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Thinking about this crazy vending thing

 
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PiratesofthePit



Joined: 31 May 2014
Posts: 9
Location: Marietta, Ga

PostPosted: Sat Jan 02 16 10:35 am    Post subject: Thinking about this crazy vending thing Reply with quote

Yesterday I cooked 6 butts for different friends and family members. Every single one of them told me that the people that they fed said it was the best BBQ that they have had. One was a person who was s member of s competition team for a few years. These were strangers, not the friends and family who would have felt obligated to say they liked it. The reason I know these people said this is because I saw Facebook posts about it. A LOT of them.

This got me to thinking of getting set up to maybe really make a push to start selling my 'Q. Have any of you done something similar and just how did you get started? I would like to get set up to cook for events, on site, for now. Private parties and such. Get word of mouth going before I start thinking about the next step of a full fledged brick and mortar place.

Any thoughts?
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pennell17



Joined: 11 Mar 2014
Posts: 7
Location: Rising Sun, Md

PostPosted: Sat Jan 02 16 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey ,that's my story too.I am equipping my trailer now and plan to be legal by March. Start at your local Health Department. Explain to them your intentions, They will instruct you on the requirements to be legal. Good luck
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castrovillecowboy
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Joined: 26 Nov 2015
Posts: 268
Location: living in VA, heart still in TX

PostPosted: Sun Jan 03 16 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Me Three!!! Laughing

I took the new build out for New Years Polar Plunge (will post that in off topic) and got great feedback. I would like to start an every other weekend type deal where I could vend or do private parties.
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Mr Tony's BBQ
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Joined: 01 Aug 2010
Posts: 5062
Location: Fredonia Wi

PostPosted: Sun Jan 03 16 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started out similar 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' !
On a side note : Not trying to be an a$$, but c'mon man...Tx and "polar plunge"..LOL...It was in the upper 20's here for ours, Lake Michigan water temp was 33° Wink ! [and I was on my couch!!] These BBQ hours ages a guy QUICK!
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SoEzzy
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Joined: 13 Oct 2006
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Location: SLC, UT

PostPosted: Sun Jan 03 16 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Listen to the man, read his threads going back over the years!

Thanks for telling it like you've found it Mr Tony!

A long read, but well worth it for the knowledge it contains.
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castrovillecowboy
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Joined: 26 Nov 2015
Posts: 268
Location: living in VA, heart still in TX

PostPosted: Mon Jan 04 16 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Tony Good to hear the un-embellished version.

On the other note- I wish I was back in TX, unfortunately I live in VA now. Still a lot warmer than Michigan, it was upper 40's here with a steady breeze Better than 2 years ago when there was ice ( all be it thin) on the lake.
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Mr Tony's BBQ
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Joined: 01 Aug 2010
Posts: 5062
Location: Fredonia Wi

PostPosted: Tue Jan 05 16 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Chris! It IS a labor of love Wink
Sorry about the location confusion Castro.... Embarassed
Another HUGE note.....:
Social media can be your friend and enemy. We have gov. employee's who creep all forms of it to attempt to pin things on people and small businesses.
I have had this happen this past year - faceplant, both biz and personal accounts, even AFTER personal acct was set to "private".
They also are trying to use my past posts here on the Ring of 'plans' I had....Things that never actually happened! I wouldnt doubt carl is reading THIS VERY POST! He DID include a screen shot from a prior post in his accusations against me, but DID NOT use the follow up posts for clarifications!
Success comes with its headaches.......... Crying or Very sad
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cjschuckwagon
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Joined: 04 Aug 2007
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Location: northwest pa, but my heart is in avery california

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27 16 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be careful, the bug doesnt let go easy once youve caught it. Sounds like its too late for you...

I have turned to vending, in many forms. Currently adapting to food trailer for the working man...launching this april...god willing and the inspector likes me....cj

Above all Have Fun!
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why see a shrink, bbq therapy...be one with the pig....cj
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Mr Tony's BBQ
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Joined: 01 Aug 2010
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Location: Fredonia Wi

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27 16 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cjschuckwagon wrote:
Be careful, the bug doesnt let go easy once youve caught it. Sounds like its too late for you...

I have turned to vending, in many forms. Currently adapting to food trailer for the working man...launching this april...god willing and the inspector likes me....cj

Above all Have Fun!


My first inspector didnt have a any more a clue about the food industry than I did, and he had been an inspector for 23 years!! I came at him with " I have put up with building inspectors nonsense for 20+ years and I dont need any here"...he retired before I actually opened, issued me my license and never showed up again - never having inspected me!!...2nd inspector: never met the 2 years he was my inspector....3rd inspector, same...never met....4th inspector went ape-chit on me for being licensed wrong - nicely told her to talk to her predecessors who issued my licenses as they were, for the past 5 years...She came back a week later telling me something I already knew = her predecessors were idiots! We get along GREAT!
Misc. city / town / county inspectors all have different idea's on how to "interpret" the law....Learn it so you can tell them where they are wrong!
Most inspectors simply have serv-safe and a degree, not necessarily a food related degree! One near me has a degree in forestry! I will leave it at that Wink Shocked Very Happy
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SoEzzy
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Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 13184
Location: SLC, UT

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27 16 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr Tony's BBQ wrote:
One near me has a degree in forestry! I will leave it at that Wink Shocked Very Happy


I like the guy, but his attitude is a little wooden! Wink Laughing Rolling Eyes
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cjschuckwagon
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Joined: 04 Aug 2007
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Location: northwest pa, but my heart is in avery california

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28 16 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That joke was petrifying....cj
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