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Selling point...

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Ok, just curious about your thought on this, i have a new smoker and want to get into entry level catering, and with the way the ecomony is, i think is going to make it a bit harder to sell your product. So i called a couple local BBQ joints to see what they charge, and they was around $6.25 to $12.25 per plate, which is about what i thought it would be, depending on what you wanted with it, now i have people asking me to smoke meat for them with them bringing me the meat to put on my smoker, and then comes the question How much do you charge? I threw a number out there of $6.50 per pound w/ a 10lb min. And she acted like i just ran over her dog, well so and so does it for $1.00 per pound w/ a 10lb min. I called them and sure enough $1.00 per pound w/ a 10lb min. Now my question is, its obvious these people have'nt got much sense smoking at that price(12lb butt= $12.00 for 15 hrs or so of work + prep time), but what are some selling point's that might be used to get people away from that and paying me at least a fair price to smoke there meat. I know mine is better because i have had the other BBQ joints and it dosen't even compare to mine.
Just looking for thoughts and input on this.

post #2 of 26
I have never had the issue of charging people like you have but I agree $15 for 12 hours of work hardly seems like a fair deal. Unless you can fill your smoker up and you are doing say 10 butts (depending on how big your smoker is) then at least you are making a little money. Hey if you fire the smoker up you might as well fill it. Maybe you have to set some rules saying I will only smoke these certain days if I have have at least X amount lbs of meat in the smoker before I will bother dealing with $1 a lb. Its not fair to you to give up a whole day for $15 unless you were already smoking. Just my $0.02.
post #3 of 26
I have no idea on what to charge, but I would not smoke other peoples meat. From a saftry stand point, did they thaw it correctly etc. The 6 to 12 a plate seemed very fair
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
Correct, i have a lang 60 so i could load it up like you said, i like the idea of only smoking certain days that way i can set a certain poundage that it will take to fire up the smoker. Good input.
post #5 of 26
I hope you are not getting ahead of yourself. To sell food to the general public you also need to get a catering license. You need to have your catering or vending trailer approved. Meaning the floor plan and all the equipment will need to be inspected and approved by a inspector of your states health department. You need to jump through all their hoops and pay all the fees before you start handing out pulled pork or anything else to the general public. Insurance is also another issue you will need to look into.

You may or may not need to be a certified food manager depending upon if you plan to employ people in your business venture or not.
Not trying to throw a wet blanket on your enthusiasim but just make sure you have all the I's dotted and T's crossed or you may find yourself in some situation you did not expect.
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
Yea the 6 to 12 i can do that and provide a damn good plate at that price, but i have friends that are always wanting meat smoked, and jsut trying to figure out a way to where i can offer my service for maybe a better price than $1.00 per pound, and the market here where i live may not allow it, but going to find out.

I do not smoke meat for people i dont know yet, only buddy's, as i am still in the process of getting everything lined out with the health dept.
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
Yes i am going through all them hoops as we speak, just trying to figure out and trying to set a price so i might make a little extra cash on the side, it will be just like a 2nd job for me, and something to enjoy and getting out during the off season of hunting season.
post #8 of 26
$1 a pound would not be worth it that is for sure. Unless you were doing 100 pounds at a time.
post #9 of 26
^^ Good for you! It's not a easy process getting everything lined up. I considered doing it for awhile. First thing I did was to look in the yellow pages and seen how many ads there were for caterers. I quickly realized that for a area our size we were well saturated with quality caterers and that trying to break into the business would most likely turn out to be a black money hole.
Many of them have rock solid reputations and are well entrenched and networked.
It's a tough biz. Best of luck to you!!
post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 
No s**t, not to me anyway, i guess if you dont smoke your own food you think it cooks in no time and its done, i just think people dont understand these smokes take upwards of 12+ hours.
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Yea i have looked in the yellow pages here, maybe a little heavy in the BBQ business here, but then again im doing it for fun because i enjoy smoking, and im looking to do the small parties of 50 or less, nothing to big to start out with, and if it grows into something big, then great, if it becomes a black money hole, which i hope it dosen't then i will maybe look at just doing BBQ competition events.
post #12 of 26
Look into doing church or small community gatherings. Do it for cost just to get your feet wet and get the feedback from people on your product. Beleive me there are no more discerning critics than your local church ladies!!icon_smile.gif Most of these gals have been cooking before you were born and they know what good food is!

Get to know some city council members at local small communities. They always have something or other days during the summer and they will be the ones organizing. Offer to set up your rig and serve pulled pork sammies at just over your cost. Good way to get your name and product out there.
Be carefull going in as with everything there are politics involved and you don't want to step on someones toes who matters. tongue.gif
post #13 of 26
Or what if you charge them hourly? I'm guessing they won't like that idea but at least then it wouldn't matter how many lbs of meat they give you. Maybe you tell them I will smoke for X amount an hour if you have under X lbs of meat. If you have over X lbs of meat I will smoke for X $'s a lb.
post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
I have to get off here and try to go some some plumbing to my customers, will be checking back in later today.
post #15 of 26
RdKnB has a very good point there.
In Canada you have to have a food safety ticket to be able to handle foodstuffs for sale to the public. Even to do prep work in a restaurant requires one.

By accepting meat from the customer you might get different quality meats, one might be "enhanced" and another might be of good quality from a butcher shop. Cooked at the same time they would turn out quite different in taste and texture. You need to know without a doubt that everything you put in the smoker is going to be relatively the same when its done.

I bet you'd be liable for any food poisoning caused by a customers poorly handled meat.

In my Buddy's auto repair shop he has a sign.

Shop time= $65 per hour 60 day warranty.
Customer supplied parts= Shop time $100 per hour, no warranty.
post #16 of 26
ya I think making a sliding scale for your prices would be your best bet
post #17 of 26
$6.50 a lb to just cook it is crack smokin high IMO, around here you get finished meat for $5.99 lb brisket, $3.50-$5 a lb on butts, one local sells whole butts at $15.99 cooked and ready to eat! Even with a lang its hard to compete with a big FEC, Southern Pride or Stumps as they hold more meat while burning much less fuel. I would say since you obviously are going to be cooking for yourself at least once in a while make those the days you cook for people and offset your wood and rub price getting the $1 per lb.
post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 
The $6.50 is for a plate of 1 meat, 2 sides, and a roll, and a drink, and i only smoke for the people i know, and i have them to bring it to me fresh and never frozen, or i wont even consider smoking it, what i can't understand is why someone would crap there self's because someone wanted more than $1.00 to smoke meat for them. im thinking about just trying $1.75 per pound smoked and wrapped in foil for that price, and for $.50 cents extra pull it or slice it. If they dont want to pay that, then i guess they eat the junk at the local BBQ Shack. Just amazing that someone would expect you to work 12-15 hours and only pay around $12 for a 8lb pork shoulder to be smoked, that or i just buy the meat myself and smoke it, then sell the finished product.
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 
Unbelivable, just had a women call me and asked what i chraged to smoke a 12lb brisket, I told $1.75 per lb. and she asured me that i was way high, and that she would pay me .20 cents a lb. Are you f'ing kidding me, do people really think you will do smokes like that for them at that price.

do you guys, just do parties like 20+ or will you smoke for anyone,anysize?
post #20 of 26
I've given away soo much pork that I'll never get my money back,butt when asked how much to smoke a butt my price is $20 to $30 for 8 pounder that I pick out when I'm buying mine. In Ga. if you don't have a license it's $1000 per BUTT that's on the grill so make sure you're dealing with real good friends!

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