Author Topic: Where do WFO mobile operators make their Dough?  (Read 2484 times)

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Offline flyboy4ual

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Where do WFO mobile operators make their Dough?
« on: February 02, 2010, 01:43:37 AM »
Hi,

I was wondering where the WFO mobile caterer's make their dough and prep their other food items?
Do you use a commercial kitchen?  If so, what does that cost? 
Thanks,
Scott


Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: Where do WFO mobile operators make their Dough?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2010, 08:33:26 AM »
Scott,  from what I understand in most states,  all preperation for mobile catering must be done in a commercial kitchen,  also all refrigerated food must be stored there as well in an nsf fridge.  Cost on that could vary very much,  you may have a friend with a resteraunt that can rent you some time in his kitchen,  that is allowed most of the time and requires a written agreement.  But that kitchen may not have a mixer,  so that could add some complications and additional cost.  Sometimes kithens are just available to rent locally.  -marc

Offline GotRocks

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Re: Where do WFO mobile operators make their Dough?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2010, 01:03:07 PM »
Hi,

I was wondering where the WFO mobile caterer's make their dough and prep their other food items?
Do you use a commercial kitchen?  If so, what does that cost? 
Thanks,
Scott

Your ability to cater or vend primarily rest's on your state & local laws which governed by your county's heath department. I operate a BBQ catering business with everything cooked at the location of the party and nowhere else, By law I am technically not a caterer. I am a "Contract Chef" that uses my own equipment to serve private parties food cooked on location on private property. Once you say the word "Cater" to a health department worker, they expect you to be cooking at a central location and delivering "ready to eat" foods there. So be careful with your terminology when speaking with them, and research the requirements for a "Contract Chef" in your area and see if you can modify your operations to fit in those tight regulations.

I personally do not need a commissary or restaurant kitchen to work out of, because there is no prep-work that needs to be done before the event we are cooking for. I was granted a variance on a few rules because of our long term relationship history with his familiarity with my restaurant operations.
Now If I were to get a request to cater an event at a public location, I would need a health department certified and licensed kitchen as a home base to do prep at, and to sanitize wares. I had to do that last year to the tune of about $1K in licensing, and working out a deal with a local restaurant to let me uses their location as my base on the paperwork, because I needed a special license for doing this on state owned property instead of private.

What you may be able to do, is rent a church kitchen by the day needed to prep your supplies, and to return to for washing and sanitizing your tools.
I suggest you go to your states .Gov website and do a little research, enroll in a "Serv-Safe" class, and get certified. If your state offers a "Food Managers Licence" get one of those too.
Many H-D inspectors are more receptive to people that are more familiar with the laws than someone with an idea who is walking in off the street think he is going to be able to sell food to the public that he made in the kitchen at his home.

PA seems to be the state with the tightest regs in the country, with many southern states being more lax.
You may also be required to have a screened work area while catering too. Many people have been able to make a "Mobile food vending trailer" to get around this. Since you just need cold storage and a mixer, the price will be much cheaper without needing exhaust hoods and such. I bet you could get in an H-D certified prep trailer for less than $20K

I am a current caterer that is planning expanding into a restaurant location, I have been doing this for a while, I am willing to help any way that I can. Just ask.
And at the same time, I will be asking for pizza info and I hope to get some help with that.
A skinny cook is not to be trusted!

Offline jjerrier2450

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Re: Where do WFO mobile operators make their Dough?
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2010, 06:26:07 PM »
Typically you have to use a commissary kitchen and they generally charge $25/hr.

Offline pcampbell

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Re: Where do WFO mobile operators make their Dough?
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2010, 05:49:19 AM »
I was thinking about this and it seems like it really cannot work unless it is a full time gig?

We have a weekend farmers market and I was thinking it'd be a great way to get some live experience but not sure that you could really even break even... liability insurance, kitchen rental, setup fees, etc.?

If we just offered plain and pepperoni for simplicity we'd still need to prep the dough somewhere, store and cut cheese (fresh mozzarella) and then somewhere to clean everything after each market.   I could do sauce straight out of a can here for simplicity as well.

I have done the servsafe class (not the managers course though) and our health dept lady is easy to talk to but also not cutting any corners. 

I would really only consider if I could do it open air, the purchase of a screened in trailer would certainly not make this viable unless it were a full time operation.
Patrick

Offline johngalt

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Re: Where do WFO mobile operators make their Dough?
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2010, 08:43:53 PM »
Alot of what the commissary offers is going to be very attractive:  large stand mixers, storage space, fridge space.  To make money you need to do volume, and volume don't fit between the milk and the eggs in your home kitchen. 

I'm sure you could do much better than break even.  I would caution you against going toward the dominoes 4.99 one topping (with your pepp and cheese) at a farmers market...buy some fresh veggies in season from the vendors when you arrive and offer those as part of your menu.  (that's prob pushing heath regs, but do everything else by the book and push the limits where it makes your business BETTER, not sloppier.)

We build mobile WFO trailers and would be happy to speak to you in more detail if you have questions about trailers or the mobile side of the business.

 

Offline dragon pizza

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Re: Where do WFO mobile operators make their Dough?
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2010, 11:51:42 PM »
What is a WFO mobile operator?
 

Offline dragon pizza

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Re: Where do WFO mobile operators make their Dough?
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2010, 12:09:51 AM »
I would like to learn more about the mobile side of this business. What are the startup costs, the up side and down side of this business. Do you break even and call it a labor of love or is there a potential to turn a profit?

brayshaw

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Re: Where do WFO mobile operators make their Dough?
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2010, 04:31:22 AM »
What is a WFO mobile operator?
 

WFO= wood fired oven. :)