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First Bbq event

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Joined Jun 19, 2021
I have been BBQin for 6yrs now with my offset unit. I am ready to hit the road and start my business doing small party gatherings.Client phoned and wants to have 1500 people.
I would like to do it but don't know how many brisket to make and can I pre-cook the meat to stay ahead of the flow.
My offset can do 4x 16lbs at a time.
 

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chef jimmyj

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Welcome to SMF. You are certainly Jumping into the Deep End with Both Feet!😊 Small Parties are 50 or 100 people. 1500 ? That's Aaron Franklin Volume!
For Sandwiches of 1 protein, Brisket, 1.5 4 ounce portions are common. Women and Kids will usually eat 1 sandwich, Men, 2 sandwiches. If this is Plated, Meat and 2-3 Sides, 8 ounces of Cooked Beef is the norm.
For Sandwiches...1500 X 6 oz(1.5 portion sandwiches) =9000oz / 16 = 562.5lbs cooked beef / 0.5% yield = 1125lbs Raw beef / 16lb per = ~71 Packers / 4 @a time = 18 Cooks!
When are you going to smoke this much? Where are you going to store 71 Briskets Raw and then Cooked, Brisket is not as good reheated as Fresh off the smoker.
What are you serving with it and where will that be stored? Do you have to serve it or just drop off hot pans of meat? Do you have Pots, Pans, Spoons, Sauce Despensers, Hot and Cold Holding equipment? Do you have Equipment to Prep and Store Raw and Cooked Ingredients? Do you have the required equipment to Clean and Sanitize all equipment including a Three Tub, Wash, Rinse and Sanitize Sink with the necessary Chemicals? Do you have the necessary Permits/Business License, Tax Id and Multi-Million Dollar Liability Insurance Policy? Does your State/County require all Cooking be done in a Health Inspected Commissary Kitchen, separate from your home, If so is ALL your Equipment Professional Grade and NSF Certified?
Different States have Different Requirements. Your Smoker, as nice as it is, would not be legal to use in all 50 states.

There is A LOT of work and equipment that goes into a 1500 person Catering Job. Above is just the basics to do this Legally and Safely.There is much I didn't go into. Lots to research and think about and pay for upfront. I wish you luck...JJ
 
7
9
Joined Jun 19, 2021
Welcome to SMF. You are certainly Jumping into the Deep End with Both Feet!😊 Small Parties are 50 or 100 people. 1500 ? That's Aaron Franklin Volume!
For Sandwiches of 1 protein, Brisket, 1.5 4 ounce portions are common. Women and Kids will usually eat 1 sandwich, Men, 2 sandwiches. If this is Plated, Meat and 2-3 Sides, 8 ounces of Cooked Beef is the norm.
For Sandwiches...1500 X 6 oz(1.5 portion sandwiches) =9000oz / 16 = 562.5lbs cooked beef / 0.5% yield = 1125lbs Raw beef / 16lb per = ~71 Packers / 4 @a time = 18 Cooks!
When are you going to smoke this much? Where are you going to store 71 Briskets Raw and then Cooked, Brisket is not as good reheated as Fresh off the smoker.
What are you serving with it and where will that be stored? Do you have to serve it or just drop off hot pans of meat? Do you have Pots, Pans, Spoons, Sauce Despensers, Hot and Cold Holding equipment? Do you have Equipment to Prep and Store Raw and Cooked Ingredients? Do you have the required equipment to Clean and Sanitize all equipment including a Three Tub, Wash, Rinse and Sanitize Sink with the necessary Chemicals? Do you have the necessary Permits/Business License, Tax Id and Multi-Million Dollar Liability Insurance Policy? Does your State/County require all Cooking be done in a Health Inspected Commissary Kitchen, separate from your home, If so is ALL your Equipment Professional Grade and NSF Certified?
Different States have Different Requirements. Your Smoker, as nice as it is, would not be legal to use in all 50 states.

There is A LOT of work and equipment that goes into a 1500 person Catering Job. Above is just the basics to do this Legally and Safely.There is much I didn't go into. Lots to research and think about and pay for upfront. I wish you luck...JJ
Yes I have all approved licenses.
For at home business not for off site.
Working on that.
Smoker has been approved by my municipality.
This is too big for me as I thought too bad it would have been a blast .
 

forktender

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6 years? Is this a for real question?
You aren't anywhere near ready for a 1500 person catering event. (not a jab just reality)
I've been smoking food for 30+ years on my own and my family has been in the restaurant and catering business for many, many generations I wouldn't even think of tackling and event of even 100 people on my own.

That would be an easy pass for me, no way in hell would I tackle a 1500 person party for my first ever catering event. (And I do mean NO WAY IN HELL!!!!!).

(A job that size isn't even remotely possible to you or anybody for that matter as a first gig)

Hell, I wouldn't do a party of 100 for my event!!!
Wait until you have a little experience figuring out costs of fuel for your crew and your smoker and the portion size and cost of meat and every other thing served.
And how much food you need to have on hand in the event of and mistake/disaster like a dropped hotel warming tray, plus the costs and amounts of ingredients needed and the cost and time needed to complete a successful event.

Another thing is food prep area and holding and storage costs such as Cambros, cling wrap, foil and foil pans. Refrigerator space for safely holding large amounts of food at the proper food service temps.
That and serving supplies, condiments, and ice and Cambros for all the ice chests that you're going to need to transport food safely at the proper food service temps.

1500 people isn't an easy task evened for seasoned caterers that already have the needed equipment and easily have at least 10X the experience that you have and 10-20 years+ on their cooking and food service methods.

Plus 1500 people tend to talk, so if your food isn't up to par because of your inexperience with timing, prep, cooking methods for large groups and holding techniques it will crush your chances of ever having a successful catering business.


Start small, take plenty of notes, serve quality delicious food and plenty of it, communicate well, be on time with set up, food service and take down/clean up, and you have a 10% chance of having a successful catering/ food service business. Yeah, the odds aren't on your side, so you have to set yourself apart from everybody else doing it already.

I love your ambitious nature, but you're shooting at the moon with a party of this size or anywhere near it.

Dan
 
Last edited:

forktender

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Welcome to SMF. You are certainly Jumping into the Deep End with Both Feet!😊 Small Parties are 50 or 100 people. 1500 ? That's Aaron Franklin Volume!
For Sandwiches of 1 protein, Brisket, 1.5 4 ounce portions are common. Women and Kids will usually eat 1 sandwich, Men, 2 sandwiches. If this is Plated, Meat and 2-3 Sides, 8 ounces of Cooked Beef is the norm.
For Sandwiches...1500 X 6 oz(1.5 portion sandwiches) =9000oz / 16 = 562.5lbs cooked beef / 0.5% yield = 1125lbs Raw beef / 16lb per = ~71 Packers / 4 @a time = 18 Cooks!
When are you going to smoke this much? Where are you going to store 71 Briskets Raw and then Cooked, Brisket is not as good reheated as Fresh off the smoker.
What are you serving with it and where will that be stored? Do you have to serve it or just drop off hot pans of meat? Do you have Pots, Pans, Spoons, Sauce Despensers, Hot and Cold Holding equipment? Do you have Equipment to Prep and Store Raw and Cooked Ingredients? Do you have the required equipment to Clean and Sanitize all equipment including a Three Tub, Wash, Rinse and Sanitize Sink with the necessary Chemicals? Do you have the necessary Permits/Business License, Tax Id and Multi-Million Dollar Liability Insurance Policy? Does your State/County require all Cooking be done in a Health Inspected Commissary Kitchen, separate from your home, If so is ALL your Equipment Professional Grade and NSF Certified?
Different States have Different Requirements. Your Smoker, as nice as it is, would not be legal to use in all 50 states.

There is A LOT of work and equipment that goes into a 1500 person Catering Job. Above is just the basics to do this Legally and Safely.There is much I didn't go into. Lots to research and think about and pay for upfront. I wish you luck...JJ
You type quicker than me JJ.:emoji_anguished::emoji_joy::emoji_joy::emoji_joy::emoji_thumbsup:
 
7
9
Joined Jun 19, 2021
6 years? Is this a for real question?
You aren't anywhere near ready for a 1500 person catering event. (not a jab just reality)
I've been smoking food for 30+ years on my own and my family has been in the restaurant and catering business for many, many generations I wouldn't even think of tackling and event of even 100 people on my own.

That would be an easy pass for me, no way in hell would I tackle a 1500 person party for my first ever catering event. (And I do mean NO WAY IN HELL!!!!!).

(A job that size isn't even remotely possible to you or anybody for that matter as a first gig)

Hell, I wouldn't do a party of 100 for my event!!!
Wait until you have a little experience figuring out costs of fuel for your crew and your smoker and the portion size and cost of meat and every other thing served.
And how much food you need to have on hand in the event of and mistake/disaster like a dropped hotel warming tray, plus the costs and amounts of ingredients needed and the cost and time needed to complete a successful event.

Another thing is food prep area and holding and storage costs such as Cambros, cling wrap, foil and foil pans. Refrigerator space for safely holding large amounts of food at the proper food service temps.
That and serving supplies, condiments, and ice and Cambros for all the ice chests that you're going to need to transport food safely at the proper food service temps.

1500 people isn't an easy task evened for seasoned caterers that already have the needed equipment and easily have at least 10X the experience that you have and 10-20 years+ on their cooking and food service methods.

Plus 1500 people tend to talk, so if your food isn't up to par because of your inexperience with timing, prep, cooking methods for large groups and holding techniques it will crush your chances of ever having a successful catering business.


Start small, take plenty of notes, serve quality delicious food and plenty of it, communicate well, be on time with set up, food service and take down/clean up, and you have a 10% chance of having a successful catering/ food service business. Yeah, the odds aren't on your side, so you have to set yourself apart from everybody else doing it already.

I love your ambitious nature, but you're shooting at the moon with a party of this size or anywhere near it.

Dan
The intention of my question was not be disrespectful . I do have a long way to go.
I have already passed on that event and will stick to the craft beer / smoke events in my area. Still alot of work abd still havin fun.
 

kilo charlie

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The intention of my question was not be disrespectful . I do have a long way to go.
I have already passed on that event and will stick to the craft beer / smoke events in my area. Still alot of work abd still havin fun.
The having fun part is THE most important part of this art.. and I can tell you there's a HUGE difference in getting to run the smoker and HAVING to run the smoker.. having to takes every bit of fun out of it for me.
 

forktender

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The intention of my question was not be disrespectful . I do have a long way to go.
I have already passed on that event and will stick to the craft beer / smoke events in my area. Still alot of work abd still havin fun.
No disrespect sensed by me whatsoever. :emoji_thumbsup:
Keep working at it if you want it to work, it is possible, but even a party of 500 people is a feat in itself for an experienced caterer.
Dan
 

GonnaSmoke

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The having fun part is THE most important part of this art.. and I can tell you there's a HUGE difference in getting to run the smoker and HAVING to run the smoker.. having to takes every bit of fun out of it for me.
I love to fish, it's a lot of FUN, and I run a guide service. But I tell folks all the time that when fishing stops being fun and turns into work, I'll stop guiding.

To Black Bourbon, if that's your dreams and desires, go after them. But I'm sure you already understand the planning and work involved.
 

forktender

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I love to fish, it's a lot of FUN, and I run a guide service. But I tell folks all the time that when fishing stops being fun and turns into work, I'll stop guiding.

To Black Bourbon, if that's your dreams and desires, go after them. But I'm sure you already understand the planning and work involved.
Off topic, which type of fish are you guiding for?
 
7
9
Joined Jun 19, 2021
You type quicker than me JJ.:emoji_anguished::emoji_joy::emoji_joy::emoji_joy::emoji_thumbsup:
The having fun part is THE most important part of this art.. and I can tell you there's a HUGE difference in getting to run the smoker and HAVING to run the smoker.. having to takes every bit of fun out of it for me.
I feel ya pal
I've been a carpenter who has run my own business for 30 yrs now. So I can tell you having to run the smoker is challenging but has its rewards at the end. Seeing and listening to clients feed back on a great meal. Whether it be a new house build for a family or cooking a meal they won't forget.
 

thirdeye

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Welcome aboard. I pretty much agree with the logistic comments from the others.... and 1000# of raw weight meat is not an un-realistic amount fir 1,500 people. It's a good thing you turned this event down. And if the client still decides to pull this off, do whatever you can to get an invitation so you can get a first hand look at how something like this comes together.

From another angle, put yourself in the client's shoes. Whether you compute your charges based on cooked weight by the pound, or as a per plate charge, they could be easily looking at a $15,000 charge for food, and frankly there is a lot of client expectations when you charge someone more than $1,000 and it rises exponentially.

The largest event I help with will serve between 150 and 200. We've done it for 20+ years and pork butts are the main meat, with lamb and sloppy Joes and hot dogs for the kiddo's. That is plenty big enough for me. And pork butts are much easier to barbecue than briskets, and much less per pound (so we plan on having some go-boxes available). Another thing I won't get involved with are weddings. I'll cook for a bachelor party or a rehearsal luncheon but won't touch a wedding.
 

chef jimmyj

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You are off to a good start from your response. An experienced Crew, that work together prepping, can get by with one experienced cook reheating and finishing food for 100. Two cooks per 100 is more Fun and less stressful. For a 1500 person event, I dont think I would try it with a Kitchen Crew of less than 15 experienced cooks and a Half Dozen Assistants for Grunt Work.
You are making the right moves...JJ
 
7
9
Joined Jun 19, 2021
You are off to a good start from your response. An experienced Crew, that work together prepping, can get by with one experienced cook reheating and finishing food for 100. Two cooks per 100 is more Fun and less stressful. For a 1500 person event, I dont think I would try it with a Kitchen Crew of less than 15 experienced cooks and a Half Dozen Assistants for Grunt Work.
You are making the right moves...JJ
Thanks for the most awesome advise
 
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