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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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Old 11-29-2008, 11:33 AM   #1
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Join Date: 02-20-06
Location: Marana, AZ.
Default Business Plan

Since moving to Tucson I have "catered" three events. At each I fed about 100 people with great reviews at all three. One of the events was an child-adoption party for the VP of my employer. I was approached by a gentleman at this party who complimented me on the brisket, PB and ribs. He asked if I had ever considered doing this "for a living."

I explained to him that while I would love to, I simply do not have the funds to buy all that is needed to do so. I told him about Southern Yankee's BBQ website ( and a little about the catering/food festival rigs that they offer and their costs of between $30-$60k.

He said, "If you are serious in pursuing this, come up with a business plan that allows you to start part-time on the weekends catering or setting up at a Farmers Market, Lowe's or Home Depot. I own a couple of local restaurants and depending upon your plan, I will consider providing financial backing to get you started."

I do not know this guy at all nor have I ever been to his restaurants. I asked why he would offer to do this for a complete stranger and he replied, "You have an obvious love for what you do in regard to BBQ. I have watched you all evening move through this crowd receiving accolades from everyone who tried your food. My start was given to me by a complete stranger and I have been living a dream ever since. I will help you if you are serious and can provide me with a short and long-term business plan."

Needless to say, I was a little speechless. He went on to say his only expectation from me was the simple repayment of his investment within 3-5 years.

I know NOTHING about putting together a business plan.

Any ideas?

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Marana, AZ

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Old 11-29-2008, 12:02 PM   #2
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Here is a nice start. Check the sticky section, Guppie for more goodies.
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Old 11-29-2008, 01:05 PM   #3
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Also check with your local SCORE group. That is basically an organization that is made up of retired CEO's and executives that are there to help entrepenuers get started. Another option is the State, I am not sure of other states, but Michigan has a division that will help you get started, they will assist you on your biz plan, meaning you write it, and they will review it and make suggestions. They are a great resource for us in Michigan.

I also have to ask, are you sold on the Southern Yankees ? There are other less expensive options available that can produce quality results. Just curious...
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Old 11-30-2008, 01:46 AM   #4
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Location: Cartersville, GA

My God, that guy sounds too good to be true TG.

*IF* he really pans out to be a Samaritan and not a con man you should grab hold of him with both hands! Investment partners like that are as rare as hen's teeth. Your typical investor demands only gobs of reporting, oversight and regular profit checks if you are lucky, and meddles with your daily operation too if you are not.

If cooking is your passion and you aren't afraid of working 80 hours a week for the next ten years then get your ducks in a row, have a lawyer draw up some papers and go for it. Just don't get overly excited about having a large chunk of capital - you'll soon see that $50K can disappear all too quickly.
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Old 11-30-2008, 11:55 AM   #5
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SCORE is the way to go. Ranges from CFO to CEOs and many others who have "been there, done that", and are brutally honest.
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Old 11-30-2008, 03:48 PM   #6
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The Small Busness Admistration will help you put your business plan together, review it and give you feedback to improve it. Thats what I'm doing now and the best part of this is that it is a FREE service! Utilize them, they have alot of information on local funds as well as national funds you may qualify for.
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