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Pricing Custom Smoking

krj

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Joined Mar 23, 2009
So I recently did my first vendor event, and I sold out of my pulled pork sandwiches in just over an hour. The response was amazing, and got me super pumped to do more. There are a couple other events that I’m interested in doing this year, but another opportunity presented itself today. While talking with a acquaintance, she asked if I was wanting to open a BBQ joint. I laughed and said yea that’s the dream, but that’s several years away. When I asked her why, she mentioned she was considering buying the local bar where she currently works, and making some changes. I told her I wasn’t really ready for that yet, but if she was interested maybe a monthly BBQ special would work. They’d buy whatever and however much meat they wanted cooked, and I would do the cook and get payed for the job itself.

I’ve seen the catering spreadsheet tha lets your break down your food loss and costs. But with something like this that doesn’t really apply because you wouldn’t have the expense of the food costs. This is a plus for me, because if they have a slow night, at least I’m not taking the hit. Anyone have any experience with someone hung like this or any thoughts on the idea? Do I just charge for my expenses charcoal/wood/etc and then take on day an hourly based on how much time I have invested in cooking. So like ribs take 5-6hrs compared to pork butt/brisket being 10+?

I really like this idea, because it gets more frequent cooks under my belt. It also gets my name out there with my food. As well as it allows me to make money for the possibility of quitting my day job and doing this full time.
 

piker

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I would do it as a monthly or even weekly event. I know your initial investment will be higher but your profit margin will be whatever you want it to be within reasons. It depends on the going price of your pulled pork. I would rather be my own boss then just work for wages and you a multitude of choices of what you sell. Either way good luck. Piker
 

TomKnollRFV

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Well since yer down to basically time it self+fuel.....also probably your seasoning. Do 6 an hour+10 bucks or some thing. I've been wanting to do this as well, but all my friends with bars are wishy washy on the subject. I hope you get it going, because if your stuff gets popular at a bar? Man, the entire area will be all 'Hey, you need some pulled pork or brisket? Go talk to that guy..he does it here.'

You might end up being able to do your catering business solely based off the word of mouth from folks in a bar. <Or maybe it's just WI where some of the best ways to find a hook up for mechanics, cooks, etc, is hanging out in a corner bar?>
 

pops6927

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If you're going to do it commercially (selling food to the public), you need to get the proper authorizations from local, state and Federal authorities. Learn the rules (write to your local, state and Federal agencies), get your rig and sanitation areas approved, authorized, inspected slicers and tested scales, and so on and so on. We tried that with a pit on a haywagon and got caught doing it for a private party, got a $2,000 fine and junked the bbq pit (it's somewhere deep at Brantingham Lake in Lewis County in NYS....)
 

AllAces

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The deal gives you no control over meat quality. GIGO.
 

krj

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Joined Mar 23, 2009
I would do it as a monthly or even weekly event. I know your initial investment will be higher but your profit margin will be whatever you want it to be within reasons. It depends on the going price of your pulled pork. I would rather be my own boss then just work for wages and you a multitude of choices of what you sell. Either way good luck. Piker
The reason I'm kinda leaning towards this is because I live in a very rural area, and teaming up with an established business for a monthly run is less risk. I'd still be my own boss, I'd be more like an outside contractor for them.


Well since yer down to basically time it self+fuel.....also probably your seasoning. Do 6 an hour+10 bucks or some thing. I've been wanting to do this as well, but all my friends with bars are wishy washy on the subject. I hope you get it going, because if your stuff gets popular at a bar? Man, the entire area will be all 'Hey, you need some pulled pork or brisket? Go talk to that guy..he does it here.'

You might end up being able to do your catering business solely based off the word of mouth from folks in a bar. <Or maybe it's just WI where some of the best ways to find a hook up for mechanics, cooks, etc, is hanging out in a corner bar?>
The goal is to get enough cooks under me, and word of mouth that I can do catering/vendor events on the regular and eventually quit my job. That is a ways off, but that's the dream. Nice thing is my aunt owns a rental event venue, that has weddings, graduation parties, and the likes all year round, and has asked me before if I was ready for her to add me to their pamphlet for perspective clients.


If you're going to do it commercially (selling food to the public), you need to get the proper authorizations from local, state and Federal authorities. Learn the rules (write to your local, state and Federal agencies), get your rig and sanitation areas approved, authorized, inspected slicers and tested scales, and so on and so on. We tried that with a pit on a haywagon and got caught doing it for a private party, got a $2,000 fine and junked the bbq pit (it's somewhere deep at Brantingham Lake in Lewis County in NYS....)
I'm very well aware of the food safety standards. At one point I was certified, but it has since lapsed so recerts here I come(dull yay). My plan is actually to essentially build a small commercial kitchen in a small shed that is up to codes to suit my needs. This will allow me to contain and easily maintain and clean my area, and be fairly cost effective.


The deal gives you no control over meat quality. GIGO.
That is something I hadn't even considered. This is possibly less of an issue because the two businesses I'm considering for this deal, I have good relationships with the owner. That's not to say I can't get screwed, but I know I can make it very clear that being chincy with the meat quality, will only lead to them losing out on profits.


My other option is to sell outright of course, by the pound/slab/etc. They can still give me the order amount they want to buy, I'll give them the price it'll cost and then get payed on delivery. This insulates me from them having a shitting day of sales, but also allows me to potentially make more profit and control the quality I'm providing them. Lot's to think about! But more advice and opinions are always welcome.
 

AllAces

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Low quality meat will reflect badly on you the Pitmaster.

That is something I hadn't even considered. This is possibly less of an issue because the two businesses I'm considering for this deal, I have good relationships with the owner. That's not to say I can't get screwed, but I know I can make it very clear that being chincy with the meat quality, will only lead to them losing out on profits.
 

Binford 6100

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Going to post in here since there are quit a few replies and this thread isn't that old.



So what is the consensus on a price per lb, or price per hour?
I am lookins at smoking for a small party this weekend, about 14-16 people. I will be reimbursed but i was told to set my rate. I'm not sure what to charge.
 

AllAces

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Cost of materials + cost of your labor + profit = total charged customer.
You can figure labor as either per hour, $10/hr, or per job, say $500 to prep, cook, serve and clean up.
The problem with small jobs for 12 to 15 is that the labor to prep, cook, serve and clean up is about the same as fo 50 or 60.
 

zachd

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Price per lb around here
Pulled chicken 12.95
Pulled pork 14.95
sliced brisket 17.95
 

Binford 6100

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so im going to do some pulled pork, which would put me around 90 bucks. is that with the meat cost?
if so that makes my profit pretty small.
 

zachd

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That is with meat cost and that is finished weight
This is from an award winning bbq joint that caters here



Now you could add a service charge of like 2.50 per person as well
 

zachd

Meat Mopper
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Joined Feb 17, 2016
Now the price per lb also include 4 rolls

Ultimately it is up to you. But I mean if you were doing the job for me and tried to charge me more than the award winning joint I could get down the road. No offense to you as I have not had your pulled pork but I would have to say in your dreams and simply go to the other guy.

Now I know how much prices go for some of the good bbq catering places around here though. They probably do not so charge what you think is fair. Yes I understand that they can sell for cheaper as they sell more and make a profit this way. But can you really justify selling your for more to the customer?
 

Binford 6100

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Joined Apr 30, 2018
i think ill just ask for 100 spot and call it good for this one, i wont worry to much about it unless i starting this type of thing more offen. which remains to be seen.
 

HalfSmoked

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Sorry I got lost here we have somebody hi-jacking not following the original thread.
All Aces is post #7 you posting a reply or replying for your self.

Do not even a temp without current certificates of approval from the authorities. Pops is 100% RIGHT HERE NOT WORTH THE CHANCE IT WILL HAUNT YOU LATER.

Warren
 

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