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Old 01-12-2014, 04:53 PM   #1
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First Event

So I will be vending at my first real event as 402bbq on Feb 1st. It is an annual fundraiser for the sunshine kids, a charity organization for children with cancer. They call it the Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ festival, and I was invited to serve my food there. They are expecting 300-400 people, and vendors are expected to give free samples, and sell meals as well. Apparently there will be 8 other bbq vendors, and I'm just not sure how much food to bring. I know what I want to bring, probably pulled pork, brisket, slaw, and tater salad. If it was you guys, how would you serve the samples? I would like to bring my new pit to show it off and keep the meat warm, but it will arrive about a week before the event. I won't have much time to practice on it. Any advice you folks could give would be much appreciated!
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:00 PM   #2
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Wish I could be of help Boozer but it does sound exciting and I'm betting there will be several weighing in. Maybe our old buddy Tri Tip will weigh in he has done loads of catering and vending.
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:42 PM   #3
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I've done some bootleg catering, but nothing like this. I can keep food warm in my offset char griller at 150 all day, but l have absolutely 0 experience with the Lang 60. Maybe I shouldn't have signed up for this, but it's hard to turn down work, and good advertising.
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:46 AM   #4
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8 BBQ vendors with 300-400 poential customers sounds like it might be cutting the pie a bit thin. Do they have other food vendors other than bbq? Can you peddle what you want to have to sell what they tell you to? The way I heard it explained one time pretend ten percent of those folks are hungry for bbq..so say that that give forty warm bodies to work on..and split that 6 or 8 ways..I aint good at math but I dont like those odds. Now if the other nice folks are doing brisket and you slip in there with turkey legs..might work. Some of this depends on whether a persons goal is to cook bbq or make money. I would not take much. The best fund raisers I ever participated in was grilled brats and frito chili pies. Make those in the bag and they sell like hotcakes for five bucks a pop...but then it aint bbq. Hey put smoked chili on there. There ya go. Keeps us posted.
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:26 AM   #5
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No other vendors. Only bbq. A couple of the other vendors are local bbq joints that have mediocre food. One is really good, and one is a comp team that has beaten us in the past, and another competition team that has never beat us. The other 3 I've never heard of. I do make a mean bbq bison chili. Maybe instead of the tater salad and slaw, I will bring Chili and mac & cheese. And slaw to top the sammitches. Presumably everyone is going to eat there, 1/8 of customers will get food from me. Of 400 that's 50.
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:29 AM   #6
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I can't add much to what bigwheel said. Sounds pretty close to what i'd been taught, too. 400 people isn't much for 8 vendors. Plan to sell out early and not have leftovers unless you already have plans for the leftovers.

As far as samples, get some of those small portion cups...look like shot glasses. Yes, the 1 oz. size and put a little pork or brisket in them. I know a guy that gets the 2 oz. size and sells the samples for $1.00 and over 95% get right back in line and end up paying $1 more for the sandwich than they would have for about 3/4 of a bite less.
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:29 AM   #7
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It's better to have too much than not enough, hey?
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:51 AM   #8
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I guess there might be some folks who will get full from 8 samples. With all the beer and whiskey, hopefully they'll get real hungry!
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:56 AM   #9
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What about sauce for the samples?
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:08 PM   #10
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Not that it be pertinent but we went to a cookoff in a hick town one time where they added ten bucks to the entry fee and gave us a health permit. We sold a tub of stuff or at least all we had. One fellow did not have enough left for turn in and he had prob an extra 15 racks of ribs. But we had half the town out there so maybe more potential customers. It may be the best deal since light bread. Folks smell smoke and get hungry. Ribs are good sellers. We were peddling spares for two bucks a bone wrapped in a slice of bread..and thats quite a few years back. I would not put much emphasis on the sides. For samples we just cut some up in cubes and put in a styrofoam tray with a lid and let them spear a chunk with a tooth pick. Would not work of ribs but does good for chicken..brisket etc. Best of fortunes on the event.
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:39 PM   #11
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Keep your fire burning the entire time you are there, whether you need it or not. Get a bag of yellow unyuns, quarter them and add 2 of the quarters to the fire. Add 2 more when you can't smell it any more. That'll get/keep 'em hongrey more than all the beer and booze in the world, and when they figger out it's comin' from you, the line will grow!
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Old 01-13-2014, 03:22 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Bob In Fla. View Post
Keep your fire burning the entire time you are there, whether you need it or not. Get a bag of yellow unyuns, quarter them and add 2 of the quarters to the fire. Add 2 more when you can't smell it any more. That'll get/keep 'em hongrey more than all the beer and booze in the world, and when they figger out it's comin' from you, the line will grow!
Oh I will definitely do that. Since I first heard about this trick from you, I got the whole neighborhood damn near pushing down my fence just to see what's cookin! The 1 oz containers should work for samples, but then how would I sauce them? I have 3 table sauces that I'm pretty proud of. More little cups of those? Or squeeze bottles? Or maybe I sauce it for em?
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Old 01-13-2014, 03:26 PM   #13
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Oh I will definitely do that. Since I first heard about this trick from you, I got the whole neighborhood damn near pushing down my fence just to see what's cookin! The 1 oz containers should work for samples, but then how would I sauce them? I have 3 table sauces that I'm pretty proud of. More little cups of those? Or squeeze bottles? Or maybe I sauce it for em?
Squeeze bottles will constantly need to be re-filled (most likely...depending on the crowd). Maybe just sauce the sample in the cups? We never have sauce. Good BBQ don't need sauce.
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Old 01-13-2014, 03:28 PM   #14
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Not that it be pertinent but we went to a cookoff in a hick town one time where they added ten bucks to the entry fee and gave us a health permit. We sold a tub of stuff or at least all we had. One fellow did not have enough left for turn in and he had prob an extra 15 racks of ribs. But we had half the town out there so maybe more potential customers. It may be the best deal since light bread. Folks smell smoke and get hungry. Ribs are good sellers. We were peddling spares for two bucks a bone wrapped in a slice of bread..and thats quite a few years back. I would not put much emphasis on the sides. For samples we just cut some up in cubes and put in a styrofoam tray with a lid and let them spear a chunk with a tooth pick. Would not work of ribs but does good for chicken..brisket etc. Best of fortunes on the event.
My spare ribs are IMO the best thing that I can cook. Maybe I should bring some. $2 a bone you say? Might work.
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Old 01-13-2014, 03:34 PM   #15
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Or 3 for $5, on a piece of bread. Damn, now I'm making my own self hungry.
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:48 PM   #16
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Sounds like a good time I'm sure you 'll do great.

I know when my family heads out to say the county fair we would load up at a cafe or something before hand, Now a fundraiser/benefit I'd be more likely to eat there rather than eating out or at home beforehand.

My 2¢ don't help much but that's it. Good luck bud
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:05 PM   #17
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Squeeze bottles will constantly need to be re-filled (most likely...depending on the crowd). Maybe just sauce the sample in the cups? We never have sauce. Good BBQ don't need sauce.
100% true. Good BBQ don't need sauce, but people like it and I think i should give em some. As far as that goes, good sauce don't need BBQ either, ever had a breaded and fried chicken breast sammitch topped off with pickles, lettuce, and that ol' Alabama white sauce? fries love to get some good sauce on em too!
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:25 PM   #18
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Sounds like a good time I'm sure you 'll do great.

I know when my family heads out to say the county fair we would load up at a cafe or something before hand, Now a fundraiser/benefit I'd be more likely to eat there rather than eating out or at home beforehand.

My 2¢ don't help much but that's it. Good luck bud
Thanks lowe!
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Old 01-16-2014, 04:43 PM   #19
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Not sure a person could make ends meat at two bucks a bone for ribs nowadays. Three each or two for five sounds like a plan. If they get a bad luck of the draw and get a little rib they can have two. There ya go..lol.
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Old 01-18-2014, 04:01 PM   #20
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Ok, so the event has changed. Apparently, this will be an indoor event (I thought an outdoor event in Nebraska in February would be crappy anyway but I was down to do it). There are only 4 other vendors now, and I was specifically requested to bring my bbq mac&cheese. (I think its ok, but everyone else just loves it) Also there is going to be a local country singer, Tami Hall. She is hot. And a mechanical bull. I'll bring enough to serve 100 people 4 oz each. This thing has spun way out of my control. At least it's for charity and a tax write off.
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