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Catering, Food Handling and Awareness *OnTopic* Forum to educate us on safe food handling. Not specifically for Catering or competition but overall health and keeping our families safe too.

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Old 07-10-2010, 05:08 PM   #1
On the road to being a farker
Join Date: 07-09-10
Location: B'ham Alabama
Default Need help - Catering/Events

Sorry if this is in the wrong spot. I have been Q'ing for a few years and wanting to get into catering and festivals. My delima is that I don't know if I want to get a closed in Q concession trailer or get a smoker on a trailer and add charcoal grill, sinks and burners and use tents and tables to complete the set up. My biggest thing is the things that need to stay cool. Like the tater salad, coleslaw and drinks. If I go the smoker on a trailer route I will need to keep all that stuff in a cooler. I like going that route because you you hit one of the peoples sences which is sight. Can someone give me the pros and cons. I just need help

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Old 07-10-2010, 06:21 PM   #2
Full Fledged Farker
Join Date: 11-01-09
Location: West Des Moines, IA

The first thing you should do is to check with the local health department and possibly the city to see what they require for vending at festivals. The rules vary greatly by state and locale. Once you find out what the rules are, then you can start configuring your set-up. In my case, I have a kitchen built in a 1977 Step Van that I can use to pull a smoker if needed. Works great for serving at festivals or cooking for a catering gig. It's certified by the Health Department as a mobile food service unit.
Brian Sweeney - CBJ #3691 - '77 Step Van Mobile Kitchen, Horizon Marshall, WSM with Pro Q Stacker, Weber Kettle & Smokey Joe GOLD.

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Old 07-10-2010, 06:43 PM   #3
is One Chatty Farker
Join Date: 10-16-08
Location: Virginia

Here in Virginia it has to be a closed in trailer to get a HD Inspection. Like he said, check with your HD I found out they are not rattle snakes and are great about helping you get it right.
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Old 07-11-2010, 05:19 AM   #4
is Blowin Smoke!
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Join Date: 04-14-07
Location: Lakeland Florida

In Michigan you can sort of do the tent thing but not with cold salads. To sell those you must have an NSF approved commercial fridge. Coolers can only be used for transporting to the site.

I went the trailer route using extreme BBQ trailers. James is a member of the Brethren.
Retired competition cook. BBQ mentor.
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:38 AM   #5
Found some matches.
Join Date: 07-08-10
Location: indianapolis in

I don't know what your financials are like but have you ever considered a used catering vehicle, aka roach coach? They're NSF compliant refrigeration, water holding tanks, plumbing, great prep space on site and can tow a port a pit depending on the shape they're in.
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Old 07-12-2010, 11:26 AM   #6
C Rocke
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Join Date: 01-29-07
Location: Fountain Hills, AZ

Health department first...

We use an Extreme trailer as well - Kitchen with a back porch for the smoker. Most important is what is legal, and can be maintained given your business model.
Just me, the Wife, and the Dogs
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