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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 12-14-2009, 05:55 PM   #16
is One Chatty Farker
Join Date: 10-16-08
Location: Virginia

I would have loved to do like TN BBQ said and just set shop without a full kitchen but here in Virginia they will not let you serve food without a licensed kitchen. You can pull like 4 permits per year to cook without a legal setup, pay a $45 fee and the HD comes and inspects you in the morning and you are good to go for the day. After 4 they say get a kitchen. I am sure each state is different.
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Old 12-14-2009, 06:25 PM   #17
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Join Date: 11-02-08
Location: Cordova, TN

Originally Posted by HoDeDo View Post
Wesman - I got a 30' S&S with the idea it would be my comp kitchen and a vending rig (it was filling that roll previous to my buying it)... I used it that way a couple times, and then upgraded my RV/5th wheel -- and now it sits.

I bought something with the basics... A/C, vend window, 50amp power, Deck for cookers... thinking that while the inside was usable, I could turn it into whatever I wanted, once I figured that out. So investment was minimal up front, with the idea that if the trailer did well, it would pay for its own upgrades to commercial refridgeration, etc. that I could make as I went. vs. dropping $35K for it fully outfitted. Spend 1/3 of that, and grow as you grow. Or if you are handy... buy a shell and build it out yourself. Todd putall the cabinets etc. in his trailer, a make table from a subway, and a commerical fridge himself.

Something to think about... BTW, if you want a 30" S&S - I know where you can get one... since we upgraded the Toy Hauler... the family goes to every event with me, so we just dont use the other trailer at all. LOL

Ruben has the right idea from my take... sweat equity, and then grow with the biz!

I agree, start with a basic unit, power, AC, basic plumbing package, concession/serving window and deck. Make sure it's ok to cook the meat on a open deck with the HD, they may require it to be screened. And depending on their requirements for sinks & appliances, you could get your own cabinets, appliances and sinks at Lowes/Home Depot.
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:53 AM   #18
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Join Date: 07-06-08
Location: Caldwell, Idaho

Originally Posted by TN_BBQ View Post
I'd be more apt to make a go at it with the equip. you already have. You don't "need" a big fancy truck or trailer. You can probably do some part-time catering and "meat by the pound" sorta stuff.

For lunches and ice chest or chaffing pan would work. The key is to get the word out.

Instead of buying a new truck or trailer, I'd buy some new shoes and proceed to wear them out pounding the pavement.
Funny You should say that. Tonight we had a meal catered at work. It was Italian and to be honest it was a notch or 2 below Olive Garden. And that's not saying much. It was decent for a free meal but not memorable. That thing that was discouraging was that my supervisor wants to have him back for pulled pork. I happen to know the caterer's uncle and I know that he cooks his pork in an oven with liquid smoke.

Anyway, I started to thinking along the same lines that you're talking about. I've catered meals for work, Family and Friends that got raves. The only thing I'd need to do here in Idaho is to have a commercial HD approved kitchen to work from. I've decided to approach it from that angle. I have a Friend who owns a Mexican restaurant that I can talk too. In fact I could even work off of His coat tails till I get a few gigs under my belt. Your thoughts?
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