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hi im a new member some help would be greatly appreciated!!!

Joined Oct 12, 2010
I am a totally cezed obsessed barbequer and i feel that i have a true passion for it and i was considering takeing the proper steps to open my own roadside stand. was wondering if anyone had any insight on doing this like is there money to be made? maybe some tips on being succesful in this buisness!!! im 26 and im realy sick of roofing everyday of my life and would like to do something i love thank you for the help!!!


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Apr 19, 2010
I have nothing more than typical high school job experience in the restaurant business, but I have opened and run several businesses of other types over the last 21 years.  If you think roofing is hard work....

First place to begin is your local authorities -- health dept, city/county etc. for start-up info and requirements.  Starting any business is a major PITA (not to rain on your parade or anything -- just speaking from experience).  After acquiring all of the equipment and necessary permits, licenses, etc., I would:
  1. make sure you have at least 6 months of both business and personal expenses in the bank (12 months is way better).
  2. assemble a great professional team: accountant, attorney, printer, insurance agent, employment agency, banker, etc.
  3. use this team to develop a business plan and set goals -- please don't neglect this step!!!!!
  4. WATCH OUT for the tax man -- he will kick your behind if you aren't diligent! (see "accountant" under step 2).  most new business owners neglect this area and pay dearly for it!
  5. find a great location
  6. Set an opening date about 2 -3 months out
  7. part of that business plan should include shaking hands and handing out cards and menus to 1,000 people BEFORE you ever serve your first meal (hence the 2-3 months mentioned in step 5).  Get their contact info so you can send them updates and offers when you open.  If done right, email notifications and reminder text messages of your pending opening will build excitement and generate nice crowds right out of the gate rather than starting with a trickle of customers.
  8. have a couple of huge grand opening parties -- preferably with free food or exchange your food for a suggested donation to a local worthy cause.  Again, get contact info from everyone and hand out menus, cards, etc.
  9. NEVER skimp on signage, business cards (a must) and menus.
  10. plan a lot of promotional events: free samples & discounted meals, flyers, coupons, specials
  11. start a website and Facebook page for your business
  12. collect email addresses and cell phone numbers for special text and email offers for customers
  13. join a business networking group, chamber of commerce, service organization, etc. for exposure
  14. exposure is great at street fairs, home shows, etc.  Make sure you give business cards & menus in exchange for their contact information!
  15. Consider taking orders over the internet, even with a roadside stand.  Customers are just getting into pre-ordering food online.  (Make sure you have a smart cell phone with a good data plan for this one!)
These are just the first thoughts off the top.  There is always more to starting a business than most people think, even for something as seemingly simple as a roadside good eats stand.  A large amount of groundwork goes into a start-up long before you ever launch.  Most small businesses fail because plans and goals are vague or non-existent and the groundwork is not done properly (if it's done at all!).  I see it all the time.

I have also seen businesses rocket out of the gate by following the above steps.

Good luck if you decide to give this a run.  Keep us posted here on the forum.  Cheers!


Legendary Pitmaster
SMF Premier Member
Joined Oct 17, 2009
Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview.
 I'll give ya a review for free.


Gone but not forgotten. RIP
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jun 21, 2007
Welcome to the SMF. First off I'd be sure to feel confident as to how you'll be preparing the food. Locations is a big decision also. It's all good my friend.


Thread starter
Joined Oct 12, 2010
i cant thank you enough for your indepth response such great info i will def keep you posted on my progress
Joined Jul 25, 2010
Welcome! I'd like to chime in as well, I've been in the restaurant biz for 25 years and have run my own shop for the last 10. Adiochiro had some great points and I would agree with everyone of them. The biggest thing is planning and capitol. You can't have enough money. Most restaurants run on a 8-10% profit margin meaning about 8-10 cents out of each dollar you make is what you can expect to take home after all the bills are paid. The hours are long and you will be doing quite a bit of work yourself. The best advice I can give you is to be flexible, I'm sure you make some great Q and will no doubt serve a fantastic product but remember getting people to pay you for some Q is very different than having some folks over to enjoy the days smoke. Be willing to take an objective look at what you make and what sells not just what you want to produce. It can be a very rewarding thing running your own spot, I wish you luck and hope to hear more.


Gone but not forgotten. RIP
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Mar 12, 2009

First off Welcome to SMF. You'll like it here for there are alot of really good folks here that would just love to help you with just about anything to do with smoking. Now there are alot of proven recipes for some amazing things here too. So if you need sign up for the E-Course it's free and it will give you the basics of smoking and some good methods to use also. So the next big thing for you to do is go out and get you something to smoke and if you happen to have any questions just post it here and we will be happy to answer them for you.

Welcome To Your New Addiction      


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined May 7, 2010
Welcome and good luck! Looks like you got some great advice! I admire anyone who is able to open there own place. I understand what you mean about the passion for it, that is the first thing you must have before anything else! Keep us posted!

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