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So I want to do this as a full time job, what now?
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marvsbbq
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PostPosted: Wed May 16 07 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cook on site only...ONLY way the HD allows me... Wink
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BBQMAN
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PostPosted: Wed May 16 07 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On-site ipls.

There is plenty of great ifo here. Please take the time to wade through it all. The only cost is some of your time- a true bargain! Wink Very Happy
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dollahite



Joined: 15 Jun 2008
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Location: San Luis Obispo, California

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17 08 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is an EXCELLENT thread Cool THANKS!!! Razz
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Nickybibye



Joined: 07 Aug 2008
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Location: Holland, MI

PostPosted: Sun Aug 10 08 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow...I am just getting to the point I am able to navagate correctly around this site...and I have to agree with everyone here...GREAT INFORMATION!!!

So far I found answers to all of my questions in just a few simple clicks...

Thanks
Nicky~
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Dace
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Joined: 06 Aug 2008
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Location: Brockton Ma.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 11 08 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't want this to be a full time career only a way to make a few bucks on the weekends and to be doing something that I enjoy. My bro in law has a keen eye for BBQ and we are considering this as a little side line. Sh*ts and giggles so to speak but I am not adverse to any potential bussiness ops opening up. My wife is an awesome party planner and I think she would be an asset to any gig we may get. I know a lot of local bands that do private gigs and would like someone else to cater other than their wives. Wives would like that also. I guess the adage of KISS (keep it simple stupid) will work for the part timer.
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Kosmos Q
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21 08 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So my only ques. is BBQMAN how did you hold down a full time job and cater for 3 years? Did you nostly do weekend jobs? Or did you have an employee?
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marvsbbq
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21 08 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not BBQMAN but will answer from MY experience...

Last edited by marvsbbq on Sat Mar 27 10 10:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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Get Your Rub On BBQ
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 26 08 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You guys are a wealth of knowledge. It's great to be part of a site that everyone helps out with advise and insight as what to do next to pursue your dream.
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BBQMAN
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Joined: 13 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24 08 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I'm not Marv, but it happened pretty much the same way for me. Cool

I also am (or was) at an advantage of having grown up in the area that I currently reside, and had trade skills to provide for my family during my slow times.

In short, the catering business didn't happen overnight, but rather built up over time until I had to make a choice.

I still do some tinkering, but not near what I did (purely out of necessity at the time) years ago to make ends meet.

My business is established- I do pretty well considering the current economic situation in this country.

If I wasn't I'd still be doing trades work.

I consider myself blessed everyday that I'm able to do a job that I love and make a fair wage.
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Bluegrass BBQ
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Joined: 04 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24 08 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent thread. I don't know how I missed it for so long. I started like most of the folks on here. I have been doing this on week ends and my days off for about 3 years. I stared by going to the health dept and setting down with them and gathering information about the do's and don'ts. I then took the food handlers class and got my card. I got all my permits, license, and insurance.

In this area we have a lot of fairs and festivals. I started doing the closest ones I could find with a cooker, 10X10 canopy, a couple chafing dishes and a few coolers. That was in 2005 and I did 3 events that year. 2006 I added a little more equipment and two more events. That is when I decided I wanted to do this when I retired in 2 years so we started to buy more equipment.

2007 we bought a 20' home built concession trailer. At one of the events in 06 I was asked if I did catering and would I come around in Jan 07 and talk to them. I did and booked my first catering job for 250 people for the next Aug. Shortly after that I got a call from a local Bluegrass Music festival which draws about 5000 people. These are the two events that put us on our way.

2008 everything just kind of took off. I have worked almost every week end and the catering business just took off. We have done 6 jobs for 100 to 250. 8 jobs for 50 to 100. All of them from word of mouth. I am working on ad advertising plan for 09.

I could go on but it would be to long and to involved. The point of telling this story is to give other folks insight as to how a business takes time to develop when you are part time.

I have always herd the saying that "Experience is the best teacher" but that is only have true. Really "experience is the best teacher as long as it is someone else experience". That is why this web site is the greatest. The people on here are so willing to share there knowledge freely that it has helped a beginner like me gain the experience and knowledge to pull of some of the jobs I have done.Thank you for everything.

I don't know what 2009 holds for us but I trust the Lord will provide plenty of opportunities.
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Virginia Q
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16 08 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great thread, just like to add a couple of cents worth of thought from someone who just started catering this year and has already moved it into a full time job vending from a mobile kitchen.

BBQMan was right to start his list with the health department. Our experience there was different than many of you are experiencing in that we have a great relationship with them and that they were instrumental in our establishment. Start with a festival that allows temporary food booths and go to the health department before you get your set-up. Ask them what they would like to see in your booth and follow that to the letter EXCEPT where you go above and beyond. Most food booths that I have observed try to cheat the regulations to do the least amount of work or prep possible. DON'T. For our first attempt I told my wife that I was going to try to make our booth so over the top compliant that the HD would love it and begin to trust that we were serious. In fact at our first festival, other booths were sent to our booth to see how it was done correctly.

Given this start they were more than willing to work with us in advance when were designing our Mobile Kitchen trailer. It was also very helpful having already coordinated through them when we went to the county for the appropriate permits. It may be a function of our region but most departments of the county we dealt with deferred many of their requirements to the health department requirements and since we met all of those it was simple for the most part.

Also remember, the HD regs are for the protection of the public and we feel good knowing that we are doing what we can to keep our food safe.
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whatsmokin



Joined: 17 Jan 2009
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Location: Arnold, MO

PostPosted: Sat Jan 17 09 7:58 am    Post subject: Temporary Facility vs. Permanent Reply with quote

Since I live outside of St. Louis in a county called Jefferson. There is a difference between a temporary facility and a permanent. But, our health department had another category of "mobile" unit. And boy-oh-boy....I found it was all around the way to go.

I wanted to sell my food; but the only way to do that "AT HOME" is to convert a part of your house to a commercial kitchen. Well, that wasn't going to happen. Then, they sent me the "mobile unit" guide lines and BAMM.....I was in like flint.

My husband and I bought an old 1976 Prowler, Camper Trailer and since he does "high-end" kitchens for a living, he gutted it and converted it to a commercial kitchen. We drew up the plans, submitted it to the health department, they approved the plans and we proceeded to get started.

We did EVERYTHING they wanted - to the extent that - when we finally finished - they came to inspect and passed us on the first visit. The inspector said, "I've never passed anyone on the first visit before."

NOW, I HAVE IT FOR SALE, BECAUSE I DID SO WELL, THAT I NOW WANT TO OPEN A SMALL RESTAURANT. IF YOU WANNA SEE MORE, JUST SEND ME A PRIVATE EMAIL.

It is truly the way to go. It even has a bathroom in it. AND BEST OF ALL, YOU CAN COOK IN YOUR DRIVEWAY AND IT'S LEGAL..... Laughing
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jhill55
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Joined: 22 Jul 2008
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Location: Kettering, Ohio

PostPosted: Wed May 13 09 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why is this thread not pinned?
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SoEzzy
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Joined: 13 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Wed May 13 09 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jhill55 wrote:
Why is this thread not pinned?


http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=24737 because it's in this thread that is stickied!
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Jeff T
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Joined: 08 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Wed May 13 09 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bluegrass BBQ wrote:
Excellent thread. I don't know how I missed it for so long. I started like most of the folks on here. I have been doing this on week ends and my days off for about 3 years. I stared by going to the health dept and setting down with them and gathering information about the do's and don'ts. I then took the food handlers class and got my card. I got all my permits, license, and insurance.

In this area we have a lot of fairs and festivals. I started doing the closest ones I could find with a cooker, 10X10 canopy, a couple chafing dishes and a few coolers. That was in 2005 and I did 3 events that year. 2006 I added a little more equipment and two more events. That is when I decided I wanted to do this when I retired in 2 years so we started to buy more equipment.


2007 we bought a 20' home built concession trailer. At one of the events in 06 I was asked if I did catering and would I come around in Jan 07 and talk to them. I did and booked my first catering job for 250 people for the next Aug. Shortly after that I got a call from a local Bluegrass Music festival which draws about 5000 people. These are the two events that put us on our way.

2008 everything just kind of took off. I have worked almost every week end and the catering business just took off. We have done 6 jobs for 100 to 250. 8 jobs for 50 to 100. All of them from word of mouth. I am working on ad advertising plan for 09.

I could go on but it would be to long and to involved. The point of telling this story is to give other folks insight as to how a business takes time to develop when you are part time.

I have always herd the saying that "Experience is the best teacher" but that is only have true. Really "experience is the best teacher as long as it is someone else experience". That is why this web site is the greatest. The people on here are so willing to share there knowledge freely that it has helped a beginner like me gain the experience and knowledge to pull of some of the jobs I have done.Thank you for everything.

I don't know what 2009 holds for us but I trust the Lord will provide plenty of opportunities.


As of this year i am in your first two paragraphs of getting this started except the retirement part, be a while for me yet. No its not easy to get into catering but so far i think its going good.
Did a small job last December for 40 at the Hospital, a grad party last weekend, vending a small car show it three weeks.
September this year (waiting for the conformation) a wedding of 200 people. Did a quote for a family reunion of 100 yet to confirm. She told me "sounds good" "will check with the others & send you another email to confirm". Still waiting but not holding my breath on those.
Looking into a few fairs for this year also.
Always some one from either my work place or the wife's that want me to do the "meat only" thing. Picked a few of them to fit in my weekends. On of the wife's supervisors really loves my BBQ, always asking for either butts or briskets for her family gatherings. Very willing to pay me what ever i need. I don't mind those kinds of "meat only" jobs. Although i try to stay away from doing too many of them. Pretty risky but a few i feel we can trust i will do.
Its been fun so far, still not a house hold name here in small town USA but looking better as time goes.
Everyone here has been a big help to me even though i don't post much about catering i`m reading & learning right along with you all.
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Bluegrass BBQ
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Joined: 04 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Wed May 13 09 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep up the good work and keep the faith. Don't under charge on the meat only as was doing but I have increased my per lb for pulled pork and I am thinking about going to a straight per person price on all meats. You have to get paid for your time and that has got to be worth something. Good Luck and God Bless!
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Frosty
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PostPosted: Thu May 14 09 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

one other old saying to keep in mind..
"Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it ,then hate it"

Hobbies are fun, but then, after taking the plunge ( full time) , it just ain't so fun anymore.

(( Except for being a p*rn Star, maybe)) Laughing Laughing

I made this mistake once( NO, not the p*rn star thing ).. about 25 years ago. Some things lose their appeal when you HAVE TO do it. Rolling Eyes
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jhill55
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Joined: 22 Jul 2008
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Location: Kettering, Ohio

PostPosted: Fri May 29 09 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quick question. Do I need an operating license for the county I live in, or do I need something from each county where festivals are held?
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BBQMAN
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PostPosted: Fri May 29 09 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jhill55 wrote:
Quick question. Do I need an operating license for the county I live in, or do I need something from each county where festivals are held?


That depends, as I don't know the laws in Ohio.

Here, regular festival vendors can get a temprary vending permit for each event for $120, or spend $1,000 and do as many as they can fit in for one year.

Most festivals and the like are governed by State regulations. Check with your Dept. Of Proffesional Regulation, usually available on-line.
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marvsbbq
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PostPosted: Fri May 29 09 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In My state if you are a licensed caterer there is no charge for a permit to do festivals but one is still needed for each and every one we do.

If you are not a licensed caterer, there is a fee but not sure how much...never applied to me.
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