I am an ex Chef that went Telecom. in search of the elusive “better quality of life”. Well, I felt as if I have “been there, and done that” and now am looking to get back to what my heart is telling me to do. Food is always on my mind. Not so in that I am hungry or inspiring for my next meal. But more so hungry to fulfill my passion to live and breath food once again, on my terms-- more specifically, barbecue.
I can fill endless and endless of pages on the “who’s, what’s, where’s and how’s” of what I personally envision barbecue as business being, and what it means to me. Sparing you folks from that torture is one way of getting off on the good foot. =)
To be brief, unless prompted to elaborate more, I want to get into two facets of barbecue. I would like to cater as well as get into food vending of barbecue at local county & state fairs, carnivals and events. Falling back on my past experiences as a Chef I know that these two facets of the business, although similar in many ways, are two different animals in themselves.
On one hand, catering you have a pre-negotiated agreement set up and general rules to follow such as adding 5-7 % on top of your calculations to cover extra or big eaters. That is just to name a few. You do not have to worry about the health department unless you get someone sick etc. You have to deal with more hassles because you may be dealing with picky, flustered or frantic clientele. Gauging your potential guest as to what they will eat more of and strategically placing food in areas, as not to run out is very important. Example: place ribs toward the end of the food line (if serving a buffet) as to not have people piling up on them straight out the gate.
Food vending, well, it is a trail and error type situation in my opinion. Possibly a lot of good research from other successful food vendors sure would not hurt. I am doing that all this summer by pestering any vendor giving me the time of day to entertain my many questions. Also, I know the Health department has to inspect your “safe kitchen” each event you want to vend at. Another hurdle of food vending…
Eventually, I may want to expand on this venture and start up a privately owned butcher/smokehouse/steakhouse (what a mouthful) if I am very successful at this idea of mine.
So, each aspect has it’s relate pros and cons. I feel I am ready to do this. My wife, family and friends are behind me 110%. To bad the checkbook has not caught onto the idea yet. Leaving my full time job is not an option at this point. If at any time the money seems right and I cannot keep up with my full time job then I will throw in the towel and not look back. I have the drive, I have great ideas for promoting my wares via truck painting schemes, business cards, slogan, website development. The vigor, stamina, and passion are all here! I am ready to take the plunge…
Why the heck is he telling us, you say?
Well, I need a solid community to bounce ideas off of, get inspirations and guidance. Even if it is a “hey I know a guy that sells BBQ outside of a package good store and he does (insert any random method here)” kind of thing. It is all digestible information that may be good for something sooner or later. Or, “Hey Big Belly, go check out government loan so and so, it will grant you 10,000 instantly.”
How many of you guys actually do BBQ as a business? Is it part time, full time, or anytime?
Let’s chew the fat!