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Catering, Food Handling and Awareness *OnTopic* Forum to educate us on safe food handling. Not specifically for Catering or competition but overall health and keeping our families safe too.


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Unread 05-06-2009, 11:29 AM   #1
farklf
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Default Can I make money as a BBQ vendor?

I think I'm about to lose my job. I work from home as a computer programmer. But my work-from-home has been cancelled. I am to report to a job 6 hours away. My wife of 19 years can't come because of her elderly parents. We tried it once for a bout 6 months and I realized it sucked. That's when they offered me WFH. I jumped at it. Now, after 6 months it's being cancelled because of a bad review. The first bad review I have ever had in 26 years of programming. Anyway, I'm not going back and I have to do something. Programming jobs here are for the young kids and I really don't want to report to anyone else. I want to make a living selling BBQ and fried rice.

Can it be done? I am taking a Small Business workshop in a couple of weeks. Anybody have anymore suggestions.

Wish me luck!!!
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Unread 05-06-2009, 11:40 AM   #2
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No advise, but GOOD LUCK!
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Unread 05-06-2009, 11:49 AM   #3
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farklf, I feel for you, I really do. Hang in there I wish you the best of luck!
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Unread 05-06-2009, 12:09 PM   #4
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Do some due diligence before you jump off the deep end. Do some research with the HD to see what is allowed (required) in your area for vending. Not to mention any licensing and insurance that might be needed.
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Unread 05-06-2009, 01:45 PM   #5
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yes, note my signature line.
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Unread 05-06-2009, 01:50 PM   #6
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I think you can do it if you are really prepared...

First, talk with the Health Department... They have very specific rules for this sort of thing...

Second, check out the forum "Catering and Cooking For The Masses." These are people that are doing what you're talking about...

Third, the easiest way to start is to hook up with a catering company part time... Get your feet wet with out being in over your head and still learn all the parts of vending/catering while getting paid for it.
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Unread 05-06-2009, 02:57 PM   #7
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Thanks!!!!
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Unread 05-06-2009, 03:39 PM   #8
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fark, it can be done if you want it. That is the key, "If you want it".
You can do it if you push yourself, I promise you!
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Unread 05-06-2009, 04:00 PM   #9
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My wife always asks why I don't do something like that...I tell her, "If I'm doing it as a job...it becomes a job. If I'm doing it because I love it, it's for the love of doing it." I seriously considered doing the local farmers market thing, but once I started checking into the HD codes and all the red tape...I quickly decided I was happy doing it in my backyard for friends and family.
I wish you the best of luck...and yes, check out the "cooking for the masses thread" before you make any quick decisions.
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Unread 05-06-2009, 04:52 PM   #10
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It can be done but make sure you are doing it because you love doing it AND you love serving people. In my experience, programmers tend to be reclusive. You really have to like people. No matter how good your food is, you still have to sell.
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Unread 05-06-2009, 05:35 PM   #11
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There has been a lot of good advice so far. I am in franchising and I have seen a lot of people make the jump to "business owner". Most do it because they love the job but being owner is much more than the "job". There is so much more than just the part they love that they get overwhelmed. You will suddenly be responsible for everything: hiring, firing, staffing efficiently, vendor relations, sales, marketing, accounting etc. Mista made a great point. Regardless of the business, you will find that you are really in sales and marketing. Be prepared. I would recommend reading The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. It is a great read about the potential pitfalls of business ownership and how to avoid them. I have seen many new business owners start up having never owned a business before and go on to great success while others learn that the ownership aspect is just not for them. I have seen all personality types succeed. Do an honest character study of yourself and hire to your weaknesses. If you are not good with numbers, get an accountant etc. Whatever your decision, I wish you the best of luck and if you do make the jump, keep us posted on your progress.
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Unread 05-06-2009, 06:42 PM   #12
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My man Bigmista is absolutely spot on. Most people overlook the fact that a big part of the product being offered is YOU. They are buying into your ability to deliver good food at a good price.

And Diver's recommendation on The E-Myth Revisited is well worth picking up. There is a lot you can learn from this little book.

Good luck with your possible venture!
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Unread 05-06-2009, 09:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester View Post
My man Bigmista is absolutely spot on. Most people overlook the fact that a big part of the product being offered is YOU. They are buying into your ability to deliver good food at a good price.

And Diver's recommendation on The E-Myth Revisited is well worth picking up. There is a lot you can learn from this little book.

Good luck with your possible venture!
Dead on, plus remember it is a business first. You need to be intimate with your cost of goods, cost of sales, and what your time is worth. And yes, customers are buying you and your product. Underpromise and overdeliver is how a small service business survives and thrives.
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Unread 05-06-2009, 10:01 PM   #14
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Are you going to just vend, or cater as well?
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Unread 05-07-2009, 05:57 AM   #15
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You can do it.

Crawl, walk, then run.

Get the word out. Do some catering work (neighbors, churches, sports teams, parties, etc.).
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