So here we are all set to cater, but how do you get customers? I had a slick PowerPoint presentation that I put together (my time in corporate wasn’t wasted) and I had what I thought was a good selection of food and fair pricing on my menu.
We did get one job, it was a friend of ours and though it was small it went well. From there it just sort of snowballed. People from each party we did would hire us for their parties. It was pretty easy actually, basically people were coming to us for jobs.
Our first year was an interesting one...
Grateful for the early success and surprised to discover a larger smoker is needed!
Due to the overwhelming success that Zach and Lou’s Barbeque Restaurant has experienced since opening this fall, plans are now underway to increase their cooking capacity. “One of the most difficult things for a barbeque restaurant to do is predict how much food to cook on a daily basis”, states Pitmaster Lou Gabriel. “We were simply caught off guard by the amount of traffic we’ve seen since opening, and we’re already cooking to capacity, so to cook more food will mean purchasing a larger smoker along with retooling the kitchen to accommodate the needed increase in our daily food output”.
We had LOTS of discussions about starting up a BBQ business at the house. It was like it was haunting me and I was fighting with myself as to decide what to do. I had my doubts, clearly, but that is just how I am wired. Gina on the other hand thought let’s do this. Zach had graduated culinary school and I really didn’t like the corporate world or I should say I didn’t fit. Never was a big fan of back stabbing, politics and red tape besides I came from a plant environment so I was a little rough around the edges…one might say.
The prospect of a BBQ business might work I thought to myself but first I have to do my homework. Cooking for parties at the house were easy, when the food is done you serve it. But with catering all of the food needs to be done at the same time. Clearly cooking / timing adjustments will have to be made, whenever the food is done is not going to work. As for vending all you are doing it just serving food easy...or so I thought.
Balancing the daily struggle between quality & demand
At Zach and Lou's Barbeque, we pride ourselves on serving the finest and freshest barbeque possible, as our entire menu is cooked fresh daily.
Cooking barbeque is unique in the sense that unlike in a conventional restaurant, most barbeque needs to be cooked over very long periods of time. Plus, our cuts of meat require a prerequisite resting time after exiting the smoker before they’re served to you. So based on each days needs, we’re continuously calculating when to begin this long process in order to bring you the highest quality food
I started to cook as much as I could and I was cooking pretty much everything. I cooked at every party and every holiday. I came up with an awesome chili recipe and even entered professional chili competitions. The best I got was 5th out of 80 people and was able to beat 4 former world record holders. We really had a blast doing those. I was a cooking feign back then watching every cooking show I could, reading every magazine and book I could. I was dry aging my Prime Rib for the holidays and yes I made my Aunts homemade pasta on Christmas.
One of the most popular questions I get is how did you get here so I thought I would share the journey. As I am not a fan of long drawn out posts I will do this in a series of parts. How many I have no clue, until it has been told I suppose.
As crazy as it might sound I never really liked cooking growing up, in fact way back when Gina did all of the cooking. Boil the chicken and boil the ribs throw them on the grill and sauce them up and things were good. I think things start...ed to change when I wanted to make homemade pasta that I so loved growing up on Gabriel Dr and it ended up being more like a 10 foot piece of rope.