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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 04-15-2009, 10:42 PM   #16
Michael in PA
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I'm with Bigdog, you need to do more research. First, I'll bet there will be other people trying to sell lots of food. Getting 50% penetration seems very unlikely.

You said there is only one bar in town so I guess it's a small town, but then I live in PA where a town of 3,500 can have 11 bars. Where are all of these people going to stay? That's where I would want to be. 5k people aren't all going to head to the town's only bar.

I would strongly recommend that you do more research. My gut feeling is you need to reduce your expectation considerably. I say that not because I want to rain on your parade but because I don't want to see you get stuck. I've been there and done that and it cost me a small fortune.

I wish you the best of luck and hope you satisfy all of your customers and only have one sammie left over.
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Unread 04-15-2009, 11:15 PM   #17
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My figures show I will need 965# of pork, about 1230# of brisket or 1000# of chuck (as an alternate to brisket). This is making 2500 sandwiches of each pork and beef.


WOW Thats some amount of meat. Is that precook or after cook weight? We figure about 5lbs of pulled pork per half pan. If you need 965# of finished pork, taht equals 193 half pans. You should talk to Smokey D. Darren will serve 2500 sandwiches in a weekend of vending and it takes him some serious equipment to get it done. I wish you luck, man thats a BIG job.
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Unread 04-20-2009, 11:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckwagonbbqco View Post
Do the riders all come through in one bunch?? Are you counting on feeding 400 or so every hour for 12 hours? I have found that at big events like this people tend to come in big rushes at meal time. Most people do not want pulled pork or brisket for breakfast---so that narrows down the practical serving time also.

Five dollars for a sandwich and coleslaw seems very inexpensive to me, especially if you are going to share 5% orf the profit. Go to a McDonald's and see what you can get for $5.00---do not short change your own food. The only advantage to charging $5.00 per plate is that counting back change is easy. If you bump your price to $6.00 make sure that you have about $600 dollars in one dollar bills at close hand--Six dollar pricing will cause you to use a pile of one dollar bills for change.

If I was serving pulled pork and brisket ---I would have most of it cooked and pulled ahead of time and use my portable steam table to keep it warm. When I do large groups I try to cook something with a shorter cook time, and doesn't need pulling such as tri-tip or Top Block, and maybe chicken leg and thigh quarters.

I also use a lower end sandwich to help create profit--such as a hot link, bratwurst, polish sausage etc. These sandwiches often have a higher percentage profit---they cook very fast--They are not labor intensive because they don't need pulling---they do not take up much room in the smoker--and they serve quickly and easy. If you are helping the bar---sell hot links----hot links increase beer sales.

It is my opinion that slicing tri-tip or top block is less labor intensive than pulling pork--however the meat cost is higher. If you have friends and family that work cheap---then labor costs won't kill you. I have been told also that tri-tip is hard to find east of the Rockies.
Thanks for the reply.

The people will be staying all over town. A majority of them will be at the fairgrounds, but the entertainment and food will be on the town square. People will be coming in all day long. This is the overnight stop so I figure I will have to go at 10 am and work until 10 pm.

The $5 price was just for ease of making change. I was planning on using chuck roasts instead of brisket. If I was going to slice the beef, I would find a Hobart to use for the day.
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Unread 04-21-2009, 12:04 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in PA View Post
I'm with Bigdog, you need to do more research. First, I'll bet there will be other people trying to sell lots of food. Getting 50% penetration seems very unlikely.

You said there is only one bar in town so I guess it's a small town, but then I live in PA where a town of 3,500 can have 11 bars. Where are all of these people going to stay? That's where I would want to be. 5k people aren't all going to head to the town's only bar.

I would strongly recommend that you do more research. My gut feeling is you need to reduce your expectation considerably. I say that not because I want to rain on your parade but because I don't want to see you get stuck. I've been there and done that and it cost me a small fortune.

I wish you the best of luck and hope you satisfy all of your customers and only have one sammie left over.
Thanks for the things to think about.

The Chamber of Commerce is limiting the number of food vendors that will be allowed to sell food.

5000 people is about 1/3 the people that is estimated to be there. All the activities will be at the town square were i will be located, so visibility will not be a problem.
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Unread 04-21-2009, 12:12 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMDon View Post
My figures show I will need 965# of pork, about 1230# of brisket or 1000# of chuck (as an alternate to brisket). This is making 2500 sandwiches of each pork and beef.


WOW Thats some amount of meat. Is that precook or after cook weight? We figure about 5lbs of pulled pork per half pan. If you need 965# of finished pork, taht equals 193 half pans. You should talk to Smokey D. Darren will serve 2500 sandwiches in a weekend of vending and it takes him some serious equipment to get it done. I wish you luck, man thats a BIG job.
Thanks for the info.

The meat weight I gave above is precooked. That is how much I will have to buy to get this done. I do have an idea on the work this will take. I cooked at the Des Moines Club while going to school, and we prepped for large gatherings and buffets for the members. I have worked at the Renaissance Fair the last few years cooking turkey legs, basically by myself. I am just trying to get my ducks in a row so I don't fall on my face.
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Unread 05-06-2009, 08:48 AM   #21
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Have a backup plan in case you run out of the good stuff, as well. That's when the fast cooking --and long storing if not needed-- links, etc, could make for some happy bike riders....


BBQ at the end of a 100 mile bike ride is magical. I'm ravenous after eating exercise friendly food all day....bananas, bagels, energy gel, Gatorade.....
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Unread 05-16-2009, 10:49 PM   #22
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Having done RAGBRAI a few times when I was younger, good food at the end of the day was always a blessing. Cheap was even better. This year my cousin's riding so I'll tell her to look out for you. Good luck!!
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