How many fryers?

Post
jaidesmom
Junior Burger
2005/06/06 10:12:36
We own a restaurant, and have decided to do a local festival this summer. The festival typically averages 75,000-100,000 people in 3 days. We are doing french fries (we decided to do fries because no other vendors are doing them). Anyway, I have no idea how many fryers I should purchase or rent. Or how many potatoes to buy..

I've been searching for fryers and I can't decide if I should buy electric or propane, tabletop or freestanding. Cost is an issue because we are only doing this one event (although, if it works out we will use the equipment again next year, and maybe add another local event or two).

We're going to use a tent because I can't afford to put an ansil system in a trailer at this point.

Any help/advice would be so much appreciated! :)
bassrocker4u2
Double Cheeseburger
RE: How many fryers? 2005/06/06 10:41:12
i would think that the best bet would be propane. events such as those frequently have power shortages that would cause problems for you. when that happens to the tent next door, you could just smile and serve them fries. lots more info needed to determine the quantities you would need. bottom line is how much do you want to serve, rather than how much you will need. you have to figure all your cost, then how much you need to sell to break even, then how much more you want to profit. once you have a goal, you will know how much to buy, e.t.c. but i strongly suggest propane. freestanding.
UncleVic
Sirloin
RE: How many fryers? 2005/06/06 11:31:00
You should look around at your local used restaurant equipment supply house for fryers. Most Natural Gas fryers are easily modified to run on propane. (Ya might even find a used Ansul suppression system also at these places)... And I'm with bassrocker, definate propane vs. electric... Also, it's hard to guess what size portions you're selling, but I'd start out with atleast 20 or more 50lb bags the first day, and have a "runner" ready if supplies start getting low.. By Saturday you should have a feel for what the sales will be, thus being able to stock up for rest of the event... PS: Keep an eye on weather... Otherwise you might have 1000's of pounds of leftovers...
As for the amount of fryers, I'm not sure on your cooking technique. If you pre-cook at a low temp then let them rest, you'll probably want a lone fryer for this alone. Then probably another 3 for the finishing off process (final cook to crispness, fryers running at 360 degrees)..

Kodachrome
Junior Burger
RE: How many fryers? 2005/06/06 20:51:12
One of my good friends family owns a local fry company here in central Pennsylvania...they are VERY well known locally. Having this fry company at an event is sure to draw people.

When they take one trailer to an event about the size of that they take 35 50lb bags of potatoes, minimum. They run 4 propane fryers and have one as a back up.

If you make good, hand cut, fries...and advertise them as such you will have no problem making all your money back.

If you have any more questions, ill be glad to ask them for you.
jaidesmom
Junior Burger
RE: How many fryers? 2005/06/06 20:57:57
Thank you for your replies! I went to our local equipment supplier, but he doesn't have any propane fryers to rent me, and I found out if I use electric then I will have to pay an extra $125 for each 220 line. I can't really afford to buy 3 or 4 new propane fryers.. but I also don't want to pay so much to rent the electric ($200 for each fryer, plus the $125 per line).

I'm going to talk to my health inspector tomorrow and find out if I can use "the carolina fryer" outdoor fryers. They are only $200 each new. They run on propane, but I'm not sure what the recovery time on them is.

This is turning out to be more of a headache than I thought. I'm debating just doing nachos and caramel apple slices.. I think I'll do a lot more business if I have fries though. ?
UncleVic
Sirloin
RE: How many fryers? 2005/06/06 21:11:44
quote:
Originally posted by jaidesmom

Thank you for your replies! I went to our local equipment supplier, but he doesn't have any propane fryers to rent me, and I found out if I use electric then I will have to pay an extra $125 for each 220 line. I can't really afford to buy 3 or 4 new propane fryers.. but I also don't want to pay so much to rent the electric ($200 for each fryer, plus the $125 per line).

I'm going to talk to my health inspector tomorrow and find out if I can use "the carolina fryer" outdoor fryers. They are only $200 each new. They run on propane, but I'm not sure what the recovery time on them is.

This is turning out to be more of a headache than I thought. I'm debating just doing nachos and caramel apple slices.. I think I'll do a lot more business if I have fries though. ?


Sell Chili Dogs!!!! mmmmmm... chili dogs...

As long as the fryer is stainless steel and NSF approved, you should have no problem with the inspector...

cowboy bob 2
Cheeseburger
RE: How many fryers? 2005/06/07 19:01:29
I buy boxes of fries that are cut and blanched and frozen. I hate to do fries because of the smell of oil and the heat they create. But I make good profit from this item. Am now doing them electrically (sp)?
Am going to switch to Propane soon. I buy Executive Cut Fries at BJ's.
Cowboy Bob 2 in Pennsylvania
festivalfood
Cheeseburger
RE: How many fryers? 2005/06/07 23:10:04
A very good friend of mine specializes in fresh cut fries(and other fair foods) at large events and propane is definately the way to go.I would go with the manual controls also not electric or digital they are very fussy and can screw up at the worst of times.Check ebay there is usually a bunch for sale there for way less than a used equipment dealer will sell you,but look for fryers for sale in your area as shipping can be expensive.For the volume you are looking at,I would go with 4 fullsize double fryers and 4 100 lb propane bottles,and atleast 50 ,50lb bags of potatoes to start with.Also a commercial fry cutter or two,and about 10 containers of shortening.I would check with the health inspector about the carolina type fryers,since in some areas if the fryers are not NSF approved with a sticker(or you can prove they are NSF approved) they will not let you use them.Every area is different,but some health inspectors are a pain in the a$$.As far as the costs,remember the old saying"it takes money to make money",my friend will lay out a couple of thousand dollars for food,drinks,supplies,entrance fees(in advance),and employees for some big events that he is doing multiple food items.If it rains for the whole event its a bust,and if it's a hit,he has made over $10,000 in one busy day with 8 employees going full tilt all day and all night.Gotta love it!
Xfireguy
Cheeseburger
RE: How many fryers? 2005/06/08 09:51:28
I'm surprised you'll be able to set up the fryers in a tent like setting. I know in these parts they're strick about fire suppression and to have something that can cause a flash fire without a hood and extinguishing agent I would think the idea would be shot down. Rules might be different where you are tho. I personally hate fryers. I've been burned by splatter, mostly because of the carelessness of others, but they make a mess, raise insurance rates, and don't forget about cleaning. If you buy used I would run them and check the taste, if they weren't properly maintained your fries may come out tasting horrible. And make sure you have good oil.I would suggest you make sure whoever you have working with you understand the seriousness of these machines. I would be careful that no one under 18 is anywhere near the fryers this includes your own or your workers children who have come to help out. And make sure that whoever is going to work with you understands they will be standing over hot grease all day, if its hot and humid they are going to suffer big time. I'm not sure of where you are but up here its a violation to wear shorts in a kitchen with fryers, so you and your workings might have to wear pants. Also make sure the fryers are on level stable ground, check with the fire marshal and health dept, and make sure no one absolutely no one besides those working can enter into your tent. Fryers are at a perfect height for a curious kid to reach into. I don't want to scare you, I just want to raise some concerns. If its something your serious about I would look into an ansel system for your trailer, it would be a safer bet and make sure you have a good exhaust and double the a/c you think you need. Good luck.
jaidesmom
Junior Burger
RE: How many fryers? 2005/06/12 22:16:25
Ok, we decided against doing fries for our first venture into concessions. We are probably going to do fried oreos or candy bars instead. I'm thinking I won't need as many fryers for those? We're also going to do one or two small events (car shows) in July as 'practice' for the big event in august.

I really appreciate all of your advice! I phoned my health inspector and she said that for a temporary event none of the equipment has to be NSF (I was really suprised- and pleased!). and she said the tent is fine with fryers. I questioned it, and she said they don't care, but the fire inspectors do check things out. so I asked them, and all they care about is that I have a fire extinquisher. However, the fryers will not be directly under the tent anyway, they will be partly outside the tent, blocked off by large wooden signs (sort of caged in). We will make sure no one can get to them.

Fryers are such a pain- that's why I don't have them in my pizza shop. We use a convection oven to cook everything from wings to appetizers.

thanks again everyone!
clamshell
Junior Burger
RE: How many fryers? 2005/06/13 00:37:40
make sure your fire extinguisher is a k type. The little houshold type will not even begin to put out a fire in a fryolater.
UncleVic
Sirloin
RE: How many fryers? 2005/06/13 03:52:25
quote:
Originally posted by jaidesmom

Ok, we decided against doing fries for our first venture into concessions. We are probably going to do fried oreos or candy bars instead. I'm thinking I won't need as many fryers for those? We're also going to do one or two small events (car shows) in July as 'practice' for the big event in august.

I really appreciate all of your advice! I phoned my health inspector and she said that for a temporary event none of the equipment has to be NSF (I was really suprised- and pleased!). and she said the tent is fine with fryers. I questioned it, and she said they don't care, but the fire inspectors do check things out. so I asked them, and all they care about is that I have a fire extinquisher. However, the fryers will not be directly under the tent anyway, they will be partly outside the tent, blocked off by large wooden signs (sort of caged in). We will make sure no one can get to them.

Fryers are such a pain- that's why I don't have them in my pizza shop. We use a convection oven to cook everything from wings to appetizers.

thanks again everyone!


If the fryers are going to be exposed to the skys, make sure you have some sheet pans to cover them up in case of rain... Will keep the splatter off ya so you can get them shut down in a hurry...
Xfireguy
Cheeseburger
RE: How many fryers? 2005/06/13 09:50:07
For fried oreos and candy bars you could get by with a couple of table top fryers, which will save you big time $$$. Good luck
bassrocker4u2
Double Cheeseburger
RE: How many fryers? 2005/06/14 07:06:14
sounds like a smart plan. fryes are such a hard work item. i make a few hundred pounds a week. how about trying fried twinkies? i hear they are good, although i havent tried them. probably same method as oreos.
UncleVic
Sirloin
RE: How many fryers? 2005/06/14 08:02:00
Corn Dogs would be a suggestion also... Simple and decent profit margin.
6star
Filet Mignon
RE: How many fryers? 2005/06/14 09:15:08
If you want something that will get talked about (and possibly some free publicity in the local paper) add fried giant dill pickles on a stick (batter dipped, of course). The institutional size jars of the pickles should be available at your Wal Mart SuperCenter at a reasonable price.
Theedge
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: How many fryers? 2005/06/14 09:16:05
Someday I’ll live out my dream and serve my balls to everyone. Tony’s fire balls served hot and nasty! Spiced up bbq meatballs on some sort of fried or pita bread. I think it would be a winner.

There’s a local guy that has one of those mini donut makers, I think he does real well with it.
UncleVic
Sirloin
RE: How many fryers? 2005/06/14 10:50:05
I like those mini donut machines... Good add on to a concession trailer! Sell coffee and donuts in the morning, then your dogs or whatever during the day... www.lilorbits.com ~ The fresh smell of donuts cooking is all the advertising you need!

(Though a new machine is pricey, I've seen good deals on Ebay)
mar52
Sirloin
RE: How many fryers? 2005/06/15 01:45:46
Hi jaidesmom!

I haven't seen you for such a long time! How's the business going?

If you don't remember me, think Caboose!

This board is a great place! Great info and lots of nice people.
Corn Dog Queen
Junior Burger
RE: How many fryers? 2005/06/29 08:12:54
I think if your going with fryers anyway, why not fries?
If no one else is serving them, you have a sure thing.
We have 5 free standing propane fryers that have served us royally.
Yes it's a pain, the grease and the heat, but..... as we all know everything is good that's deep fried. Especially in a festival atmosphere.
We use frozen top of the line McCains Harvest Pride fries. The fresh cut's break down the oil and are more of a nuisance.
Number 50 paprus plates sized portions $3. You could get even more, but we're in a small city and that's the best we can get this year.
I have never had a fire problem, and just have the extinguisher handy.
These fryers aren't cheap, but once you have them you'll be more inclined to seek out the money jobs. In and out, fast cash, and more fun than catering a wedding I think.
The weather is your only enemy when you have exclusivity on any menu item.
Corn Dogs have served me extrememely well. Homemade, secret recipe with corn meal of course, no one else has them, and they really are good. We used to use the electric table tops with the prongs to hold the sticks but now we just do them in the big fryers - free floating, mass production. People gobble one down and then grab another to walk away with. $ 3 ea.
I am going to do Elephant Ears this weekend for our big Canada Day Celebration, using Rich's 7" frozen pizza shells. They work great.
portion cost is approx .40 - Same old deep fryers ! Just proof them and pop them in, a bit of sugar and cinnamon, think I'm going to try for $4.50 a pop.
Hot dogs and fries are a staple, wether their coney dogs, chili dogs, corn dogs, or just plain old ball park dogs, most everyone craves one in the carnival environs.
Fries, salt and fat, got to have it.
Good luck with all your planning, keep an eye and ear out for those deep fryers, just keep inquiring you'll find them.
Scallion1
Cheeseburger
RE: How many fryers? 2005/06/29 08:57:03
quote:
Originally posted by UncleVic

I like those mini donut machines... Good add on to a concession trailer! Sell coffee and donuts in the morning, then your dogs or whatever during the day... www.lilorbits.com ~ The fresh smell of donuts cooking is all the advertising you need!

(Though a new machine is pricey, I've seen good deals on Ebay)


Uncle Vic,
Have you actually had experience using these? I'm intrigued, and want to incorporate a space for one into my store.
Bill
UncleVic
Sirloin
RE: How many fryers? 2005/06/29 22:33:57
Scallion, no, I've never run one... I've seen them though! Had a chance a couple years ago to buy a trailer set up with one of the machines... Just lacking the extra funds at the time...