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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 10-19-2010, 09:00 AM   #1
Philly-QueMaster
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Default Selling Smoked Turkeys for the Holidays

I was thinking about selling some smoked turkeys for the holidays this year to try and make some extra money. Thanksgiving and Christmas seem like the perfect time to sell some smoked turkey. I'm just wondering if anyone has done this or is doing it this year? How would you go about figuring out what to charge? Price per pound? Would you only sell whole turkeys? Would you slice them and sell them by the pound that way?

I was thinking mainly smoking them and selling them whole, and pricing them by the pound. People could pick up the day of. Would it be possible to cook and have them pickup the day before the holiday? I would be concerned about reheating and it drying out. Sorry for all the questions, just trying to get a good plan together and see if its even worth my time.

Thanks
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Unread 10-19-2010, 12:07 PM   #2
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I am planning the same thing, hope you don't mind if I piggyback on your post.
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Unread 10-19-2010, 12:30 PM   #3
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Not at all. I would love some answers and advice from the pros.
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Unread 10-19-2010, 12:48 PM   #4
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"HINT" Also you can smoke pull vac sac pulled pork and freeze. Cook whenever you want I sell usually $30-35 dollars a roast. Hit your customers up the weekend before Super bowl. They thaw crock potted and serve. A hit with my customers. As a matter of fact I have several that have standing orders every year. Good luck!
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Unread 10-19-2010, 01:33 PM   #5
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I did smoked Turkeys last year for Thanksgiving, and it was a hit. I sold 16 of the birds, and I set it up that the turkeys were ready for pickup at my house between 9am and noon. All were nice and hot, ready to slice and enjoy. Have already been approached for this year, but this is the first Thanksgiving I dont have to work in 8 years, so the wife and I are traveling.
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Unread 10-19-2010, 03:38 PM   #6
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So whats the advice on how to price your turkeys? What did you charge per pound?

Ashmont I thought about the pulled pork as well. So you charge $30-35 per butt? And you vac seal them and freeze them for your customers??
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Unread 10-19-2010, 06:44 PM   #7
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We did turkeys last year as well and did them for the day before and soldthem for $30 or $35 depending on the size..
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Unread 10-19-2010, 07:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan in Ga View Post
We did turkeys last year as well and did them for the day before and soldthem for $30 or $35 depending on the size..
Whole Turkeys for $30-35? That seems pretty cheap. How much does a turkey cost from the store?
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Unread 10-20-2010, 08:56 AM   #9
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Back in the day , I did turkeys for around $50 bucks for a 12-15lb bird.
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Unread 10-20-2010, 09:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big brother smoke View Post
Back in the day , I did turkeys for around $50 bucks for a 12-15lb bird.
Thanks BBS. $50 sounds more reasonable. I was kind of thinking cost times 3 to figure out what to charge. Did you have people pickup the day of, or vac seal them and have them pickup in advance?

Thanks,
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Unread 10-20-2010, 10:02 AM   #11
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OK - as a licensed vendor cooling is without a doubt the biggest challenge. With turkeys it's a huge hassle. I would strongly recommend selling them off the smoker the day of (pre ordered of course). And remember somebody picking up a turkey at 9 am and not eating it until 2 pm is likely to get a little sick or they put it in a turkey roaster for 4 hours and it dries out and is a mess.

Every year people see this as a money maker for a little extra holiday cash but the risk is huge. Cooking a couple for neighbors and delivering them at noon-2 for immediate consumption is great but anything else - well it's your risk.
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Unread 10-20-2010, 10:15 AM   #12
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Thanks for the advice.
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Unread 10-20-2010, 10:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philly-QueMaster View Post
So whats the advice on how to price your turkeys? What did you charge per pound?

Ashmont I thought about the pulled pork as well. So you charge $30-35 per butt? And you vac seal them and freeze them for your customers??
Just remember I dont sell to everyone in Joe Publix. It has taken me a long time to build up my rep. Yes I know alot of people and they know me. All of my customers know my cooking by going to a church function where I cooked ect. They know my product! I sell turkeys for $45.00 smoked or deep fried. My suggestion is frozen pulled pork or STL Ribs for New years or superbowl. I also follow up with a quality check either phone call or in person on how they enjoyed the product. Do the KISS method and you will be fine. Like FORD its is a risk and you need to know your customers. Ask when they are going to serve and adjust accordingly.
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Unread 10-20-2010, 11:34 AM   #14
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Since becoming legit several years ago, I really do not do turkeys unless it is for friends, based on the concerns Ford stated.

Plus the profit margin at this stage of the game is too small for me. My free time is worth a lot more than a few bucks profit.
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Unread 10-20-2010, 04:11 PM   #15
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Thanks everyone for the advice. I think I'm going to pass on this idea. Maybe I'll take Ashmonts advice and try selling pre-cooked/frozen pulled pork or ribs. Sounds like a much better plan.
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