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pokerduck16



Joined: 16 May 2007
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu May 20 10 4:09 pm    Post subject: Start Up Help Reply with quote

I have been cooking BBQ for about 5 years now. Im in the Milwaukee area and there is NO real BBQ in the area. I have spent many hours on the smoke ring and perfecting my BBQ. Everyone I talk to that eats my BBQ wants me to start up a Restaraunt. Well I have no experience in the business but love to cook BBQ. I have been brainstorming for over a year now looking to get my foot in the door. I have thought about setting up a stand a few days a week and serve BBQ for only a few hours or until the BBQ is gone. I have seen places like this down south and most of those places have some of the best BBQ.
If I can turn a profit and get the word out about my BBQ I would like to expand to possible catering and vending at area fairs and festivals.
I have a bunch of questions that I would appreciate any input. I have a few $1000 to help get started.
Is this a good way to get started?
What will I need to get started as in equipment? What is the best way to have refrigeration at the stand?
What licenses do I need to start up?
Do I need to prep my meat in a Commercial kitchen?
What is the best way to find a commercial kitchen to use ? I have read like a church or school?
I am thinking of asking a gas station or some type of store to set up shop in their parking lot. Does anyone know should I offer a fee or do they let vendors set up for free or some type of commission?
If anyone has any Questions for me about details please feel free to post.
Thank you for any help
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kurtsara
BBQ Pro


Joined: 22 Dec 2007
Posts: 787
Location: Princeton, Minnesota

PostPosted: Thu May 20 10 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It don't matter what we tell you, you have to check with your health dept
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Kurt

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Harry Nutczak
BBQ All Star


Joined: 01 Mar 2007
Posts: 8558
Location: The Northwoods

PostPosted: Thu May 20 10 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sadly, what you want to do is nearly impossible to do legally in the state of WI. I see tons of roadside set-ups in FL when I visit, but sadly those guys are typically running illegally. The FL government typically takes weekends off, so they know they will not be shut down.

And as for BBQ in or around Milwaukee; One of the very best BBQ places I have ever had is right on the corner of 12th and Walnut in Milwaukee, it is named "Speed Queen BBQ" it has been there for nearly 40 years. Then you got Pitch's BBQ on Humboldt (mediocre at best) between Brady and the river, And a few other places around that are not worth mentioning.

On the road to legally serving food to the public, Google the term "Wisconsin Food Code" it is a lengthy PDF file. Read through that for a day or two, then get enrolled in a serv-safe class, then get your Wisconsin 'Food-Managers" license.
And when all that is handled, place a call to your local health department so you can get your indoor commercial kitchen licensed.

It is not easy,
You would be better off cooking for private parties on private property as I started out working under the regulations for "Contract Cook"

Now, if you want to bring your butt up to Minocqua for a weekend or two, I may be able to put you to work helping us cater some events to get you some real world experience to learn from.
Cooking for family and friends, and cooking for commercial purposes are two totally different things.

Maybe you could hook up with Gus and work summerfest with Gus' BBQ to learn the commercial side too?
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kurtsara
BBQ Pro


Joined: 22 Dec 2007
Posts: 787
Location: Princeton, Minnesota

PostPosted: Fri May 21 10 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry Nutczak wrote:
Sadly, what you want to do is nearly impossible to do legally in the state of WI. I see tons of roadside set-ups in FL when I visit, but sadly those guys are typically running illegally. The FL government typically takes weekends off, so they know they will not be shut down.

And as for BBQ in or around Milwaukee; One of the very best BBQ places I have ever had is right on the corner of 12th and Walnut in Milwaukee, it is named "Speed Queen BBQ" it has been there for nearly 40 years. Then you got Pitch's BBQ on Humboldt (mediocre at best) between Brady and the river, And a few other places around that are not worth mentioning.

On the road to legally serving food to the public, Google the term "Wisconsin Food Code" it is a lengthy PDF file. Read through that for a day or two, then get enrolled in a serv-safe class, then get your Wisconsin 'Food-Managers" license.
And when all that is handled, place a call to your local health department so you can get your indoor commercial kitchen licensed.

It is not easy,
You would be better off cooking for private parties on private property as I started out working under the regulations for "Contract Cook"

Now, if you want to bring your butt up to Minocqua for a weekend or two, I may be able to put you to work helping us cater some events to get you some real world experience to learn from.
Cooking for family and friends, and cooking for commercial purposes are two totally different things.

Maybe you could hook up with Gus and work summerfest with Gus' BBQ to learn the commercial side too?



Never heard of Speed Queen BBQ until today then I see it twice on the net

http://www.wisn.com/news/23595105/detail.html
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Kurt

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Harry Nutczak
BBQ All Star


Joined: 01 Mar 2007
Posts: 8558
Location: The Northwoods

PostPosted: Fri May 21 10 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kurtsara wrote:


Never heard of Speed Queen BBQ until today then I see it twice on the net

http://www.wisn.com/news/23595105/detail.html


It is a sad day in the BBQ World. Diagnosed only 2 weeks ago, and died so quickly! Ouch!
I wish I could get my shoulder to come out like Betty did hers, she cooked over an open pit, direct heat. And she was able to get this amazing crisp bark on her meat that was amazing! They used oak, hickory, maple, & apple for fuel.

On the menu it was listed as "Outside Shoulder" dinner I would order that with a mix of hot and mild sauce (number 5 with a mix) and be smiling for hours after eating her BBQ. Her cole-slaw rocked too, I modeled our slaw after the stuff she made. I would always get extra slaw and save it for last to cool down my mouth.
it was a very smokey meat, but not overpowering, so smokey you would be farting smoke-rings the next day! Shocked

I do better brisket and ribs, but I could never ever reach the level of how well she did shoulder. I would die a happy man if I could turn out shoulder like Betty has been doing for over 50 years

Her mild sauce used Open-pit as a base, and her hot sauce was a yellow color, I believe she used mustard powder as opposed to prepared mustard, becuase it did not have a mustardy flavor like most mustard sauces. It was friggin hot too!!

Ok, speed Queen BBQ, You go inside, order your food, slide your money under a huge slab of bullet-proof glass, wait for your receipt and walk a few steps down to the next window with bullet-proof glass and when they call your number you take your food and sit down at plastic tables and benches which were bolted to the floor.

If you cannot handle yourself in a rough area of town, I suggest you visit in daylight hours only, and never on the 3rd of the month.

Go to google maps, and you can get a street view of the area, you can see picutres of the place there.
So far, it is the absolute best pork I have ever eaten, And I am sure it always will be as long as her son continues cooking the way he has.
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pokerduck16



Joined: 16 May 2007
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri May 21 10 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your help Harry. I have actually been up to the northwoods and when i was a kid i stayed on the turtle flambeau every summer. Anyways i will enroll in a health class at MATC and go from there.

I have had people ask me to cater their parties but i am limited in how much BBQ i can make at a time. I just dont want to invest in more equipment if I dont have a chance to expand the business. If I start up a business I want to do something I really enjoy. BBQing and cooking I love doing. Here in WIS its seasonal so its not like having a 365 day commitment.
I will also look up contract cook like you talked about.
I appreciate your info.
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Harry Nutczak
BBQ All Star


Joined: 01 Mar 2007
Posts: 8558
Location: The Northwoods

PostPosted: Fri May 21 10 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the time from now until your learn proper food-handling and sanitation, there is some great information at www.SBA.Gov with how to set-up your business, the licensing and insurance requirements etc etc etc, and many times you can even get state specific info too.

There is a link to the WI business primer that should give you all the proper info.

I was able to start my catering Biz with only $8K in start-up funding, I operated under the reg's for contract cook for the first season so it is not that difficult to do.
But the difference between us is that I started working in restaurants in 1982, I payed my way through MSOE by cooking nights, and even after I got my degree, I continued to cook at restaurants on top of my 9-5 career. I just enjoy it.

I am going into my 4th year of operating my own catering biz, and I am in a desolate area compared to you. So your goal is not out of reach, you just need to find a different path to reach that goal then you had originally wanted to.

Have you considered looking at restaurant work part time? It sure is alot nicer to learn in a hands-on situation, and the restaurant may even cover your serv-safe tuition. Expect to start as a dishwasher, or maybe a prep-cook. And try to work your way up a little bit. Most restaurants in MKE could use an adult that is a legal citizen and speaks fluent English.
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Just remember that the toes you may step on during your climb to the top will also be attached to the a$$es you'll be forced to kiss on your way back down!
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