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Any advice on BBQ business?

 
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JeffreyCH
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PostPosted: Jul 28, 2009 8:39 am    Post subject: Any advice on BBQ business? Reply with quote

I've owned a construction company for the last 5 years, and with this season being so slow, only getting roofing jobs, ect. ect. I'm just sick of it.

The little lake where we ride doesn't have a marina or anything, and between Sat. and Sun. I watched at least 100 people pull in and out. It got me thinking that if I had a smoker trailer in the parking lot I could probably make some bank.

I've been doing some research on permits, equipment, and what not. My brother is very good friends with the superintendent and game warden that patrol the lake, so he's checking with them to see if we can even do it.

It looks like I can get into this for about 2k which is very doable. What the hell, I sit on shore grilling most of the afternoon anyway. Any tips or advice on running a business like this would be great.

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GnarShredd
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PostPosted: Jul 28, 2009 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I work in the food retail industry but what I do is completely different from a restaraunt-type setting. From my work experience the best thing I can suggest is to make sure to have one or two key menu items that people can't really get anywhere else (like a really good specialty BBQ sauce or slaw or something). Things like this will help generate word of mouth and before you know it, people will know you as 'the best (insert whatever you have here)!; not just 'the guy at the edge of the lake'.

If you're just doing hotdogs, the most important thing is options of toppings. Most hotdogs, when you break it down, are all basically the same flavor. The difference comes in the toppings. If you can work it out to where people buy a hotdog and then can put whatever they want on it from like 10 different toppings, you'll have a winner.

Sounds like a solid idea though; you never know if it'll take off. Up at school there were these guys who ran a hot-dog stand in a parking lot. They stayed open late and waited for all the drunk-o students to come out of the clubs. After about a year (maybe less, I don't remember) they have their own building and quite a local following.
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JeffreyCH
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PostPosted: Jul 28, 2009 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GnarShredd, Thanks for the tips man. I have several signature bbq recipes that are famous with my family and friends. I'm looking at shredded pork sandwiches, and chicken breast sandwiches. I'll probably do bruats and chedderworst as a low price option. What kind of toppings would you suggest? Obviously relish, onions, ketchup, mustard, and chili/cheese for a added price.
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GnarShredd
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PostPosted: Jul 28, 2009 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just off the top of my head I'd say you could also have: sauerkraut, banana peppers, mayo, jalapenos, some kind of hot sauce, diced tomatos, etc. You can also take the route of starting with the basics you listed and then asking people what they'd like to see. (post a question on this site in the non-wake section of what people like on hot dogs and go from there to start. )


It also wouldn't hurt to maybe have a kind of strange topping or two like a salsa or cucumbers, maybe some bacon bits if you want to get really crazy (that would be really good with some cheese, I'd totally get that). Again, this kind of thing would get people to tell their friends 'Hey, i went to this place and they had a bacon & Cheese hotdog!'


Once you start up you can buy toppings in small amounts and then see what is/isn't popular and if people request anything. Listen to the customer, that's always important.

I don't know if I'm thinking too big for what you were planning but if there's anything I've learned is that people want options. Do just enough to offer some variety but not enough where people have to stand and really think about it too hard. People like choices but don't like to be overwhelmed (also, make sure you get the staple items in there first and see what you can financially handle).
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GnarShredd
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PostPosted: Jul 28, 2009 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*just kind of a disclaimer and so you know some backgroud on me and where I'm coming from:

I tend to think about all of this on a global level since that's what I deal with day to day. You're obviously doing this at a very local level so take that in to account when reading my posts. I'm pretty new to the food industry (only about 6 or 7 months) but i've been involved in merchandising for a while and went to school for it so I like to think I learned something Cool
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JeffreyCH
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PostPosted: Jul 28, 2009 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn yeah a bacon cheese dog with grilled onions would be awesome. Thanks for any info, I'll keep in mind you think globally.
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spyd4r
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PostPosted: Jul 28, 2009 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

real jalapenos, not that pickled stuff.
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onemanwolfpack
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PostPosted: Aug 24, 2009 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know that most BBQ purists won't like this suggestion but i don't care. Put lots of meat in with the baked beans!
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GnarShredd
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PostPosted: Aug 26, 2009 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How's this going by the way. Ever get off the ground?
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