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Praise the Lard, it's actually working!

 
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Poppa's PTL Club
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Joined: 13 Sep 2007
Posts: 1578
Location: Lawrenceville, GA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 21 12 6:51 pm    Post subject: Praise the Lard, it's actually working! Reply with quote

I guess it's time I came out of the closet and let you guys know I opened a place (Praise the Lard BBQ) here back in August. I was a little wary about opening up (both the store and to you guys), but it's gone really well. We rolled out slow, only open on Saturdays for the first month, moving to Sunday lunches for the next few weeks. We're now open 11-8 Fridays and Saturdays and 11-3 on Sundays and have moved from breaking even on day one to looking like we're going to post a pretty decent profit this month.

I've been very lucky to find a very good kitchen manager in my Sunday school class with a lot of restaurant experience and she has been aces in keeping me from making too many mistakes, both big and little. I have a day job during the week and I am really glad I didn't do anything crazy for me, like opening a restaurant full time. I put in about 45-50 hours to be open for such limited hours of operation; I think I probably would have a tough time handling many more since I have kept my full time job (and really enjoy it). I'm thinking about Thursday lunches, but I can't be here for it, so that's not likely to happen for a few more months when I feel comfortable putting my baby completely in someone else's hands.

I am a little surprised that it actually seems to be working out; I hedged almost all my bets, signing a really good lease (fixed one year lease, variable (7% of my sales subject to a minimum based on the first year fixed amt) second year option with a variable three year renewal after that).

I'll post more soon.
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SoEzzy
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Joined: 13 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21 12 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations on living the dream!

Sounds about fair, 2.5 days open a week and it only takes 50 hours work for that! Wink
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Last edited by SoEzzy on Fri Dec 21 12 7:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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RodinBangkok
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Joined: 30 Dec 2006
Posts: 491
Location: Bangkok Thailand

PostPosted: Fri Dec 21 12 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Happy for you, and I think the fact your starting by already delegating authority from the get go will allow you to keep your free time, and eventually use that to go on to bigger and better things while your trained staff is handling the day to day drudgery. Definitely a smart move IMHO!
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Harry Nutczak
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Joined: 01 Mar 2007
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Location: The Northwoods

PostPosted: Fri Dec 21 12 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats,

Maybe you could explain some of the things that surprised you with having a restaurant even though you've been catering for a time already.
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Smoky Bro
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Location: Shelburne, MA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 24 12 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice one!

We also do a fri/sat/sun (and holiday mondays) schedule and it works very good for us. I think the fact that people can't get it everyday makes them want it more when we're open. With just the 2 of us doing everything it's still a lot of hours but it's doable. Good luck with it!
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Poppa's PTL Club
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Joined: 13 Sep 2007
Posts: 1578
Location: Lawrenceville, GA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 24 12 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry Nutczak wrote:
Congrats,

Maybe you could explain some of the things that surprised you with having a restaurant even though you've been catering for a time already.


It wasn't that much of a surprise in principle (I was told it would be an issue and expecting it), but the vagaries of just when the crowds will show up is daunting. A few weeks ago, we were starting to really roll and had a big Friday and Saturday and geared up for a good Sunday; not one person through the doors until 12:45 and a total sales of $200 for the day, $100 of which was a single table
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pitmaster t
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Joined: 02 Sep 2009
Posts: 191
Location: mansfeild ga.

PostPosted: Wed Dec 26 12 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a sign in my office that says "Danger: keep hands and feet inside ride at all times." Shocked Shocked Laughing Laughing

If that don't explain it nothing does.


Good Luck. Where are u located?
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Poppa's PTL Club
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Location: Lawrenceville, GA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 26 12 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are on Buford Hwy in Buford, 1/4 mile south of Hwy 20 (Buford Dr). I'm one of the last of the natives of Buford who still live in the area, so I've been successful drawing folks to this spot (while it's still in the city limits, it's kind of in no man's land between Buford and Suwanee).

I knew it was a difficult spot when I took it and knew that it needed a "destination" restaurant, as there was not much natural drive by traffic. It had been a Mexican place originally, which lasted until they outlawed food trucks in our county about a decade ago. A BBQ place came in after that, but he budgeted himself a salary from day one and spent all his $$ getting open, he was there for less than 6 months (although he did leave me a nice, up to code smokehouse out back). A Chicago hot dog place was there next, but this is not the type of area to support an $8 hot dog spot, much less one with 130 seats. After he left, I had some discussion with the owner and had a deal in principle, but my wife got extremely cold feet and I knew that if she wasn't in, it would never work (I had actually shown it to Moonie after that and they looked at it for their place, but it didn't feel right to him). An Italian bistro (a 130 seat bistro?) moved in next, but again, this was not the space for a $20 per plate Italian place. When it became available again, I ran the numbers and knew it could work and that my exposure was limited, but it took me a week to even mention ti to my wife. She jumped on it with both feet this time

My hunch has really worked out, building a nice Friday business lunch and good evenings. Our Sundays are about 25 deep in line now with the after church crowd between 12:45 and 2:00 or so. Fortunately, we have 130 seats, so the limited hours work for us; we just try to get around half to 3/4 full during the busy hours.

I'll try to post some pics soon.
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pitmaster t
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Joined: 02 Sep 2009
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Location: mansfeild ga.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 27 12 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good deal. I know exactly where your at. We will come visit one Sunday. I use to pave a lot of roads in that area years ago and you are right it has changed a bunch. As you know our first joint seats 48. The second one about 150. The biggest difference I've seen is in kitchen staff. At the smaller place lunch and dinner seem to be steady for several hours. At the larger one it goes from 0 to 100 in a matter of minutes. Therefore an extra person or 2 means higher payroll. Unfortunately in the end they do about the same money wise. Sooooo we've had to stay on top of scheduling and so on.

Enough about my deal. Love the Fri, Sat, Sun deal. I've toyed with the Sunday deal from time to time just never seem to be able to pull the trigger.

Any way good luck and we'll see u soon.
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Ridge View BBQ
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27 12 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats and best wishes,,,hope to see those pics soon..
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Jerk Pit Master
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Joined: 09 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28 12 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats Poppa! Praise the Lord!


pitmaster t wrote:
Unfortunately in the end they do about the same money wise.


Very interesting. If you go with a 3rd place, what size would you go with?
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pitmaster t
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Joined: 02 Sep 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30 12 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First things first. A 3rd location would probably lead to a very messy divorce!!! Laughing Laughing Laughing

That being said I would probably lean toward smaller. BUTTTTT since we are open 3 days a week we have been able to take on some pretty big parties on the days we are not open and at the larger one the kitchen is almost as big as the smaller raunt. I beleive a huge key to success is perception. When 48 seats are full it looks crowded and busy but when 48 seats are full and you seat 150, well, it just don't look good.

In the end there are advantages and disadvantages to both.
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Ridge View BBQ
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30 12 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pitmaster t wrote:
First things first. A 3rd location would probably lead to a very messy divorce!!! Laughing Laughing Laughing

That being said I would probably lean toward smaller. BUTTTTT since we are open 3 days a week we have been able to take on some pretty big parties on the days we are not open and at the larger one the kitchen is almost as big as the smaller raunt. I beleive a huge key to success is perception. When 48 seats are full it looks crowded and busy but when 48 seats are full and you seat 150, well, it just don't look good.

In the end there are advantages and disadvantages to both.


Agreeded, when we re-modeled our nearly new restaurant a year ago we took 30 tops out , the difference was amazing
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Slow Smokin BBQ



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02 13 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love the name, says it all, praise the Lord! and you sale bbq Very Happy
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02 13 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It actually says Praise the Lard BBQ!

If you want to take it any other way, please step back, think twice and act slow!
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Poppa's PTL Club
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03 13 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SoEzzy wrote:
It actually says Praise the Lard BBQ!

If you want to take it any other way, please step back, think twice and act slow!


I know, I hate having to correct folks, as I do Praise The Lord first and foremost (our logo incorporates a scripture passage)
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03 13 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't really care what you call it.

I took it that you were trying to walk close to the line and I was OK with the whole thing hence the fact I gave you serious congratulations... the first on the thread.

But bring in religion and or politics and I am going to cut this thread down as I would any other thread!

So I posted the warning, for people to take which ever way they want, but if they cross the invisible line, folks will get upset with the actions I take.

So Praise the Lard or not, but understand my side too, or not!
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MooniesBBQ
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Joined: 21 Jul 2009
Posts: 505
Location: Flowery Branch, GA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04 13 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

About time you came out if the closet Smile I've been waiting for you to post, I didn't want to spoil the secret. Sounds like things are going well! We start new hours next week, 11-8 Tuesday-Sunday. It took us a year and a half to be able to go what I consider full time. Baby steps man baby steps.

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