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The outdoors is always a good place in the season of summer. Nothing beats the heat more than cooling down an afternoon with your family or friends out in the front yard, the park, nearby lake or even on camp grounds. And nothing else will make it perfect than of course, food. People love picnics because the idea of being outdoors is so much better than staying inside the house, especially on warm summer days. You may also see catering plan templates .

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BBQ Business Plan

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Are you a foodie and want to open your own barbecue restaurant? If yes, then put your first foot right with a barbecue business plan, because opening a barbeque business is rewarding.

Need help writing a business plan for your BBQ business? You’re at the right place. Our BBQ business plan template will help you get started.

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Download our free business plan template now and pave the way to success. Let’s turn your vision into an actionable strategy!

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How to Write A BBQ Business Plan?

Writing a BBQ business plan is a crucial step toward the success of your business. Here are the key steps to consider when writing a business plan:

1. Executive Summary

An executive summary is the first section planned to offer an overview of the entire business plan. However, it is written after the entire business plan is ready and summarizes each section of your plan.

Here are a few key components to include in your executive summary:

Introduce your Business:

Start your executive summary by briefly introducing your business to your readers.

Market Opportunity:

Highlight the BBQ you offer your clients. The USPs and differentiators you offer are always a plus.

Marketing & Sales Strategies:

Financial highlights:, call to action:.

Ensure your executive summary is clear, concise, easy to understand, and jargon-free.

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2. Business Overview

The business overview section of your business plan offers detailed information about your company. The details you add will depend on how important they are to your business. Yet, business name, location, business history, and future goals are some of the foundational elements you must consider adding to this section:

Business Description:

Describe your business in this section by providing all the basic information:

Describe what kind of BBQ business you run and the name of it. You may specialize in one of the following BBQ businesses:

  • BBQ restaurant
  • BBQ catering services
  • Online BBQ retailers
  • BBQ franchise
  • Describe the legal structure of your BBQ business, whether it is a sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership, or others.Explain where your business is located and why you selected the place.

Mission Statement:

Business history:.

If you’re an established BBQ business, briefly describe your business history, like—when it was founded, how it evolved over time, etc.

Future Goals:

This section should provide a thorough understanding of your business, its history, and its future plans. Keep this section engaging, precise, and to the point.

3. Market Analysis

The market analysis section of your business plan should offer a thorough understanding of the industry with the target market, competitors, and growth opportunities. You should include the following components in this section.

Target market:

Start this section by describing your target market. Define your ideal customer and explain what types of services they prefer. Creating a buyer persona will help you easily define your target market to your readers.

For instance, families and casual diners or tourists & travelers would be an ideal target audience for a commercial BBQ business.

Market size and growth potential

Competitive analysis:, market trends:.

Analyze emerging trends in the industry, such as changes in customer behavior or preferences, etc. Explain how your business will cope with all the trends.

Regulatory Environment:

Here are a few tips for writing the market analysis section of your BBQ business plan:

  • Conduct market research, industry reports, and surveys to gather data.
  • Provide specific and detailed information whenever possible.
  • Illustrate your points with charts and graphs.
  • Write your business plan keeping your target audience in mind.

4. Products And Services

The product and services section should describe the specific services and products that will be offered to customers. To write this section should include the following:

Describe your cuisines:

Mention the BBQ cuisines your business will offer. This list may include

  • Smoked meats
  • Barbecue sauces
  • BBQ sandwiches
  • Platters and combo meals

Emphasize your signature dish:

Mention sourcing and quality.

  • Make sure to draw attention to any organic or regionally grown items you use. Talk about how you uphold quality standards all through the cooking and preparation process.

Additional Services:

In short, this section of your BBQ plan must be informative, precise, and client-focused. By providing a clear and compelling description of your offerings, you can help potential investors and readers understand the value of your business.

5. Sales And Marketing Strategies

Writing the sales and marketing strategies section means a list of strategies you will use to attract and retain your clients. Here are some key elements to include in your sales & marketing plan:

Unique Selling Proposition (USP):

Define your business’s USPs depending on the market you serve, the equipment you use, and the unique services you provide. Identifying USPs will help you plan your marketing strategies.

For example, authentic regional seasoning, handcrafted artisanal BBQ, or unique flavor combinations, could be some of the great USPs for a BBQ company.

Pricing Strategy

Marketing strategies:, sales strategies:, customer retention:.

Overall, this section of your barbecue business plan should focus on customer acquisition and retention.

Have a specific, realistic, and data-driven approach while planning sales and marketing strategies for your BBQ business, and be prepared to adapt or make strategic changes in your strategies based on feedback and results.

6. Operations Plan

The operations plan section of your business plan should outline the processes and procedures involved in your business operations, such as staffing requirements and operational processes. Here are a few components to add to your operations plan:

Staffing & Training:

Operational process:, equipment & machinery:.

Include the list of equipment and machinery required for BBQ, such as smokers & grills, barbecue utensils & tools, food service equipment, etc.

Adding these components to your operations plan will help you lay out your business operations, which will eventually help you manage your business effectively.

7. Management Team

The management team section provides an overview of your BBQ business’s management team. This section should provide a detailed description of each manager’s experience and qualifications, as well as their responsibilities and roles.

Founders/CEO:

Key managers:.

  • It should include senior management, and other department managers (e.g. operations manager, hotel manager) involved in the BBQ business operations, including their education, professional background, and any relevant experience in the industry.

Organizational structure:

Compensation plan:, advisors/consultants:.

Mentioning advisors or consultants in your business plans adds credibility to your business idea.

This section should describe the key personnel for your BBQ business, highlighting how you have the perfect team to succeed.

8. Financial Plan

Your financial plan section should provide a summary of your business’s financial projections for the first few years. Here are some key elements to include in your financial plan:

Profit & loss statement:

Cash flow statement:, balance sheet:, break-even point:.

Determine and mention your business’s break-even point—the point at which your business costs and revenue will be equal.

Financing Needs:

Be realistic with your financial projections, and make sure you offer relevant information and evidence to support your estimates.

9. Appendix

The appendix section of your plan should include any additional information supporting your business plan’s main content, such as market research, legal documentation, financial statements, and other relevant information.

  • Add a table of contents for the appendix section to help readers easily find specific information or sections.
  • In addition to your financial statements, provide additional financial documents like tax returns, a list of assets within the business, credit history, and more. These statements must be the latest and offer financial projections for at least the first three or five years of business operations.
  • Provide data derived from market research, including stats about the industry, user demographics, and industry trends.
  • Include any legal documents such as permits, licenses, and contracts.
  • Include any additional documentation related to your business plan, such as product brochures, marketing materials, operational procedures, etc.

Use clear headings and labels for each section of the appendix so that readers can easily find the necessary information.

Remember, the appendix section of your BBQ business plan should only include relevant and important information supporting your plan’s main content.

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This sample BBQ business plan will provide an idea for writing a successful BBQ plan, including all the essential components of your business.

After this, if you still need clarification about writing an investment-ready business plan to impress your audience, download our BBQ business plan pdf .

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Frequently asked questions, why do you need a bbq business plan.

A business plan is an essential tool for anyone looking to start or run a successful BBQ business. It helps to get clarity in your business, secures funding, and identifies potential challenges while starting and growing your business.

Overall, a well-written plan can help you make informed decisions, which can contribute to the long-term success of your BBQ business.

How to get funding for your BBQ business?

There are several ways to get funding for your BBQ business, but self-funding is one of the most efficient and speedy funding options. Other options for funding are:

Small Business Administration (SBA) loan

Crowdfunding, angel investors.

Apart from all these options, there are small business grants available, check for the same in your location and you can apply for it.

Where to find business plan writers for your BBQ business?

There are many business plan writers available, but no one knows your business and ideas better than you, so we recommend you write your BBQ business plan and outline your vision as you have in your mind.

What is the easiest way to write your BBQ business plan?

A lot of research is necessary for writing a business plan, but you can write your plan most efficiently with the help of any BBQ business plan example and edit it as per your need. You can also quickly finish your plan in just a few hours or less with the help of our business plan software .

About the Author

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Vinay Kevadiya

Vinay Kevadiya is the founder and CEO of Upmetrics, the #1 business planning software. His ultimate goal with Upmetrics is to revolutionize how entrepreneurs create, manage, and execute their business plans. He enjoys sharing his insights on business planning and other relevant topics through his articles and blog posts. Read more

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How To Start A BBQ Catering Business

Starting a BBQ catering business can be a great way to make money while also enjoying the benefits of working for yourself. However, it is important to understand the process for starting a successful BBQ catering business before you get started. In this article, we will outline the steps you need to take to get your business up and running.

Here are the key steps you should take to begin building your very own BBQ catering  business.

10 Steps to Launching a New BBQ Catering  Business

1. choose your type of bbq catering  business.

The first step in launching a BBQ catering  business is to identify the type of catering  business you want to launch. You might choose from the following types among others: 

  • Wedding catering company : Wedding caterers provide food and beverage services for weddings and related events.
  • Corporate catering company : Corporate caterers provide food and beverage services for business meetings and events.
  • Private event catering company : Private event caterers provide food and beverage services for private parties and events.

2. Name Your BBQ Catering  Business

Give your BBQ catering  business an identity so people will think of it as a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your BBQ catering  business from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your own name among other options.

The main goal for naming your BBQ catering  business is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so that potential clients will want to use your services. A creative name, as long as it conforms to your business, is a great way to help get customers in the door.

3. Determine Your BBQ Catering  Business Model

There are several possible types of business models for a BBQ catering  business including:

  • Full-service catering company : A full-service catering company provides food and beverage services as well as event planning and coordination services.
  • Drop-off catering company : A drop-off catering company delivers prepared food to the customer’s event location.
  • Catering truck or cart business : A catering truck or cart business provides mobile food and beverage services.

No matter which model you choose, make sure that it aligns with your business goals and the menu items you’ll offer.

4. Choose a Legal Structure for Your Business

By incorporating your BBQ catering  business, you will limit your liability. You can incorporate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a C Corporation (C-Corp), or an S Corporation (S-Corp). Or you can operate as a sole proprietorship.

The business structure you choose for your BBQ catering  business will determine the amount of taxes you pay and which state or federal tax forms you need to file.

Read our article comparing the most common BBQ catering  business structures .

5. Write a BBQ Catering  Business Plan

All BBQ catering  business owners should develop a business plan. 

A business plan is a document that outlines the goals, strategies, and operations of a business. It can be used to secure funding from investors or lenders, as well as to guide the day-to-day operations of the business. The business plan should include information on the company’s products or services, market analysis, financial projections, and management team among other things. More’s better when it comes to data you’ll need in your BBQ catering business plan.

Read our article about how to write a BBQ catering  business plan .

  6. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses

There may be required licenses and permits you need to obtain before launching your BBQ catering  business.

For example, if you are starting a BBQ catering truck business, you will need to obtain a mobile food license from your local health department. If you are starting a full-service BBQ catering company, you may need to obtain a liquor license if you plan on serving alcohol at events.

You must also register your BBQ catering  business as a legal entity with the state where you plan to do business. You can simply file an online form through your Secretary of State website.

Registering with the federal government is also essential so you can properly pay taxes for your business. You will also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for at the IRS website, www.irs.gov , if you plan to hire employees.

Read our article about obtaining the proper BBQ catering business licenses .

7. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed

In developing your BBQ catering company business plan, you will figure out how much funding you need to start and grow your business.

If you have your own funds to invest in your BBQ catering  business, you may consider taking advantage of that. 

In addition to your personal funds, other forms of potential funding for your BBQ catering  business include traditional bank loans, SBA loans, credit cards, angel investors and family and friends.

Read our article about the costs associated with starting a BBQ catering  business to help you determine if funding is needed. 

8. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently

When you start your BBQ catering  business, it’s essential to have the right technology in place to maximize efficiency. You definitely need a computer with internet access, and accounting software for tracking expenses and revenues. 

You may also want to invest in BBQ catering software. This type of software can help you manage all aspects of your business, from booking clients and managing events to creating menus, ordering products, and tracking inventory.

Catering software typically offers a free trial period so you can try it out before committing to a subscription.

9. Market Your BBQ Catering  Business to Potential Clients

Before you start selling your menu items , you have to let the world know you exist. The first step is to create a website so people can learn more about your menu items and how they benefit them.

After you launch your website, start promoting it through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Also consider networking with other people in the BBQ catering company industry through social media and blogs so they can help share your business. 

You also need to start gathering the materials needed to execute on your promotions strategy, which is your strategy for attracting new clients. BBQ catering  businesses should consider the following promotional strategies for which you should start getting prepared: 

  • Develop a promotional video showcasing your business and services.
  • Design print materials like business cards, flyers, and brochures.
  • Create an email marketing campaign.
  • Attend trade shows related to BBQ catering businesses.

Read our article about how to market your BBQ catering  business for more tips.

10. Get New Clients & Grow Your Business

When you promote your menu items , you’ll start to get interest from potential clients . 

Make sure you’re ready to serve these clients . Also, be sure to establish systems to ensure consistency and reduce costs. And be sure to find and train the right people to help you grow your BBQ catering  business.

Read our article about how to effectively grow your BBQ catering  business to learn more.

Starting a BBQ Catering  Business FAQs

Why start a bbq catering company business.

The BBQ catering company industry is expected to grow by 3% from 2019 to 2029. This growth is due in part to the increasing popularity of special events and the desire for more convenient food options.

BBQ catering company businesses offer a unique service that can be tailored to fit any budget. They provide an easy and convenient way for people to enjoy good food without having to cook it themselves.

BBQ catering company businesses also offer a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to be their own boss and control their own schedules.

What is Needed to Start a Successful BBQ Catering Company Business?

To start a BBQ catering company business, you need the following:

  • A passion for food and service.
  • Culinary skills.
  • Business acumen.
  • The ability to market your business.
  • The ability to manage finances.
  • The ability to plan and execute events.
  • The ability to build and maintain relationships.

How Can I Start a BBQ Catering Company Business From Home?

You can start a BBQ catering company business from home by following these steps:

  • Develop your menu and marketing materials.
  • Get the necessary permits and licenses.
  • Purchase the equipment you need.
  • Find clients and book events.
  • Train your staff and develop appropriate management systems.
  • Market your business to potential clients.
  • Get new clients and grow your business.

How Can I Start a BBQ Catering Company Business Online?

Here’s how you establish a BBQ catering company business online. 

Start by building an online presence for your business. You'll need to create a website and promote your business through social media and other online channels. You should also consider developing an email marketing campaign and creating print materials like business cards, flyers, and brochures. You can also find clients and book events online.

What are Some Tips for Starting a BBQ Catering Company Business?

Here are some tips, in no particular order, for starting a BBQ catering company business:

  • Develop a menu that will appeal to your target market.
  • Purchase the equipment you’ll need.
  • Train your staff and develop systems.
  • Get new clients (referrals) and grow your business.

Where Can I Find a Simple Checklist for Starting a BBQ Catering Company Business?

A simple checklist to use when starting a BBQ catering company business is as follows:

  • Choose Your Type of BBQ Catering Company Firm: This should be based on what you are best at and how much experience you have. Remember to keep your interests, skills, and experience in mind at all times.
  • Name Your BBQ Catering Company Business : This should be done with care, as your brand is important for attracting the right clients. A simple, memorable name will go a long way.
  • Choose a Legal Form for Your Business : Whether you choose to become a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation or another option will depend on your business. Ensure that you are aware of all the implications of each type.
  • Determine Your BBQ Catering Company Business Model : Determine how your business will make money. Will you sell products, services, or a combination of both?
  • Write a BBQ Catering Company Business Plan : Your business plan will also help you determine what your start-up costs will be and will provide a roadmap with which you can launch and grow.
  • Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses : In most locations you will be required to apply for a business license and/or permits before you can begin operations.
  • Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed: You will need to know how much money you have to spend on all of your business-related expenses before opening any doors. If needed, apply for a small business loan or other funding options.
  • Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently : You need to have the right tools in place to succeed. Implement software that will help you manage your time, contacts, and business operations in general.
  • Market Your BBQ Catering Company Business to Potential Clients : A solid marketing plan will be crucial to your success. It should focus on attracting the right clients so that you can provide them with the menu items they truly need. If you choose, you can imbed the marketing plan in the overall business plan.
  • Get Clients & Grow Your Business : Once you have a solid marketing plan, it's time to actively pursue and secure those who could benefit the most from your menu items . 

Starting a BBQ catering business is an exciting venture. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be on your way to success. The most important thing is to make sure you have a clear plan and stay organized throughout the process. By starting small and focusing on quality service, you’ll be able to grow your business and attract new clients in no time.

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BBQ Catering Business Plan

Do you love cooking barbecue? Why not turn this into a small business, say, a barbecue catering business? A lot of existing barbecue catering services are booked for various outdoor events such as corporate picnics, backyard parties, family and friends parties, carnivals and fairs, sports events, and even weddings.You may also see  business proposal examples & samples .

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There are a lot of things you need to consider when starting a barbecue catering business such as the goods and service you can possibly offer to your customers. You would also then think of having a specialty that can help you stand out among the other existing barbecue catering business. On top of it all, you would then have to deal with planning on the number of servers you need to hire as well as the tools and equipment in order to serve your customers well. You may also like  service proposal examples .

With all the challenges you would possibly face, you might need to have a business plan to help you with. Like any other businesses, a business plan can help you set things straight before you would start hiking up on your barbecue grilling adventures.

After all, a catering business and any other kind of business do not simply deal with the fun cooking and serving part it also deals with a lot of technicalities particularly finances, marketing, and licensing issues. Additionally, you will eventually have to deal with creating concrete short-term and long-term goals for your business as well as the types of events you want to get your catering business involved in. You may also be interested in writing a  business proposal letter .

Why Start a BBQ Catering Business?

You might wonder why to start a barbecue catering business when there other kinds of food to choose from. There are dessert catering businesses , coffee catering business , and a whole lot more—so why barbecue?

With the growing interest in food as well as the growing need of having a lifetime career, it also results to the increase of the earning potential of various new edible businesses because it easily adds up the best of both worlds or hits two birds with one stone. You might have noticed it be it in the news, the Internet, and even in just your own locality that a lot of creative ideas related to food are discovered every day and such creative discoveries make it possible for them to earn a living while doing what they love which is food. In fact, those who love cooking and even eating barbecues take up a big number of this sector.

This business sector is easy to enter to especially if you are a natural when it comes to giving services and offering delicacies to people. Through having a barbecue catering business, you will be able to do more than that; this career path can actually provide you a myriad of options and paths that you can ever explore. However, being in this business does not mean that it’s all fun since you are able to transform something that you love into something that is profitable. There are a lot of things you need to consider before getting in, but despite all the hard work the whole experience would entail, it would be worth it once your business would finally start operating.

Asian BBQ House Restaurant Business Plan

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How to Start a BBQ Restaurant

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Things to Consider When Starting a Barbecue Catering Business

Catering businesses are fun but most of the time, there’s actually more than that. Learn more about the things you need to consider upon starting a barbecue catering business below:

The possible venues for a barbecue catering business are the following:

  • sporting events
  • corporate meetings
  • special events
  • street trucks and carts
  • bricks-and-mortar restaurant
  • function rooms

There is a possibility that you might get booked with an event that has more than 20 or so attendees. This means that you need to have additional staffing so that you will be able to serve each of the attendees well, from the serving of the food to the cleanup. Make sure that the number of staff is just enough for the number of attendees as well as the number of tasks there is to do or whether the food or the barbecue will be served buffet-style. Avoid overstaffing because it would just yield to unnecessary expenses.

It is important that you would provide correct staffing because this actually has an impact on the satisfaction of the customers and most importantly, to your potential earnings for that single booking. Even if you have the number of staff that is directly proportional to your number of the guest attendees but your servers are slow and inefficient, it would still result to unhappy guests and the most dreaded of all, a dissatisfied client.

Your overall costs in food actually have a great and direct impact on your earning potential of a single booking. You will possibly be spending the ingredients for the barbecue which takes up most of your budget once you have already secured tools and equipment necessary to make your barbecue catering business a success.

You will then have to pay for the waiting staff as well as any rentals, if there are any. If there is a way for you to cut down on other irrelevant expenses, then do so.

The equipment is part of your operating costs or expenses that can reduce your income, that is why make sure you would invest in quality equipment that will last for a long time rather than buying cheaper equipment that will not last long, which means additional expenses because you will then have to buy a new one. If you have completed most of the vital equipment, you will be able to qualify for booking larger events.

Here are some of the possible equipment you might need to secure beforehand:

  • insulated carriers and the cooking equipment
  • method of transportation such as a truck or van
  • refrigerator
  • food warming equipment

Barbecues could be slow-cooked, roasted, or smoked. But aside from the meat, you will have to deal with the other complements or the traditional accompaniments such as the coleslaw, portobello mushrooms, baking potatoes, corn on the cob, mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, BBQ sauce, or burger relish.

And aside from the obvious barbecue, you will have to serve other items. Need some ideas? Here they are:

  • Hot dog rolls
  • Chicken wings and thighs
  • Burger garnish such as lettuce, tomato, and red onion
  • Cheese Slices
  • Mixed Salads
  • Meat or Fish Skewers
  • Vegetable Skewers

Make sure you will be able invest on quality and necessary products.

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Street BBQ Business Plan Sample

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We hope that with the help of this article, you are able to come up with a business plan for your future or even your current barbecue catering business. If you are interested in other catering business plans, you may also see  Mobile Catering Business Plan Examples and  Food Catering Business Plan Examples to guide and help you get started and inspired with your other business ideas and business ventures.

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How to Start a BBQ Catering Business from Home

By: Author Tony Martins Ajaero

Home » Business ideas » Food Industry » Barbecue Stand

BBQ Catering Business

Do you want to start a mobile BBQ catering business from home? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a BBQ catering business with NO money and no experience plus a sample BBQ catering business plan template.

The growing interest in food, the need to choose a lifetime career and potentially build an empire and legacy to be remembered has, and will continue to create new edible businesses . If you listen to the news, you will notice that individuals discover creative ideas every day and successfully shape their life’s income around such ideas.

These novel ideas are the pedestals that launched thousands of new business owners towards success, and BBQ enthusiasts make up a large percentage of this sector. Indeed if you enjoy offering delicacies to people, you can join this business sector just as easily.

We have discovered that BBQ careers offer a wide range of different options and paths that one can explore. The only thing you need is a good smoker, some good refined recipes, and a set business plan and you can start considering a life of working for yourself, determining your own schedule, and doing it all while producing something you actually love.

But you should have it in mind that transforming a hobby into a business isn’t as easy as it seems on the surface. You will need to invest in the necessary equipment, complete the necessary paperwork, and get everything else right before launching your barbecue catering business. The whole experience can entail a lot of hard work, but once the business is up and running, it can be very lucrative.

Steps to Starting a BBQ Catering Business from Home

1. understand the industry.

According to our research, this sector of the catering industry has enjoyed steady growth over that past five years. Initially, the lingering effects of the housing market collapse resulted in weak economic recovery early in the period. At that point, poor residential construction markets were reinforced by poor consumer sentiment, which further reduced private spending on home improvements.

After the recession, the sector benefited from a strong housing market under which many consumers spent money on outdoor kitchens and foods. Experts believe that over the next five years, this food sector will continue to gain from increasing per capita disposable income and the robustness of the residential construction market.

It is also important to state that the top four operators in the Barbeque and grilling business are estimated to capture over 45.0% of the total market, reflecting a moderate level of concentration. Also it is believed that the business’ domestic demand will be largely met by the growing import penetration.

This simply means that the dominance of existing operators creates a significant barrier for new entrants to establish links with key equipment suppliers and potential customers. We believe that new entrants face relatively large start-up costs to establish a huge brand affinity in the business.

2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies

  • Demographics and Psychographics

Each region in the united states has developed its own special style of barbeque. We believe that these styles differ by the kind of meat, method of cooking and most importantly, the type of barbeque sauce. Also these various methods and recipes have been handed down for generations and evolving from regional ingredients. The following are general descriptions of a few of the most well-known barbeque styles in the United States;

The Carolina Barbeque

In this Barbeque style, pork is the preferred meat. Oak and hickory smoke is common. Sauce emphasizes a peppery vinegar flavour. Note that the Southern Carolina is famous for its Carolina Gold, a sauce with mustard as an ingredient.

Kansas City

In this wonderful Barbeque style, the meat is dry rubbed with spices and smoked before cooking. The preferred sauce is thick and sweet and served as a table sauce. This sauce is the top selling variety of bottled sauces.

The Memphis Barbequ e

Indeed pulled pork and ribs are the favourite meats mostly cooked over charcoal and basted with a peppery tomato sauce sweetened with molasses.

Texas Barbeque

We all know how big and complicated Texas can be, which is why their barbeque varies by region. But throughout the state beef, ribs, and sausage are popular. Mesquite is often used in grilling for a unique flavour. Note that the sauce is generally thick and sweet with a rich tomato base.

Hawaiian Barbeque

It is important to state that the popular luau is a barbeque party that serves pork, fish, and/or chicken. The meats are often cooked wrapped in taro or ti leaves. A sweet teriyaki sauce is used made with pineapple. All the mentioned region recipes and many more are what makes this food sector a place where you can’t achieve anything if you do not research before venturing into the industry.

We believe that as a caterer, you will need to consider what style of barbeque is popular in your region; we strongly advise that you begin with a few recipes and keep the choices simple. As the business progresses, you can add other selections.

3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On

When starting a Barbeque Business, it is very much advisable that you pick a niche for your business because it is very essential. Note that finding your niche is to carve out special services and menus that you are known for and do well.

Whether you want to beef up your current services or completely revamp your marketing message, you have several options to in the barbeque business. Apart from choice of recipe to serve as your niche market, listed below are other things you could consider;

  • Barbeque restaurant
  • Barbeque equipment manufacturing
  • Barbeque equipment retailer
  • Catering or Portable Grill Smoker
  • Barbeque contests
  • Barbeque sauce
  • Celebrity status and Catering TV show

The Level of Competition in the Industry

Barbeque Businesses stake their reputations on authentic barbeque offerings. Have it in mind that if your customers think you have a good barbeque recipe, they will be loyal for a long time. One of the secrets of barbeque is keeping it tasting like it came off the backyard grill.

Also note that your success will depend on other factors in addition to the food, which is why we suggest you do your homework to make sure that your succeed in the barbeque business.

You should also know that demographics, consumer tastes and personal income move demand in this business. We believe that the profitability of individual companies can vary; while QSRs rely on efficient operations and high volume sales, FSRs rely on high-margin items and effective marketing.

In this business, bigger companies have benefits of purchase, finance and marketing. Smaller ones can compete by offering superior food or service. The US industry is highly fragmented: the 50 largest companies account for about 15% of revenue.

4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry

Becoming a well-known brand has to do with a lot of factors and even though the  industry is fragmented there are barbeque businesses that are standing out due to their activities in the industry such as their marketing and publicity strategies, how long they have been in the business, and what services they offer to their customers. Below are some of the most popular barbeque companies in the United States of America;

  • City Butcher and Barbeque (Springfield, Missouri)
  • Puckett’s Grocery (Franklin, Tennessee)
  • Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que (Llano, Texas)
  • Payne’s Bar-B-Que (Memphis, Tennessee)
  • John Russell’s Kansas City Barbeque (Overland Park, Kansas)
  • Dreamland Bar-B-Que Ribs (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)
  • Bogart’s Smokehouse (St. Louis)
  • Black’s Barbeque (Lockhart, Texas)
  • Double J Smokehouse & Saloon (Memphis, Tennessee)
  • Central BBQ (Memphis, Tennessee)
  • Skylight Inn BBQ (Ayden, North Carolina)
  • Franklin Barbeque (Austin, Texas)
  • Herman’s Ribhouse (Fayetteville, Arkansas)
  • 4 Rivers Smokehouse (Orlando, Florida)
  • The Granary ‘Cue & Brew (San Antonio, Texas)
  • Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que (Kansas City, Kansas)
  • Hometown Bar-B-Que (Brooklyn, New York)
  • Kerlin BBQ (Austin, Texas)

Economic Analysis

We will like to state that the money you will be making of your barbeque catering business will depend on the products and services you offer, your staff and equipment and your ability to market the business.

We will like to state that the products sold mainly by a barbeque catering business are burgers, hot dogs, ribs, pulled pork, chicken tenders and corn. Your business can operate from a mobile cart, you can sell your food from a restaurant or store, or you can offer your barbeque services onsite for private and business functions.

Indeed a lot has been written about the growing price of beef in the past year. We believe that the prices have stabilized and have even gone down recently, yet a lot of barbeque fans still cringe when paying $15-$20 per pound for their beloved smoked brisket.

You should have it in mind that it is very normal to enter a barbeque joint nowadays and be met with a sign announcing that due to the high cost of beef, prices have been raised commensurately. These we believe have pushed sector customers to be willing to pay extra for a quality product while supporting their local barbeque joint.

5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch

A lot of entrepreneurs have a strong vibe to build companies from the ground up, but a business purchase is nearly always the smarter ownership option.

Before you decide, note that existing barbeque restaurants are proven operations with dependable revenue streams. And that is not to mention the fact that a purchase lets you avoid the trial-and-error mistakes that are common in start-ups in the business.

We believe that unlike common restaurants, a Barbeque restaurant is much simpler although not less taxing to build. It will require you to showcase your basic business skills such as accounting, record keeping, HR management and marketing. And not just that, you need to have at least exceptional love for food, specifically grilled and barbequed ones.

But for the sake of our detailed research and this article, we believe that your chances of making a success of your new business are much better when you opt to franchise rather than going it alone. But just before you think of starting a barbeque restaurant, a smart move is to assess whether franchising might help you avoid common entrepreneurial mistakes that may cost you funds and time.

6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face

A lot of arguments have been made about which type of barbeque is the best, but any foodservice business owner will sure tell you one thing: doing a barbeque restaurant won’t be a simple stroll in the park. There are a thousand decisions to make, and the few barriers you might face may include;

  • Choosing a suitable niche
  • Gaining experience
  • Menu development
  • Applying for permits
  • Purchasing inventory
  • writing a business plan
  • Industry competition

7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)

We strongly believe that a lot of factors should be considered when choosing the best form of business structure for your Barbeque business. Note that the  type of business structure you choose can have an impact on multiple aspects of your business, including taxes, liability, and your exit strategy.

When starting your Barbeque business, we believe that an LLC structure is the best because it is simpler and more flexible.

Unlike both types of corporation, it doesn’t need a board of directors, shareholder meetings and other managerial formalities. You can simply divide up the profits any way you choose, as opposed to shareholders in corporations who have to carve them up in proportion to their percentage ownership in the company.

Another unique benefit of this is that you can easily entice talented employees with a share of the profits, even if those employees didn’t pony up their own equity in the beginning. The LLC structure also gives tax-treatment flexibility.

An LLC’s profits can be taxed as a corporate entity (a C Corporation) or as a “pass through” entity (an S corporation), meaning that the company avoids paying tax on both corporate profits and the owners’ personal income. Most LLCs choose the pass-through option.

However, in some cases, LLCs can choose a C Corporation tax structure and save money by funneling profits back into the business tax-free.

8. Choose a Catchy Business Name

  • American BBQ
  • Overdraft BBQ
  • Beef and Cord
  • Big Knuckle’s BBQ
  • Mountain BBQ
  • Healthy beef
  • Blowing Smoke BBQ
  • Star Cooking
  • Uncle Ben BBQ
  • Heavenly Eateries
  • Porch Smokers
  • Ring of Fire

9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You

Note that insurance is a must-have for any business, and especially when starting a barbeque restaurant. It is important to state that even with every safety measure possible in place, there is always the chance of sickness or theft, either of which could leave your business floundering if your insurance doesn’t cover the menace.

We strongly believe that general business liability insurance protects you from the cost of any litigation that may come up against your business as a result of sickness or if an accident or injury occurs on your property. We also think that business crime insurance is also important for your barbeque restaurant, as many commercial grills and smokers come on wheels and must be used outside, making those prime targets for thieves.

Have it in mind that this type of insurance also covers employee theft. We strongly advise that you speak with an experienced insurance agent to make sure you get all the coverage you need to financially protect your restaurant from trouble.

10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents

In this modern age, it cannot be denied that the creation, exploitation and protection of intellectual property (IP) rights are fundamental to the success of most retailers. In the barbeque business, intellectual property protection and Trademark are needed to serve as

  • Brand and image rights
  • Protection and registration of designs
  • Enforcement and dispute resolution
  • Anti-counterfeiting and piracy
  • Patents laws
  • Trade mark filing and opposition
  • Brand audits and watching services
  • Securing trademarks and passing off
  • Domain name strategies and disputes
  • Data and database rights
  • Competition law
  • Protection of technology and innovation
  • Advertising and marketing issues

11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification

When starting your barbeque business, having or acquiring certifications will go a long way to show how experienced you are in the business. You will also benefit from earning a few certifications which may include retailing certification. Other certifications include,

  • Professional Stainless Steel Outdoor Gas Barbeque Grills CE Certification
  • National fireplace Institute certification
  • Professionally Certified Hearth Installers
  • Certified BBQ Judge
  • Customer Service and Sales Certification (CSCS)
  • Advanced Customer Service and Sales Certification (ACSSC)
  • Retail Management Certification (RMC)
  • certified food protection manager (CFPM)
  • Master Baking Certificate Program
  • Retail Business Credential (RBC)

12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate

As you venture into this business, to keep your business on the right side of the law, you will need to apply for a number of licenses and permits. Do not forget that every state and city varies in their requirements, so a good place to start is to contact your local chamber of commerce or city hall. The documents you will need include;

Building Permits

Note that you will need a building permit if you plan to do any renovating. Also note that these permits generally require your contractor to submit the plans for approval. Immediately your building is ready for business, you will need to get a building inspection and certificate of occupancy, which usually comes from the fire commissioner.

Business License

We also believe that you will need to register your business with several levels of government, usually including local, state and federal. Note that a business license registers you locally and in some cases goes together with the state’s retail sales license, which allows you to charge sales tax.

Then the federal government will issue you an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Tax ID number to allow the IRS to start records on your business. We strongly advise that you consider registering your business name, as it both makes sure that the name is not already taken and prevents any other local businesses from using that name.

Sign Permits

A lot of local governments have restrictions on where you can put signs and how tall they can be. This is why you may need to submit plans for your signs to be approved before you can begin construction or installation.

Food Handling Permits

We believe that for you to obtain a food handling permit, you will generally need to take a course in safe food handling practices. A lot of states also offer government-sponsored courses, and some require an on-site inspection in addition to taking a class.

Liquor License

Note that if you are planning or hoping to serve beer or mixed drinks at your restaurant, start researching how to get your liquor license as soon as possible, as that process can take a while.

13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital

If you think you have enough money to start this business, then you are good to go. But if you need additional funds before you start your Barbeque Business, then we believe you will need to approach an investor, the government, a bank, or some other loan-giving establishment.

At this point your business plan will become even more instrumental. Ways of getting funds for your Barbeque Business may include…

  • Getting initial capital from family and friends
  • Getting Capital from angel investors
  • funds from Venture capitalists
  • Taking your company public through IPO
  • Getting small business loans
  • Getting funds through Crowdfunding
  • Raise Funds through Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Finance your Business Expansion with Equipment Leasing

14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business

You should have it in mind that the location for your restaurant will be a major determining factor in whether it will be successful. When you start searching for locations, have a basic idea of the size you need for both the dining room and the kitchen.

Note that too large space may have you paying more rent than you can afford, but not enough space may restrict your ability to grow your business. We advise that you ensure your kitchen holds enough equipment to cook for your customers in a timely manner and the dining room can comfortably accommodate the number of tables you need for your business.

Also consider the things that are happening outside the building, this is because it is as important as what is inside. Try to visit the location at different times of the day on weekends and weekdays to get a feel of traffic patterns for the days and times you plan to be open, which for some traditional barbeque joints will be weekends-only.

Check and ascertain if the location is visible to a large number of people. Ask yourself if it is near a large residential area or business park that might bring business.

Is the traffic more vehicular than pedestrian, do you have adequate parking? If the location was not a restaurant previously, does the city’s zoning allow you to open one there? Are there any other barbeque places nearby that you will be competing with?

We also advice that you try not to exceed your budget and be careful to not overreach, but don’t be afraid to look at places a little out of your price range, as most property owners are open to some negotiation. We advise that you discuss the length and cost of the lease, as well as whether the owner will handle lawn care or building maintenance.

15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs

In this business, the size of your business will determine the number of staff to hire. We advise that you hire the most suitable and experienced individuals for each position, and give them the necessary training they need to play their roles well. Nothing brings success faster than teamwork and dedication.

The special equipment for barbeque catering begins with the grill, and it comes in a wide variety of designs and models, from inexpensive charcoal and wood cookers to deluxe limo gas models that cost thousands of dollars. Have it in mind that the type of grill you invest in depends on your cooking style and outdoor cooking needs.

We strongly believe that Grills and outdoor cookers can be bought with a multitude of options, including side burners, smoker boxes, griddles, rotisseries, and prep areas. All these are extras, but not necessary to start a successful business. Other barbeque specialty equipment includes:

  • Basting brushes
  • Cook mitts—long to protect arms from heat
  • Coolers or refrigeration units
  • Long handled utensils including fork, spatula and tongs
  • Aprons and hats—consider advertising your catering business on these!
  • Meat thermometers
  • Barbeque baskets for vegetables, burgers and hotdogs
  • Grill Cleaning products
  • Grill light for parties that may last after dark

The Service Delivery Process of the Business

Have it in mind that when starting this business that you need to develop a menu to function with. One of the major considerations when developing your menu is how the barbeque is to be cooked. The most traditional method involves smoking the meat in a ‘pit,’ cooking it for long periods of time over low heat.

A lot of local health departments do not allow a restaurant to cook outside, but in most cases you can build a separate building to smoke the meat in.

From our extensive research, we have noticed that there have been some debates among barbeque experts about how the type of wood used to smoke meat will affect its flavour; some claim the species of wood determines the flavour, while others say the region it was grown in has a much more profound effect.

But irrespective of what they think, the mesquite wood is considered to have the strongest flavour, while fruit-tree woods are the mildest, but nearly any non-resinous wood type can work. But if you decide to cook in a pit, you will need to estimate your sales volume ahead of time, and may need a method of re-thermalizing food before serving it or keeping it warm without drying it out.

A lot of barbeque restaurants have gotten rid of the traditional cooking methods, and are instead choosing to steam their meat before throwing it on a grill or griddle to sear the outside or smoke the meat in a commercial smoker. But some barbeque aficionados don’t appreciate these shortcuts, so if you live in an area where people have strong opinions about barbeque, you may find more success cooking in a more traditional manner.

There are some regions that prefer to serve their barbeque with a dry rub, and in most cases you will need to develop a barbeque sauce.

You have to determine the sauce type you want to focus on, whether it is tomato, mustard, vinegar, or mayonnaise-based, and varying the sweetener, spices and additional ingredients used until you find the perfect flavour that suit majority of your customer’s needs.

16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies

Any entrepreneur will tell you that marketing plays a central role in any business venture. When it comes to a barbeque business, your ability to market your brand can be the deciding factor between barely making it and achieving stellar industry success. Ways to market your barbeque business may include;

Company Website

We believe that the very first step in marketing your barbeque restaurant is to create a high-quality business website. Have it in mind that a functional and attractive company website is no longer an option for businesses with a long-term outlook. Also note that content, architecture, and features are important consideration when creating a website.

Cost Tracking

As you plan to start your business, note that the economy is a constant concern for people who own barbeque businesses.

For direct mailing campaigns and other strategic initiatives, it is hard to argue with the ROI you receive from updated mailing lists provided by the industry’s leading list vendors. Good mailing lists are money in the bank; they deliver leads, revenue and most importantly, new customers.

Strategic Partnerships

It has been proven in the business world that when multiple interests join together in a strategic partnership, they gain economies of scale, not to mention a larger promotional footprint.

Note that joint ad campaigns, mailings and other marketing initiatives can be conducted on either a short or long-term basis, as long as each partner is involved in the creation of messaging and has approval authority over the content that is released.

17. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win

With the intense competition in this business and with barbeque shops rising from all corners of the country, you have to make consumers aware of your shop. In this business, each region and community is different and some marketing tactics will work in some areas and others will not.

The key is to try different things and find what works for you. Have it in mind that what worked yesterday might not work tomorrow. We believe that the only limit to your marketing is your own creativity. Some ideas can be expensive, but there are plenty that are not. They include,

  • School fundraisers with your local elementary school
  • Coupon mailers
  • Daily deal websites
  • Create a flavour contest
  • Loyalty programs
  • Group contest
  • Street marketing
  • Sponsor or advertise at local races
  • Social marketing
  • Cross market with local businesses
  • Online marketing

18. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity

If you do not know, brand awareness and affinity serves several objectives for retail companies searching to boost sales in the marketplace and it can do same for your Barbeque business. No matter how tiresome you might think it is, your brand awareness campaign needs to be flexible enough to grow with the business and adjust if needed.

The various strategies to promote brand awareness and create a corporate identity for your Barbeque business may include holding an event, exhibiting yourself, sponsor something, create an experiential stunt, take to social media, organize a public relation campaign, invest in promotional merchandise, join forces with other businesses etc.

Creating a solid and beneficial corporate identity through good brand awareness strategies will go a long way to sustain your business and maximize your business profits.

Related Posts:

  • How to Build a BBQ Pit Smoker Out of Propane Tank
  • 18 Best Barbecue Business ideas You Can Start Today

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Catering Business Plan Template

Catering business plan.

If you want to start a catering business or expand your current one, you need a business plan.

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 5,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their catering businesses.

How to Write a Business Plan for a Catering Company

Below are links to each section of your catering business plan template:

Next Section: Executive Summary >

Catering Company Business Plan FAQs

What is the easiest way to complete my catering business plan.

Growthink's Ultimate Catering Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Catering Business Plan.

Where Can I Download a Catering Business Plan PDF?

You can download our catering business plan PDF template here . This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.

What Is a Catering Business Plan?

A catering business plan provides a snapshot of your own business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business’ goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

Why Do You Need a Business Plan?

If you’re looking to start a catering business or grow your existing small business you need a business plan, especially if you are seeking financing for your business. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your company in order to improve your chances of success. Your catering business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your catering company grows and changes.

How Do I Write a Successful Catering Business Plan?

The best way to write a catering business plan is to follow a proven catering business plan template. This template should include the following information: Executive Summary, Company Analysis, Competitive Analysis, Industry Analysis, Customer Analysis, Marketing Strategy & Plan, Operations Plan, Management Team, Financial Projections & Plan, and Appendix.

What Are the Sources of Funding for a Catering Business?

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a catering business are savings and/or credit cards of the business owner, bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable. But they will want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.

The second most common form of funding for a catering business or cafe is angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding, or, like a bank, they will give you a loan. Venture capitalists will not fund a catering business. They might consider funding a catering company with multiple locations or a massive footprint, but never an individual location. This is because most venture capitalists are looking for millions of dollars in return when they make an investment, and an individual or small location could never achieve such results.

What Are the 3 Types of Catering Service Businesses?

There are three types of catering service businesses: on-premise catering, off-premise catering, and event catering.

  • On-premise catering is when the caterer sets up a temporary commercial kitchen space at the client's location.
  • Off-premise catering is when the caterer provides delicious food for events such as picnics, weddings, cocktail parties, and other meetings off-site.
  • Event catering is where the caterer prepares food that is served at special events, corporate events, or family events.

What Are The 5 Steps to Starting a Catering Business?

Starting a catering business is not as difficult as one might think. Here are the five steps needed to get your catering business up and running:

  • Come Up With a Business Idea : This is probably the most important step, as it will lay the foundation for everything else you do. When brainstorming business ideas, make sure to think about what you’re good at and what you enjoy doing.
  • Do Your Research : This step is important to ensure your business is viable and has the potential for success.
  • Create a Catering Business Plan : A business plan is a document that outlines your goals, strategies, and financials. It’s a must-have for any business, but especially for a catering business.
  • Obtain Your Business License : In order to legally operate your catering business, you will need to obtain the necessary business licenses.
  • Secure Funding : If needed, you will need to secure funding in order to get your catering business off the ground.

Once your business is up and running, it’s time to start promoting it! Create a marketing plan and start spreading the word about your new catering business to potential clients.

What are the Benefits of Starting a Catering Business?

There are numerous benefits of starting a catering business, including:

  • Low Overhead Costs : One of the benefits of catering is that the overhead costs are relatively low, especially when compared to other food preparation businesses such as restaurants. This means you can make a profit with fewer customers and staff members.
  • Flexible Schedule : Typically have a flexible schedule, which is ideal for those who want to be their own boss and have more control over their time.
  • Variety of Services : Can offer a variety of catering services and menus, which gives you the ability to target a range of customers.
  • Repeat Customers : Typically have a high percentage of repeat customers, as people often use catering for specific events like weddings, business meetings, conventions, etc.
  • High Demand : Another benefit of catering is that there are typically high demands for this type of service during certain times of the year, including holidays and warm weather months when people are hosting events outside.

What are the Pitfalls of Starting a Catering Business?

While there are many benefits to starting a catering business, there are also some potential pitfalls that should be considered. These include:

  • Not Enough Demand : Before starting a catering business, it’s important to do your research and make sure there is enough demand for your services.
  • Lack of Experience : If you don’t have experience in the catering industry, it will be difficult to start and succeed in this business.
  • High Startup Costs : This type of business can have high startup costs because of the equipment needed, as well as all of the miscellaneous costs that come with starting any business.
  • Competition : Catering is highly competitive and there are many established catering companies already servicing your market. This means you need to do everything possible to set yourself apart from your competitors in order to be successful.
  • Time-Consuming : Catering is a time-consuming business and it can be difficult to balance it with other obligations.
  • Limited Scalability : Catering companies are limited in their scalability, meaning you can only expand so much before you hit a limit. This could be problematic if your goal is to grow your business significantly.
  • Unpredictable Income : Catering services can be very unpredictable when it comes to income, as they can vary greatly from one event to the next.
  • High Risk : As with any business, there is a certain amount of risk involved in starting and running a catering business. You need to be prepared for the possibility of not making a profit or even losing money.

CATERING BUSINESS PLAN OUTLINE

  • Catering Business Plan Home
  • 1. Executive Summary
  • 2. Company Overview
  • 3. Industry Analysis
  • 4. Customer Analysis
  • 5. Competitive Analysis
  • 6. Marketing Plan
  • 7. Operations Plan
  • 8. Management Team
  • 9. Financial Plan
  • 10. Appendix
  • Catering Business Plan Summary

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SoEzzy's Free BBQ Catering Planner v3.06 Redesigned by Yoder's Smoky Mountain Barbecue

This handy barbeque catering planner is designed to save BBQ caterers a bundle of time. Whether you are just starting out or have been in the business for years, this calculator makes pricing your catering events a breeze.

Besides saving time and making it easier to price events and parties, this free calculator lets you quote a price for large and small events with confidence, knowing it's based on the long-term experience of BBQ experts.

This planner includes many different kinds of meats and sides. You can easily adjust the crowd size, number of meats and sides, your actual costs, and more.

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The planner is in Microsoft Excel format.

Please leave a comment on my blog and let us know how you like this barbeque catering planner.

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How To Write a Business Plan for Barbecue Catering in 9 Steps: Checklist

By henry sheykin, resources on barbecue catering.

  • Financial Model
  • Business Plan
  • Value Proposition
  • One-Page Business Plan

Are you passionate about barbecue and have dreams of starting your own barbecue catering business? Look no further! In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of writing a comprehensive business plan for barbecue catering in just 9 simple steps. Whether you want to cater private events or corporate functions, this checklist will help you map out your path to success.

Before we dive into the steps of writing a business plan, let’s take a look at the current state of the barbecue catering industry in the US. According to recent statistics, the demand for barbecue catering services has been steadily increasing over the years. In fact, the industry is projected to grow at a CAGR of X% from year X to year X . This presents a lucrative opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs like you to capitalize on this growing market.

Now that we have established the promising potential of the barbecue catering industry, let’s get started with the first step of writing a business plan: conducting market research. This step involves gathering information about your target market, analyzing the competition, and identifying the unique selling proposition that sets your barbecue catering business apart from others in the market.

Once you have a clear understanding of your target market and competition, it’s important to determine the initial startup costs of your barbecue catering business. This will help you plan your finances and secure any necessary funding. Additionally, developing a pricing strategy will ensure that your services are competitive yet profitable in the market.

Marketing and advertising are crucial aspects of any successful business. In order to attract customers and generate leads, you need to outline a comprehensive marketing and advertising plan. This may include online and offline strategies, such as social media marketing, website development, and traditional advertising methods.

Last but not least, creating a detailed operational plan is essential for the smooth running of your barbecue catering business. This plan should cover areas such as menu planning, sourcing of ingredients, staff hiring and training, event logistics, and customer service management.

To wrap up, as you embark on your journey of starting a barbecue catering business, don’t forget to identify potential sources of funding to support your venture. Whether it’s through personal savings, loans, or investors, having a solid financial plan in place will set you up for success.

With this 9-step checklist in hand, you are well on your way to writing a comprehensive business plan for your barbecue catering business. Stay tuned for our upcoming blog posts, where we will delve deeper into each step and provide valuable insights and tips for your entrepreneurial journey.

Conduct Market Research

Market research is a crucial step in developing a business plan for barbecue catering. It helps you understand the demand for your services, identify potential customers, and assess the competition in your target market. By conducting thorough market research, you can gather valuable insights that will guide your planning and decision-making process.

To begin your market research, start by gathering information about the barbecue catering industry in your area or region. Look for data on the current market size, growth trends, and key players in the industry. This information can be obtained from industry reports, trade associations, and online sources.

Next, focus on understanding your target market. Determine who your ideal customers are and what their preferences and needs are when it comes to barbecue catering. Consider factors such as demographics, event types, and occasions where your services are most likely to be in demand.

  • Analyze the size of your target market: Determine the number of potential customers in your area who would be interested in barbecue catering services. This will help you estimate the market potential and size.
  • Identify customer preferences: Conduct surveys, interviews, or focus groups to gather insights about what customers look for in a barbecue catering service. Consider factors such as menu preferences, pricing expectations, and additional services that customers value.
  • Assess the competition: Identify and analyze other barbecue catering businesses in your area. Examine their strengths, weaknesses, pricing strategies, and marketing efforts. This will provide you with a clear understanding of the competitive landscape and help you differentiate your business.

Tips for Conducting Market Research:

  • Use online surveys and questionnaires to gather information from potential customers. Offer incentives, such as discounts or free samples, to encourage participation.
  • Attend industry trade shows and events to network with industry professionals and gain insights into the latest trends and innovations.
  • Utilize online tools and platforms, such as social media listening tools, to monitor conversations and gather customer feedback about barbecue catering services.

By conducting comprehensive market research, you can gain a deep understanding of your target market and position your barbecue catering business for success. This information will inform your business strategy, pricing decisions, and marketing efforts, helping you attract and retain customers in a competitive industry.

Identify The Target Market

Identifying the target market is a crucial step in creating a successful business plan for barbecue catering. Understanding who your potential customers are will help you tailor your menu options, pricing, and marketing strategies to meet their specific needs and preferences.

When identifying your target market, consider factors such as demographics, location, and occasion. Barbecue catering is popular for a variety of events, including weddings, tailgates, and company picnics. Researching and analyzing the specific demographics of these events will help you determine your target market.

  • Start by considering the age range, income level, and lifestyle of your potential customers. Are they young professionals, families, or retirees?
  • Next, think about the location of your target market. Are you targeting customers in a specific city, region, or state?
  • Finally, analyze the occasions where barbecue catering is in demand. Are people looking for catering services for weddings, corporate events, or both?

Tips for Identifying the Target Market:

  • Conduct surveys or interviews with potential customers to gather valuable insights about their preferences and needs.
  • Observe trends and patterns in the barbecue catering industry to understand who your competitors are targeting.
  • Consider partnering with event planners or wedding venues to tap into their existing customer base.
  • Use online platforms and social media to gather data on customer demographics and preferences.

By identifying your target market, you can tailor your menu options, pricing, and marketing strategies to attract and retain customers. Understanding their specific needs and preferences will give you a competitive advantage in the barbecue catering industry.

Analyze The Competition

When starting a barbecue catering business, it's crucial to analyze the competition in your market. Understanding your competitors will help you identify potential areas for differentiation and determine strategies for success. Here are some key steps to analyze the competition:

  • Research Existing Barbecue Catering Businesses: Begin by researching existing barbecue catering businesses in your area. Look for information on their menus, pricing, target markets, and customer reviews. This will give you a comprehensive understanding of the competition you will be facing.
  • Identify Competitor Strengths and Weaknesses: Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. This could include factors like the quality of their barbecue, customer service, presentation, or overall reputation. Understanding their strengths will help you identify areas where you can differentiate your business.
  • Assess Pricing Strategies: Examine the pricing strategies of your competitors. Look for any unique pricing models they may be using, such as per-person pricing or package deals. This will help you determine a competitive pricing strategy for your own business.
  • Identify Target Market Overlap: Determine if there is any overlap in your target market with your competitors. Are they primarily serving private clients or corporate clients? Understanding this will enable you to develop targeted marketing strategies to reach your desired customer base.
  • Consider Geographic Coverage: Evaluate the geographic coverage of your competitors. Are they catering to a specific area or are they willing to travel for events? This will help you determine your own service area and availability.
  • Visit competitor websites and social media pages to gather more information about their offerings and customer interactions.
  • Reach out to former customers of your competition, if feasible, to gather insights into their experiences and identify areas for improvement.
  • Stay updated on industry trends and innovations to ensure you can stay competitive and offer unique services that set you apart.

By thoroughly analyzing the competition, you can develop a comprehensive understanding of the market landscape and position your barbecue catering business for success.

Define The Unique Selling Proposition

Defining the unique selling proposition (USP) of your barbecue catering business is crucial to differentiate yourself from competitors and attract customers. Your USP is the unique combination of factors that sets your business apart and makes it irresistible to your target market.

To define your USP, consider the following:

  • Quality of Food: Emphasize the high-quality, flavorful barbecue meats and sides that will be the highlight of every event. Use fresh, locally sourced ingredients and unique recipes to create a memorable dining experience.
  • Customizable Menu Options: Offer a wide variety of menu options to cater to different dietary preferences and tastes. Allow customers to customize their meals, ensuring they get exactly what they desire for their special event.
  • Exceptional Customer Service: Provide outstanding customer service from the initial inquiry to the event day. Be responsive, flexible, and attentive to the needs and preferences of each customer, ensuring their complete satisfaction.
  • Additional Services: Stand out by offering additional services, such as event planning, setup and cleanup, and rental equipment. These extra services can make the event planning process more convenient for customers and set your business apart from competitors.

Tips for Defining Your Unique Selling Proposition:

  • Research the competition to identify gaps in the market.
  • Focus on what makes your barbecue catering business special and different from others.
  • Consider your target market's needs and preferences when crafting your USP.
  • Highlight your unique features and benefits in your marketing materials and online presence.
  • Continuously reassess and refine your USP to stay relevant in a competitive market.

Determine The Initial Startup Costs

Before launching your barbecue catering business, it is crucial to determine the initial startup costs involved. By understanding the financial requirements, you can plan your budget, secure funding, and set realistic goals for your business. Here are some key steps to consider:

  • Calculate fixed costs: Begin by identifying the fixed costs of starting your barbecue catering business. This includes expenses like permits and licenses, insurance, lease or rental costs for a commercial kitchen, and initial purchases of equipment such as smokers, grills, and utensils.
  • Estimate variable costs: Variable costs are expenses that may vary based on the volume of business you generate. These could include the cost of food ingredients, packaging materials, and fuel for cooking. Make sure to research and estimate these costs accurately to avoid any unexpected financial burdens.
  • Consider marketing and advertising expenses: In order to successfully launch and promote your barbecue catering business, it is important to allocate a portion of your budget towards marketing and advertising. This may include creating a website, printing promotional materials, and investing in online advertising or social media campaigns.
  • Include legal and professional fees: Depending on your location and specific business needs, you may require legal assistance or professional advice. This could involve fees for consulting services, accounting services, or assistance with obtaining necessary permits and licenses. Be sure to account for these costs in your overall budget.
  • Factor in employee wages: If you plan to hire staff to assist with cooking, serving, or event coordination, you will need to include their wages in your startup costs. Calculate the number of employees you will need based on the size of the events you plan to cater to, and budget accordingly.
  • Research and compare prices for equipment, ingredients, and other items to ensure you get the best value for your money.
  • Consider purchasing used equipment or leasing it initially to reduce initial startup costs.
  • Include a contingency fund in your budget to account for any unexpected expenses that may arise.
  • Consult with a financial advisor or business mentor to ensure your financial projections are accurate and realistic.

By carefully determining your initial startup costs, you can plan ahead and ensure that you have the necessary resources to launch your barbecue catering business successfully. Remember to regularly review and update your budget as your business grows and evolves.

Develop A Pricing Strategy

Developing a pricing strategy for your barbecue catering business is essential to ensure profitability and attract customers. Here are some important considerations:

  • Cost of ingredients and supplies: Calculate the cost of barbecue meats, sides, drinks, and other supplies needed to cater an event. This will help you determine a baseline price per person.
  • Labor and overhead costs: Consider the time, effort, and staff required to prepare and serve the barbecue, as well as the overhead costs associated with running your business. These factors should be factored into your pricing strategy.
  • Market demand: Research the local barbecue catering market to understand the price range that customers are willing to pay for similar services. Setting your prices too high or too low can impact your business's perceived value.
  • Competitor analysis: Analyze the pricing strategies of your competitors to ensure that your offerings are competitive and attractive to potential customers. Consider the quality, quantity, and variety of their menu options in relation to their prices.
  • Customization options: Consider offering various menu options to cater to different budgets and preferences. This can include different tiers of service, add-ons, or premium menu items at an additional cost. Providing options can help you cater to a wider range of customers.
  • Profit margins: Determine the profit margin you want to achieve for each event. This will help you set prices that cover your costs and generate a desirable level of profit.
  • Regularly review and adjust your pricing strategy to adapt to changes in market conditions and costs.
  • Consider offering package deals or discounts for large events or repeat customers to encourage loyalty and attract more business.
  • Be transparent with your pricing by clearly stating what is included in each package and any additional fees for special requests or premium menu items.
  • Monitor customer feedback and adjust your pricing strategy accordingly to meet their expectations and maintain customer satisfaction.

Outline The Marketing And Advertising Plan

Developing a solid marketing and advertising plan is crucial for the success of your barbecue catering business. It will help you attract customers, build brand awareness, and differentiate yourself from the competition. Here are some steps to outline your marketing and advertising plan:

  • Identify your target audience: Determine who your ideal customers are and what their preferences and needs are when it comes to barbecue catering. This will help you tailor your marketing efforts to reach the right audience.
  • Define your brand: Clearly communicate your brand identity, values, and unique selling proposition to prospective customers. Showcase what sets your barbecue catering business apart from others in the market.
  • Create a compelling website: Invest in a professional website that showcases your menu options, pricing, testimonials, and contact information. Make it easy for potential customers to learn more about your services and easily contact you for inquiries.
  • Utilize social media: Leverage social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote your barbecue catering business. Share appetizing photos of your dishes, engage with your audience, and use relevant hashtags to expand your reach.
  • Implement search engine optimization (SEO): Optimize your website and online content with relevant keywords, meta tags, and backlinks to improve your visibility in search engine results. This will help potential customers find you when they search for barbecue catering services in your area.
  • Build partnerships: Collaborate with event planners, wedding venues, and other local businesses to establish referral partnerships. Offer incentives for referrals and create mutually beneficial relationships that can drive more customers to your catering business.
  • Invest in targeted advertising: Allocate a budget for online advertisements, such as Google Ads or social media ads, to reach your target audience effectively. Use compelling visuals and persuasive copy to entice potential customers and encourage them to choose your services.
  • Consider traditional advertising: Explore traditional advertising channels, such as local newspapers, magazines, and radio, to reach a wider audience. This can be especially effective for targeting specific local markets or events.
  • Offer discounts for early bookings or referrals to incentivize customers to try your barbecue catering services and recommend you to others.
  • Participate in local food festivals, community events, and trade shows to showcase your barbecue catering business and build connections within the industry.
  • Engage with your customers on social media by replying to their comments and reviews. This shows that you value their feedback and strengthens your brand reputation.

Create A Detailed Operational Plan

Creating a detailed operational plan is crucial for the success of your barbecue catering business. This plan will outline the day-to-day operations, procedures, and processes necessary for running your business smoothly. Here are some key steps to consider when creating your operational plan:

  • Menu: Clearly define the menu options you will offer, including the variety of barbecue meats, side dishes, and drinks. Consider catering to different dietary preferences or offering vegetarian options to attract a wider range of customers.
  • Sourcing and Inventory: Identify reliable suppliers for your barbecue meats, ingredients for side dishes, and beverages. Establish a system for tracking inventory and ensure you have the necessary equipment and storage facilities to handle the volume of food required for each event.
  • Food Preparation: Develop a standard operating procedure for food preparation, ensuring consistency and quality across all events. Train your staff on proper food handling, cooking techniques, and presentation to ensure customer satisfaction.
  • Staffing and Training: Determine the number of staff members required to handle various aspects of your business, such as food preparation, serving, setup, and cleanup. Hire and train employees who are skilled in providing exceptional customer service and can efficiently handle the demands of a busy event.
  • Logistics: Plan the logistics of transporting your equipment, food, and staff to each event. Consider factors such as distance, traffic, and timing to ensure prompt and reliable service to your clients.
  • Health and Safety: Ensure that your business complies with all health and safety regulations. Develop a system for maintaining cleanliness, preventing cross-contamination, and safely storing and disposing of food waste.
  • Customer Service: Establish protocols for handling customer inquiries, bookings, and complaints. Train your staff on effective communication and problem-solving skills, as providing excellent customer service is crucial for building a positive reputation in the catering industry.
  • Regularly review and update your operational plan to adapt to changing market trends and customer preferences.
  • Consider conducting test runs or mock events to identify any potential operational challenges and make necessary adjustments.
  • Collaborate with other local businesses or professionals to enhance your operational efficiency, such as partnering with event planners or rental equipment providers.
  • Invest in technology solutions, such as event management software or inventory management systems, to streamline your operational processes.

Identify Potential Sources of Funding

Obtaining funding is an essential step in starting and growing your barbecue catering business. Here are some potential sources of funding to consider:

  • Personal Savings: Utilizing your own savings is a common option for funding small businesses. It allows you to maintain control and ownership.
  • Friends and Family: Seeking investment or loans from friends and family can be a viable option, as they may be more willing to support your venture.
  • Bank Loans: Approach local banks or financial institutions to explore the possibility of securing a business loan. Prepare a comprehensive business plan and financial projections to increase your chances of approval.
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans: Consider applying for SBA loans, which are specifically designed to support small businesses. The SBA guarantees a portion of the loan, making it easier to obtain funding.
  • Investors: Look for individuals or organizations interested in investing in your barbecue catering business. Pitch your business plan and demonstrate its potential for growth and profitability.
  • Crowdfunding: Online crowdfunding platforms can help you raise funds from a large number of people who believe in your business idea.
  • Grants and Government Programs: Research grants or government programs available for small businesses in the food service industry. These can provide financial assistance or access to training and resources.
  • Vendor Financing: Speak to equipment suppliers or distributors who may offer financing options for their products. This can help you acquire necessary equipment while spreading out the cost over time.
  • Prepare a comprehensive business plan that clearly outlines your funding needs and how the funds will be utilized.
  • Consider approaching angel investors or venture capitalists who specialize in the food and beverage industry.
  • Explore local business incubators or accelerators that can provide funding, mentorship, and networking opportunities.
  • Ensure you maintain a strong credit score and have a solid financial history to increase your chances of securing funding.
  • Be prepared to provide collateral or personal guarantees when applying for loans.

In conclusion, writing a business plan for barbecue catering involves conducting thorough market research, identifying the target market, analyzing the competition, and defining a unique selling proposition. It is important to determine the startup costs, develop a pricing strategy, and outline a comprehensive marketing and advertising plan. Creating a detailed operational plan and identifying potential sources of funding are also crucial steps. By following this nine-step checklist, aspiring barbecue caterers can lay a solid foundation for a successful and profitable business in the growing and competitive catering industry.

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Small Barbecue Business

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How to Start a Small Barbecue Business

Written by: Carolyn Young

Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.

Edited by: David Lepeska

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

Published on February 17, 2022 Updated on February 18, 2024

How to Start a Small Barbecue Business

Investment range

$8,550 - $24,100

Revenue potential

$110,000 - $1,100,000 p.a.

Time to build

1 – 3 months

Profit potential

$44,000 - $220,000 p.a.

Industry trend

Are you the grill master at your backyard BBQs? Maybe it’s time to take that mastery to the next level by starting your own barbecue business. You can choose from several startup options, from a food truck to a smoker in a vacant lot, and from opening your own little barbecue shop to BBQ catering. Maybe you’ll become the next Franklin Barbecue and build your own national empire of meats. 

There is much to learn, though, before starting your own barbecue business. Fortunately, this step-by-step guide provides all the business know-how you’ll need to grill your way to entrepreneurial greatness.

Looking to register your business? A limited liability company (LLC) is the best legal structure for new businesses because it is fast and simple.

Form your business immediately using ZenBusiness LLC formation service or hire one of the Best LLC Services .

Step 1: Decide if the Business Is Right for You

Pros and cons.

Starting a small barbecue business has pros and cons to consider before deciding if it’s right for you.

  • Fantastic Food – Share your passion for perfectly grilled meats
  • Flexibility – Many options in terms of products and services
  • High Demand – Who doesn’t love barbecue?
  • Stiff Competition – Market is saturated with barbecue options
  • Legit Skills Required – Must be a true grillmaster to stand out

Barbecue industry trends

Industry size and growth.

  • Industry size – The US barbecue restaurant industry was worth $4 billion in 2021.(( https://www.ibisworld.com/united-states/market-research-reports/barbecue-restaurants-industry/ ))
  • Industry growth – The US barbecue restaurant industry has seen steady 2% growth each of the last five years. 
  • Number of businesses – The US is home to 17,243 barbecue restaurants.
  • Number of people employed – The BBQ restaurant industry employs 372,986 people.

barbecue industry size and growth

Trends and challenges

Trends in the barbecue industry include:

  • Spicy, smoky, and savory continues to be the most popular BBQ flavor combination. 
  • Barbecued vegetables and plant-based proteins are in greater demand. 
  • Spice rubs with exotic flavors, such as from the Middle East and Africa, are growing in popularity. 

Challenges in the barbecue industry include:

  • Rising meat prices are cutting into profit margins.
  • Labor shortages present a challenge for all food businesses.

barbecue industry trends and challenges

Demand hotspots

  • Most popular states – The most popular states for barbecue businesses are Minnesota, Kansas, and Missouri.(( https://www.zippia.com/advice/states-love-bbq/ ))
  • Least popular states – The least popular states for barbecue restaurants are Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York.

barbecue industry demand hotspots

What kind of people work in Barbecue?

  • Gender – 24.3% of barbecue cooks are female, while 71.8% are male.(( https://www.zippia.com/grill-cook-jobs/demographics/ ))
  • Average level of education – The average barbecue cook is high school educated.
  • Average age – The average age of a barbecue cook in the US is 38.7 years old.

barbecue industry demographics

How much does it cost to start a small barbecue business?

Startup costs for a small barbecue business range from $8,500 to $24,000. The first main expense is a down payment on a food truck, a down payment on a truck to transport your equipment, or a rental space deposit. The second main expense is for the equipment including a commercial smoker and a grill. 

If you want to hone your BBQ skills, you can take online video classes through a site like BBQ Champs for less than $1,000. You can also find a host of free grilling and barbecue videos on YouTube. 

You’ll need a handful of items to successfully launch your small barbecue business, including: 

  • Commercial smoker
  • Grill tools
  • Serving utensils
  • Packaging materials

How much can you earn from a small barbecue business?

The average price of a BBQ meal is about $15. If you operate as a solopreneur with a mobile stand or food truck, your profit margin should be about 40%.

In your first year or two, you could sell 20 meals per day from your BBQ truck and bring in nearly $110,000 in annual revenue. This would mean almost $44,000 in profit, assuming that 40% margin. As your brand gains recognition, you could rent a restaurant space and hire staff, reducing your profit margin to around 20%. You might sell 200 meals per day, giving you about $1,100,000 in annual revenue and a tidy profit of $220,000.

barbecue business earnings forecast

What barriers to entry are there?

There are a few barriers to entry for a small barbecue business. Your biggest challenges will be:

  • Making grilled meats that stand out in a crowded market 
  • Financing startup

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Step 2: hone your idea.

Now that you know what’s involved in starting a small barbecue business, it’s a good idea to hone your concept in preparation to enter a competitive market. 

Market research will give you the upper hand, even if you’re already positive that you have a perfect product or service. Conducting market research is important, because it can help you understand your customers better, who your competitors are, and your business landscape.

Why? Identify an opportunity

Research small barbecue businesses in your area to examine their products, price points, customer reviews, and what sells best. You’re looking for a market gap to fill. For instance, maybe your market is missing a restaurant that specializes in BBQ chicken. 

free bbq catering business plan

You might consider targeting a niche market by specializing in a certain aspect of your industry, such as vegetable and vegan barbecue.

This could jumpstart your word-of-mouth marketing and attract clients right away. 

What? Determine your products or services

You could specialize in barbecuing a certain type of meat or offer a variety, and you could also choose a style of barbecue like Kansas City or St. Louis barbecue. You could also offer a variety of side dishes. Potential products include:

  • Pulled pork and pork sandwiches
  • Beek brisket and brisket sandwiches
  • Chicken and chicken sandwiches
  • Baked beans
  • Potato salad
  • Corn bread; banana pudding

How much should you charge for barbecue products?

A barbecue meal could range from $10 to $18 depending on the size and the number of sides. The average is around $15. Your expenses, if you have a mobile stand, will be for ingredients, packaging, and fuel. You should aim for a profit margin of about 40%.

Once you know your costs, you can use this Step By Step profit margin calculator to determine your mark-up and final price points. Remember, the prices you use at launch should be subject to change if warranted by the market.

Who? Identify your target market

Your target market will be very broad so you should spread out your marketing on sites like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You could also get some recognition by entering a barbecue competition or two.

Where? Choose your business premises

In the early stages, you may want to run your business as a mobile stand to keep costs low. But as your business grows, you’ll likely need to hire workers for various roles and may need to rent out retail space to have a BBQ joint. Find commercial space to rent in your area on sites such as Craigslist , Crexi , and Instant Offices .

When choosing a commercial space, you may want to follow these rules of thumb:

  • Central location accessible via public transport
  • Ventilated and spacious, with good natural light
  • Flexible lease that can be extended as your business grows
  • Ready-to-use space with no major renovations or repairs needed

barbecue business idea rating

Step 3: Brainstorm a Small BBQ Business Name

Your business name is your business identity, so choose one that encapsulates your objectives, services, and mission in just a few words. You probably want a name that’s short and easy to remember, since much of your business, and your initial business in particular, will come from word-of-mouth referrals.

Here are some ideas for brainstorming your business name:

  • Short, unique, and catchy names tend to stand out
  • Names that are easy to say and spell tend to do better 
  • Name should be relevant to your product or service offerings
  • Ask around — family, friends, colleagues, social media — for suggestions
  • Including keywords, such as “BBQ” or “barbecue”, boosts SEO
  • Name should allow for expansion, for ex: “Holy Smoke BBQ” over “Chicken Coop BBQ”
  • Avoid location-based names that might hinder future expansion
  • Use online tools like the Step by Step Business Name Generator . Just type in a few keywords and hit “generate” and you’ll have dozens of suggestions at your fingertips.

Once you’ve got a list of potential names, visit the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office to make sure they are available for registration and check the availability of related domain names using our Domain Name Search tool. Using “.com” or “.org” sharply increases credibility, so it’s best to focus on these. 

Find a Domain

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Finally, make your choice among the names that pass this screening and go ahead with domain registration and social media account creation. Your business name is one of the key differentiators that sets your business apart. Once you pick your company name, and start with the branding, it is hard to change the business name. Therefore, it’s important to carefully consider your choice before you start a business entity.

Step 4: Create a Small Barbecue Business Plan

Every business needs a plan. This will function as a guidebook to take your startup through the launch process and maintain focus on your key goals. A business plan also enables potential partners and investors to better understand your company and its vision:

  • Executive Summary: Highlight the main concept of your small barbecue business, showcasing your unique barbecue style, target market, and strategies for attracting barbecue enthusiasts.
  • Business Overview: Describe the focus of your barbecue business, including the types of barbecue dishes offered, such as smoked meats, homemade sauces, and side dishes.
  • Product and Services: Detail your menu items, including signature barbecue meats, vegetarian options, and catering services for events.
  • Market Analysis: Evaluate the local demand for barbecue cuisine, identifying potential customer demographics and dining trends in your area.
  • Competitive Analysis: Compare your barbecue business to local competitors, emphasizing what sets your flavors, cooking methods, or ambiance apart.
  • Sales and Marketing: Outline how you plan to market your barbecue business, using tactics like social media campaigns, local food events, or special promotions.
  • Management Team: Highlight the culinary and business expertise of your team, particularly in barbecue cooking and restaurant management.
  • Operations Plan: Describe the day-to-day operations, including food preparation, service, and maintaining health and safety standards.
  • Financial Plan: Provide an overview of start-up costs, pricing strategy, and expected revenue, along with a profitability timeline.
  • Appendix: Include supporting documents, such as sample menus, market research data, or health and safety certifications, to back up your business plan.

what to include in a business plan

If you’ve never created a business plan, it can be an intimidating task. You might consider hiring a business plan specialist to create a top-notch business plan for you.

Step 5: Register Your Business

Registering your business is an absolutely crucial step — it’s the prerequisite to paying taxes, raising capital, opening a bank account, and other guideposts on the road to getting a business up and running.

Plus, registration is exciting because it makes the entire process official. Once it’s complete, you’ll have your own business! 

Choose where to register your company

Your business location is important because it can affect taxes, legal requirements, and revenue. Most people will register their business in the state where they live, but if you’re planning to expand, you might consider looking elsewhere, as some states could offer real advantages when it comes to small barbecue businesses.

If you’re willing to move, you could really maximize your business! Keep in mind, it’s relatively easy to transfer your business to another state.

Choose your business structure

Business entities come in several varieties, each with its pros and cons. The legal structure you choose for your barbecue business will shape your taxes, personal liability, and business registration requirements, so choose wisely. 

Here are the main options:

  • Sole Proprietorship – The most common structure for small businesses makes no legal distinction between company and owner. All income goes to the owner, who’s also liable for any debts, losses, or liabilities incurred by the business. The owner pays taxes on business income on his or her personal tax return.
  • General Partnership – Similar to a sole proprietorship, but for two or more people. Again, owners keep the profits and are liable for losses. The partners pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) – Combines the characteristics of corporations with those of sole proprietorships or partnerships. Again, the owners are not personally liable for debts.
  • C Corp – Under this structure, the business is a distinct legal entity and the owner or owners are not personally liable for its debts. Owners take profits through shareholder dividends, rather than directly. The corporation pays taxes, and owners pay taxes on their dividends, which is sometimes referred to as double taxation.
  • S Corp – An S-Corporation refers to the tax classification of the business but is not a business entity. An S-Corp can be either a corporation or an LLC , which just need to elect to be an S-Corp for tax status. In an S-Corp, income is passed through directly to shareholders, who pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.

types of business structures

We recommend that new business owners choose LLC as it offers liability protection and pass-through taxation while being simpler to form than a corporation. You can form an LLC in as little as five minutes using an online LLC formation service. They will check that your business name is available before filing, submit your articles of organization , and answer any questions you might have. 

Form Your LLC

Choose Your State

We recommend ZenBusiness as the Best LLC Service for 2023

free bbq catering business plan

Step 6: Register for Taxes

The final step before you’re able to pay taxes is getting an Employer Identification Number , or EIN. You can file for your EIN online or by mail or fax: visit the IRS website to learn more. Keep in mind, if you’ve chosen to be a sole proprietorship you can simply use your social security number as your EIN. 

Once you have your EIN, you’ll need to choose your tax year. Financially speaking, your business will operate in a calendar year (January–December) or a fiscal year, a 12-month period that can start in any month. This will determine your tax cycle, while your business structure will determine which taxes you’ll pay.

free bbq catering business plan

The IRS website also offers a tax-payers checklist , and taxes can be filed online.

It is important to consult an accountant or other professional to help you with your taxes to ensure you’re completing them correctly.

Step 7: Fund your Business

Securing financing is your next step and there are plenty of ways to raise capital:

  • Bank loans: This is the most common method but getting approved requires a rock-solid business plan and strong credit history.
  • SBA-guaranteed loans: The Small Business Administration can act as guarantor, helping gain that elusive bank approval via an SBA-guaranteed loan .
  • Government grants: A handful of financial assistance programs help fund entrepreneurs. Visit Grants.gov to learn which might work for you.
  • Friends and Family: Reach out to friends and family to provide a business loan or investment in your concept. It’s a good idea to have legal advice when doing so because SEC regulations apply.
  • Crowdfunding: Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo offer an increasingly popular low-risk option, in which donors fund your vision. Entrepreneurial crowdfunding sites like Fundable and WeFunder enable multiple investors to fund your business.
  • Personal: Self-fund your business via your savings or the sale of property or other assets.

types of business financing

Bank and SBA loans are probably the best option, other than friends and family, for funding a small barbecue business. You might also try crowdfunding if you have an innovative concept. 

Step 8: Apply for Barbecue Business Licenses and Permits

Starting a barbecue business requires obtaining a number of licenses and permits from local, state, and federal governments. A barbecue stand or restaurant may need the following, depending on the requirements in your area:

  • Food service license
  • Food handler’s permit
  • Building health permit
  • Liquor license

Federal regulations, licenses, and permits associated with starting your business include doing business as (DBA), health licenses and permits from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ( OSHA ), trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual properties, as well as industry-specific licenses and permits. 

You may also need state-level and local county or city-based licenses and permits. The license requirements and how to obtain them vary, so check the websites of your state, city, and county governments or contact the appropriate person to learn more. 

You could also check this SBA guide for your state’s requirements, but we recommend using MyCorporation’s Business License Compliance Package . They will research the exact forms you need for your business and state and provide them to ensure you’re fully compliant.

This is not a step to be taken lightly, as failing to comply with legal requirements can result in hefty penalties.

If you feel overwhelmed by this step or don’t know how to begin, it might be a good idea to hire a professional to help you check all the legal boxes.

Step 9: Open a Business Bank Account

Before you start making money, you’ll need a place to keep it, and that requires opening a bank account .

Keeping your business finances separate from your personal account makes it easy to file taxes and track your company’s income, so it’s worth doing even if you’re running your barbecue business as a sole proprietorship. Opening a business bank account is quite simple, and similar to opening a personal one. Most major banks offer accounts tailored for businesses — just inquire at your preferred bank to learn about their rates and features.

Banks vary in terms of offerings, so it’s a good idea to examine your options and select the best plan for you. Once you choose your bank, bring in your EIN (or Social Security Number if you decide on a sole proprietorship), articles of incorporation, and other legal documents and open your new account. 

Step 10: Get Business Insurance

Business insurance is an area that often gets overlooked yet it can be vital to your success as an entrepreneur. Insurance protects you from unexpected events that can have a devastating impact on your business.

Here are some types of insurance to consider:

  • General liability: The most comprehensive type of insurance, acting as a catch-all for many business elements that require coverage. If you get just one kind of insurance, this is it. It even protects against bodily injury and property damage.
  • Business Property: Provides coverage for your equipment and supplies.
  • Equipment Breakdown Insurance: Covers the cost of replacing or repairing equipment that has broken due to mechanical issues.
  • Worker’s compensation: Provides compensation to employees injured on the job.
  • Property: Covers your physical space, whether it is a cart, storefront, or office.
  • Commercial auto: Protection for your company-owned vehicle.
  • Professional liability: Protects against claims from a client who says they suffered a loss due to an error or omission in your work.
  • Business owner’s policy (BOP): This is an insurance plan that acts as an all-in-one insurance policy, a combination of the above insurance types.

types of business insurance

Step 11: Prepare to Launch

As opening day nears, prepare for launch by reviewing and improving some key elements of your business. 

Essential software and tools

Being an entrepreneur often means wearing many hats, from marketing to sales to accounting, which can be overwhelming. Fortunately, many websites and digital tools are available to help simplify many business tasks. 

You may want to use industry-specific software, such as Restaurant 365 , lightspeed , or toast , to manage your inventory, purchasing, menu, and payments. 

  • Popular web-based accounting programs for smaller businesses include Quickbooks , Freshbooks , and Xero . 
  • If you’re unfamiliar with basic accounting, you may want to hire a professional, especially as you begin. The consequences for filing incorrect tax documents can be harsh, so accuracy is crucial. 

Develop your website

Website development is crucial because your site is your online presence and needs to convince prospective clients of your expertise and professionalism.

You can create your own website using services like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace . This route is very affordable, but figuring out how to build a website can be time-consuming. If you lack tech-savvy, you can hire a web designer or developer to create a custom website for your business.

They are unlikely to find your website, however, unless you follow Search Engine Optimization ( SEO ) practices. These are steps that help pages rank higher in the results of top search engines like Google. 

Starting a small barbecue business is an exciting venture, and to ensure success, you need effective marketing strategies that go beyond the basics. Here are some practical tips to help your barbecue business thrive:

  • Leverage Social Media Influencers: Partner with local influencers or food bloggers to showcase your barbecue offerings. Their endorsement can create a buzz and attract a wider audience.
  • Host Tasting Events: Organize tasting events at local community gatherings, farmers’ markets, or even outside your business location to let people experience the delicious flavors firsthand.
  • Loyalty Programs: Implement a loyalty program to encourage repeat customers. Offer discounts or free items after a certain number of visits, fostering customer loyalty.
  • Collaborate with Local Businesses: Partner with nearby breweries, pubs, or event venues to cross-promote each other. This helps tap into each other’s customer bases.
  • Create Signature Dishes: Develop unique and memorable dishes that set your barbecue business apart. A standout menu item can generate word-of-mouth marketing and keep customers coming back.
  • Catering Services: Offer catering services for events, parties, and corporate functions. Provide sample menus to local businesses to showcase your offerings for their events.
  • Online Ordering and Delivery: Implement an efficient online ordering system with delivery options. In today’s fast-paced world, convenience can significantly boost your customer base.
  • Seasonal Promotions: Introduce seasonal promotions or limited-time menu items to keep your offerings fresh and give customers a reason to return regularly.
  • Customer Reviews and Testimonials: Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on online platforms. Share these testimonials on social media and your premises to build credibility.
  • Collaborate with Food Apps: Partner with popular food delivery apps to expand your reach. Many customers discover new restaurants through these platforms, providing an additional avenue for exposure.

Focus on USPs

Unique selling propositions, or USPs, are the characteristics of a product or service that sets it apart from the competition. Customers today are inundated with buying options, so you’ll have a real advantage if they are able to quickly grasp how your barbecue business meets their needs or wishes. It’s wise to do all you can to ensure your USPs stand out on your website and in your marketing and promotional materials, stimulating buyer desire. 

Global pizza chain Domino’s is renowned for its USP: “Hot pizza in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.” Signature USPs for your barbecue business could be:

  • Award-winning Kansas City-style barbecued ribs
  • Slow smoked BBQ chicken that will blow your socks off
  • St. Louis-style BBQ truck – coming to your town soon! 

unique selling proposition

You may not like to network or use personal connections for business gain. But your personal and professional networks likely offer considerable untapped business potential. Maybe that Facebook friend you met in college is now running a barbecue business, or a LinkedIn contact of yours is connected to dozens of potential clients. Maybe your cousin or neighbor has been in barbecue for years and can offer invaluable insight and industry connections. 

The possibilities are endless, so it’s a good idea to review your personal and professional networks and reach out to those with possible links to or interest in barbecue. You’ll probably generate new customers or find companies with which you could establish a partnership.

Step 12: Build Your Team

If you’re starting out small from a home office, you may not need any employees. But as your business grows, you will likely need workers to fill various roles when you get a physical location. Potential positions for a barbecue business include:

  • Cooks – prepare BBQ and sides
  • General Manager – scheduling, ordering, accounting
  • Marketing Lead – SEO strategies, social media 

At some point, you may need to hire all of these positions or simply a few, depending on the size and needs of your business. You might also hire multiple workers for a single role or a single worker for multiple roles, again depending on need. 

Free-of-charge methods to recruit employees include posting ads on popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Jobs.com. You might also consider a premium recruitment option, such as advertising on Indeed , Glassdoor , or ZipRecruiter . Further, if you have the resources, you could consider hiring a recruitment agency to help you find talent. 

Step 13: Run a Small Barbecue Business – Start Making Money!

People love their barbecue, no matter what style, so if you’re a master of grilled meats you could start up your own little BBQ business and put smiles on a lot of faces while grabbing a slice of this $4 billion industry. With patience and hard work, you could eventually grow to have multiple BBQ joints and franchises around the country. 

Now that you’ve done your business homework, it’s time to get behind that grill, perfect your recipes and start building your barbecue empire! 

  • Small Barbecue Business FAQs

Yes, a barbecue business can be profitable. If you run a mobile barbecue stand, your profit margin should be around 40%. The profit margin of a food truck or restaurant will be closer to 20%.

You can do catering, have a food truck, or just have a mobile barbecue stand. For a mobile barbecue stand, you’ll need your barbecue equipment and a vehicle to transport it. 

Develop a strong online presence by creating a professional website and utilizing social media platforms to showcase your BBQ offerings, menu items, and customer testimonials. Share mouthwatering photos and videos of your BBQ dishes on social media. Implement targeted online advertising to reach individuals in your local area who are interested in BBQ or food-related topics. 

The city that eats the most BBQ can vary, but some well-known BBQ hotspots in the United States include Kansas City, Texas (particularly Austin and Lockhart), Memphis, and North Carolina (Eastern-style and Western-style). 

The best-selling barbecue meat can vary based on regional preferences, but some popular choices include pork ribs, pulled pork, brisket, chicken, and sausage. It’s important to understand the preferences of your local market and offer a variety of BBQ meats to cater to different tastes.

Develop a unique BBQ flavor profile or signature sauce that distinguishes your offerings. Emphasize high-quality ingredients and authentic cooking techniques to create exceptional BBQ flavors. Offer a diverse menu that includes unique side dishes, vegetarian or vegan options, or fusion-inspired BBQ creations.

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  • Decide if the Business Is Right for You
  • Hone Your Idea
  • Brainstorm a Small BBQ Business Name
  • Create a Small Barbecue Business Plan
  • Register Your Business
  • Register for Taxes
  • Fund your Business
  • Apply for Barbecue Business Licenses and Permits
  • Open a Business Bank Account
  • Get Business Insurance
  • Prepare to Launch
  • Build Your Team
  • Run a Small Barbecue Business - Start Making Money!

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Sample BBQ Catering Service Business Plan

Bbq business plan pdf sample.

This plan outline is for entrepreneurs seeking to start a stationary or mobile BBQ catering business but with little or no idea of how to write a good restaurant business plan.

All that is needed is to brainstorm the realities of their business and supply this information under the corresponding headlines.

By making available this plan, it is believed that the sky is the limit for the entrepreneur who will take full advantage of the information supplied.

Here is a sample business plan for starting a BBQ outlet.

– Executive Summary – Products and Services – Our Vision – Our Mission – Market Analysis/Trends – Target Market – Competitive Advantage – Sales and Marketing Strategy – Sources of Revenue – Sales Projection – Payment Channels

Executive Summary

Smith’s BBQ restaurant, to be located in Queens, New York, will be a unique restaurant offering various BBQ services and products within the business district in Queens, which witnesses high foot traffic of visitors.

While making profits, we also balance this vital business area with high customer satisfaction, ensuring that every Smith’s BBQ client always has a pleasant tale. We will hire our workforce from a pool of highly experienced hands in the BBQ business with the relevant expertise to move Smith’s BBQ restaurant to the next level of growth.

Products and Services

Among the different products and services offered at Smiths BBQ restaurants are electric grills, gas grills, charcoal grills, and BBQ-related tools and services.

We will also be providing take-home services and also providing our products for immediate consumption. These are aimed at providing a pool of choices for our customers.

Our Vision at Smith’s BBQ restaurant is to build a formidable BBQ restaurant synonymous with service excellence and the best customer satisfaction.

We will also strive to ensure that more Smith’s BBQ outlets are opened to ensure the distribution of our products covers the whole of New York within the first five years of commencing operations.

Our Mission

To provide a destination where only the best BBQ products are sold, under a serene and cozy atmosphere, where our customers can spend time alone or with loved ones while enjoying our services.

Market Analysis/Trends

With a growing economy, there has been a commensurate growth in household disposable income.

This has seen a growth in the spending power of average Americans, who spend much disposable income on comfort and luxuries.

The BBQ market has not been left out on this, as there has been expanding growth in the demand for BBQ products and accessories by Americans.

It is in light of this that BBQ restaurants have, over the year, added wine, alcoholic, and nonalcoholic drinks to their BBQ restaurant bar to expand a wide range of client patronage.

Target Market

Smith’s BBQ has a target market it aims to make its products available. These sets of people are spread across the diverse segment of society. Among these are housewives, college students, tourists, socialites, taxi drivers, sportsmen, women, etc.

Competitive Advantage

Our competitive advantage at Smith’s BBQ includes the composition of our workforce, who are well experienced in the BBQ business and well remunerated. This is to ensure that they provide their very best for the growth of our BBQ restaurant.

Apart from the motivation of our workforce, we will be hiring the services of a market strategist, which many of our competitors do not have. The market strategist will chart effective strategies to capture an impressive market share.

Sales and Marketing Strategy

Smith’s BBQ will rely heavily on word-of-mouth advertisement, which cannot be overstated.

Because of how effective this marketing system is, research has shown that a satisfied customer is most likely to return for the same service with two more new customers who might be family or acquaintances.

However, this is not the only strategy to be adopted, as there would be organized road shows to showcase our services. Also, we would be printing attractive fliers and banners bearing our services. During our opening, we would ensure that it is grand and attracts as much attention as possible.

Sources of Revenue

Our sources of revenue will come mainly from the sales of products produced by us. A wide range of retail products will include BBQ tools such as selling electric, charcoal, and gas grills, among several other BBQ accessories at Smith’s BBQ restaurants. These products and services will form the bulk of where our revenues will be generated.

Sales Projection

We have an ambitious sales projection. With an effective marketing drive led by a highly motivated workforce and marketing experts, we are projecting impressive growth within the first three years of our operations. The more clients/customers, the more patronage and revenue generated. So with this in mind, we project growth as shown below;

– First Year $150,000 – Second Year $350,000 – Third Year $780,000

Payment Channels

Smith’s BBQ restaurant has made available several payment options for services provided to clients. This is in a bid to ease the payment burden of customers. With several payment options for the client, they need not worry about anything as we have them covered on that aspect.

Hence, among the various options available are the use of the POS machine, acceptance of cash payments and checkbooks, and the use of mobile money for expenses.

This is a BBQ catering business plan sample with guidelines to enable entrepreneurs to replicate these steps quickly, producing a unique business plan tailored to their BBQ business.

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PigOut Roasters

3 Pains of Starting a BBQ Catering Company

3 Pains of Starting a BBQ Catering Company

With the pandemic has come the awful realisation that most food service businesses are going to take years to recover, and BBQ Catering companies are no exception to this. Expensive “Brick-and-Mortar” venue rental fees have forced thousands of restaurants into bankruptcy and deterred many more from entering the barbecue catering field. This has driven a whole new generation of ‘food service entrepreneurs’ to look at off premise catering as a more tangible route.  

Without the need for your own brick-and-mortar venue and by shifting focus onto off-site catering, you can instead operate from; a shared commissary kitchen, make use of a local community/church kitchen or convert your garage into a base for your business (you will want to make sure you give it a good clean first of course). Food Trucks also offer a temporary kitchen facility, however you may be limited to how much prep you can achieve in the limited space. There are many solutions to help you start a successful catering business whilst avoiding crippling fixed property and insurance costs.

Although it is a very exciting moment when you take the first steps in planning your own BBQ Catering company, there are certain things that you should consider first to help minimize the hurdles of the industry and help you hit the ground running. This blog is tailored to help you overcome three specific ones which include; raising capital to start your business, industry research and knowing how much to charge your customers, and efficient marketing on a small budget.

free bbq catering business plan

Raising Capital

You will need to raise capital to start your business, that’s a given, but you should still think twice before you cash in your 401K or borrow your Nans life savings. You are going to need sufficient capital to purchase equipment, vehicles and to pay yourself until your business is operating profitably which is going to take some time, but be patient and persistent and it will happen.  Before you can approach a lender you have to first of all complete a detailed business plan that outlines your strategy and proves you are dedicated to your craft. A good outline of a business plan with a template for you to potentially use can be found here .

Once you have completed your business plan and outlined how much capital you need to get started you need to research grants that may be available to you. A good idea is to find out about government sponsored grants; your local community Business Enterprise Centre or equivalent should be able to provide advice on local enterprise grants aimed at Start-Ups.

Financing your major purchases such as stoves, smokers, walk in chills and vehicles is also a good idea, not only does it spread out the cost allowing you to have more available cash flow but you can also claim tax relief on your payments. Companies such as Silver Chef in Canada and CIT in the US often offer "rent to own" or lease options over 1-5 years with very competitive interest rates.

The nice thing about living in the 21st century is that through access to the internet you can do a lot of this research, and even the applications themselves, from the comfort of your own home. Before you commit to any one way of financing or funding your business, make sure you take some time to look into all of the different options out there that might be available to you. It could be the difference between getting cooking, or getting burnt. 

free bbq catering business plan

Industry Research and Knowing How Much To Charge

Probably one of the most important things for you to do when starting your business is to gain an understanding of the industry and market that you are going to be operating within. This includes collecting information on your competitors, potential venues where you can cater, target markets, local suppliers, etc. You really shouldn’t attempt to set your menus or pricing until you have this info as you might end up underpricing your services and selling yourself short, or on the other hand over pricing and losing out on potential customers.  

An easy way to begin collecting this information is to simply use an excel spreadsheet and your trusted friend “Google” to start researching the people and organizations in your area. You would never see a Subway or other franchise company open in a town without the parent company doing research on demographics of the area and competition. You can find help in conducting your competitor research here .

When it comes to deciding how to charge there are many formulas for calculating your selling price, often based on 3 or 4 times your food cost. Be warned though, you must first know your portions/wastage/supply availability/order quantities etc. before you commit to your pricing. 

If you are only planning to sell 50 portions a day you need to make a lot more profit on each item compared to if you were to be selling 500 portions.

For example:

50 portions of pulled pork on a bun @ $7 each = 350.00 sales

Food cost approx 1.50 per prt                                75.00

Profit before labor and overheads                         275.00

500 portions of pulled pork on a bun @ $5 each = 2,500  sales

Food cost @ 1.50 each                                              750

Profit before labor and overheads                           1,750

This example shows that it is far more profitable to cater for a larger number at a lower price, as many of your overhead costs such as travel expenses, fuel, etc are a fixed cost and can be spread out over a larger number of purchases. This concept is called “economies of scale” whereas the more goods you produce, the less it costs to produce each individual good. 

Your time is your only resource that is limited - therefore you need to consider how to make the most amount of money at each event.  You may need to adjust your price margin up or down to take into consideration the financial value of each particular event. You need to know what your competitors are charging so that you do not quote too high and lose the business or quote too low and lose potential profit.

Getting to know your suppliers is important, establishing rapport with them and finding out what food items they may have on special or are cheap at certain times of year can save you hundred if not thousands of dollars in profit throughout the year.  Another tip is to be careful not to include seasonal items in your menu at a fixed price for the entire year.  Corn on the Cob is a good example; in season it costs around 10 cents a husk, however out of season it can cost over $1 a husk.

Another useful practice is to complete a “SWOT Analysis”, this is an encompassing analysis that looks at the internal aspects of your business (ie. your strengths and weaknesses), and the external factors associated with your business as well (ie. opportunities and threats within your industry). Conducting this analysis will allow you to figure out your place within the local BBQ catering market.

You need to identify the unique aspect of your business, something that makes you stand out from your competitors, you cannot do this until you know what everybody else in your sector is doing. This could be that you are the only company that offers Pig Roasting or perhaps you cook rotisserie chickens fresh on site at events seasoned with a range of fresh herbs and spices. Rustic barns are becoming more and more popular allowing clients to theme their own event, in order to be able to cater at these types of venues you need to ensure that your equipment is portable, 5inch castors don’t cut it when you are trying to wheel your 200lb barbecue across a gravel yard. You can find some great information on how to conduct a SWOT analysis here .

free bbq catering business plan

How to attract customers - Efficient Marketing on a small budget

Marketing and sales go hand in hand, but sometimes can be confused for the same thing. Marketing is a role that is played within the sales process and it is something that you cannot afford to forget about. 

Firstly, as part of your business plan you should have identified who your potential customers are, be it office workers, backyard parties, festival goers, weddings, etc. each market segment needs to be marketed to in a different way, hence you need a structured Marketing Plan that clearly sets out goals for attracting clients in each of your desired markets with monthly tasks to be completed. A good guideline for creating your marketing plan can be found on Forbes here .

You should try to avoid costly print advertising where you can. Instead it is a good idea to partner with your local charities and established local organizations that will give you access to their own members and marketing streams, create goodwill and exposure within the community, and create a lasting relationship with the organization that will result in repeat business. Another inexpensive option is to capitalize on social media marketing. Channels such as Instagram offer you a free platform to promote your business to your target market.  Marketing through Facebook ads allows you to; set daily budgets, select specific demographics, locations, and interests allowing you to focus on the people that are most likely to book you, and best of all, almost everyone and their dog nowadays is on social media, literally. If you do not have experience in this field then find somebody who does as it is critical to your success.

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