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Exploring the possibility of selling 'Que as a side business

Discussion in 'Catering & Large Group Gatherings' started by srivera1965, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. Hey gang,

    I've been a member here for awhile, but have been MIA (life got real busy for awhile) but now I'm back and trying to get reaquainted with everybody here. My, this website sure has grown! Jeff, you really got something good going here. I'm so glad to be back...

    Anyway, I have been thinking/wishing/hoping/wanting to look into setting up somewhere (store parking lot, for example) and sell 'que on the weekends as a p/t side business. And as I am thinking about doing this, I'm trying to write down any questions that pop up in my head.  But for now, if any of you have some input - as in, would a venture like this even be worth it? - that sort of thing. I welcome all thoughts, comments and suggestions. Take care and happy smoking!!!!
  2. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    First of all you need to check w/ the local board of health or whoever inspects eating establishments to see what criteria you have to meet to sell food. after that if you are still wanting to do this get back to me. Lots of us want to sell our smokes . but are not willing to jump thru all the hoops the govt requires.
  3. nozzleman

    nozzleman Smoking Fanatic

    While you are checking go to city hall or it's equivalent and see if they even allow you to do it. In the city I work for you would not be permitted to sell que in that way even if you had a health dept. permit and food handler card.
  4. rp ribking

    rp ribking Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Good Luck[​IMG]
  5. Well, first of all this is my first post on this site. So hello everyone!

    Did this venture end up working out for you? Did you get it off the ground? I'd like to eventually do the same thing---but I am a ways off :)

    Give us an update---and it is great to finally post on here! :)
  6. Didn't see any replies to this - so, anyone have any input? I have some experience with restaurant cooking (15 yrs) and cooking for large gatherings (most of my adult life!) - so I think that aspect of things I could handle. I've also worked in large venues such as firemen's picnics and such, so I know the selling end as well as production. But - I know many use their catering/side businesses to support their BBQ circuit addiction (~S~) How do you get there from liking to 'Q in your front yard and making the neighbors drool? 
  7. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    First thing is to practice untill you can make a consistant product - take notes and only adjust one or two things at a time, make sure your results are repeatable. Once you feel confident get a few friends and family members to try your BBQ and give you their opinions - it may taste great to you, but be to spicy for somebody else. Adjust accordingly after feedback.

    Once you have the preliminary out to the way there are a couple of ways to break into it:
    1. If you or your significant other work in a large company offer to provide lunch sometime. Then let folks know that you would be willing to take orders. Then you set up a system where you have folks submit orders to you between Mon. & Wed., cook the food on Thurs., then food can be delivered on Fri. at their work place. This would allow you to start a customer base, get your product out there, and would probably also get you some catering jobs.
    2. Second option is to start a small catering outfit that specializes in BBQ and pass out fliers to churches, bussinesses, ect.
  8. smokey mo

    smokey mo Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Johnny is dead on.  

    We started volunteering at church and ended up catering for a private school dinner auction, now when we want to try a new idea my wife uses facebook to and takes orders from friends as Guinea Pigs.  We make a little money and they give us very valuable feedback.  I always tell them if it is horrible I will give their money back.  Never had to do it.  We have enough of a following now that we are being asked almost weekly "when" we are going to open a stand, not if. 

    The next step is the government regs. In Oregon I have city, county, state and health that all have different regs. and I need all of them to operate.  If I want to go across the Columbia and serve in Washington it doubles.  Still in the shock stage but making progress.

    I think I am more tending towards festivals and the like than a full time stand.  My day job pays well, has insurance and supports my smoking habit.

    Good luck and keep at it, dreams sometimes take a lot more effort but are worth it in the end.