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?? Thanksgiving 2020 ??

BigTurtle

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Any of you other catering types considering doing custom smoked turkeys for customers that sign up in advance ? I've done it before but I'm just not sure if it will be a good thing to do during this "pandemic".
 

SmokinVOLfan

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People still gotta eat! I say go for it. If they aren't cooking their own then either they are ordering from you or they will just go to the local BBQ joint or even the grocery store to get their cooked turkey.
 

thirdeye

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So far this year I've had 5 BBQ competitions cancel on me, I withdrew from one because of past crowd sizes for the weekend of festivities, and a very small judging location. I have a 2-day contest in October that is still a go. The rules for cooks and judges are pretty strict, and everything is sanitized throughout the day. We cancelled an annual BBQ for 150 that has been ongoing for 25 years. Because of the current orders there have been no pot-lucks, birthdays, wakes, or pool tournaments at my neighborhood watering hole, and I haven't set foot in there for almost 5 months. Football Sunday pot lucks will not be allowed for at least another year. Work related events involving food cooked on site are prohibited, but they can order out pizza or chicken. Even though I don't like the current orders and sacrifices.... I understand the reasoning behind them and abide by them.

The COVID-19 case numbers in the county doubled from May to June, doubled again in July, and it's too early to see what will happen in August. I guess we're all at least acquainted with people that have caught the virus and so far no family of ours has. The worst first hand situation of a friends family was a Father, Mother, Daughter-in-law, and the suspected carrier was her toddler who attended a day care that had a confirmed case. The Father had a tough time for about 15 days.

All that said..... this year I've cooked plenty of things for other folks.... hams, bacon, salmon, turkey breasts and pastramis and it's delivered to the front door. We've kept gatherings to 4 or 5 people tops, and so far they have all been outdoors. I have doubts about Christmas parties happening this year. I'm not a licensed caterer, but my state has a food freedom law that allows cooking for weddings, funeral's, brandings, pot lucks, etc., as long as there is not a 'charge' for the food.

So after a long-winded summary of what is happening in my area.... I wouldn't have any problems with smoking holiday turkeys, just do everything on the up and up. I would include something in your flier or price list that refers to your safe food handling procedures. Just look at any restaurant's website, you should find some good examples of what customers expect.
 

BigTurtle

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Yep, that's a heck of a lot more than I would care to type but I only service my regular customers for things like this and I do have the disclaimers on the bill of sale. I grew tired if the competition circuits, too much overhead for not enough return IMHO especially now. Thanks for the input.
 

thirdeye

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Yep, that's a heck of a lot more than I would care to type but I only service my regular customers for things like this and I do have the disclaimers on the bill of sale. I grew tired if the competition circuits, too much overhead for not enough return IMHO especially now. Thanks for the input.
Hehehee. I was sort of setting my local scene so you could see my perspective. All cities are different.
 

BigTurtle

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I live in the Smokies and Blue Ridge mountains. I left the city many many moons ago. Catering is down about everywhere I reckon. All of my cooking equipment is paid for so I don't have to.worry about payments going out. My target customers are here for recreation and not cooking.
 

BigTurtle

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Joined Sep 2, 2018
I'll start asking for meat donations and do Thanksgiving for the homeless or something for veterans. I enjoy doing that.
 

thirdeye

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Wonderful country. I'm in Wyoming and we are loaded with COVID refugees. All the National Forest campgrounds, State campgrounds, BLM sites, Game and Fish campgrounds, and County campgrounds are full. Dispersed camping is allowed all over the place. Some friends with a somewhat remote cabin in the Big Horn mountains took a plane ride two weeks over their property and saw hundreds of campers within two miles of their place.

We volunteer cooking at the local rescue mission, and Mrs ~t~ is on the board of Meals On Wheels which is a stellar organization. They just got an enormous donation of 4-H livestock.
 

chef jimmyj

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With all the access to Customers on social media, are you able to put out a News Post or Poll to feel out your customer base? In PA there has been a bit of a resurgence of Covid in the Cities, but single or double digits in rural counties. Local Take-Out, is doing great Business. There is a Chicken BBQ scheduled in a neighboring town next week...JJ
 

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