FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 


When your alligator mouth overloads your tadpole behind
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Smoke Ring Forum Index -> Catering
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
StarsandStripes
BBQ Fan


Joined: 06 Mar 2007
Posts: 385

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29 08 3:14 am    Post subject: When your alligator mouth overloads your tadpole behind Reply with quote

I received a telephone call today from a client (he attended a grand opening I did two months ago). He asks, "Our company picnic is in September. It's for ~4,000 people. Can you handle it?"

My immediate verbal response was, "Sure!"

My immediate internal response was, "Holy sh!t. What the f*ck am I saying?!"

Over the telephone we agreed I'd be paid in the ballpark of $40K for two meats, two sides, and sodas. He said he'd finalize the details with the remainder of his staff (they've always used Grady's BBQ in San Antonio) and fax back a signed contract in a week or so.

So, I've already sh!t my pants. WTF am I supposed to do now?

Buy a rockin' a$$ smoker?

Buy everything from Grady's and serve to them? Twisted Evil

What? I cannot believe I said "Sure!" like an ignoramus.

Patiently awaiting your brow beating and suggestions,

SNS
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mds2
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 10 Mar 2005
Posts: 1366
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29 08 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hire some help, and borrow cookers from your friends.
_________________


The Saucy Lads BBQ Team
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Texman
BBQ Pro


Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 831
Location: Del Rio, TX

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29 08 3:37 am    Post subject: Re: When your alligator mouth overloads your tadpole behind Reply with quote

StarsandStripes wrote:


4,000 people

Patiently awaiting your brow beating and suggestions,

SNS


My old banker who gave me my start always told me “Son you will get just as many ulcers with 3 zeros on a number ($1,000) as 9 zeros on a number ($1mm)…so always shoot big…but sometimes creative thinking, while your building your businesses, may, at times, need to replace large doses of money to make a deal work.”

Catering is different, but the same principals apply Find help, borrow/rent a smoker and other equipment, possibly bring in a partner(s) for an equity stake….be creatively realistic and you can make it work.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
G's BBQ
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 13 Sep 2006
Posts: 1641
Location: NV

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29 08 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing I know the feeling but hey, what a great way to get upgraded in equipment.

Find some reliable people, rent smokers as needed and buy some anti Anxiety pills Wink

Big or small its all about the planning. If you do that it shouldnt be any problem. I wish I had a gig like that...

Good luck!!!!!!
_________________
California State Grand Champion-Shake,Rattle & Smoke-July 2007
American Royal Invitational 2007-11th place Ribbon Brisket
2nd Place BBQ Sauce-Best On The Mountain Rib Cook-Off-Horizon Casino, South Lake Tahoe-May 2008
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Louie3
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 04 Aug 2007
Posts: 1407

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29 08 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You better call that guy from "Dinner Impossible" Laughing Very Happy
Aw...you'll get er done.. Wink
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SoEzzy
Site Admin


Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 13183
Location: SLC, UT

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29 08 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember that you had to cancel a gig due to being in California fighting fires about that time last year.

I'd suggest getting together with someone well ahead of time and cover your bases, just in case the same thing happens this year, if your work situation is the same.

Better to be a head of the game than find yourself behind the 8 ball on this one.
_________________
Here's a change Robert.

I still work here!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Big Brother Smoke
BBQ Fan


Joined: 01 Apr 2006
Posts: 269
Location: Ventura, CA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29 08 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You got plenty of time to come up with a plan. What meats are you cooking? Might be better off getting some huge grills for stuff like chicken. Also, I would not plan on cooking much, this is going to be a case of supervising more so.

Good luck! Cool
_________________
www.simplymarvelousbbq.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
marvsbbq
BBQ All Star


Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 6186

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29 08 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Planning, planning, planning...get all of your ducks in a row, check and double check.

For that size, I would consider a "Refrigeration" truck to hold the meats and cold foods until needed.

being in TX, I would think you could rent some smokers (bigger the better) You MIGHT even be able to HIRE some guys with smokers so YOU won't have to actually do ALL of the cooking.

I could go on and on here but everyone would get tired of reading it...if you care to hear my thoughts, PM me.

You CAN do it!!!
_________________
Often imitated but never duplicated
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Oregon smoker
BBQ All Star


Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 6246
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29 08 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

first off where are the pictures... Very Happy ok ok back to business i dont see any reason why you cant pull this off with out the proper planning. maybe a few different serve times. where is it going to be held? big enough of a area and you could have multiple lines going for service(actually this mandatory IMO).
jason
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mds2
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 10 Mar 2005
Posts: 1366
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29 08 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stars, where are you located?
_________________


The Saucy Lads BBQ Team
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
KWILSON512



Joined: 26 Mar 2008
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29 08 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm new to the catering thing but always worried about being in you shoes even though at times it seems like it would be a good problem to have. Keep us informed and good luck.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
BBQMAN
BBQ Super All Star


Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 15474
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29 08 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great opportunity for you there S&S!

How about a little more information please.

What two meats?

What two sides?

What is the time frame for serving?

It sounds like you need a soda fountain set-up for a crowd this size. Pepsi/Coke will usually provide a kiosk style trailer for these types of events at a very good price (they want to sell their products).

The refer truck also sounds like a good idea. September in Texas can still be pretty warm....................

So did SoEzzy's recommendation of a back-up plan. Can you request those days off without worry of being recalled like last year? Is this job for the same gov't agency that you work for? Is your position with work so important for instance that they could call you back if you were on vacation in Hawaii?

Best of luck to you, keep us posted!
_________________
BBQMAN
"I Turned A Hobby Into A Business".
Providing "IMHO" Since 2005.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
StarsandStripes
BBQ Fan


Joined: 06 Mar 2007
Posts: 385

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29 08 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mds2 wrote:
Stars, where are you located?


San Antonio, Texas. Actually Canyon Lake but...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
StarsandStripes
BBQ Fan


Joined: 06 Mar 2007
Posts: 385

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29 08 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brisket and sausage.

Potato salad and beans. Loaves of bread. Um, jalepenos, pickles, and onions...sauce.

Everyone during the lunch hour.

Awesome idea on the soda fountain. I kept thinking of thousands of coolers stacked full.

It can easily be 100 degrees here in September.

I will not be on recall during the month of September. And I'll tell my boss on Monday I'll need a couple of weeks free. He'll understand....I hope.

On vacation in Hawaii and be recalled? Hmm - I think only Jesus Christ could get me off that island during a vacation.

BBQMAN wrote:
Great opportunity for you there S&S!

How about a little more information please.

What two meats?

What two sides?

What is the time frame for serving?

It sounds like you need a soda fountain set-up for a crowd this size. Pepsi/Coke will usually provide a kiosk style trailer for these types of events at a very good price (they want to sell their products).

The refer truck also sounds like a good idea. September in Texas can still be pretty warm....................

So did SoEzzy's recommendation of a back-up plan. Can you request those days off without worry of being recalled like last year? Is this job for the same gov't agency that you work for? Is your position with work so important for instance that they could call you back if you were on vacation in Hawaii?

Best of luck to you, keep us posted!
Sad
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
marvsbbq
BBQ All Star


Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 6186

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29 08 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For that many guests, I would be tempted to cook flats of brisket instead of the whole thing....sure would save a LOT of time "de-fatting". Then slice as they come down the serving lines.

Being in Texas, are you going to do Pinto beans (as in soup beans) and not "baked" beans?? If so, that would save you a TON of room on the smokers. You would just need to have (rent) several large pots & burners to cook them.

Get as many ice chests (big white ones) as possible to hold your cooked meats in. (might first want to check with local HD to see if that is ok way to hot hold)

Wow!! Did I read your post correctly that you have to feed 4K guests during the LUNCH HOUR??? If so, I think Soezzy can chime in here with a break down of how many serving lines you would need.

The GOOD thing is if it is during the lunch hour, they won't eat you out of house and home (coming back multiple times) so you COULD set it up as selfserve so they can get to both sides of the tables.

Set up your beans as a "station" a bit away from the rest of the foods and leave them in the pots that you cooked them in.

Also, for the potato salad, you COULD ask a local (or 2 or 3) restaurants to help you out and have THEM make that for you. Some will even use your recipe if you have a favorite that you like to use.

The sasuage, I wouldn't worry about slicing, Texas is kind of known for sausage, so serve whole ones...would save a TON of time there as well.

Condiments are simple enough.... Wink
_________________
Often imitated but never duplicated
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kingconsulting
BBQ Pro


Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Posts: 574
Location: California

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29 08 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just so you know we have been having fun here thinking about the logistics on your event. All the little things like storing meat hot and cold, serving lines (we are saying 40 if you only have an hour), employees, clean up etc.

At least you got plenty of time to plan!
_________________
Robert King
DP 70
WSM
New Braunfels El Dorado
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
BBQMAN
BBQ Super All Star


Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 15474
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Sun Mar 30 08 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That clears things up a bit S&S.

If you go the fountain drink route, you will probably need at least 4 soda shack set-ups that are accessible from at least two windows each.

The advantage of the canned drinks/bottled water is the "fast factor".

The soda shacks will require a trailer load of ice to support. So would the rental coolers.

Once again, the refer truck would be a big plus (and the only way to actually get it done economically).

Yes you could use drink coolers, and for that I would rent a bunch of the big round variety. There is no sense in buying them- what would you do with them all after the event! Shocked Laughing

Brisket and sausage- at least you can use large rental grills for the sausage. Buying them of the proper size will save on portion control and/or cutting them in half (which also lets all the juice run out).

The sides are pretty simple. I would use premade potato salad. The red variety from Sam's is a pretty good product. Once again, the refer truck comes into play.....................

Beans are simple and cheap. Rent enough gas cook stoves to cover the amounts.

Serving lines for 4,000 in an hour. We generally feed a church group of 200 in about 45 minutes with a crew of 4 with a two meat two side meal.

I'm thinking you need at least 20 serving lines, maybe a few more to be on the safe side. Runners to keep them filled, and staff to serve the food. Cooks to supply the sausage/slice the brisket.

If the server for each item is also in charge of fetching the refills, it will save you some on the crew requirements.

80 staff for 20 serving lines. 10 people to load/serve drinks. 20 cooks or so. Total crew:130.

One of the things that makes this difficult and heavy on the labor is the serving time allowed. If you could get this serving time doubled and staggered, it would cut the crew requirements in half. something you need to discuss with the client.

Here (Florida) you would also need a covered serving area, and enough tables to provide the serving lines and prep area.

Plus the rental equipment involved.

$40,000 SEEMS like a lot of money, but you are trying to feed 4,000 people in an hour. I bet the net profit on this party will be about $12,000.

Should be real interesting to see how this plays out...................
_________________
BBQMAN
"I Turned A Hobby Into A Business".
Providing "IMHO" Since 2005.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
marvsbbq
BBQ All Star


Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 6186

PostPosted: Sun Mar 30 08 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Talk to your soda distributor about the "drink fountian" idea. See if you can get "self-serve" kinds would save you a lot of labor there.

I also think self-serve food lines so guests can get to BOTH sides of the table at once. Then you only need runners to keep them re-filled.

You could have a person at the end of each table slicing the meat for both sides. Would save from having to slice all that meat before serving.
_________________
Often imitated but never duplicated
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
adolpho
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 03 Aug 2005
Posts: 1067
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Sun Mar 30 08 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

S&S, let me know if you'll need any help.
_________________
"Tag line? We don't need no stinkin' tag line!"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
kingconsulting
BBQ Pro


Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Posts: 574
Location: California

PostPosted: Sun Mar 30 08 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Make sure you have someone taking photos. Would look great on a website or resume. Plus neat to look at for us here Very Happy
_________________
Robert King
DP 70
WSM
New Braunfels El Dorado
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Smoke Ring Forum Index -> Catering All times are GMT + 8 Hours
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Page 1 of 5

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group