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Catering w/ Trailer Cookers & Smokers

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Guys,

I am thinking about the possibility of buying on of those huge, heavy steel guage BBQ smokers; the kind mounted to a trailer.

The thing is, I am not sure exactly what I can or might do with this profoundly expensive (but beautiful to look at and better to play with) toy!

If I wanted to cater outdoor events, such as tailgate parties, corporate picnics, July 4th celebrations, et al, how might I get started, exactly? Besides an awesome cooker, what other items might I need?

The cooker I have in mind can feed up to 450 people. So, how might I transport that amount of raw product to the site (safely)? What battles might I anticipate in seeking a license and health permit?

Any thoughts?

Thanks!

-Ron:bounce:
post #2 of 6
You need an offsite catering permit in most cases. Some health departments will send a health inspector down to the site if the site doesn't have its own foodservice license. Standard food handling techniques apply to raw product. Make arrangements to have it delivered billto/shipto or keep it cold. Time to build your relationships with the local health department.

Kuan
post #3 of 6
You can make a lot of cash and have a lot of fun!!! I would look into small town funtions and stay away from the big stuff. Sure you will make more money with a large function, but htere not nearly as fun as the smaller ones. Well here are a couple of tips for you:
Call and ask to use coolers and freezers and resturants in the area the event is being held.(I have never been turned down)
Don't try to buck the system, don't go to far afield when planning what your going to serve!
Don't duplicate items(smaller events don't have the numbers to support two or more hotdog vendors for example)
Check on permits
If they want to charge you for the space, sell them on the idea that you are there to improve their event and that this kind of thing has no guarentees.(works most of the time)
Well I could tell you lots more but learning is hafe the fun.

CrazychefYou can make a lot of cash and have a lot of fun!!! I would look into small town funtions and stay away from the big stuff. Sure you will make more money with a large function, but htere not nearly as fun as the smaller ones. Well here are a couple of tips for you:
Call and ask to use coolers and freezers and resturants in the area the event is being held.(I have never been turned down)
Don't try to buck the system, don't go to far afield when planning what your going to serve!
Don't duplicate items(smaller events don't have the numbers to support two or more hotdog vendors for example)
Check on permits
If they want to charge you for the space, sell them on the idea that you are there to improve their event and that this kind of thing has no guarentees.(works most of the time)
Well I could tell you lots more but learning is hafe the fun.

Crazychef
post #4 of 6

carnival!

some of the best and most enjoyable money you will ever make is carnival/ fair concessions. the health department is usualy more lineient on things of that nature also. it is also a great place to advertise yourself to a large group of people. most every state has a fairs and festivals committe that can give you all the info you need. ex. you can sell a prime rib poboy for six bucks easy. and if you do it right your food cost should be no more than 1.50- 2.00 a sandwich. some of the most profitable items are the simplest. also, if you have a large catchy smoker trailer belching out prime rib smoke every backyard bbq chef willl be drooling all the way to your cash register..
post #5 of 6
We've had a great few months with our new catering trailer. There is some fantastic money to be made and we haven't even got to the summer yet.
post #6 of 6
I'm from the South and we do something called a "pig-pickin" -- just what it sounds like. Split a whole pig and slow roast/smoke it. Guests can "pick" the meat right off the pig. For a less heathen approach, you can pull the meat and offer it from pans. Never fails to get the attention at a catering.

Know your inspector! They can be your biggest friend or biggest PITA.

Other equipment -- big ice chests and lots of ice. One friend takes a generator to power an old chest freezer he mounted to a trailer. Works great. Big instant up canopy. Work tables. Lots of soap and sanitizer. Insect screens.

BH
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