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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 01-17-2010, 10:18 PM   #1
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Default Specific 'cuts' to ask for when ordering . . .

Good Evening,

Newbie to the site, have spent a lot of time going through the archives...great resources, so I thought I would ask a basic 'newbie' kind of question. If this information already exist in another post, please show me the way.

I have been BBQ/Grilling for several youth agencies fundraisers over the past several years. I must be pretty good at it cause I have a following now. I have my regular job, but weekends are free.

For 2010 I have decided to go BIGGER this year so I have a few questions about dealing with packing houses or food wholesale/distributors.

I have heard that with low and slow you do not need top grade cuts, but I wonder. What about grilling chicken? Whe I go to Sam's or the local Kroger type store I can see the meat, but ordering large quanities....

Anyhow here are the questions.....

When I order what should I be asking for or what should I stay away from when ordering? Should I ask for higher fat cuts for the smoker to keep them moist? size, cut, case pack, shipping, etc., etc., etc.

1. Brisket, Beef
2. Pork butt
3. Pork ribs
4. St Louis ribs
5. Beef ribs
6. Chicken
7. Lamb
8. whole pig

As you can see, a newbie question for sure.

Another question, I am in the northern WV, SW PA area (south of Pittsburgh). Are there any quality area butchers, mom and pop meat counters, that one gets great service for BBQ folks. I know all the food distibutors (Sysco, US), are their any packing houses that are good with prices and quality and work with BBQers.

Who does the big BBQ contest order from when they need lots of meat?

Lots for my first questions....thanks for being patient with me.

Rick
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Unread 01-18-2010, 05:53 AM   #2
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Welcome Rick,

I too have a regular job M-F and started doing Catering on week-ends a couple of years ago. I started out with buying my supplies from BJ's, SAMs, Cosco type stores. I now use a Kitchen Depot store for most of my supplies including the meat. At BBQ Contest, each Team/Vendor buys and brings thier own meat. Sometimes there is a "Peoples Choice" side competition that the event organizer will get Boston Butts donated by a local meat supplier sponsor.

There are several things that I would highly suggest you investigate to become a legitimate BBQ Catering business.
1) Check with local Business Licences Tax office on what it takes to obtain a Business Licence, and get one.
2) Check with local Health Department what is needed for local Catering HD Permit.
3) Look into obtaining a LLC to seperate your personal and business finances and liability.
4) Obtain a State Sales and Usage Tax Number that you will use at wholesalers to not pay taxes during purchase of items consumed and will pay monthly/quarterly/yearly back to the state. You will also use this number to pay back the sales tax you collect with sales.
5) Obtain a Federal Tax number that you would use if employing employees.
6) Obtain a Business Bank Account to keep your personnal funds and Business seperated.
7) Take the Local Health Department "Food Handeling" classes.
8 Obtain a computer program to track your Business finances (I use Quick Books).
9) Last but not least obtain Insurance/Bond ($1 million) that protects you from liability of law suites.

You will find that you will be obtaining equipment with any profits made on the weekend job, but can you ever get some nice toys this way to expand.

Best of luck...
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Unread 01-19-2010, 11:22 PM   #3
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Default Specific cuts of meats

Big Jim,

Thanks for the info. I have already done the business end of the plan, (may do another one) got my business up and running years ago. Mostly I created the 'business' to be legal and abide by the health rules. Even when doing fundraisers approaching it as a business is the way to go.

Now all that said I BBQ/smoke less than 10 times a year (weekend) and most of it was for the non profit groups of which all the money (after expenses) is donated. Most of the money I made was for catering a couple corporate events. As I stated I have a full time job and this is mostly a hobby.

That being said this year I have an opportunity to BBQ/smoke about 8 events this year already, and I do not have any advertising or shingle out for business, so I am thinking about do I want to start a real business venture.

I am doing some research for this opportunity. Most of the cost is the cost of meats. That is why I am asking about specific cuts, grades, size, names, etc. I am contacting packing houses (from online research) and asking questions, but want to make sure I am asking the proper questions with proper terms so I can compare apples and apples.

Which brings me to another question who are the better packing houses to deal with? Just to give you an idea of volume, 1000 lbs of meat per event is not out of the question....of course this was for a fundraiser and people are more willing to buy especially when its mostly pre sold. I would say if I started selling every Saturday (at the corner gas station) or just doing events the 500-700 lb per event would be more accurate. This includes all meats from beef, pork and chicken.

Thanks again,

Rick
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Unread 01-25-2010, 02:46 AM   #4
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I too would like to here some answers I have been Shopping sam's and my local bucther for hogs.but will be doing some fairs and large events this year so looking forward to some ideas.
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Unread 02-03-2010, 07:29 PM   #5
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I find my meats at Restaurant Depot. They ahve all the cuts that you aer looking for and as far as chicken they have both frozen and fresh and have it cut in several options. Just need to make sure that you read the boxes right and or open the lid to see what you are getting. As far as beef and Pork it is in heavy plastic and you can see it also. They sell from select to prime so its all right there. You ahve to ahve a food business license is the only downfall and they want proof that you aer licesned and in catering or restaurant as far as I know.

As far as other sources I also go to Cash and Carry they are a wholesale retailer for restraunts and no membership requied.

Hope that helps a little.
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Unread 02-03-2010, 09:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mlukewow View Post
I find my meats at Restaurant Depot. They ahve all the cuts that you aer looking for and as far as chicken they have both frozen and fresh and have it cut in several options. Just need to make sure that you read the boxes right and or open the lid to see what you are getting. As far as beef and Pork it is in heavy plastic and you can see it also. They sell from select to prime so its all right there. You ahve to ahve a food business license is the only downfall and they want proof that you aer licesned and in catering or restaurant as far as I know.

As far as other sources I also go to Cash and Carry they are a wholesale retailer for restraunts and no membership requied.

Hope that helps a little.
You can also get a Restaurant Depot card if you are a member of KCBS - it's a free benefit (not counting the KCBS dues, of course...).
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Unread 02-03-2010, 09:52 PM   #7
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Watch who your local restaraunts are ordering from. Usually you get good deals on case items. I go through Sysco and another supplier. You get wholesale pricing with your insurance and tax ID, Put the salesmen to work, and make them be competitive.

Pork was trial and error, knowing which pork to get from which supplier. Yours will vary, too. My suppliers both know that I am a Hormel pork user, and break their backs to get me pretty good deals.

Beef was different. Many times I will change brands, but stick with select briskets throughout. You will be amazed at price differences between brands (IBP, Tyson, Swift, etc.)

Chicken for me comes in cases of 50lbs. I have pretty much gone with one supplier for my chicken, as the other can't get the brand that I finally decided I liked.

Call suppliers, see what they need, and then let the bid wars begin.
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Unread 02-04-2010, 09:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txschutte View Post
Watch who your local restaraunts are ordering from. Usually you get good deals on case items. I go through Sysco and another supplier. You get wholesale pricing with your insurance and tax ID, Put the salesmen to work, and make them be competitive.

Pork was trial and error, knowing which pork to get from which supplier. Yours will vary, too. My suppliers both know that I am a Hormel pork user, and break their backs to get me pretty good deals.

Beef was different. Many times I will change brands, but stick with select briskets throughout. You will be amazed at price differences between brands (IBP, Tyson, Swift, etc.)

Chicken for me comes in cases of 50lbs. I have pretty much gone with one supplier for my chicken, as the other can't get the brand that I finally decided I liked.

Call suppliers, see what they need, and then let the bid wars begin.
Good stuff, Shane!
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