progress. The inversion is supposed to break up on Monday. We have our fingers crossed. It will be the first hint of sunshine we have had in more than 2 weeks!

What do you guys think about the rib special? It will run around $45 to feed the family. Is that to much to ask from a roadside vendor?
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Unread 01-25-2009, 08:24 AM   #95
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Hey sounds about like what I went through although I started a little earlier in the season I did the same head scratching on meals and when and what they want. I also did the family meal thing had a few bites but wasted alot so I decided to do them on a order only basis and promoted it to the lunch crowd and did better with it.Also we did very well with chicken breast sammies and steamed dogs went well also with chili and other fixens helped to get some extra $ each day. Hang in there bud it will happen if you want to chat sometime PM for my number.
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Unread 01-25-2009, 09:24 AM   #96
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Today (Saturday) left me scratching my head. Ran a one meat meal as the special and didn't sell one of them. Can't predict the public. We are getting some great feedback which is encouraging.
Next week I'm back at it. Gonna start on tuesday this week just to see what kind of turn out I might get. I'm going to run specials again, Tuesaday PP sammie, Wed - 2 Meat Combo, Thurs - Tri Tip combo, Fri i'm thinking of doing a rib special. Thinking about a family meal with a couple of racks and sides. Enough for 4-6 people. Saturday we are booked with auction gigs so I won't be out there.
I'll keep you all posted as we progress. The inversion is supposed to break up on Monday. We have our fingers crossed. It will be the first hint of sunshine we have had in more than 2 weeks!

What do you guys think about the rib special? It will run around $45 to feed the family. Is that to much to ask from a roadside vendor?
Sammies are our biggest seller it seems regardless of which Market we do. I think they use it as a way to sample our meat before the splurge on a meal. Those who like the sammies usually come back for the meal. Hang in there and the crowds will come. If you're not advertising then you have to depend on word of mouth and the grapevine is not what it used to be.

Also if you think the meal is worth $45 then it's not to much. We have a guy that comes to us every Saturday to get his half rack. Also sometimes we have to make up prices on the spot because people just want meat. So give yourself some wiggle room. We kind of gauge our prices on what we charge for the sammie X's how ever much more we give. (e.g. our rib sammie has 2 bones for $4, people who just want the ribs and no bread we give them 3 ribs and charge $5) The people love it.
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Unread 01-25-2009, 11:20 AM   #97
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We struggled a bit late last fall with vending roadside when gas was $4 a gallon, and expect our business to be a touch soft this year roadside, but catering keeps rolling along (thank god).
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Unread 01-25-2009, 03:10 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokinit View Post
Hey sounds about like what I went through although I started a little earlier in the season I did the same head scratching on meals and when and what they want. I also did the family meal thing had a few bites but wasted alot so I decided to do them on a order only basis and promoted it to the lunch crowd and did better with it.Also we did very well with chicken breast sammies and steamed dogs went well also with chili and other fixens helped to get some extra $ each day. Hang in there bud it will happen if you want to chat sometime PM for my number.
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Originally Posted by MrsMista View Post
Sammies are our biggest seller it seems regardless of which Market we do. I think they use it as a way to sample our meat before the splurge on a meal. Those who like the sammies usually come back for the meal. Hang in there and the crowds will come. If you're not advertising then you have to depend on word of mouth and the grapevine is not what it used to be.

Also if you think the meal is worth $45 then it's not to much. We have a guy that comes to us every Saturday to get his half rack. Also sometimes we have to make up prices on the spot because people just want meat. So give yourself some wiggle room. We kind of gauge our prices on what we charge for the sammie X's how ever much more we give. (e.g. our rib sammie has 2 bones for $4, people who just want the ribs and no bread we give them 3 ribs and charge $5) The people love it.
What size of sammie are you guys serving? We are doing 1/3lb sammies on 4 1/2 in buns, meat combos are 1/4 of each meat. We are charging $6 for the sammies. $8.50 for 2 meat combo and $9.50 for 3 meat.
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Unread 01-25-2009, 04:04 PM   #99
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Default Festivals-Arts and Craft Shows?

I have a couple of questions that I sure could use some help on: 1. Does anyone do festivals or arts and craft shows or the like? How difficult is it to get into this area?

2. Has anyone had any dealings with Southern Yankee Smokers and Concession Trailers?

Thanks
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Unread 01-25-2009, 04:14 PM   #100
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Quote:
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I have a couple of questions that I sure could use some help on: 1. Does anyone do festivals or arts and craft shows or the like? How difficult is it to get into this area?

2. Has anyone had any dealings with Southern Yankee Smokers and Concession Trailers?

Thanks
I do some of both and you should try to find out how many people come through the event to see if it's worth doing. I don't go unless 10000 or more people attend. Some are hard to get into if they are popular and you can be put on a waiting list and some they are looking for new people. Weather can greatly affect the turn out also and this can be the make or break for the weekend. The Southern Yankees look well built but I no nothing about how they actually cook.
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Unread 01-25-2009, 04:33 PM   #101
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I do an art / wine fair every year, as well as a couple smaller events. When i started, there was a waiting list, now it is invitation only. We sell about $10,000 gross over 2.5 days. The first year we did it, we estimated light and made a mad dash to the Sam's club when we sold out of our Sunday supplies on Saturday.
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Unread 01-25-2009, 06:38 PM   #102
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This season will be our third or fourth year at some of the festivals where we vend. We will vend at smaller festivals if the application fee isn't over the top. For example, there is a Strawberry festival just down the street from us that wants $1,650 for a spot and the crowds are not that big. People think we are crazy for not vending in our own backyard, but we tried it there one year and lost a lot of money. We pay $2,500 to vend at the Red Bull GP at Laguna Seca raceway, but we make a lot of money because of the massive crowds. At that event lines are 40 people deep during the middle of the day. We now even sell tri-tip breakfast burritos because we see people looking for food even before the gates open.

Some events the organizers ask us before we leave for the weekend if we'll come back next year. I think that is because we try to work with the organizers instead of being whiners. I can't tell you how many times I have seen vendors scream and yell at the organizers instead of trying to work through their issues. The organizers often say those people will not be asked back. It never pays to be a primadonna.

The biggest festival in our area, The Gilroy Garlic Festival, we have been on the waiting list for 3 years. It's almost impossible to get in there!

Ask a lot of questions of the organizers. Try to get the name of some of their regular vendors and talk to them, if you are able. When you are at an event talk to the other vendors and ask about their experiences and where are their favorite place to vend, etc.
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Unread 01-25-2009, 09:45 PM   #103
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...We now even sell tri-tip breakfast burritos because we see people looking for food even before the gates open.
Marsha if you don't mind I want to steal the tri-tip breakfast burrito.

We start a new market on Tuesday and it opens at 8:00. The market manager asked us to try and do a bbq twist on breakfast and so far were have pig candy and fatties on croissants.
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Unread 01-25-2009, 09:58 PM   #104
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Marsha if you don't mind I want to steal the tri-tip breakfast burrito.

We start a new market on Tuesday and it opens at 8:00. The market manager asked us to try and do a bbq twist on breakfast and so far were have pig candy and fatties on croissants.
We have sliced fatties thin, like shaving a gyro. Add a little canned sausage gravy that is in the pit with the scramled eggs in 1/2 pans. Put in a burrito wrapper.
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Unread 01-25-2009, 11:21 PM   #105
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This will be our first year of vending big festivals and such as well. Last year we tried to get into some of them only to find that they were fully booked months in advance. Those that we did get into last year were small. Honestly, I'm thankful of that. The smaller events give you a chance to get things down. Helps you learn the ropes without spending a ton of cash. We did a music festival last summer. Had approx 3000 people a day over 2 days. We were the only food vendor on site. I've never cooked so much so fast in my life! We didn't make a ton of money (because I over purchased on some stuff) but it was enough to cover the hard cost, payroll and put some money in our pockets. It was good experience. Having never vended like that before I found there to be a wicked learning curve. As Marsha mentioned do your homework on the event and don't over extend yourself. Hope this help.
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