Tryin to start a catering buisness

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Original poster
Jan 5, 2014
Hi everybody I am 14 years old and I'm not great but not terrible at bbq so I would like to get a permit and start catering! But being that I am somewhat young I need a budget priced smoker ( only wood or charcoal not gas(and not a trailer) ) I would love to get a treager tex but its pricey and in SO CAL i can't find one on Craigslist cheap, so y'all guessed it I'm looking for a big,quality smoker. I can come up with about 500-700 bucks but that's about it I think( possibly a 1000 bucks) Thanks y'all for advice I really do appreciate it! ( I do not need advice on how to smoke meat with the exception of ribs, brisket, and whole hog) I need advice on purchasing a smoker.
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As I told AK1 this is not going to be a over night business, I don't plan on this even starting to happen for another year or 2. I've done my math on what I have to do to start catering I will need to save around 2500 bucks (including 2 county permits in CA, the smoker, grilling tools, wood/charcoal, and transportation) so I thank you AK1 for bringing that up I should've mentioned that in my original post.
I'm not even sure you can get a permit in your name until your 18. Google Cal-Code (The California Food code) and get very familiar with it!!! Each county interprets it differently though. The state-wide Safe-Serve food handlers course is not recognized in Riverside county, they have their own program. In order to get a permit, you may need a commercial kitchen or commissary agreement in place. And don't forget your insurance!!! I do some catering myself and there are some work arounds to the rules if you know how to go about it. Start with small groups, say 20-40 people, You are most likely going to need a trailer of some sort to haul all your equipment, what ever pit you wind up with. You have the pit, the wood, Ice Chests, Chafers, tables, hand and dish wash stations, at least 1 chair to rest your bones while everything is cooking. I have a 14 foot trailer and it and the truck are both PACKED, weather I cook for 20 or far as what pit, go with a pellet cooker. It doesn't need baby sitting like cooking with wood. The down side, to get very much capacity you are going to go way over budget. Not trying to discourage you at all, but realistically it costs a ton to get set up right. Again, start out with very small groups, save your profits and re-invest in bigger and better equipment when you can. My smoker, Santa Maria, hand wash and dish wash station are all home made and I have over a grand just in that, not counting the trailer to haul it all. Kick in the trailer and all the "tools" and it would be over 3 grand. And I still need another 5-8 thousand to be set up like I want. Good luck in your venture and if I can be of any help don't hesitate to email me at [email protected] is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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