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any bbq caterers??

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Post Fri May 28, 2004 7:41 pm
snooks

any bbq cateres out there??if so i wouldnt mind picking your brain a bit on a few things.My email is snooks2252002@yahoo.com.Thank you

Post Mon May 31, 2004 10:23 am
smokyblues well done
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Posts: 496
Location: Edmond, Oklahoma
If anyone has looked into starting a bbq catering business I would like to hear any infornation you had on the subject. I have heard that there are government grants out there for people you want to start a small business but I have also read that they are nearly impossible to get. Any informtion on getting started with a catering business, getting a government grant, etc. would be greatly appreciated.
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Post Mon May 31, 2004 10:26 am
smokyblues well done
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Posts: 496
Location: Edmond, Oklahoma
Bob-bqn, I asked awhile back in a thread on what you planned to do with the trailer smoker you are looking at. I was out of town for awhile and don't remember what thread it was on that we were talking about that on. Is it just for personal use or do you plan on going into business with it?
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Post Mon May 31, 2004 12:01 pm
Big D well done
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Posts: 616
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
as for the Grants// grants are nearly impossible to get, and you can thank those old schoolers who had a great 'business idea' then decided to take a vacation with the money.

try looking at small business organizations like Open, venture capitalists at local Chamber of Commerce, business clubss, etc. for low or no interest financing

Post Mon May 31, 2004 12:10 pm
smokyblues well done
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Posts: 496
Location: Edmond, Oklahoma
On the grants, do you speak from experience? Have you tried getting a one before? Thats pretty sad for the people who would like to start their own business and would like some of our own money back from the government. To get a catering business going to could get started for as little as 5k. For a small business thats not much. Thanks for the advice.
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Post Mon May 31, 2004 12:34 pm
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Posts: 616
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I have run a small marketing company.. but do a lot of business plan consulting work as well and often create business plans and research business plans for domestic start ups and foreign expansion as well as enter business case competitions etc.

There are grants avalible and dont let me discourage you from applying.. I just find small business loans, which are often avalible interest free or at very least prime rates, are more accessible and better option

Post Mon May 31, 2004 1:07 pm
smokyblues well done
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Posts: 496
Location: Edmond, Oklahoma
Is a $5,000 loan or grant a pretty reasonable amount to get approved for? I know there alot of variables involved but, I have good credit and no blemishes on my credit report. I would like to get more, of course, but for 5k I think I could get a good start. The trailer smoker is the biggest expense at around 3 to 4,000 then I would like to get a deep freeze, copy/ fax/printer for advertising, a used fridge, and meat of course. That stuff really starts adding up. If you have any tips or suggestions they would be greatly appreactiated. Thanks
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Post Mon May 31, 2004 9:16 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
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Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
smokyblues I don't recall the name of the thread either. I plan on using it for personal use. Mostly at family or church gatherings.

However, if demand became high enough...who knows. :wink:
Image

Post Mon May 31, 2004 9:39 pm
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Location: Damascus, Maryland
For more info on startup costs you might want to talk to your local health dept. regarding what they will accept to transport and hold the raw ingredients, the prepared cold dishes have to be kept cold and in NSF approved containers, not just tossed into one of a dozen coolers, cooking and holding the hot dishes and the cooked meat, etc.

Some jurisdictions require all (and they mean ALL) prep work to be done in a certified kitchen. All persons who will any chance of touching or handling the food will have to be tested for T.B. You will have to take food safety courses and keep them updated.

The cooking part is probably the least involved aspect of large group food service.

For more help, see if a search of how to start a restaurant brings up anything useful.

A mobile/BBQ catering operation is just a restaurant on wheels

Good Luck
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Post Tue Jun 01, 2004 12:01 am
smokyblues well done
well done

Posts: 496
Location: Edmond, Oklahoma
I have looked at a few menus of other BBQ caters in the Oklahoma City area to see what they offer, prices, etc. One I noticed charged a $100 extra to grill (not smoke) any items on site. I don't know if this would qualify as a certified kitchen. The laws might be different from state to state. I would like to do this in the future and am looking into all aspects of the business. I have a few books on hold at the library on the subject and plan to do lots of research on the subject before anything. I read somewhere, "Never do anything for money you wouldn't do for free" and since I love Q'n it would be nice to make a living doing it.
Besides, I don't think I could bring home the bacon being a fishing guide.
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Post Tue Jun 01, 2004 8:13 am
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A certified kitchen would be used to wash, cut the meat, prepare the marinades, etc. The actual cooking and/or smoking could still be accomplished on site. Most cross contamination occurs in the prep stage.

One other thing to consider is wash-up hto water for hands, etc.
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Post Tue Jun 01, 2004 9:37 am
smokyblues well done
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Posts: 496
Location: Edmond, Oklahoma
YB,
Are you in the catering business? It seems that you have a lot of knowledge on the subject. I am waiting on a book from the library called "How to start a home based catering business". Can your home kitchen work as a certified kitchen? I guess you would have to have it checked out by the state to certify it and go through whatever else. If your home kitchen would be alright that would keep costs low enough to make it work.
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Post Tue Jun 01, 2004 9:44 am
Big D well done
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Posts: 616
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I don't know about where you live, but here for a Caterer or even a hotdog vendor on the street. You are required to have hot running water (vendor carts have to have a water tank heated by their propane) all propane or other gas has to be in a confined area... All food must be stored in a certified cooling unit (mainly a small eletic mini bar type fridge) and various other regulations about things like types of bottles condiminets can be stored in, required clean up, handling of food, etc. What I would probably recommend is one of those mobile food vans (a french fry cart) modified to prehaps have an extra frige in place of the deepfrier and you can prepare the food and store it in their and have a towable grill to cook it on.

Post Tue Jun 01, 2004 11:00 am
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No, I'm not a caterer per se. I've just done a fair amount of large group cooking at church and reunions, both high school and family. Groups ranging from 40 to 450.

This coming Sat. we have a small church picnic for approx.120-140 people and I'll do half chix. and hot dogs for the kid's. All side dishes are pot luck.

Just going to do Mojo marinade and smoke roast 'em. I can hold them at 140 degrees for an hour or two. Then grill them off for a little more color and crispness.
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Post Tue Jun 01, 2004 11:37 am
smokyblues well done
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Posts: 496
Location: Edmond, Oklahoma
So do have the regulations that a caterer would have or since it is not for profit you don't have to be regulated? I would like to start out small, very small, but with all the regulations it seems a little overpowering and costly to even start a small catering operation. And since I have heard that Gov. grants are nearly impossible to get and all costs would be out of pocket so it seems almost unrealistic. Better go by some powerball tickets.
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