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grossing 18,000 in 1st year

 
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smokelahoma
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Joined: 22 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Jun 22 2012    Post subject: grossing 18,000 in 1st year Reply with quote

i have been doing some catering with relative succes for a part time gig. i am trying to justify the cost of going legal. i have found a catering kitchen fo rent near my house. going through the numbers i wouldn't feel comfortable to rent it unless i felt like i could gross 18,000. I plan on doing farmer's markets, catering, and classes. obviously if i sell 1800 people a 10 dollar dinner i can get there. what i am wondering is how you guys project your sales for the year/season? i know some of it is a leap of faith and some of it is how much effort i put into marketing and building a clientele. thanks for any advice.
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feldon30
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PostPosted: Jun 23 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

I predict someone will be along to point out the cost of NOT going legal in 5...4...3...

Once I find out where in the US I will be ending up, I need to find out if I have to kiss some commissary's butt or not.
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Geronimo
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PostPosted: Jun 23 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found a commissary that charged by the hour....even though it was "on file" with the HD as my official commissary, I never once used it in 15 years and received 100% on ever inspection except one (I got 99%).
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smokelahoma
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PostPosted: Jun 23 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have had the hardest time finding a commissary.
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solaryellow
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PostPosted: Jun 23 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am in that pinch myself. I am trying to have a year's worth of rent/lease money saved up.
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Geronimo
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PostPosted: Jun 23 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

smokelahoma wrote:
i have had the hardest time finding a commissary.


Mine was at our local community center...if that helps.

Also, some churches have HD approved kitchens that you may be able to rent either monthly or hourly. Be careful though some THINK they are approved when they are really not so check with your HD BEFORE making a deal with one.

Also, VFW halls, or other such organizations have kitchens that are approved so check with those kinds of places.
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smokelahoma
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PostPosted: Jun 26 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

well i feel a bit crazy but i put in a lease application today, we'll see if we can come to terms on the actual lease.
i know it will take a little while to get everything cleaned up and switched from one owner to the other with the HD. good thing is it was last inspected about a month ago.

i figure if i have a hard time finding a space then other people do also so i will be attempting to rent temporary space for caterers, food trucks, etc.
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Jeff T
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PostPosted: Jun 26 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cant you operate out of a ez-up canopy?
I started this way. Heat the water up for ware washing on the smokers firebox, hand wash water container was a old coffee urn. HD Rep. called it a primitive set-up. I could & still can cook in my drive way for deliveries as long as i set-up my kitchen as per instructed.
I went out and got`s me a kitchen on wheels now. HD Rep is much happier with this decision. I was told that now she "don't have to worry if i am setting up the way i was instructed".

One thing i have made a point of is to follow the rules to the letter.... no cutting corners or flying under the radar what so ever. I don't need too.
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Mr Tony's BBQ
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PostPosted: Jun 30 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

I pay a local gas station $zxx.xx wk - they are a licensed 'raunt cuz they do pizza and other microwave crap so its considered my commissary....my money gets me a place in both walk in cooler and freezer too Cool and I plug in to their power....z=1.....Shhhhhh.
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Curtis
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PostPosted: Aug 28 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smoklahoma, just wanted to see how things have been going in the last month or two. I just picked up my third smoker tonight, and I thinking about catering. Well, I sort of have to now, to justify my third smoker.
Thanks
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Harry Nutczak
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PostPosted: Aug 28 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are just doing private "By invitation Only" events such as weddings,, anniversaries and other private functions held on private property, you have much more leeway with the local regulating agency by adhering to the rules for "Contract Cook"

But once you start doing Per-item or Per-Plate sales to the general public on non-private property, you may/will be held to the same standards as an operating restaurant.

Before we had the restaurant, we only did private events, when we had requests for open to the public events, I called my HD guy and purchased a temporary event license, I then had to outline who I was purchasing from, how it was being transported and associated times, where the prep was being done and I got feedback from him if there was anything he called "Major Prep" that I could not do onsite.
If I had major prep, I had a choice of a few local restaurants where the owners had allowed me use of their kitchens during closed hours to do major work, and store in their walk-in coolers.

In late 2009, I was looking at our 2010 bookings when I realized that there was no way in hell I could pull off what we had already booked using our current processes. I needed more room, I needed access to a kitchen, coolers, and freezers 24/7/365! So I ran the numbers and realized to get a catering base, we needed to have a restaurant with a dining room open to make it through winter because catering alone wasn't going to cover rent and utilities in the winter months.
Well, Here we are, restaurant owners, and now able to service those smaller groups I was forced to decline due to low guest counts and diminishing returns associated with smaller groups. In summer we average cooking about 3K pounds of meat weekly. (did I mention my walk-in is in the basement, and there are 18 stairs I need to climb, and that it is on the exact opposite side of the building from my kitchen and pit?)
Catering out of a restaurant base is so much easier, you always have everything you need already on hand,, and it is just a matter of cooking more meat instead of firing up the pit and prepping for a single event.
So, the moral of the story is, run your numbers, see if you can pull it off by just catering, or if you will be forced to be a restaurant owner to do it.
If you need to do a restaurant, you need to invest in quality hot-holding equipment to make your life easier and more profitable. Do not skimp on that.
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RodinBangkok
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PostPosted: Aug 30 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I were to go from nothing today in the states, I'd probably take a hard look at starting a commercial kitchen first, starting with the basics, not a lot of cooking equipment, just provide future space for it. Then use that as a base for catering and or mobile vending and in parallel sell time to others. This would give you a second source of income on your investment that is not dependent on your own food service capabilities. It seems today that with all the HD rules, and a larger group of people seeking to get into the mobile business theres a need for commercial kitchen space at a reasonable rate. I would probably do it something like this guy, out of his own home, you then have the advantage of the improvements being to your own property versus perhaps rented or leased.

Here's one example of a guy doing it in his garage: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,19514.0.html

Gotta say thats a nice looking Com Kitchen for a home installation.

I always like options on what I invest in, this may be one way to so that. Might be worth running the numbers and checking the local regs.
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Poppa's PTL Club
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PostPosted: Aug 30 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

smokelahoma wrote:
well i feel a bit crazy but i put in a lease application today, we'll see if we can come to terms on the actual lease.
i know it will take a little while to get everything cleaned up and switched from one owner to the other with the HD. good thing is it was last inspected about a month ago.

i figure if i have a hard time finding a space then other people do also so i will be attempting to rent temporary space for caterers, food trucks, etc.


Have you checked with your HD to see what would need to be upgraded to switch owners? In most jurisdictions, a switch in ownership would require a complete update to code, so that inspection a month ago for the old owner may be useless to you if there are upgrades YOU would need to make. Be careful, not paying attention to that can cost you thousands in unexpected expenditures ( and more than that in frustration as you bust through the money you were hoping to operate on)
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Geronimo
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PostPosted: Aug 30 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly what Poppa's PTL Club said.

To make it a bit more simple, a former owner could be operating on codes that were set when he first opened. Therefore grandfathered in...meaning he does not have to update to current codes as long as HE is owner/operator.

As soon as a NEW owner takes over ALL current codes MUST be adhered too PRIOR to opening for business.
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