Everyone loves a good barbeque; whether it is in the backyard at home with friends and family, at a food fair event or a random mobile barbeque truck in the city or the park. Therefore, if you have a barbeque recipe that the people in your circle cannot seem to get over, then maybe you should consider venturing into the food business by starting a mobile barbeque business.
Unlike the traditional brick and mortar businesses, starting a mobile barbeque business is inexpensive and is a relatively lower-risk way to venture and explore the food business.
If you have been looking to start a mobile barbeque business but were lost on how to go about it, follow through as we highlight the necessary steps to get you started with this business
What are the Requirements for Starting a Mobile Barbeque Business?
Work On Your Recipe
Before you go all out buying equipment and fixing your trailer, you first need to ensure that you have some solid recipes in place and have perfected the art of making these recipes. This includes thinking through your ingredients and their availability all year round. You will also need to learn the different methods of barbecuing meat because people have different preferences on how they like their meat done.
Another important aspect to consider is the type of meat you will be offering. While it is good to have a variety, it might get overwhelming to produce these within the confines of a mobile barbeque trailer.
Pro tip: Always ensure you have more than you think you need especially when you are attending an event.
Decide On A Barbeque Unit
There are two options with this. The first option is to have a mobile trailer that is fully equipped with all that you will need. This includes a built-in kitchen with refrigeration, cookers, grills and other equipment. The second option is to buy a commercial portable grill that can easily be towed or placed on a trailer.
Generally, it will cost you about $50,000 – $80,000 to get a suitable mobile truck.
Permits, Certificates and Licenses
In some areas, you might be required to undergo a food handler test to ascertain that you know how to prepare, cook and store food properly for public consumption (selling home cooked food to the public). Proper food handling is important as it helps to prevent food-borne illnesses that might lead to serious lawsuits.
There are two types of permits you will require for this kind of business. That is,
Food Service Permit: This allows you to sell food to the public in your area. This is normally issued to you after you complete your food handlers test.
Mobile catering business permit: the advantage of having a mobile business is that you can set shop wherever you see fit within your city or county. However, you will need to obtain a permit for every designated stop where you are going to set up your barbeque truck.
Permits are important especially if you would like to be setting up your barbeque business at events such as food fairs, farmer’s market or on a random street corner. Visit your local Department of Health to get information on what is required to get certification for such.
You must fill out applications to be approved to run a legal business within your desired area of operation. Different regions have different laws therefore; you need to look into the requirements from the Department of Licensing in your area of operation.
Decide On Locations and Events
Some general characteristics of suitable locations for a mobile barbeque business include;
Good traffic: you need to find an area that has high traffic especially during lunch and dinner hours if you want to generate a lot of sales. This can include a location near office complexes, malls, libraries, campus or even a recreational park.
Become a vendor: Another idea for this is to sign up to take part in events as a vendor. This could include events such as festivals or market fairs. You are likely to make a lot of sales during such events. So you need to be on the lookout for such events happening within your area and sign up.
Parking: it would be best to get a location where it is convenient for your clients to pull over and enjoy a tasty plate of your barbeque.
With everything else in place, you are ready to start selling your barbeque recipes to the public. First, you need to ensure that you always set up shop early enough, this gives you enough time to prep your ingredients hence making your service delivery fast and smooth.
Secondly, you need to ensure that you market your business. This can effectively be accomplished through word of mouth from your clients. Therefore, you need to ensure that you offer the best to them.
You can also decide to switch things up for fun. Since you are a mobile business, you have the luxury of being able to move around your business from one area to another. But for this to be successful, you need to have a system in place that will enable your clients to find you. A good way to do this is through social media marketing.
Through these platforms, you will be able to notify your clients of your whereabouts and inform people in advance of your next location. You can also engage with your clients by asking for their suggestions on where to go next. This makes it more fun and creates the illusion of urgency among your clients hence prompting them to make purchases. If you have one designated area for business, you can offer to do home or office deliveries at a small fee.
Lastly, you need to keep tabs on everything, that is inventory, expenses and profits as well as what items are high selling. This will help you make important decisions for your business to enable you to make the most from it hence facilitating growth.
The mobile food industry is a booming and lucrative business opportunity. Therefore, if you enjoy making food delicacies for people, a mobile barbeque business is one viable business idea to get you started with making money from your hobby.
However, you need to keep in mind that establishing a business from a hobby is not easy. It requires hard work, persistence and dedication to get it up and running.