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Where do you live, and how does it affect your business?

 
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BBQMAN
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Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 15470
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Wed Feb 28 07 12:08 am    Post subject: Where do you live, and how does it affect your business? Reply with quote

I was lucky enough to grow up in St. Petersburg Florida. Little did I know that the weather here would directly affect my business down the road!

Our busy season is October-June. I get a 4th of July party, and then nothing much happens until October when things cool off. This makes my BBQ season 8 month's long, and has contributed to our success. I quit my "day job" three plus years ago, and never looked back! Very Happy

The Tampa Bay area also has 3 Million potential clients. For those of you that live in a more rural setting, how does that affect you?

For those of you that live up north and operate a BBQ business, what do you do in the "off" month's to support your family?
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marvsbbq
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Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 6186

PostPosted: Wed Feb 28 07 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too find it intresting how everyone does their catering business.

For me, I live in the state capitol of Olympia, WA. Being in the capitpl, state agencies have mandatory meetings that call departmet heads and stafff from all over the state to come here to attend. The state pays for meals for these meetings. That is where we come in. Laughing But this only accounts for about 15% of our total business.

Our 'season' as we call it, is from April-Oct...depending on weather so about 6 months (+/-) We do a few in the 'off season' but not too many, just too cold out.

To get by in the 'off season' we spend some of the $$ we made during the reg season....but that is also when we take our vacation(s) and just generally goofing off. To say we make enough in the summer to make it through the winter is...right on.

We like to have a 'season' as we work our butts off during the reg season working at times anywhere from 10-15 days in a row. But we do this knowing that in a few months it will all come to screetching halt when the season is over.

Then in the winter months, we start looking forward to doing it all over again.......this (we think) keeps us from getting burned out from working to hard.

Yea, we have catered parties in 100* heat to 4" of snow and ALL the darn rain you could ask for. That all being said.....we have not found any place we would rather live... Laughing Laughing It REALLY does not rain EVERY day like some think it does.
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corndog
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Joined: 02 Dec 2006
Posts: 1209
Location: Zebulon, NC

PostPosted: Wed Feb 28 07 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live in NC and we cook year round....and of course the busy times are May, June, and Dec. But we stay steady year round, except for Jan/Feb when our weather is really nasty/cold and unpredictiable.
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BBQMAN
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Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 15470
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Fri May 25 07 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This seems to be of interest lately.

Last time I asked this question (for those of you that remember! Wink ) I was accussed of looking for a date, and being a stalker! Laughing Of course if I was looking for a date (and I'm not) being a straight guy I wouldn't be looking here! Wink

Anywho, where you live (not your exact address of course) plays a part in how you run this business. Seasons vary due to weather and tourist's, competition plays a part, as well as what people can actually afford to pay...........
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Harry Nutczak
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Joined: 01 Mar 2007
Posts: 8562
Location: The Northwoods

PostPosted: Fri May 25 07 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, first year start-up for me. so who flippin knows whats going to happen. I am getting inquiries on a daily basis just by word of mouth, so things might be looking good.

But, for a regular employment situation around here, we work our butts off all summer (That means memorial day, to Labor day) which coincides with "Tourist season" (but if it's tourist season, why cant we shoot'em?)
and in the snowy months ice-fishing, hunting, & snowmobiling.

Things are starting to get busy around here more and more with the start of fishing season (1st weekend in May) until the end of deer season. (thanksgiving weekend) because several of the huge resorts are selling out their cabin's as condominiums. So the restaurant business is slowly dying due to more home cooked meals (2nd home, vacation home cooked meals)

But here is our normal deal, we bust our butts all summer working as many hours as we can, Fish at every chance available to fill the freezer with fish,pick fresh berries, Dry, freeze,, and make jams from them. By Deer hunting season the local population drops by about 2/3rds, if we do not have an income during deer season, we fill the freezer with as much venison as we can. Collect unemployment Comp. until that runs out, then live off the summer savings until spring.

For fall/winter "Side money", I do Bobcat work, light landscaping, Tree removal, Snow removal, Shovel snow from roof's, Gamble at the casino. Sell stuff on ebay that I collected over the summer. and I do odd jobs like satellite TV service, and pre-wire homes for satellite tv & entertainment systems while they are being built.

I have been approached by 2 local venison processors (Home based business's) to smoke some game meats for them, (Summer sausage & snack sticks) so that could lead to some more coin in the winter. And we have a self-storage business that we use for an income in the winter too. in about 2-3 weeks, we will be 50% vacant, and fill up again after Labor Day.

So, I am hoping I make enough money this season to replenish my start-up cost's. and to keep me in ammunition, bait, and enough gas, & oil for the snowmobile.

I already have a very large planning calender on the wall to write down every party I do, the weather at the time of party, food cost's. and the general crowd conditions around here just to try & forecast my next season.

heck, maybe I will be a snowbird and come down to Florida in the winter, Drive slow in the left lane with my blinker on for 5 miles, and sell BBQ on the side of the road.
it seems to be a good business!!

Maybe I can get the much coveted spot between Gibsonton & Tampa on Hwy 41!! (just kidding Q-Man)
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BBQMAN
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Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 15470
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Fri May 25 07 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can get that spot as long as you use lighter fluid Harry! Laughing

Your situation sounds just like what our family in Maine deals with. I had considered going up there for the Summer month's, but it just isn't profitable enough to warrant leaving town.

Like you, I stay busy with trades work in the Summer (my "off" season) and get caught up on the honey-do list as well! Laughing

Thanks for sharing how things go for you up North! Very Happy
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pARTYCOOKER
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Joined: 13 Apr 2005
Posts: 111
Location: South East

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08 07 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live in South Central Virginia and about one hour above the NC border.
I stay slammed from April through Sept. and then it's almost as if nothing happens during the winter months. My NC friends seem to stay busy year round though. It's a little warmer down there but Carolina folks seem to also be more outgoing than Virginians in my experience.

Also it effects my business because where I live folks are very familiar with Carolina style Q and thats what they like howevor we cook in Charlottseville too one hour north and there people are not at all familiar with NC style Q.

It's very interesting at times.
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milt
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 1233
Location: June-OCT N.Y. Nov-May FL

PostPosted: Wed May 07 08 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I spend my time between FL. Oct.-May, and N.Y. June-
Sep. In N.Y. we are in the western Catskill mountains,
the only way to get more then 10 people together at
one time is to have a festival! so we do them and
some private parties. In FL. we do a farmers Market
on Sat. good way to get our name out to the senior
communities and RV parks. That takes care of the winter.
Oh Harry snowbirds come south just to catch all the
early-bird specials they can Rolling Eyes When you work
up north then head south to work some more you are
just a migrant worker Wink
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justin



Joined: 28 Oct 2008
Posts: 15
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Fri Oct 31 08 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live in Hong Kong, I haven't really started yet but so far...
July to the begining of October is the "dead/slow" months in most of the F&B, restaurant industry. Except, the junk boat trips and beach parties. It's just to damn hot over here to do anything else. A lot of the expats go home during those months. The city turns into one big heat oven with all the cars and aircon running. Where I live the skeeters are for lack of a better word, bad!!!
Chinese New Year is another dead month. For a whole week everthing is closed! Except bars and some restaurants. If you aren't with your family you are out of country. Last year my wife and I went to Thailand for a week and saw more Chinese on vacation than we did in Hong Kong!!!
Weather plays a big influence on things here. I know during the summer/rainy season I will be hurting for clients but Oct.-Jan then Mar-Jun. I'll (hopefully) make enough cash to make it through the slow months. If not, I'll just go back to what I'm doing now and try to do things on the side.
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Bluegrass BBQ
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Joined: 04 Mar 2008
Posts: 502
Location: Summersville, WV

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24 08 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well it was a long season but I am through for the winter. I got everything winterized last Sat. Mobile kitchen cleaned, and winterized. Cooker cleaned and pressure washed. Mobile home cleaned and winterized. All items that could possible freeze put inside and just in the nick of time.

Left for Charlotte NC. Sunday to go to the Southeast Christmas Show to do BBQ Sauce tasting last Monday and Tuesday for the West Virginia Country Store which is sponsored by the West Virginia Dept of Agirculture. What a show and what a turn out. Handed out samples for two days and they said they sold fifteen cases of our sauce. What a trip. While there we get a call from home that they got 16" of snow Monday night.

By the time we got back late Tues night they had the main roads cleared but the side roads were still nasty. Then Thurs we get another 5 inches. What a start for winter. This is early snow. Still digging out.

I have one more possibility for a Christmas dinner for 270 on the 12 th of December. I haven't finalized the deal yet but that should be the last one. The place they rented has a nice kitchen I can use so it will be fairly simple.

Thanks for all the support and help I got this past year from all you great folks. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Jim
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