Any professional cooks or pit masters here?

All BBQ smoked Low-N-Slow OR Hot-N-Fast goes here.

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BigThicketBBQ
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Any professional cooks or pit masters here?

Postby BigThicketBBQ » Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:26 am

If this has been covered elsewhere I apologize. I’d love to have some insight from people who do this stuff for a living. Does anyone here own a joint or food truck?
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Re: Any professional cooks or pit masters here?

Postby Papa Tom » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:37 am

Certainly there are but they tend to be less active on the forum because they have a professional life.

There are others like myself that have been there and quit, best to just ask your questions and let the knowledgeable reply.
There is a ton of talent on the forum.
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Re: Any professional cooks or pit masters here?

Postby bsooner75 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:28 am

I’m a legend in my own mind :)


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Re: Any professional cooks or pit masters here?

Postby JustinCouch » Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:30 am

Same here!!! The dogs love my q!!!
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Re: Any professional cooks or pit masters here?

Postby Txdragon » Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:33 pm

What's your question, amigo?
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Re: Any professional cooks or pit masters here?

Postby BigThicketBBQ » Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:46 am

Txdragon wrote:What's your question, amigo?


I don’t have anything specific right now, but eventually id like to link up with someone specifically to talk about the business side of things. I cook a lot, and often for pretty large groups of people, so that side doesn’t scare me as much. My questions would probably be more about holding and serving, costs, suppliers, that sort of thing.
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Re: Any professional cooks or pit masters here?

Postby Txdragon » Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:21 am

BigThicketBBQ wrote:
Txdragon wrote:What's your question, amigo?


I don’t have anything specific right now, but eventually id like to link up with someone specifically to talk about the business side of things. I cook a lot, and often for pretty large groups of people, so that side doesn’t scare me as much. My questions would probably be more about holding and serving, costs, suppliers, that sort of thing.

Roger that! Lemme know! Logistics of it is more tedious than cooking to feed 300 people a day. Lol.
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Re: Any professional cooks or pit masters here?

Postby Chasdev » Sun Apr 29, 2018 6:43 am

One of the quickest ways to lose money is to open a restaurant, look up how long the average start up lasts.
It's a brutal business, your ability to predict how much and when to order in advance of the need is a black art.
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Re: Any professional cooks or pit masters here?

Postby Canadian Smoker » Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:47 am

You dont have to cook for a living to be good......were all pit masters here if you ask me.... :D :D
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Re: Any professional cooks or pit masters here?

Postby Txdragon » Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:53 pm

Chasdev wrote:One of the quickest ways to lose money is to open a restaurant, look up how long the average start up lasts.
It's a brutal business, your ability to predict how much and when to order in advance of the need is a black art.

^^^^ Yes and yes. Ordering isn't too bad but, it helps if your supplier is reliable. If they're not, ordering is a nightmare.
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Re: Any professional cooks or pit masters here?

Postby Txdragon » Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:02 pm

Canadian Smoker wrote:You dont have to cook for a living to be good.


There is truth to this. Most individuals seek to turn their passion into profit though. There is money in food! But.. And I stress, BUT; it's not for the faint of heart. It is stressful at best. Also the fastest way to turn you off to something you once enjoyed doing. A good friend of mine gave me some advice several years back. He makes pool cues. Hand crafted, BEAUTIFUL cues. As a hobby only. He has sold many, but does not make them exclusively to be sold. One of which, he sold for 9,000 dollars. No joke or lie. 9 grand for a pool cue. He said most of those he sold were purchased in the thousands range. I asked why he didn't do this for a living, he told me, "The fastest way to kill your love of a hobby is turn it into something you HAVE to do instead of something you WANT to do."
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Re: Any professional cooks or pit masters here?

Postby Rambo » Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:40 pm

Txdragon wrote:
Canadian Smoker wrote:You dont have to cook for a living to be good.


There is truth to this. Most individuals seek to turn their passion into profit though. There is money in food! But.. And I stress, BUT; it's not for the faint of heart. It is stressful at best. Also the fastest way to turn you off to something you once enjoyed doing. A good friend of mine gave me some advice several years back. He makes pool cues. Hand crafted, BEAUTIFUL cues. As a hobby only. He has sold many, but does not make them exclusively to be sold. One of which, he sold for 9,000 dollars. No joke or lie. 9 grand for a pool cue. He said most of those he sold were purchased in the thousands range. I asked why he didn't do this for a living, he told me, "The fastest way to kill your love of a hobby is turn it into something you HAVE to do instead of something you WANT to do."


My Friends and Family have encouraged me to jump in for years. I imagined some of those things you mentioned and realized it was a different ballgame than me having people over cooking . I usually do everything when I do cook but it can't be anything like catering or a Restaurant.
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Re: Any professional cooks or pit masters here?

Postby Boots » Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:29 pm

As a business guy (who makes a living analyzing hotels and restaurants), I’ll give the same self advice I give myself everytime I go insane at the office and wanna quit to open my own place:

1-Start small and don’t quit yer day job. Maybe do weekend catering for friends as a start to develop hard data on costs, suppliers, and timing. This can build yer rep and then maybe you can open a weekend place to start. It also helps you build our your equipment inventory, and tells you if you can make a profit.

2-Keep the menu simple at first w yer best items that people rave about. It’s better to have 3 entrees you do great than 10 things you only pretty good at. Return clientele - yer most important customers and yer best advertising - typically come back because they actually crave one or two items and have to get their “fix”. As fer sides, they’re mostly cheap (think beans and potatoes) and if you can buy it better than you can make it, do that. Trying to be the absolute best at every dish costs you time and effort better spent in the important items - prioritize.

3-Your the owner and responsible for every success and failure. Your success depends on walking in the door every day determined to do well. That includes marketing; customers don’t just walk in the door, you gotta go get ‘em, even after yer successful. Joe T Garcia’s and other legendary place still advertise all the time. Make a commitment to get on the phone at least and try to make a new customer every day.

4- If you decide jump all they way in, spend some time w a good business lawyer and a CPA that handles small businesses and payroll. The CPA is important to help you set up your accounting, payroll, and tax reporting (poor accounting and reporting is one of the most common things that kills a small business. If you don’t take care of this every month, you end up in the poor house or the jail house).

5-Plan on having enough savings to support the business and yerself for 6-12 months without making a profit. This is the other key reason businesses fail - insufficient working capital to keep you going until the business grows enough to support itself.

6-Be brutally honest with yerself; for example if after 12 months yer not profitable, it’s simply a matter of plain statistical odds that you probably won’t be. Before you ever start, sit down and write down on a piece of paper EXACTLY what your goals will be for the business to be “successful“. Keep it simple and brutally clear and always include a date to achieve those goals, and define yer “Plan B” if they don’t work out, including family considerations. Evaluate yourself every month against those goals. If you were realistic about setting yer target date and you get there without meeting the goals, have a hard conversation with yerself about whether you should continue or hang it up.
7- Finally, always be realistic but optimistic, and don’t fear failure, every great entrepreneur fell down and got back up,started slow and finished fast. Example: Colonel Sanders, was not only real, but a real failure, and failed at every business venture he tried... until Kentucky Fried Chicken, which he started at Age...66.

A man who won’t be stopped, cannot be stopped - Boots circa 1986, something I developed to motivate myself and it has worked pretty good. Took me from being a car salesman with a barely there GPA on a business major, to a Masters graduate in the top of my class in RE who later became... a banker. Ok, ok, so I still ended up in the worlds second oldest profession, so sue me - it pays the bills.

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Re: Any professional cooks or pit masters here?

Postby rms827 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:18 am

Txdragon wrote:
Canadian Smoker wrote:You dont have to cook for a living to be good.


There is truth to this. Most individuals seek to turn their passion into profit though. There is money in food! But.. And I stress, BUT; it's not for the faint of heart. It is stressful at best. Also the fastest way to turn you off to something you once enjoyed doing. A good friend of mine gave me some advice several years back. He makes pool cues. Hand crafted, BEAUTIFUL cues. As a hobby only. He has sold many, but does not make them exclusively to be sold. One of which, he sold for 9,000 dollars. No joke or lie. 9 grand for a pool cue. He said most of those he sold were purchased in the thousands range. I asked why he didn't do this for a living, he told me, "The fastest way to kill your love of a hobby is turn it into something you HAVE to do instead of something you WANT to do."



Ain't that the truth. Turning pro repairing cars made it happen to me and wrecked my back. Same thing happened later with computers and me.
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Re: Any professional cooks or pit masters here?

Postby BigThicketBBQ » Tue May 01, 2018 4:50 am

Thank you for the input, everyone! I really appreciate it.

I’m definitely not jumping into anything. I know it would be hard.

I’m also well aware of the dangers of turning passions into livelihood. It’s probably why my focus has been on good for the past few years instead of music. :cheers:
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