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Go Back   The BBQ BRETHREN FORUMS. > Discussion Area > Catering, Food Handling and Awareness > Catering, Vending and Cooking For The Masses.


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 11-28-2012, 09:18 PM   #16
is One Chatty Farker
Join Date: 06-29-09
Location: Madison Ga.

Spend a good two days speaking with your local HD and find out about Insurance. { is a MUST!!! } Then if that doesn't stop you look for a HD approved kitchen and find out what thats going to run you. Think of what you need to cook on and find out what thats going to run. Then .......
Matt Goodman
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:42 PM   #17
is one Smokin' Farker
Join Date: 10-30-11
Location: Dallas, TX

Speaking from the other side, Bubba speaks a lot of sense. Been doing some decent size cooks for churches, the office and friends - and it's always a lot more than I think it should be. Whole 'nother level going pro.
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Old 12-01-2012, 02:29 AM   #18
is One Chatty Farker
Join Date: 11-15-08
Location: Lake View, New York

Originally Posted by Bigmista View Post
Invest in a very comfortable pair of shoes because you will be on your feet for long hours. No more of that put some meat on and have a beer. There is no time for that once you do it as a business. There is always something to do. And find someone to do the business side for you. Paperwork, marketing, taxes, insurance, permits...all of that can steal your joy if you don't have someone to handle it for you.
This really says alot..The paperwork really takes the fun out of it..I use Quickbooks however you still have to keep it entered...stay ahead on your advertising and invest in two or three pairs of good shoes..load your cooker up at midnight then you have to be there at 8 am..or before..get someone to train on your methods so they can be there either to open or to close...a good crew to clean and close was the key for me...makes my next day meat prep easier...try to plan your big cooks (20 or thirty pork butts or briskets) on one night and have an extra person that morning to pull them and chill them...hold ina cooler while waiting to pull..this will get you through a coupledays when you dont want to cook nightly..
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:11 PM   #19
Jeff Therrell
Knows what a fatty is.
Join Date: 06-27-09
Location: Hickory NC

I just started my BBQ trailer business 3 weeks ago and my day starts at 6 am and I get home at 9 pm. But I'm not complaining, I love it. Everybody said running a restaurant was the hardest work you will ever do, well they never ran a body shop or a fiberglass manufacturing business.....LOL

Thanks, Jeff Therrell
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:36 PM   #20
Full Fledged Farker
Join Date: 07-07-08
Location: Goose Creek, SC

I'm amazed at how many people always want us to start a business. I'm asked that all the time and usually ask how many times a week will you come and spend your money.
2010 South Carolina State BBQ Champion (SCBA)
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:16 PM   #21
Wandering around with a bag of matchlight, looking for a match.
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Join Date: 11-30-12
Location: Louisburg NC

I too am just getting started in the Catering business. My Father-In-Law has been in the business for 42 years so I have a good source of info already.

I can tell you this...the start up costs to do things "right" are quite high. Cookers to Cambro...the stuff is expensive.

Best of luck to everyone. I really look forward to learning many things here.
"Family bonds are strengthened and new friends discovered...all around the dinner table"
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:23 PM   #22
Got Wood.
Join Date: 08-15-11
Location: Montevallo, Al

My family owned a Barbecue cafe for several years. Old fashioned direct heat brick pits. I still prefer direct, but I'm old school. I love cooking for family get togethers and church functions. I have cooked for friends so their "pro cooks" won't ruin the butts or shoulders. It is hard, expensive, nerve wracking work. When ever a friend or relative suggests me going back into the business, I usually tell them, 'sure, great idea. If you like my food that well how about investing in it with me. Amazing how fast it closes their mouths. lol Do talk to some others in the business and make sure you are ready for the commitment. It ain't a bed of roses but can be lots of fun.
"If it ain't from Dixie, it ain't real 'Que"
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:04 PM   #23
Wandering around with a bag of matchlight, looking for a match.
Join Date: 11-02-12
Location: US

My family also had barbecue for many years. We used to serve foods to many schools and play groups. We love cooking and we also cook food on weekends with family by having small get together with friends. We like our business and always ready to give our best. Cooking food is always fun and to have food. I always want people to make food with me and share their own ideas and recipes , so I can prepare more delicious.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:44 PM   #24
Knows what a fatty is.
Join Date: 12-30-12
Location: Nuevo, Ca.

As a business owner who started 3 years ago (not Q' related) I can tell you there is a lot more to it than you realize. I am in the small engine repair biz and my day starts at 6 am, in the shop at 7. Open the doors at 8. Close the doors at 6 pm. Then paperwork and admin stuff till 9pm at the earliest. 7 days a week. If you are going to be successful, for the first 5 years you better be wiling to dedicate 24/7 to your business, and have a backup income.

Sure, all my friends talk about how great my Q' is, how I should start a food business. I do cook a few parties a year for friends who cover the cost. I have a Carolina style mustard sauce for pulled pork that is like nothing anyone on the west coast has seen. Everyone tells me I should bottle and sell it. Last night the wife and I sat down and looked at the costs. The hard cost. By the time we buy the ingredients, bottles, labels, shipping or gas to go get the stuff, utility cost for cooking it up, insurance and permits to do it legit, time for bookkeeping, we would have to sell it for $5 for a 16 oz bottle to make 50 cents on each sale. That doesnt include marketing and advertizing, delivering or shipping to the stores, the gas wear and tear on the vehicle delivering it, our time for the whole process and who knows what else. No one here is going to pay $5 for a bottle of mustard sauce when they can buy the same size bottle of plain mustard for $1.19.

Not trying to discourage you, but with a business, legit or not, there are hard costs most people never even think about. And with foodservice you better be legit!!!
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