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LUNCH WAGON (ROACH COACH IDEA)
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PITMASTERS BBQ
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Joined: 16 Feb 2006
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Location: Melbourne, Florida

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01 06 7:06 am    Post subject: LUNCH WAGON (ROACH COACH IDEA) Reply with quote

HAS ANYONE SEEN A LUNCH WAGON THAT JUST SERVES BBQ, SMOKED MEATS AND SODAS, ECT. AND NO PLASTIC WRAPPED BURGERS AND REHEATED 10 X FOOD ITEMS? IM THINKING ABOUT GETTING A CUSTOM RIG AND TAKING IT THROUGH CONSTRUCTION SITES AND SELLING HOT PLATES FOR $5 - $7 (WITH ALL PERMITS AND CERTS. OF COURSE). I HAVE A FRIEND THAT HAS A RIG AND SELLS SNOW CONES TO CONSTRUCTION WORKERS FOR $1 - $2 THE SAME WAY AND MAKES $600 - $800 A DAY PER TRUCK TIMES 10 TRUCKS. ANY IDEAS OR PEOPLE ALREADY DOING IT?[/size]

Last edited by PITMASTERS BBQ on Wed Mar 01 06 10:27 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Old Dave
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01 06 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pitmasters BBQ,

Please sit down with your local Board of Health before you spend any money. Just tell them what you have in mind with your lunch wagon and they will tell you what you need to do it. You could be in for a surprise as selling bbq out of a vending trailer is nothing like selling sno-cones where you are using just two ingredients.

What's so bad about 600-800 a day with selling some ice? I would think a fellow would want to do this over the bbq wagon. If there is room for 10 trucks, maybe there would be room for one more.
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allsmokenofire
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01 06 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats gotta be a boat-load of sno-cones Shocked
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krazylegs
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01 06 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if hundreds of roach coaches are already doing it and passing off questionable food at best sometimes I think that it could be done, especailly with some good que.
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PITMASTERS BBQ
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01 06 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'VE GOT A COPY OF MY LOCAL REGULATIONS AND WILL BE IN COMPLIANCE. I'VE GOT A SOUTHERN PRIDE SPK-500 ROTISS. COOKER ON TRAILER ORDERED FOR THE COOKING AND A CUSTOM ALL STAINLESS STEEL PULL BEHIND LUNCH WAGON IN THE WORKS. TOTAL INVESTMENT IS $35K. I'LL COOK 6-8 BUTTS OVERNIGHT 2-3 TIMES A WEEK AND PULL THEM IN THE MORNING AND THEN PUT ON 40 - 50 CHICKEN QUARTERS TO GIVE THEM A CHOICE. I'LL THEN TRANSFER THE FOOD TO THE LUNCH WAGONS HOT WELLS AND SODAS TO THE COLD WELLS AND BE ON MY WAY. I'LL ALSO SELL BOILED P-NUTS, BEANS AND GATORAID AND THAT WILL BE IT. THINK ABOUT IT, WHAT DO CONSTRUCTION WORKERS HAVE AND LIKE? A LITTLE LUNCH MONEY FOR MCDONALDS OR THE LUNCH WAGONS $4 BURGER AND THEY ALL LIKE GOOD QUE. MY BUDDY SELLS THEM $1 - $2 SNOW CONES AND THEY'RE LINED UP 20 PEOPLE AT A TIME AT EACH STOP ON A 90 DEGREE DAY AND HE'S HOME AT 3 P.M. - SO WHY NOT GOOD QUE?
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Hogwild
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Joined: 20 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01 06 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pitmasters-

Would it be possible not to use the caps lock on all your post....my old eyes just can't handle it. Wink

Good luck with your chuckwagon...sounds like fun!
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PITMASTERS BBQ
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01 06 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sorry, at my work i have to work on autocad with caps lock on all day. i'll make the change.
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DawgPhan
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01 06 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PITMASTERS BBQ wrote:
sorry, at my work i have to work on autocad with caps lock on all day. i'll make the change.


No problem...thanks...
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Scotto
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02 06 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ive been talking to my wife about exactly the same thing. I was looking at the roach coach that serves crappy food to my worksite and I think it would be perfect for a traveling bbq business.Has Ice bins, steam tables, warmers, hand sinks and can even be fitted with a grill for finishing ribs.
This is something I have been thinking about for some time now and I raelly think it could work. You have to be carefull about stepping on toes of other catering trucks as they are very protective of their territorys and can get ugly with competition. I have seen fist fights between competing caterers.
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Travis_Creek
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02 06 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scotto wrote:
You have to be carefull about stepping on toes of other catering trucks as they are very protective of their territorys and can get ugly with competition. I have seen fist fights between competing caterers.


I can sale you a Smith & Wesson to solve all your territorial problems Laughing

Good luck with the venture, it sounds great to me. The normal roach coaches suck!
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PITMASTERS BBQ
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03 06 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SCOTTO, thanks for replying. I've seen multiple roach coaches (used vans, old ups trucks, ect.) serving mexican food and doing quite well and i know they're not health dept. approved. We want to do it all legit and get proper papers. We are in the middle of building a house right now so i can't go full throttle with it, but afterwards we surely will. I've been in construction my whole life and know of no-one doing it - yet. The start up cost is low, @ $35k so after building the house we will take a line of credit out and go forward. Cant hurt to try, right?
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frayedend
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03 06 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would check out your local customer base, at least the fixed ones. Also with the local unions for construction sites. How do they hire a roach coach for a new site, etc. Check with the auto garages etc and see if they would be interested and how they would handle their old roach coach driver. Also with such a limited menu you may run into 2 days of good sales, then they may not want bbq. I could eat it everyday, but not everyone can. How about just selling your bbq to the roach coach drivers. They could add your bbq to the menu, make a little profit and you wouldn't have to invest in the coach or deal with the competition problems.

I think a good business plan is to first determine the demand is real and sustainable. Even plans that work on paper may not work in the real world. So at the very least do the math out before spending any money. Don't forget the gas prices either, that can make a big difference in your overhead these days.

Just some ideas...
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wnkt
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03 06 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread caught my eye, because there is a "Roach Coach" operating in our area and does a pretty decent job on their pork sandwiches at least ( I havent tried anything else). They have a circuit they use, that is they have a place they park and sell their wares in a different place every day.
It is called "Rons Mobile Pig Palace" and is out of Clover, South Carolina.
Here is their webpage http://www.ronsmobilebbqcaterers.com/

Good Luck on your endeavor!

I am an "Q" newbie-in-training and Im willing to learn
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PITMASTERS BBQ
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03 06 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim, thanks for the good pointers. I have been taking small business courses through our community college and working with the SBA (small business administration) and local chamber of commerces to develope our business. We have a solid business plan almost done and have been catering locally for the last year and a half. I was a construction super. for a national home builder for years and know the local coaches didn't have a contract with us in our communities. Months before I left the job i interviewed almost all of my subs (and coaches) to get feedback and 99.9% was positive. I think there is room for a bbq coach out there, not just on constr. sites but also any business with employees that either leave or have to pay for their lunches. I know the local bbq houses are all full during lunchtime, so why not try to take it to them fresh, hot and cheaper. We'll work the kinks out, but planning is the key.
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frayedend
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03 06 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PITMASTERS BBQ wrote:
Jim, thanks for the good pointers. I have been taking small business courses through our community college and working with the SBA (small business administration) and local chamber of commerces to develope our business. We have a solid business plan almost done and have been catering locally for the last year and a half. I was a construction super. for a national home builder for years and know the local coaches didn't have a contract with us in our communities. Months before I left the job i interviewed almost all of my subs (and coaches) to get feedback and 99.9% was positive. I think there is room for a bbq coach out there, not just on constr. sites but also any business with employees that either leave or have to pay for their lunches. I know the local bbq houses are all full during lunchtime, so why not try to take it to them fresh, hot and cheaper. We'll work the kinks out, but planning is the key.


It sounds like you've got everything pretty well set up. Hey, you are right about businesses. Heck if a bbq truck came by my place of business (a very large biotech company) I would be out there all the time. Maybe even get to each place once a week. Then you could have like 3 or 4 stops, maybe more in a few hours, say 11-2 PM. If the truck was outside my place at 11 I'd eat early, if it was at 2 I'd eat late. I wouldn't even doubt that you'd sell out at your first stop at a big business.

...gee maybe once I learn to make good bbq I can do this here in Massachusetts. There's nothing for good bbq here. I can't even find anyone selling a used smoker.

I wish you much luck on this!!! Very Happy
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PITMASTERS BBQ
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03 06 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim, thats exactly what i'm saying. Why not do const. sites 2-3 days a week and large corporations 2-3 days a week. Here in florida where im at we have all the large goverment corps. here and all the nasa and kennedy space center firms like harris and northrop grumman here in town. The thread about Rons Mobile Pig Palace is pretty cool. Nice set-up. I inquired about doing something similar to that in my city but code enforcement wont let you stop and sell food roadside - you have to constantly move around and only stop to vend. I'll be a newbie to it but checking with local goverment is one of the first steps (even before building a business plan) to do. Take time to plan because as they say "most businesses dont plan to fail, they fail to plan".
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Alien BBQ
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03 06 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PITMASTERS BBQ wrote:
Jim, thats exactly what i'm saying. Why not do const. sites 2-3 days a week and large corporations 2-3 days a week. Here in florida where im at we have all the large goverment corps. here and all the nasa and kennedy space center firms like harris and northrop grumman here in town. The thread about Rons Mobile Pig Palace is pretty cool. Nice set-up. I inquired about doing something similar to that in my city but code enforcement wont let you stop and sell food roadside - you have to constantly move around and only stop to vend. I'll be a newbie to it but checking with local goverment is one of the first steps (even before building a business plan) to do. Take time to plan because as they say "most businesses dont plan to fail, they fail to plan".


I use to be the inspector for Palm Beach County and have never heard anything like that. You are referring to The Bureau of Professional Regulation arenít you? The Health Depart in Florida have little say in mobile restaurants or carts. At least when I was an inspector.
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Old Dave
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03 06 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a nice bbq concession trailer that will probably pass all state, county, and city codes. Has a nice Southern Pride all built into the trailer with about everything you need to get into the business.

This site has many used units as well for many types of cooking or vending.

http://www.concessiontrailers.com/11482.htm
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PITMASTERS BBQ
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04 06 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alien, ive researched it here in Brevard County, FL and to get an occupational license and permits for mobile food vending here, you need to have your rig inspected by the health dept., dept. of transportation, take a course to get a food handling permit and get a state license through the dept. of hotels and resturaunts. Here in my hometown code enforcement will not let you opperate a road side food vending business. In unincorporated parts of the county, county code enforcement will let you but your location has to be approved and limited to 200 sq. ft. Bummer huh? That southern pride trailer is nice. Ive looked at s.pride, sybbq and austin national's trailers and like s. prides cookers the best. I've got a s. pride spk-500 on trailer and sybbq concession trailer in the works. Hope to be there soon.
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PITMASTERS BBQ
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04 06 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's pics of our rig.
[img]

[/img]
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