The Business of BBQ

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Re: The Business of BBQ

Postby Squiggle » March 10th, 2017, 12:15 am

temurf wrote:
Squiggle wrote:... you'll get about 20-30 sambos off a 10lb butt & with sides that's a tidy profit margin. :kewl:


Feel free to laugh at my ignorance Squiggle, but my guess is that a sambo is Aussie for sammich. =))


Sure is dude. :kewl:


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Re: The Business of BBQ

Postby Mo Smoke » April 17th, 2017, 3:31 pm

Just another request for others to chime with their experiences in the Business of BBQ. Safetyharborredneck just did a big cook for a guy who supplied the meat and definitely got underpaid. In the end he didn't mind because He was happy for the experience and all, but still...it would have been an even better experience if he actually made enough money on the job to enjoy the business side as well.

We got some awesome Pitmasters on this site. Can't believe non of the guys here have a food truck, or does a good bit of catering.

I think it would be great to talk about both sides of the biz...the money.. and the food. I'm thinking about selling BBQ sandwiches at work..cooking is one thing.. but what about packaging? What works, what doesn't? How about Quantity of meat per sandwich? Do I sell rib sandwiches by weight or by the number of bones? What about Pulled pork and chicken? These are Just a few questions I have.

Even if you don't run a full business, share your biz experiences. Every bit helps.


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Re: The Business of BBQ

Postby RevRico » August 10th, 2017, 10:38 am

I'm actually wondering if anyone has any experience in PA?

I'm going to be calling the guy who used to do our annual pig roasts to have a good long chat, but in researching online before hand, it seems like a typical Pennsylvania "stuck in the 30s" situation.

I know I have to go to the department of agriculture and get safeserv, but I don't want a store or even a food truck. I want to be the guy that gets called out to cook pigs, butts, and or ribs for parties.

Tim used to show up with the smoker trailer, cook, carve, leave. That's what I want to do. I'd eventually like to expand to selling sauces at the cooks or online, but here that requires a commercial kitchen. And I can't find out anywhere if I can just "rent" my old bosses kitchen after his restaurant closes for the day or if I need something more unique to me.

Just asking for any information any Pennsylvanians may have, or anyone's experience with such a business.


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Re: The Business of BBQ

Postby behind bars bbq » August 10th, 2017, 1:09 pm

In Ohio I do it by donation only... keeps me legal


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Re: The Business of BBQ

Postby Frank_Cox » August 10th, 2017, 7:47 pm

most states helth regulations are governed on the local level and secondly on the state and thirdly on the federal. the local regulations must be in sync with the state and federal but then the county usually is more strict from there. best place to start is county or city in my opinion. try to find out who the inspector is and make friends with them first. make sure and be cooperative and friendly. they often expect a fight lol.



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Re: The Business of BBQ

Postby Dirtytires » August 13th, 2017, 12:32 am

Ditto on the "be friendly" part.

This is slightly off topic but I did a major home remodel a few years back. My contractor was top dollar and did things right but he treated the city inspector like dirt. Therefore, the inspector failed us on some pretty silly things and the holdup was costing me money on labor and re-work. I started showing up at the inspections and chatting with the inspector, got on his good side by asking good questions and taking the time to listen to him. I actually learned a lot and the inspector was all to happy to share his knowledge. And best of all, I stopped failing inspections for silly reasons.

My point, your City health guy is probably a retired restaurant owner and all too happy to give his information to someone who treats him right and honestly wants to learn.



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Re: RE: Re: The Business of BBQ

Postby SAFETYHARBORREDNECK » December 4th, 2017, 8:57 am

Squiggle wrote:I agree, turnover is way more profitable than margin, i.e. Sell more small portions at a cheaper price than full slabs for bigger profit per sale. Working off Franks formula, if you sell 40 x 3 bone plates with $5 profit per sale it is way better than trying to sell 10 x full slabs with $20 profit per sale cause people are more likely to buy a small lunch for $10 than a big lunch for $40.

(The prices are more in line with Aussie prices but you should get what I'm saying. :kewl:)
I'm just now seeing this and I laughed because it's the same principle of my previous post about Skimpy bag Bob.
Also, this past weekend I put this into practice when I lowered the prices on my jumbo fried chicken wings. I was selling them 6/$8 - 12/$14 and not selling very many.
I lowered the price to $1 each,buy as few or as many as you want.Even though this weekend was slow here,my ticket sales on wings increased.People were buying 10 at a time instead of just 6.

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Re: RE: Re: The Business of BBQ

Postby SAFETYHARBORREDNECK » December 4th, 2017, 9:30 am

Pete Mazz wrote:Good money can be made selling pulled pork. Prices are cheap and you can hold and reheat with no problems. Nothing beats a good pulled pork sammy!
VERY good points Pete.Another lesson I'm learning is,at least down here,pulled pork is selling better than ribs.
It's cheaper meaning MORE PROFIT per pound and definitely easier to hold at temp or reheat.
I've also found to NOT sauce the meat.
Because 1-not everyone likes sauce or that particular sauce (I have 2 sauces in squirt bottles for them.A sweet one,sweet baby Ray's and a smokey/mildly spicy one,


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Re: RE: Re: The Business of BBQ

Postby SAFETYHARBORREDNECK » December 4th, 2017, 9:41 am

Mo Smoke wrote:Just another request for others to chime with their experiences in the Business of BBQ. Safetyharborredneck just did a big cook for a guy who supplied the meat and definitely got underpaid. In the end he didn't mind because He was happy for the experience and all, but still...it would have been an even better experience if he actually made enough money on the job to enjoy the business side as well.

We got some awesome Pitmasters on this site. Can't believe non of the guys here have a food truck, or does a good bit of catering.

I think it would be great to talk about both sides of the biz...the money.. and the food. I'm thinking about selling BBQ sandwiches at work..cooking is one thing.. but what about packaging? What works, what doesn't? How about Quantity of meat per sandwich? Do I sell rib sandwiches by weight or by the number of bones? What about Pulled pork and chicken? These are Just a few questions I have.

Even if you don't run a full business, share your biz experiences. Every bit helps.


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One way to do this, without an investor,is start small in your backyard.It'll give you time to learn ALL these things.Business side and cooking side.
AND give you time to build/buy a bigger grill!
Also,it will start to get your name out there before you go full time AND give you time to see if you WANT to turn your passion into a job.You may just stay small and do the occasional catering job.
And catering is something to look into.
Instead of sitting on the side of the road all day you can do a catering job or two a week.
Good luck in whichever path you follow.

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Re: RE: Re: The Business of BBQ

Postby SAFETYHARBORREDNECK » December 4th, 2017, 9:56 am

Mo Smoke wrote:Just another request for others to chime with their experiences in the Business of BBQ. Safetyharborredneck just did a big cook for a guy who supplied the meat and definitely got underpaid. In the end he didn't mind because He was happy for the experience and all, but still...it would have been an even better experience if he actually made enough money on the job to enjoy the business side as well.

We got some awesome Pitmasters on this site. Can't believe non of the guys here have a food truck, or does a good bit of catering.

I think it would be great to talk about both sides of the biz...the money.. and the food. I'm thinking about selling BBQ sandwiches at work..cooking is one thing.. but what about packaging? What works, what doesn't? How about Quantity of meat per sandwich? Do I sell rib sandwiches by weight or by the number of bones? What about Pulled pork and chicken? These are Just a few questions I have.

Even if you don't run a full business, share your biz experiences. Every bit helps.


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Selling at work everyday would be difficult I think. The best way to do that is to keep their interest. Sell it on Tuesday(Mondays people usually bring in weekend leftovers) and by Friday they might place an order for a rack or two over the weekend. And that is what you want. You want them to pre-order stuff. That's one way you don't have to guess at how much to cook that weekend.
As far as Packaging, I would cook it on Sunday and put it in either plastic baggies or vacuum seal it, so it is still fresh, unfrozen and ready to be reheated on Tuesday.
Rib sandwiches I would sell by the bone.
Pulled pork and chicken I'd sell by weight.
As far as the weight of the sandwich that depends on the size of the bun.
4-6(unsauced)ounces on a regular sized hamburger bun should be enough.

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Re: The Business of BBQ

Postby Rodcrafter » December 4th, 2017, 3:33 pm

So your laying down the :rulz:


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Re: The Business of BBQ

Postby Mo Smoke » December 7th, 2017, 2:27 am

That’s what I’m takin about bro. Everything you’re saying is exactly what I’m thinking. But it’s good to hear someone else has the same thoughts especially after getting started. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Hope more guys start to do the same. I know there is money to be made but my greatest fear is losing one of the few things I enjoy doing to the headache of turning it into a job...next thing you know I’ll have to take up golf or even worse, start spending time with my wife !


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Re: The Business of BBQ

Postby Cole » December 7th, 2017, 6:18 am

Where I work about every three or four weeks a guy brings in one or two coolers full of smoked links/sausages, vacuumed packed for $10/pack. Sells out all the time, but we have few thousand people at the plant. Good stuff and lots of work, they spend the whole weekend preparing, cutting, seasoning and then smoking.




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