1st time BBQ concessionaire needs help

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Bea411
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2006/06/11 00:59:57 (permalink)

1st time BBQ concessionaire needs help

I was wondering if there are any basic formulas for figuring out tentative projected sales at an event based on attendance??? This event is at a suburbian fourth of July event and has about 15,000 people each year. We have a good spot right by the live music. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
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    bassrocker4u2
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    RE: 1st time BBQ concessionaire needs help 2006/06/11 07:55:43 (permalink)
    dont fret about how many people are there. although there is a formula. i dont believe that is the way to go, unless you want to feed your share of the masses. i have always done events through the dollars. in other words, start with how much money you want to clear for this event, add to that all the concuring expenses.now calculate your food cost and your portion sizes, and you should be able to come up with how much food you will need to cook. tadah! of course always cook more, just in case, and keep chilled.
    oh yea, prisonchef has the formula, i am sure he will pipe in here somewhere.... (hey, jack)
    i think, its attendance divided by venders, then add 10 percent.
    do i get an 'a' jack?
    #2
    chicagostyledog
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    RE: 1st time BBQ concessionaire needs help 2006/06/11 07:58:11 (permalink)
    There are numerous factors for determining tentative projected sales at an event. Attendance is only one. Here are a few more:

    1. Competition from other vendors
    2. Duplication of product from competition
    3. Price
    4. Weather
    5. Rapid service aka keeping your line movong as fast as possible
    6. Visibility aka being seen first before your competition
    7. The patterns of foot traffic past your location
    8. The possibility of people bringing their own food and drinks to the event

    Being close to the live music doesn't guarantee it's the right location, unless your concession is seen first as people enter the venue. I always ask to view a map of the event in advance. Traffic patterns at an event are critical to sales. You want to be the first concession that customers see as they enter that event. If they have to pass by other vendors before reaching the live music stage, you may not be in the best spot. I've learned this from previous experience. Expereienced vendors always stake out the busiest locations at an event according to foot traffic patterns. It's no fun watching customers purchasing food from the competition, before they get the opportunity to pass by your location. If you don't like your location, request to be moved before setting up and don't take "no" for an answer, especially since you're paying to be vend there.

    CSD

    Born in Chicago
    Escaped to Wisconsin
    Selling Vienna Beef hot dogs & Polish
    Business Instructor www.hotdogu.com
    #3
    Bea411
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    RE: 1st time BBQ concessionaire needs help 2006/06/13 07:26:19 (permalink)
    I really appreciate the help. We have a minimal investment in this event, and the potential to make some money. I just had NO starting point on the POTENTIAL projected sales...I haven't done this before! We are the only ones selling BBQ. The attendance in 20,000. We are right by the only stage with live music. We are the first visible, but the whole park fills up with picnicers etc. We are selling from a custom built smoker on a 15 foot trailer...out of a catering tent.
    #4
    prisonchef
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    RE: 1st time BBQ concessionaire needs help 2006/06/13 19:58:52 (permalink)
    man sorry guys, took vacation and working worse than before (ok well working at the job is the same but had orders on the phone for 75 pounds of meat that i had to work thru. tuff huh???))
    bea
    formula works like this
    total number of vendors divided by total gate count plus 10%
    now only you know your market so if you got a gut feeling that your product will sell better then up your percentage.
    my best advice is this and i do bbq which takes a long time to cook. go low ball on your count. know where a local grocery store is. paying spot price for meat or produce may drop your profit but then again you may just luck up and hit a sale. do not worry about running out. this just increases demand. another way can you do it but you never mentioned how many days your event was is to take your low ball estimate and cook 2 days worth of this. reefer half and reheat.
    again sorry i didnt hit in sooner and i appologize
    jack
    ps. as always you get an "a" bass. hated taking vacation as that was money we were saving towards a place. pressure got too bad after 2 years with no days off. glad in a way i did it and then in another way sure wished that i was stronger
    #5
    UncleVic
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    RE: 1st time BBQ concessionaire needs help 2006/06/13 20:05:11 (permalink)
    Total # Vendors / gate count + 10%.
    Is this a general figure for all vendors or just in the BBQ field? Sorry I ask, but have never seen this one before.
    #6
    prisonchef
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    RE: 1st time BBQ concessionaire needs help 2006/06/13 20:22:21 (permalink)
    bea,
    ok reread your post
    look you sound really stressed. so in the words of my kid "breathe damn it breathe"
    feel better now.
    ok here we go let's see what you are up against.
    i saw where you have picnickers. ok take about 10% off the gate count. by the stage with live music. hate to say it but beer is the best sales there. ok not to panic. can you do something on a stick?? idea might be chicken. custom
    smoker is kewl but do you have a way to hold food at temp??
    ah what the hell here is the recipe that got us 2nd place at the supertailgate mania when the super bowl was in jacksonville. good finger food and we did it on electric smoker so i know you can hit the big temps!!! ok got your pen here goes;
    wasabi chicken wings;
    rub
    4 tsp sesame seeds
    4 tsp wasabi powder
    4 tsp kosher salt
    2 tsp ground black pepper
    1 tsp 5 spice powder
    1 tsp ground cayanne pepper
    whiz that in a food processor to make fine powder

    marinade
    2 T dark sesame oil
    3/4c sake
    put 4 pounds of wing into a freezer bag and dump that in overnite

    lime glaze
    1/2c soy sauce kikoman
    1c granulated sugar
    1 T minced garlic
    1/4c fresh lime juice
    zest of 1/2 lime
    mix in heavy pan and reduce to like molasses. if you go too far just thin with sake.

    load the wings into your smoker and let rip at from 350f to 450f. any fires are your affair. when done toss in the glaze and sell. takes longer to type the recipe then it does to cook.
    hope it gives some idea for you.
    thai cuisine does equally well for bbq and not many people even try something as simple as that.
    wishing you well and knowing you will do fine
    your friend in bbq,
    jack
    #7
    prisonchef
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    RE: 1st time BBQ concessionaire needs help 2006/06/13 20:37:05 (permalink)
    vic,
    i got this from a friend in illinois. he does only two events a year now and then goes fishing. the events are the IL state fair and the indy state fair. my bro in indy talked to his buddy the turkey leg guy. he only does the 500 and the F1 race. makes enough that he goes off too. hates nascar!!!refuses to even do them!!!! i don't blame him!!!!! i hate taxi cabs too and the fans suck but i do make money off of the idiots every year here in florida. just hate to hear their mouths with the funny new jersey accents. guess this is why the wife makes make stay in the back of the rig. sure did upset someone last year when i reffered to dale jr as dale airheadjr. dad would still be with us if nascar had good safety rules. glad simpson safety equipment broke nascars balls from what i read.
    #8
    Bea411
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    RE: 1st time BBQ concessionaire needs help 2006/06/15 07:33:45 (permalink)
    thank you jack. This event has always been a one day event, with 20,000 people. (fourthi of july) This is the first year they made it a 2 day event. It is being held in Moore Oklahoma at a park that also has softball/baseball fields. We are the only ones selling BarBQ. The pavillion with the band will be a centerpoint of the festivities, but the biggest free area of the park is a bit to the west of us. I need to ask the total number of vendors, but we are ONLY ones selling Q. I thought the first day (july 3rd) we would have what we thought we might sell in two days prepared, and see how much is consumed. Then cook that night accordingly. We are doing pulled pork, smoked chicken wings, and corn on the cob. We paid 100 bucks for entry and our other expenses besides supplies is 300.
    #9
    prisonchef
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    RE: 1st time BBQ concessionaire needs help 2006/06/15 14:56:28 (permalink)
    bea,
    your cooking plan sounds spot on to me!!! your biggest problem will be overproduction but doing it the way have listed should prevent that which means you make more profit!!! the menu sounds spot on also.
    ribs are not that good of a profit item. as a matter of fact we will only do them as a custom order and they must buy 2 slabs as that is the way they come in the cyrovac. pulled pork has a bout a 25% food cost for us. brisket is 20% since we are the only ones doing it in a 40 mile radius from us so the price is way up there on that.
    all in all you got your game together. the items you have listed come in at the low to moderate range and that sure helps impulse buying.
    good luck and have fun
    jack
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    Bea411
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    RE: 1st time BBQ concessionaire needs help 2006/06/17 23:52:16 (permalink)
    Thanks again. We are still refining the cooking technique of our wings. The skin keeps turning out tough. I think it is cuz we aren't doing a high enough temp. and maybe because of sugar in the rub. They turned out great last week, but this week the skin was like rubber. We got the wings from a different place, and used a little more brown sugar in the rub of one recipe and the mopping liquid in the other. Do you ever brine your wings?
    Our smoker is an old 9 foot farm propane tank, with two smoking chambers with two racks, and an oven warmer. We are thinking of buying an electric food warmer for inside the tent, and maybe a couple of steam tables for the meat. Any advise on how much refrigeration we might need? We are thinking of getting 2 regular fridges or 2 compact fridges.
    It's funny about the meat. We have the opposite trend here in Oklahoma. Everyone does brisket, (and turkey legs.) We thought chicken wings and pork would help us have an edge getting into places as brand new vendors. It makes us a little different. We will add other products as we gain experience.
    Liked your post on Nascar. I am not a fan, but would do NASCAR just cuz I wouldn't be wishing I was watching the race instead of working. I plan to do a couple of music festivals next year, but I might be wishin I was watching the band instead of workin.
    #11
    UncleVic
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    RE: 1st time BBQ concessionaire needs help 2006/06/18 00:39:40 (permalink)
    Bea, what temp are you running at? And how long you keeping them in?
    You make it hard to diagnose since you changed both the supplier and the recipe. Maybe take it back one step and see what happens.

    #12
    Theedge
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    RE: 1st time BBQ concessionaire needs help 2006/06/18 00:58:07 (permalink)
    Bea411, you should invest in a Flavorwave, then you could keep everything frozen and just bbq enough as needed.
    #13
    prisonchef
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    RE: 1st time BBQ concessionaire needs help 2006/06/18 08:10:39 (permalink)
    bea,
    i posted times,temps and techniques in the bbq section on your wing question. seeing that you have a 2 compartment smoker i think the post will get you right in the ball faster.
    as far as refrigeration goes we have a 22 cu ft artic air and a 7.2 cu artic air freezer. the combo works out well as the freezer i can use as a poor mans blast chiller. it not only cools the food down fast but takes a load off of the reefer as it doesn't have to work as hard.
    i like your idea to change up what is offered. the neat thing is people will buy something just because it is different. we got lucky with our brisket but the luck did take 4 months of very little sales on the product (nicepart was i could rework it into creamy brisket on a biscuit and sell it as a breakfast item). the turn around point came with some people from new york who were visiting. they bought some and took it home to the people they were staying with. after that we just saw a steady increase in sales to the point where we are selling on average 20 pounds of cooked brisket in four hours every saturday. the deckle doesn't do all that well but the cramy brisket sales continue to rise so i am not complaning at all.
    #14
    Dr of BBQ
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    RE: 1st time BBQ concessionaire needs help 2006/06/18 16:06:26 (permalink)
    Bea wrote: was wondering if there are any basic formulas for figuring out tentative projected sales at an event based on attendance???

    Bea I have a form if used may be of some help. If you'd like a copy email me.
    Jack@drofBBQ.com



    #15
    boyardee65
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    RE: 1st time BBQ concessionaire needs help 2006/06/18 17:08:09 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by prisonchef

    man sorry guys, took vacation and working worse than before (ok well working at the job is the same but had orders on the phone for 75 pounds of meat that i had to work thru. tuff huh???))
    bea
    formula works like this
    total number of vendors divided by total gate count plus 10%
    now only you know your market so if you got a gut feeling that your product will sell better then up your percentage.
    my best advice is this and i do bbq which takes a long time to cook. go low ball on your count. know where a local grocery store is. paying spot price for meat or produce may drop your profit but then again you may just luck up and hit a sale. do not worry about running out. this just increases demand. another way can you do it but you never mentioned how many days your event was is to take your low ball estimate and cook 2 days worth of this. reefer half and reheat.
    again sorry i didnt hit in sooner and i appologize
    jack
    ps. as always you get an "a" bass. hated taking vacation as that was money we were saving towards a place. pressure got too bad after 2 years with no days off. glad in a way i did it and then in another way sure wished that i was stronger
    Hey Jack you shouldn't feel bad for taking some much needed time off. You can only deal with so much stress. You should come back to your operation with renewed intrest, and and maybe a few new ideas after a few days off. Bea, everyone here wishes you a very successful event. Hope you found the solution to your problem.
    #16
    V960
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    RE: 1st time BBQ concessionaire needs help 2006/06/19 10:19:17 (permalink)
    Prisonchef,
    Bring that little trailer up to Charlotte during Speed Week in May. 175,000 screaming rednecks on Sunday to watch the Coke 600.
    #17
    prisonchef
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    RE: 1st time BBQ concessionaire needs help 2006/06/19 16:33:16 (permalink)
    v960,
    well since i did use the nascar race to take my fathers day nap (10 mins and it's sleepy time. funny part is i wake up with 15 laps to go just in time for the yellow flag with 10 laps to go for debris on the track) i would love to get a spot there!!!!!!
    know any contacts for renting out a spot????
    i got my brother in indy checking out spot rental for the 500 and F1 race too boot. maybe i should have him look into the nascar race as indy and f1 i would like to watch so that may present some mental problems lol
    i did however think about just towing the rig into the infield at daytona for the 24 hour race. thinking is while nascar would take a dim view of me eatting into their profits if i only cooked for donations there isn't much they could do (or so advises my lawyers dewey,cheatum and howe,esq)
    #18
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