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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 10-01-2010, 08:37 AM   #16
Full Fledged Farker
Join Date: 10-30-09
Location: Roxbury,NY

Originally Posted by Ford View Post
1 - plan to lose or break even in the first year - that means you really don't put any money to mortgage, groceries, etc.
When putting together your business plan - if you intend to do this full time - you MUST include a budget line item for owner income. Any small SBA adviser will tell you the same thing. This means you need to take into account your mortgage, bills, groceries, etc. as part of your operating costs. If you cannot make the numbers work to cover operating costs - including a living wage - then you cannot make a go of the business.

Remember - making a living is far different from making money. As you'll basically be spending pretty much every waking hour devoted to your business - after all is is YOUR business & your job - things like premium cable channels are unnecessary. You'll be going out to dinner far less - & likely eating a lot of left over Q. Less time around the house means lower utility bills. Forget having any kids for at least a few years.

Factor all this into what you need to take out of the business monthly to cover a reasonable living. Then take that monthly living amount & add it to the various overhead costs (food, supplies, insurance, equipment, start up debt, etc.) in your business plan. Then make a conservative projection for what you believe you'll make each month - & here is where the mobile biz suffers compared to a small take out joint. If you cannot cover all overhead - including owner wage - with your sales projection, then the business is not going to work.

On a side note - I opened a small take out joint for about what Ford spent on his mobile rig. Difference is:

1. I am open 5 days a week
2. No set up/tear down (have done that & it can wear on you quickly)
3. Weather is rarely a factor. (Actually find we have better days when the weather is dreadful. Folks dig comfort food on sloppy days.)
4. Operate year round.
5. Fixed location allows for a devoted & regular clientele.

Finally - my wife is a partner in the business. (Actually - she's the president of the corporation. Made myself vice prez.) She & I currently run the joint by ourselves with the occasional weekend kid. You have to have the wife on board - definitely.
Frank Davis
Cha Cha Hut BBQ : 43311 Route 28 (corner of Route 28 & County Road 38: Arkville, NY : [URL=""][/URL]

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