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Elliott669 02-29-2016 04:13 AM

Really Big Job - NEED HELP!!!
Hi fellow members,

I am a long term reader, and a long term bbq'er, new member, and first post.

The reason of posting is I would like to pick your brilliant minds!

I live in England, and in June 2015 set up a bbq company. I attend food festivals, and cater for private parties.

I currently smoke all my meat on 3 weber smokey mountains ( 2x22.5 1x18.5), which has been just about okay for the volume I have been serving ( its been very tight though sometimes! )

Normally I have been serving pulled beef chili, pulled lamb, and beef short ribs at these events. All of them have been really well received. The chili and the lamb have been pre smoked and warmed up on the day, with the Ribs being smoked fresh on the day.

The business has been going really well, and I have been given the opportunity to cater at a very large event in June 2016. It is a 4 day event, and I am expecting to sell up too 1000 covers a day!! The most I have sold so far a day is 170ish ( although I have catered for 200 people privately though )

I am planning on renting a large smoker for the day - can hold up to 30ish pork butts so will have access to that.

The event is in a field!

I am planning on serving pulled pork rolls, and brisket OR pulled beef sandwiches ( I would prefer brisket rolls ) Also I would love to sell baby back ribs ?

Heres how i need help

1) How much meat do you think i need ? I have worked out 250 pounds raw butts and 25 briskets a day to feed 500 portions per day. Does that sound correct?

2) How do I cook all these ? I know I will have to pre smoke / pull / freeze ? the pulled pork, but how do i reheat etc?

3)How do i cook the briskets fresh each day? Full packers take me about 15 hours ? Is there a way of pre cooking smoking to make my life easier?

4) are ribs viable for this many people? I dont think i have enough room to cater for that many people on the smoker im renting?

5))Ive normally always worked by myself or with one other person. How many people would you think I need for those 4 days per day?

What i really need is a walkthough of the logistics of such a large operation if anyone else has done something like this I would love to hear how!!?

Please please help me Brethren. Any advice tips hints help will be really really appreciated!!!!

Thanks very much


HBMTN 02-29-2016 06:32 PM

Is this catering or are you selling concessions?

cueball21 02-29-2016 09:09 PM

Howdy, Elliott!

Cannot help you with the amount of food to purchase but I have one caution for you. You say you are renting a large smoker. Have you ever used it before? If not, I suggest you get it for a weekend and learn it's foibles before committing to a 4-day event where you will serve thousands. If you run into problems, you will not only lose sales but have a lot of product left over. It also sounds as if you are going to need some assistants. You might choose them early and do a bit of a run through so each will know his job.

Because you have done this for a bit now, you should have a feel for what your best sellers are. That should drive your meat purchases. If you are introducing something new to the mix, I'd proceed with caution. You will be under enough stress just from the volume without adding additional unknowns, IMO.

Best wishes for the the best of luck, too.

Elliott669 03-01-2016 03:39 AM

Hi thanks for your replies.
Firstly this is for selling concessions. I.e. I will be selling it.
Secondly, I am planning on renting the smoker for the whole week so I can do a couple of smokes previous to the event to get use to it.
I will have introduced staff to the business at previous events so they will know what they are doing.
My main concerns are the actual logistics of the food.
Can I pre cook.
Should I sell brisket ?
How to rehear and serve etc

Thanks again for your comments and really need help !!

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