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So you want to vend...what now?

 
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Mr Tony's BBQ
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Joined: 01 Aug 2010
Posts: 5059
Location: Fredonia Wi

PostPosted: Tue Jan 05 16 4:32 am    Post subject: So you want to vend...what now? Reply with quote

I started out vending 7 years ago..It has turned into a full time venture - complete with 2 fully licensed mobile kitchens [ food trucks / trailers ]
Start with your health dept for rules / regs. for licensing etc.
Get liability insurance
Take the serve safe food course
Plan on spending twice the hours you are currently planning!
Plan to spend twice the money you are currently planning!
Find a quality / authorized food wholesaler willing to work with smaller orders to start - buying from local grocer or wal-mart is not cost effective.
Find something to set you apart from the others - one of my many "differences" are a specific hard roll for sammies that people love, but take a few hours a week for me to procure.[ driving back n forth, ordering etc.]
Allow time to find quality gig's and/or locations - its not always as easy as it may seem!
A LOT of hack promoters out there! Finding a good one or two can make your career! The 'big gig's ' can be very hard to get into - or you may get the back alley if you do get it....Its quite the learning curve!
Your food may very well be top notch, but if not properly promoted / seen / easily available, it may not sell.
Be prepared to toss food....SOO many variables in this gig besides just weather [ which is huge! ] Weather forecasters are right about 40% of the time.....
New gig's with other established gig's across town, or simply poor promoter.... can kill sales etc.
Local ordinances may squash your dreams, be prepared!
Local ordinances change often - keep up to speed! Ask questions, a lot!!
Some towns / cities I go to, one can only sell on private property, the next one can only sell on the street.
Established restaurants HATE vendor / food truck type operations and will try to destroy you.
People suck! Some will try to sue you for food poisoning etc.
Word of mouth is HUGE, in both directions! Customer service is job #1 People dont care if you have a family emergency, they want their BBQ.....
I have heard a lot say they love to sell out by 'x' o'clock....Well, customers dont care for that AT ALL! Alienating those who have jobs and families to feed doesnt pan out well at all.
I love my work most days, and work 16-22 hrs/day 7 days a week for 7 months of the year vending / catering / food trucking, cater and plow snow in the "off season".
Plan on either putting a lot into it [ time / talent / cash ], or failing.....
Not in the least trying to scare anyone off, just being realistic! Have seen a lot of people "try" it only to buy their equipment from them cheap!
I am more than happy to help where I can answering questions as I would not be where I am without the help of other 'Ringers' !
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Mr Tony's Kitchen http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=67601
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fish&q
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Joined: 14 Aug 2010
Posts: 415
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Tue Jan 05 16 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What he said
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Mr Tony's BBQ
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Joined: 01 Aug 2010
Posts: 5059
Location: Fredonia Wi

PostPosted: Sat Jan 09 16 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Social media - can and will work both for you and against you.
Yes, the gub'ment - Big brother IS watching...I know this for a FACT. Most likely reading this post and taking a screen shot of it..
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bjbbq
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Joined: 06 Sep 2013
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26 16 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Folks, Tony is 100% right about what he said. i have seen him in action and he works his butt off to give the customer a great product. Being successful in this game is really hard and can be stressful so you gotta have a sense of humor like Tony!
Keep up the good work.

Bubba
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AIRBORNE-QUE



Joined: 23 Jan 2017
Posts: 14
Location: Fayetteville, NC

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24 17 6:48 am    Post subject: Thanks for the info Reply with quote

Thanks for the useful info Tony. I am currently serving in the Army and I love to BBQ. I want to enter the BBQ vending business after I retirement. I still have some time but already doing my research. I am so happy I found this forum and there being people willing to give advise. I'm pretty sure I will be messaging you again in the future. Hopefully I don't become a pain. Thanks again.

Ernesto
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Mr Tony's BBQ
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Joined: 01 Aug 2010
Posts: 5059
Location: Fredonia Wi

PostPosted: Mon Jan 30 17 9:36 am    Post subject: Re: Thanks for the info Reply with quote

AIRBORNE-QUE wrote:
Thanks for the useful info Tony. I am currently serving in the Army and I love to BBQ. I want to enter the BBQ vending business after I retirement. I still have some time but already doing my research. I am so happy I found this forum and there being people willing to give advise. I'm pretty sure I will be messaging you again in the future. Hopefully I don't become a pain. Thanks again.

Ernesto


Thank you for your service!! I did a short stint in the early 80's U.S.Army Infantry! Got my fist taste for REAL BBQ in the backwood's of Texas - my platoon leaders dad lived near Ft Hood and brought us 2 BBQ'd goats [ Cabrito's] to a party SSG Higdon put on for us at his ranch! I dont hang out here as much as I used to, but can also be contacted by mrtonysbbq@hotmail.com or mrtonysbbq.com on facebook.
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Mr Tony's Kitchen http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=67601
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