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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 03-06-2010, 10:38 AM   #1
Greendriver
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Default Menu For New Q Joint

I have no previous experience in catering or the restaurant business but can't get the urge to try it out of my system and may have stumbled upon a chance to try it without much cash outlay. A guy built a putt putt golf place between my office and home (only live about 5 miles from work) and has a small kitchen already certified and is willing to let me move in and take charge of the kitchen area while he continues with his putt putt deal. Wife says I should not spend any mula on this venture trying to do everything "right" but rather work for profitability right from the start by starting small and cheap. How does this menu sound for a one man show?

Sandwiches - Pulled Pork, Pulled Chicken

(all sandwiches come with chips and pickle spear)

Plates - Pulled Pork, St Louis Spares, Pulled Chicken or Chicken Halves

(all plates come with side of slaw, white beans, loaf bread, pickle spear)

By the Lb BBQ including rib tips.

Know it all wife says just having 3 meats will help a lot on meeting the goal but I wonder if I should have brisket or clod too and also wonder if the sides should be priced separately or not?
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Unread 03-06-2010, 10:56 AM   #2
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You need to find out who your market is. The guys showing up at the putt-putt or is there another opportunity to draw in other customers? If the putt-putt guys are your main customers then I would stick with sandwiches and build from there as demand rises. Too much risk of leftover meat until you get a handle on this. I would ask the customers what they want added to the menu as this goes forward. You need to do what the customers want to buy not what you want to cook. I would look to other opportunities in your area to draw in customers. Ask youself this, would I go to a putt-putt for food? You might need to cater to make this work.
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Unread 03-06-2010, 11:02 AM   #3
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Ditch the pulled chicken. Too much risk in cooking for a one-man show, and it's a pain to prep, pull, avoid cross-contamination, etc. Plus you don't have to worry about trying to explain to customers why the meat has a pink smoke ring. Go with pulled pork, chopped brisket (or sliced for plates), and ribs. Be careful with the amount of ribs you cook at first...get a feel for your draw. I'm thinking your sandwich combo plate will be your best sellers by far. Oh and make sure you have that smoker pumping out some sweet smellin' smoke...that's the key to drawing people in.

Just my $.02

Good luck!

Kev
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Unread 03-06-2010, 11:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PorkQPine View Post
You need to find out who your market is. The guys showing up at the putt-putt or is there another opportunity to draw in other customers? If the putt-putt guys are your main customers then I would stick with sandwiches and build from there as demand rises. Too much risk of leftover meat until you get a handle on this. I would ask the customers what they want added to the menu as this goes forward. You need to do what the customers want to buy not what you want to cook. I would look to other opportunities in your area to draw in customers. Ask youself this, would I go to a putt-putt for food? You might need to cater to make this work.
It would have signage along with the putt putt. I don't think I should count on the putt putt crowd to bring any significant business to me and one reason is he is not doing a lot of business anyway. He does more party events than anything and I could see packaging those with the bbq. I would hope that a little advertising and word of mouth would be enough though especially if the BBQ is as good as I think it is. He has a nice laser tag field too and does some parties with that as well. The building is new and has a large amount of ground level patio space for sitting outside. He would lease the entire property but I don't think I've got the nads to go that route just yet. Sound like you think know it all wife is right - she usually is. Thinking just Wen - Sat for lunch only.
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Unread 03-06-2010, 12:12 PM   #5
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Go for it, I like the go for profit and keep it cheap idea with the kitchen already there for you. Lets you get a feel for it with out a huge investment and you can add things as you wish.
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Unread 03-06-2010, 02:37 PM   #6
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Have you thought about drinks? or does he already sell them? $1 a can for soft drinks Just get them cold low overhead. $7 (high side) for 24 = $17 profit off every case.

Good luck curious how it turns out for you. Hope you can work this in keeping your other job.
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Unread 03-06-2010, 05:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capn Kev View Post
Ditch the pulled chicken. Too much risk in cooking for a one-man show, and it's a pain to prep, pull, avoid cross-contamination, etc. Plus you don't have to worry about trying to explain to customers why the meat has a pink smoke ring. Go with pulled pork, chopped brisket (or sliced for plates), and ribs. Be careful with the amount of ribs you cook at first...get a feel for your draw. I'm thinking your sandwich combo plate will be your best sellers by far. Oh and make sure you have that smoker pumping out some sweet smellin' smoke...that's the key to drawing people in.

Just my $.02

Good luck!

Kev
I like the idea of ditchin the chicken. Hell, everybody buys them rotisserie jobs from the grocery anyway. Thanks
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Unread 03-06-2010, 05:50 PM   #8
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I would not put ribs on the menu to start. They are too expensive. Stick with your pulled pork and rib tips maybe. Once you get everyone addicted to your Q then you can start doing ribs as a special and go from there. You might want to consider smoked chuck roasts, pulled or sliced instead of brisket as well.
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Unread 03-06-2010, 06:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fired Up View Post
I would not put ribs on the menu to start. They are too expensive. Stick with your pulled pork and rib tips maybe. Once you get everyone addicted to your Q then you can start doing ribs as a special and go from there. You might want to consider smoked chuck roasts, pulled or sliced instead of brisket as well.
Very good advice.
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Unread 03-06-2010, 08:39 PM   #10
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I would not start with ribs. If the business grows and there is a demand, add them later. I agree not too many different BBQ meats ... BUT, you need to have a menu KIDS will eat and parents can afford like burgers and hot dogs. They are easy to prepare, good profit margin and little spoilage. It's mom and dad bring the kids to play putt-putt. A 6 year old will like a dog or slice of pizza. Mom and dad will eat the BBQ. If you do just BBQ, you'll see the kids asking mom to go to McD's. Some kids may eat the Q, but, not all. You can add a little variety without a lot of cost or risk.
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Unread 03-07-2010, 12:15 AM   #11
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I suppose that you are talking about a miniature golf park. It does not sound like the park is real busy. This means that you would have to depend on other patrons, other than those there to play pee-wee golf.

Think seriously about the clientele that you would be working with. I think that you will be making quality BBQ for a customer base that could not give a s--t about quality BBQ, and would prefer a premade cardboard pizza. A "Snack Bar" mentality will not support what you are planning. If you are well known for BBQ you may get some of your old customers----if not find a better gig.

You control the "Bait" and you control "Where You Fish"-----so do not go fishing where your bait does not lure in the type of fish that you want to cook.

The only upside to this whole arrangement could be that you rent the kitchen at a price that is low enough to give you a "commissary" for catering. Catering makes money. Serving youngsters food that they don't care about is guuaranteed to be a waste of time and money.

Get the kitchen cheap and go catering---do not turn a dream into a nightmare.

One who has been there and learned the expensive way---Leonard Sanders
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Unread 03-07-2010, 11:37 AM   #12
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chuckwagon is right on use the space for catering and commisary kitchen you are there anyway so ahve a few selections for the kiddies and the q for the parents. I would do a package for his that he can sell with the entire facility for partys and events then its a win win
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Unread 03-07-2010, 07:45 PM   #13
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Sam's has frozen chicken breasts in 5oz portions. 10lbs, 20 bucks.

I rub and put into the smoker frozen. They cook in less than an hour @ 300.00. They come out great, juicey with excellent taste, texture, and portion control. Perfect size for sandwiches.

These account for half of my vending sales some days...
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Thanks from: --->
Unread 03-08-2010, 09:14 PM   #14
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Tyson's breast, 5oz-.66
Sara Lee Bun, 5" .20
Sauce and cup/lid- .10
Chips- .15
Soda- .30
Sack, Naps, Plastic- .05
Rub,Etc...
-----------------------------
Total 1.41

Sell @ 7.00
--------------------------------------
Gross Profit-- 5.59/sale

You can't go wrong...
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Unread 03-08-2010, 09:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckwagonbbqco View Post
I suppose that you are talking about a miniature golf park. It does not sound like the park is real busy. This means that you would have to depend on other patrons, other than those there to play pee-wee golf.

Think seriously about the clientele that you would be working with. I think that you will be making quality BBQ for a customer base that could not give a s--t about quality BBQ, and would prefer a premade cardboard pizza. A "Snack Bar" mentality will not support what you are planning. If you are well known for BBQ you may get some of your old customers----if not find a better gig.

You control the "Bait" and you control "Where You Fish"-----so do not go fishing where your bait does not lure in the type of fish that you want to cook.

The only upside to this whole arrangement could be that you rent the kitchen at a price that is low enough to give you a "commissary" for catering. Catering makes money. Serving youngsters food that they don't care about is guuaranteed to be a waste of time and money.

Get the kitchen cheap and go catering---do not turn a dream into a nightmare.

One who has been there and learned the expensive way---Leonard Sanders
Well said Shipmate!
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