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Old 05-05-2021, 02:22 PM   #2
smokeisgood
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Join Date: 03-19-12
Location: Louisville,Ky
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Originally Posted by BarristerBBQ View Post
My partner and I are in the early stages of starting up a BBQ business. We are both (mostly) retired attorneys and want to transition into this business over the next couple of years. We are confident in our craft, but obviously taking it from the backyard to the street is a big leap. Our basic business plan is to start small by cooking for family/friends/church events over the next year so we can learn the ropes of cooking for a mass audience as well as work on obtaining reliable/quality meat and wood suppliers in the area. However, the set up in each of back yards wouldn't accommodate cooking for more than 10-15 people at a time so we need to invest in a rig. Our ultimate goal is to transition into a food truck which brings us to the current dilemma. In researching different rigs it looks like there is a small market for smokers with a sink set up on the trailer. When comparing this to our local health department guidelines it seems like we might be able to operate as a 'mobile food vendor' without the need for an actual truck or separate trailer as long as we use a commissary kitchen (there is a local one we can rent for $10 an hour plus storage). While we are still pretty far off from moving to a commercial venture, I would like to invest in a rig that could also carry us to the next stage. I can see several advantages and disadvantages to operating off a trailer smoker only, namely cost and ease of only having to transport the smoker. So, after that long winded setup, here are my questions:

1. Does have anyone have experience operating a set up like this (i.e. operating your trailer smoker as a food truck) and, if so, any tips, pros/cons you can share?

2. Anyone have any experience buying a rig like this and have any referrals to where you go it? I have found a handful of places within a days driving distance of us (we live in KY), but is obviously hard to tell exactly what you are getting without seeing it in person.

3. Or, should we just get a quality smoker now and just worry about transitioning into a different set up down the road. If so, has anyone bought a trailer smoker in the southeast and have a good referral?

Thanks in advance for anyone who got this far down in my post and has any thoughtful insight!
Never done it, never going to do it, but have thought about it quite a bit just for giggles. If I were going to do it, I would buy the biggest porch trailer I could afford and affix the smoker to the porch, then vend out the side window of the trailer, where you could have your A/C, refrigeration, sinks, etc. And instead of trying to find one on a lot somewhere, I would have one of the pit makers like Southern Q (in GA) or the likes build it for me. Pitmaker also makes a terrific trailer unit with multiple smokers and sinks. You guys are attorneys, you should have lots of cash. If you need me to help spend it for you, I'll be glad to design it and it will have all the bells and whistles....

Your biggest catering problem in Louisville is when someone thinks BBQ, they immediately think Bootleg BBQ.... which I don't really care for, but they seem to be the top selling BBQ in town. And then you also now have Momma's, Mark's, FDKY, Old Hickory, Martin's, Holy Smokes, Mission BBQ, and City BBQ and a bunch of smaller ones. Lot's of competition, and these people all have brick and mortar restaurants behind their names.

Your best meat supplier is going to hands down be drive to Bardstown and work something out with Boone's Butcher Shop.
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