Lockedcustomers wanting samples of my bbq

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Mosca
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/21 22:46:45 (permalink)
Hehe, I'll be there!

And based on this review, WE should be asking YOU for advice....

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A54443-2004May25.html

I think you could be the BBQ equivalent of the soup guy and still be successful!


Tom
#31
V960
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/22 09:12:10 (permalink)
Love the review, except for the part about vinegar based sauce is from SC. Yankee writer.
#32
LindaW
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/22 09:38:39 (permalink)
V960 - don't be too hard on us notherners....it took me many years to realize the distinct and intricate differences in Eastern Carolina, vs. Lexington style bbq....I onetime said to my husband something about South Carolina que... ( and no offense to those from that great state) and he wrinkled his nose in disgust and said ugh...mustard...

finding good que up here is about as hard as finding synagogues down there....
#33
sammur
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/22 09:59:17 (permalink)
Tom,
I've already got your address in my "go to" book and can't wait to try your Q. Thanks for the forum.
#34
V960
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/22 10:25:52 (permalink)
Linda,

I'm half yankee by blood so don't worry about it. I feel more at home at Lex and 50th than in Birmingham.

SC has a few styles of Q but the best known is the ,IMHO, disgusting mustard style. Wouldn't feed it to my dog...even the one who growels at me.

A SC BBQ shop (Stickey Fingers) markets three or four sauces through the local grocery stores. The mustard based one always has a coating of dust on top here in NC. Maurice Bessinger ticked off so many people w/ his support of flying the Confederate battle flag at the capital that most grocery stores won't caryy his sauce anymore.
#35
nvb
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/22 11:56:39 (permalink)
If I hadn't given out samples of pulled pork in my place a couple of years back these Texans around here still wouldn't know what it was.
#36
drsmoke02
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/22 14:08:17 (permalink)
I LOOK FORWARD TO MEETING ONE AND ALL,FRANKLY I'M SORRY I DIDN'T JOIN THIS FORUM A LONG TIME AGO.THE ONLY REASON I HAVE A BBQ,INSTEAD OF A PIZZA PLACE OR THE SUCH,IS AFTER READING"ROADFOOD" IN 2001 I FELL IN LOVE WITH THE IDEA OF A WORLDCLASS BBQ. PEOPLE WHO OWN BBQ'S SEEM TO PRETTY MUCH MARCH TO THEIR OWN DRUMBEAT,I LIKE THAT.
#37
TJ Jackson
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/22 14:17:50 (permalink)
Err, it's a bit unclear to me....drsmoke...is your place Chubby's Southern Style Barbeque?
#38
laststandchili
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/23 09:13:56 (permalink)
I'm there. Not a bad afternoons drive from Annapolis, and a good excuse to spend some time in Gettysburg. I won't beg any samples, and I'll try not to spill anything, but I may need to use the facilities.

Vayo con Queso
#39
V960
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/23 11:45:23 (permalink)
Drsmoke,
Please stop "shouting". All caps is not good form.
#40
jellybear
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/23 12:56:53 (permalink)
I dont think I would go with that sign Dr.Smoke but I would follow them out the restaurant and tell them that unless they are buying something dont use the Bathrooms.I had a woman who came in off the street just as nasty as could be ,use my bathroom and walk out,when she was walking out the door the back of her jean were all ripped out exposing her a**,In front of my customers.Now I wanted to follow her out and tell the scuzzy thing but I let it go.I am on a busy highway myself but I dont get a lot of those types who pull in for the john.
#41
myway
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/23 14:39:00 (permalink)
Just set a tray of small samples on a toothpick in front of the line and let people sample. Great marketing. Do it just like they do at Sam's club. If they want a sample let em. If they like it they'll order. Then the word of mouth kicks in. JMHO
#42
dreamzpainter
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/23 15:10:32 (permalink)
Most if not ALL Q chefs take great pride in their product and delight in the results giving a "taste" brings. One uncomparable delight of having a friend who is a "Q" chef is sneaking chunks of "Burnt ends" while conversing, it kind of wyhts the appetite for the platter to come.. I think giving samples to EVERY customer would be a hassle and a bit costly in the short run (depending on response) but 3-4 samples a week? 3-4 a day, to me, shows interest and personally when the reply for a "taste" request is a happily given chunk of sweet Q with the chef waiting expectintly for a response, tells me I'm in for some good eats...
#43
V960
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/23 15:28:11 (permalink)
I tend to think samples of EVERYTHING possible should be given w/o being asked. I am a terriblly over the top showman who gladhands the front and carries (actually carried, we sold the place) samples about.

"Care to try the sweetbreads?"

"Small sample of pate?"

"A bite of filet before your duck?"

"Braisd leeks are a bit different...want a try?"

"Flan taste?"

I admit to being a PIA...ask my wife...but it is not just about adjusting the coke dispenser or getting an extra quarter for ice.

#44
prisonchef
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/23 17:38:54 (permalink)
my standard response to the free sample thing is "when, sonny's,woody's and bono's give samples so will i". our venue is a farmers market and you will get killed giving out free samples. the only exception to this rule is when someone can't decide between the pork or brisket. my wife found if i gave a sample of each we always made a sale one way or the other and sometimes they bought both. at my venue when it gets near closing i have had people (and lord being an old indiana boy every last one of them were yankees) give me a line along this "since it's near closing i will give you half price" standard response goes "i got 2 greyhounds. one weighs 98 pounds and my little girl one weighs 65 pounds. i will feed them the left overs. but wait that's harsh so if you successfully answer this one question i will give you all you want for free!!! the question is this "for the last 30 mins you work for your employeer do you do it for free??!!" so far no one has won the prize!!!
jack
#45
The Travelin Man
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/23 21:25:09 (permalink)
My favorite restaurant in all the land, Katz's Deli in NYC gives out free samples to everyone who places an order. Schmoozing with the "cutter" (and an extra buck in the tip jar) will usually get you a few more slices to sample. I have been there a number of times, and every time I go, I convnice myself that I am not going to get the corned beef (which I love) and I am going to order the pastrami. So, the last time I was there, I asked the cutter which looked better, the pastrami or the corned beef? He cut me off a few slices of both to try. Of course, he then told me that even though no one ever believes him, the best sandwich meat that they offer is the beef brisket -- and promptly cut me off a few hacks of that, as well. I still went with the corned beef (it was just TOO good), but grabbed a brisket sandwich to go.

Moral of the story, the cutter "sold" me an extra sandwich by offering up the sample. I cannot imagine I am unique in that regard.
#46
joanie41
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/23 21:50:53 (permalink)
In my opinion, samples are a good thing. From Costco to the farmer's market, I am constantly being offered samples, and usually, if I like what I taste, I will buy the product. And it's almost always something I wouldn't have bought if I hadn't tried it first. An example is the Baltimore Farmer's Market...this past summer, I was avoiding the yellow-colored cherry tomatoes (Sungold? I think...) A proprietor saw me eyeing his tomatoes, asked me if I wanted to buy, and I kind of hemmed and hawed, not knowing which variety would be best. I told him I wanted a very sweet variety, and he gave me a taste of his product. It tasted soooo good, and that was that. Every week thereafter, I bought a few baskets of his yummy tomatoes. (there were many other stands there, but I wanted to be loyal to that friendly farmer) From that one taste, I bought bags and bags of tomatoes. You tell me: was it worth it to him to give me a taste?!

Mind you, I don't generally ask for samples, except at ice cream shops, and that's only to make my decision on which one to buy. But when someone offers a sample, I automatically think it must be a pretty good product (why would a restaurant offer a sample of something yucky?) and I get sort of excited. Obviously, this strategy will backfire if the product is sub-par.

If I were in Chubby's, planning to order, and wasn't sure what to get, a small nibble might help me decide. I wouldn't expect it, but I'd be tickled if it were offered. This is the type of stuff that separates truly exceptional establishments from the run-of-the-mill stuff.

Incidentally, a bar I frequent gives samples of beers, etc, to help the customer decide. They don't HAVE to do this, but it helps them sell their more exotic ($$$) products.

Remember, penny wise often equals pound foolish!
#47
The Travelin Man
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/23 22:00:39 (permalink)
Joanie makes an excellent point. Farmers markets are the ultimate place for free samples....and it usually does help sell their product.

When I was last out in Seattle, I stopped by the Pike Market. There were vendors upon vendors hawking everything you could imagine (the place is no longer just a fish market, mind you). A few of the stands were selling nuts -- almonds, specifically. These weren't just plain old nuts -- they were flavored -- citrus, sweet, savory, etc. I had never had anything like it -- and wouldn't even think about buying something like that -- but, the guy behind the counter offered me and my companion samples (I was with someone who would turn heads...maybe that helps?). I liked them so much, I bought two bags of nuts that were, quite frankly, overpriced (not relative the market, maybe, but relative to my own evaluation of their worth). There were other vendors freely offering samples of freshly made jams and jellies and other "local" products.

My gut says that these guys all have a pretty good idea of how much money they need to make to "make it" in this expensive location, they factor the cost of these samples into their business plan, and seem to do quite well.
#48
BT
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/24 02:49:22 (permalink)
That's actually a perfect place for that kind of marketing (Pike Place Market). They do the same sort of thing at SF's Ferry Plaza Market (they also have nuts--nuts orchards are very big in CA's Central Valley). There are hordes of people passing through--tourists but also people getting on and off ferries. If these people can be induced to try the product, a lot of them decide a little nut snack would be a good thing and buy some. I've done it, myself. But what I look forward to is strawberry season. Since there are numerous competing fruit vendors, you can get quite a few samples of yummy big luscious fresh strawberries.
#49
The Travelin Man
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/24 03:13:59 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by BT

But what I look forward to is strawberry season. Since there are numerous competing fruit vendors, you can get quite a few samples of yummy big luscious fresh strawberries.


Next week....



Oh wait...sorry, got sidetracked there for a second.



March 2-12, in Plant City, FL.

http://www.flstrawberryfestival.com/
#50
bassrocker4u2
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/24 08:16:35 (permalink)
samples can be a tough issue. i think ou have to play it by ear. as a general rule, we dont offer samples any more. but you can quickly learn who to oblige. got someone really hungry? already ordered something, you can beef there expenditure by sampling out other wares.
for us, its hard because everything is portioned, weighed, cupped, ready to go. we have to break a portion to offer a sample.
but if i just finished a batch of stew, or just pulled some que ou tof the smoker, i will sample these things out to customers who are waiting for their order to be filled. often times, they will add on....
but if i were dr smoke, with tons of travelers, i would probably say no to samples, unless they were sitting at my table, trying to decide what to order, or they already ordered and were thinking of something extra......
#51
dreamzpainter
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/24 15:54:16 (permalink)
Just as I opened the professionla forum and noticed a new question, the Mrs came in, I gave her a breif rundown of the threads and she just shook her head. Their main sandwich doesn't lend itself to samples but any of the sides or cold cuts are freely offered, a bite or 2 of chicken salad, 2oz cup of tabuoli(sp), slice of ham or roastbeef etc. She offered apprapo of nothing, they even give a(OMG)free hotdog to littleones when the parent(s)get a meal..
#52
varelas
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/24 16:38:19 (permalink)
I can see you giving a sample of the BBQ sauce but not the meat...
#53
V960
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/24 16:43:59 (permalink)
Samples can be close but no cigar to the actual dish. My best example is a shrimp in a cream sauce over pasta. We gave out our samples in a small plastic cup or a soya sauce dish you would find in a sushi bar. Small round of buttered french bread w/ small dollop of the sauce. We would chop the shrimp into 1/4's and more finely chop the vegies, taste was the same but we had to change the dish to make it a sample.

Terrible for your body...heavy cream, shrimp and plenty of butter...sold so many of these we had one guy on the sauce line that just about did nothing but make this item. Oh did I mention the cheese?
#54
drsmoke02
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/25 14:38:25 (permalink)
What i frequently do is when someone is obviously enjoying their food, i go over and ask the if they like great chili,very few say no. i get a small cup of chili and as many plastic spoons as there are customers at the table.chili is a "crave food"in my opinion and people will drive forever for a great bowl of it.nobody forgets my bbq or my chili.
#55
Sundancer7
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/25 15:59:58 (permalink)
Bushie toook Rick and myself to a great BBQ place east of Roundrock. It is their usual to offer you a sample everytime you visit.

I thought that was very nice and their BBQ ws very good.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
#56
Kenny da Fat Man
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/26 09:46:14 (permalink)
The only time I would ask for a sample is if you had multiple sauces, i.e. a sweet sauce , a hot sauce, smokey sauce, etc...And then, I would just want a taste of the sauce, not the meat. So maybe you could just have a squeeze bottle of sauce and little paper condiment cups for sample?

As far as giving them a slice of the BBQ, my vote is NO.

But honestly, I would never ask, I would roll the dice - that's what makes it fun.
#57
drsmoke02
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/26 13:41:39 (permalink)
Kenny,people can sample my sauces till their hearts content. i make my own[classic,tangy,hot,private reserve,pepper vinegar,carolina vinegar,and mustard]. I also have "franks hot and extra hot" for folks who just want a tobasco base.
#58
drsmoke02
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/26 15:52:01 (permalink)
Pdxyyz,see Kenny Da Fat man post, also try running a bbq restaurant without sauce.
#59
BT
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/27 00:43:58 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by drsmoke02

Kenny,people can sample my sauces till their hearts content. i make my own[classic,tangy,hot,private reserve,pepper vinegar,carolina vinegar,and mustard]. I also have "franks hot and extra hot" for folks who just want a tobasco base.


Just 'cause I'm curious, why is it any less trouble for you and your staff to get people a sample of the sauce than it is to get a sample of the Q (I've always assumed the sample would be very small so the amount of meat involved wouldn't represent a significant cost)?
#60
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