Adding BBQ sandwiches to your offerings

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MetroplexJim
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2013/09/22 19:42:27 (permalink)

Adding BBQ sandwiches to your offerings

Disclaimers:
 
1)  Even though I have owned franchised fast food, I am not expert in any way in your business.  In fact, I know just enough about the food business to make me "dangerous".
2)  I have absolutely no pecuniary - or other - interest in any business/product I mention below.
 
----------------------------------
 
Elsewhere in this forum I have read about folks buying ready-made BBQ off the shelves at Costco or Sam's, then heating it and serving it.  For the most part that stuff is usually way over sauced, cloyingly sweet, and dreadfully expensive for someone trying to make a buck serving it.
 
The owner of this place told me that the BBQ I so enjoy there in fact comes in 5# tubs from his wholesaler.  All he does is "heat & serve" - and go to the bank!  After a bit more research I chased down the wholesaler's source.
 
The variety I like is the Eastern Carolina-style chopped pork.  That may not be to everyone's taste.  No problem, they have both chopped and pulled pork in your choice of the various sauces: vinegar-based, mustard-based, tomato-based sweet, & "Texas".  They also offer the same variety of choices with beef.
 
How do you get it?  That's up to you.  You can go to the manufacturer directly via their site or ask your jobber (Sam's Club is especially cooperative in such endeavors) to get it for you.  The latter may even be less expensive than going direct. 
 
I'd start by buying a small, consumer-sized retail quantity of each variety and let your customers tell you what they would like on a regular basis.  Surely this will vary by region.
 
If you do decide on the Carolina styl - pulled or chopped - here is the "boss sauce" to go with it.  They also sell and ship it in cases with four one-gallon jugs, but try a pint bottle first! 
 
I hope some of you will find this helpful.
 
 
 
 
 
post edited by MetroplexJim - 2013/09/23 09:16:13
#1

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    brickboo
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    Re:Adding BBQ sandwiches to your offerings 2013/09/23 10:39:45 (permalink)
    Jim,
    Thanks again for all of the input. I truly appreciate the help man.
    Boo
    #2
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Adding BBQ sandwiches to your offerings 2013/09/23 11:07:05 (permalink)
    Glad to help! 
     
    The entrepreneurial spirit is the beating heart of our economy. 
     
    Yet, it seems today to be attacked from all sides these days.
     
    God Bless; persevere!
    #3
    chefbuba
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    Re:Adding BBQ sandwiches to your offerings 2013/09/23 11:28:08 (permalink)
    $12.50lb is pretty spendy for PP
    #4
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Adding BBQ sandwiches to your offerings 2013/09/23 12:03:46 (permalink)
    chefbuba

    $12.50lb is pretty spendy for PP


    Indeed, that is their full tilt boogie retail price.  It is set high so as not to undercut their retailers: Wal-Mart, Sam's, Harris Teeter, Kroger's, et al.
     
    Their primary business is selling at manufacturer's prices to wholesale jobbers (Sysco, US Foodservice, etc.) who then wholesale the product to foodservices and restaurants. 
     
    I do not know what a 20# case sells for to restaurants.  I do know, however, that it is way  less than $12.50/lb.
    #5
    brickboo
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    Re:Adding BBQ sandwiches to your offerings 2013/09/23 12:56:55 (permalink)
    Man if this BBQ would help me reach $75 profit, that would be like a fortune to me today, and I would welcome it. Then maybe it would help me to keep on keeping on and it might turn out to be something.
     
    Instead of trading my cart for a vehicle as my Astro Van is in dire straights needing an Intake Gasket, and then the mechanic said there was a possibility that the Van could throw a rod after the repair.
     
    I had one person who had this problem and so far 20,000 miles later it is still going. I had another person who fixed his same problem and it threw a rod in a few months after the $1200 repair. 
     
    What a choice eh?
    #6
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Adding BBQ sandwiches to your offerings 2013/09/23 14:40:44 (permalink)
    Just "semi-educated guesstimating": 
     
    Wholesale, the 20# case should cost < $90 and yield  70 or so 0.25+# sandwiches which, including meat, bun, paper, waste, & condiments, cost about $1.50@.  They would easily sell for $3.95 - $4.95@, perhaps more.
    #7
    Tristan225
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    Re:Adding BBQ sandwiches to your offerings 2013/09/24 21:31:47 (permalink)
    Why don't you go buy an ECB (El Cheapo Brinkman) smoker for $35.00 (less on Craigslist). Google Alton Brown "Q" for an awesome brine recipe and smoke your own. Make sure you learn about, and remove the NASTY gland in some butts!!! You are from the south, BBQ is in you're blood! 
    Don't worry about washing the bearings in your engine. As long as you haven't been a knuckle head driving around for a year with chocolate bubbles coming out of your dipstick you are probably OK. Change the oil if you are worried about it. You might try shopping a bit more for a better price on the gasket job.
    brickboo


    Man if this BBQ would help me reach $75 profit, that would be like a fortune to me today, and I would welcome it. Then maybe it would help me to keep on keeping on and it might turn out to be something.

    Instead of trading my cart for a vehicle as my Astro Van is in dire straights needing an Intake Gasket, and then the mechanic said there was a possibility that the Van could throw a rod after the repair.

    I had one person who had this problem and so far 20,000 miles later it is still going. I had another person who fixed his same problem and it threw a rod in a few months after the $1200 repair. 

    What a choice eh?


    #8
    Lost Nation
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    Re:Adding BBQ sandwiches to your offerings 2013/09/25 06:00:52 (permalink)
    Go to a local HD approved BBQ place and buy pork from them, I sell 20# of un-sauced pork to a golf course for $200 every week. They add about a gallon of sauce to each 10# pan to increase the yeald.
     
     They sell the 1/3 pound sandwiches for $8.95 with chips as a special every weekend and sell out most Saturdays.
    #9
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Adding BBQ sandwiches to your offerings 2013/09/25 08:31:27 (permalink)
    Tristan225 & Lost Nation:  Great ideas!  Thank you!
     
    I'm for whatever gets my fellow entrepreneur, brickboo, financially healthy!
     
    ------------
     
    Tristan225:  BTW, I live just down the road from the Brinkman Ranch.  Most Texas ranches are "in the middle of nowhere"; Brinkman's is 5500 acres (8.8 square miles) of ultra-prime real estate on the northern edge of Frisco, TX - the fastest growning city >100,000 in America.   There must have been big $$$ in hammering sheet metal into smokers!!!  There'll be even bigger bucks when he decides to develop his land. 
    #10
    irishstew
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    Re:Adding BBQ sandwiches to your offerings 2013/10/02 17:40:17 (permalink)
    You know, when I started 3 years ago- I went around and priced some of the ready-made and figured out it would save me a ton if I just bought an electric smoker and did it myself. I purchased a S. Carolina recipe from a Barbeque competitor,  tweaked it -along with tweaking the rub and am now famous for my pulled pork! Same with brisket and BBQ. I pay as low as $1.29/pound and as high as $1.69/pound. Even some of the professional smokers will cheat and use the electric smokers when not competing. You smoke it just like an open smoker but without sitting up with it all night. If Customers want it 'saucy' I provide a squirt bottle so they can add more for their own taste. You can also freeze a bunch ahead of time.
    #11
    Foodbme
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    Re:Adding BBQ sandwiches to your offerings 2013/10/02 23:17:50 (permalink)
    irishstew

    You know, when I started 3 years ago- I went around and priced some of the ready-made and figured out it would save me a ton if I just bought an electric smoker and did it myself. I purchased a S. Carolina recipe from a Barbeque competitor,  tweaked it -along with tweaking the rub and am now famous for my pulled pork! Same with brisket and BBQ. I pay as low as $1.29/pound and as high as $1.69/pound. Even some of the professional smokers will cheat and use the electric smokers when not competing. You smoke it just like an open smoker but without sitting up with it all night. If Customers want it 'saucy' I provide a squirt bottle so they can add more for their own taste. You can also freeze a bunch ahead of time.

    I'll bet you never calculated your Shrinkage into your Cost. Weigh your meat before cooking and after.  The price you paid before cooking divided by"Your After Weight" will give you your ACTUAL Cost per pound, THEN, do your retail pricing to see what you actual margin is! SURPRISE, SUPRISE!!

    #12
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Adding BBQ sandwiches to your offerings 2013/10/03 08:37:31 (permalink)
    Foodbme

    irishstew

    You know, when I started 3 years ago- I went around and priced some of the ready-made and figured out it would save me a ton if I just bought an electric smoker and did it myself. I purchased a S. Carolina recipe from a Barbeque competitor,  tweaked it -along with tweaking the rub and am now famous for my pulled pork! Same with brisket and BBQ. I pay as low as $1.29/pound and as high as $1.69/pound. Even some of the professional smokers will cheat and use the electric smokers when not competing. You smoke it just like an open smoker but without sitting up with it all night. If Customers want it 'saucy' I provide a squirt bottle so they can add more for their own taste. You can also freeze a bunch ahead of time.

    I'll bet you never calculated your Shrinkage into your Cost. Weigh your meat before cooking and after.  The price you paid before cooking divided by"Your After Weight" will give you your ACTUAL Cost per pound, THEN, do your retail pricing to see what you actual margin is! SURPRISE, SUPRISE!!


    Indeed. 
     
    Furthermore, I started this thread to help a gentleman whose primary business is hotdogs, but was thinking about adding a 'cue sammy for an additional revenue stream and a little "differentiation" from his competitors. 
     
    I told him that I knew a business that has dome this very successfully and I identified their "source & method": their vendor, their "method". 
     
    A crockpot is a lot cheaper than a smoker and scooping finished product from a 5# tub involves a lot less space, labor, and general "running around".
    post edited by MetroplexJim - 2013/10/03 08:38:39
    #13
    hpx
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    Re:Adding BBQ sandwiches to your offerings 2013/10/03 14:38:56 (permalink)
    we get precooked butts from sysco. 2 5lbs for usually about $28. simple prep of 24hr defrosting, then portioned out as ordered, microwave meat for 60 seconds scooped on a bun and served dry with sauce on side. tender tasty and juicy. total food cost about .90 per sandwich. sell out each day we do it for 5.95 each. people love this stuff and the fact we only do it once or twice a week makes the demand heavy. if we offered more often think the mystique would wear off.

    its an item that does very well for us with very little fuss.
    #14
    Speedymike
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    Re:Adding BBQ sandwiches to your offerings 2013/10/14 19:47:19 (permalink)
    Are you sure .90 is the food cost? So how much PORK you put on the bun??? A picture?
    #15
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Adding BBQ sandwiches to your offerings 2013/10/15 09:40:51 (permalink)
    hpx

    we get precooked butts from sysco. 2 5lbs for usually about $28. simple prep of 24hr defrosting, then portioned out as ordered, microwave meat for 60 seconds scooped on a bun and served dry with sauce on side. tender tasty and juicy. total food cost about .90 per sandwich. sell out each day we do it for 5.95 each. people love this stuff and the fact we only do it once or twice a week makes the demand heavy. if we offered more often think the mystique would wear off.

    its an item that does very well for us with very little fuss.


    EXACTLY !!!
     
    You, Sir, are a smart businessman - the beating heart of our Great Nation.
    #16
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Adding BBQ sandwiches to your offerings 2013/10/15 09:49:55 (permalink)
    Speedymike

    Are you sure .90 is the food cost? So how much PORK you put on the bun??? A picture?


    10# for $28 = $2.80/#, so
    4 oz. BBQ = $0.70
    Wholesale bun = $0.05 - $0.075.
    Sauce and paper = pennies.
    $0.90 appears to be right on the money.
    ---------------------
    So it looks like 4 to 5 oz./sandwich.
    #17
    irishstew
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    Re:Adding BBQ sandwiches to your offerings 2013/10/15 11:16:41 (permalink)
    I'll take that bet. I have had the food truck for 3 years but have cooked for 30. It would take quite a simpleton not to realize meat shrinks while cooking. Again, the cheapest methodology is to smoke meat yourself as it yields more sandwiches/less money.I have catered a 300 head wedding reception and just finished a 1000/person auction. IF U BUY QUALITY MEAT-LESS SHRINKAGE and as I have experienced-a money maker for me.
    #18
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Adding BBQ sandwiches to your offerings 2013/10/15 11:45:28 (permalink)
    If I had a hot dog cart and was able to add - with nearly zero effort - a $5.95 BBQ sandwich with a COGS of $0.90 as a 'side item', I don't think I'd spend too much of my scarce time to cut the COGS down to $0.65.
     
    'Jes sayin'.
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    edwmax
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    Re:Adding BBQ sandwiches to your offerings 2013/10/15 12:32:43 (permalink)
    Foodbme

    irishstew

    You know, when I started 3 years ago- I went around and priced some of the ready-made and figured out it would save me a ton if I just bought an electric smoker and did it myself. I purchased a S. Carolina recipe from a Barbeque competitor,  tweaked it -along with tweaking the rub and am now famous for my pulled pork! Same with brisket and BBQ. I pay as low as $1.29/pound and as high as $1.69/pound. Even some of the professional smokers will cheat and use the electric smokers when not competing. You smoke it just like an open smoker but without sitting up with it all night. If Customers want it 'saucy' I provide a squirt bottle so they can add more for their own taste. You can also freeze a bunch ahead of time.

    I'll bet you never calculated your Shrinkage into your Cost. Weigh your meat before cooking and after.  The price you paid before cooking divided by"Your After Weight" will give you your ACTUAL Cost per pound, THEN, do your retail pricing to see what you actual margin is! SURPRISE, SUPRISE!!

     
    I'm not knocking those that want to buy the BBQ ready made to resell.  BUT, it is easily done and shrinkage becomes negligible.  
     
    Smoke the meat for about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hrs then move it to a roaster pan or an electric roaster (my preference) to finish over night.   The next day, skim about 1/2 of the fat off and mix the rest of the pan juices into the BBQ. This helps to keep the flavor in the Q.  Especially, if very lean pork was used.   ... Some cooks even mix the pan juices into the BBQ sauce.   ... Freeze or refrigerate in container sizes for one days uses.   Add BB!Q sauce as needed.
     
    Put 2 or 3 butts or briskets on the smoker about 7pm; then about 8:30 to 9 pm move to an electric roaster set at 200 deg for the rest of the night.  ... easy ... go to bed  ...
    #20
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Adding BBQ sandwiches to your offerings 2013/10/15 17:34:27 (permalink)
    Nothing whatsoever against "smoking your own".  In some businesses, it makes good economic sense.  In fact, just down Eddorado Parkway from me is the Brinkman Ranch, tangible proof that many enjoy smoking their meats.
     
    But, I made my suggestions for brickboo and similarily situated folks.
     
    And, hpx is enjoying success with the concept.
     
    I do not think either gentleman anytime soon will be:
     
    a) catering for 300
    or
    b) be making their own hotdogs.
     
    Attempts at vertical integration incur unnecessary, sometimes deadly overhead for the small businessman.  In any case, the scarcest resource for the solo operator is his TIME
     
    Remember: even Henry Ford let Harvey Firestone make his tires!
    post edited by MetroplexJim - 2013/10/15 18:37:23
    #21
    edwmax
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    Re:Adding BBQ sandwiches to your offerings 2013/10/15 19:21:24 (permalink)
    As I said, I wasn't knocking those that prefer to buy BBQ for resell.  I know there are those that can not for various reason make their own BBQ.   Living in an apartment that forbids grills; living in a motel while on a road festival  circuit; or selling a well known local-made brand.   ... I was just pointing out how simple it can be to make your own; and at $1.25 to $1.69 per lb for pork butts worth the effort.  
     
    Good BBQ can be bought for abt $5 to $6 per lb bulk.    Talk to a local BBQ joint, they might do your order at the same time they do their Q for the week (??? couple time per week) at a better deal.  ... And be fresh for your customers ...
    post edited by edwmax - 2013/10/15 19:24:25
    #22
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Adding BBQ sandwiches to your offerings 2013/10/16 08:42:04 (permalink)
    From hpx above, Sysco charges him $2.80/# in 10# lots.
     
    I don't know what Weenie Beenie pays for theirs, but I imagine it's in that range.  However, I do know that the owner always drives a new Lexus LS.
     
    And I also know that their Eastern Carolina 'Cue sammie is so good they are my very first food stop after I get a rent-a-car at IAD or DCA!
     

    #23
    edwmax
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    Re:Adding BBQ sandwiches to your offerings 2013/10/16 09:02:27 (permalink)
    That is a good price on ready to serve Q.
    #24
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