Don't Laugh, I'm Serious, I need help !!!

Discussion in 'Pork' started by mls, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. mls

    mls Fire Starter

    I need to know about how many sandwichs a 9lb butt will make if I use regular sized hambuger buns. Please don't laugh and don't tell me "It depends on how big you make em". [​IMG][​IMG] Here's the rest of the story:

    My wife and I have a concession trailer we operate in the warmer weather. Recently I fixed some pulled pork and had another couple over. He owns a large mfg plant with about 300 employees. He really enjoyed my pulled pork and after dinner ask me if we would be interested in sitting up in his parking lot on Mon/Wed/Fri and selling sandwichs. He said they have nothing but ratty old vending machines in their break room and is sure we could serve at least 100 people a day. We are already set up to sell hot dogs, chili dogs, nachos, and drinks at local craft fairs and shows.

    I can smoke 6 butts at a time in my 2 GOSM's and I figured we could smoke them, pull them, put on the finishing sauce, vacum seal them in 1 gallon pkgs and freeze them. Then put them in the roaster oven we have in the trailer, warm them up and serve them as needed. My very serious question is, how many butts would I need to fix 300 sandwichs a week. I can easily get $4.00 each out of them but I need to know how many sandwichs I could get out of 9lbs to figure my food cost. I think we could make some decent $$$ but I'm trying to get the plans worked out in advance. I need some help and ideas on this before I commit to him.

    Mike S.
  2. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

  3. To be fair to your customers if you are going to charge $4, I would say you should put at least a minimum of 1/4 lb of meat on the sandwich. I'm sure you want to see them be return customers. I would weigh out that much and put it on a bun and see what it looked like. Good luck with this. Sounds like it could work nicely for you.
  4. mls

    mls Fire Starter

    We would be serving a combo for $4.00 which would be sandwich, bag of chips, pickle spear and a soft drink. I read somewhere on here that smoking a butt will shrink it about 50% but I don't know if that is correct or not. If so, I would need 50 lbs of butts for 100 1/4lb sandwichs and that sounds like an awfully lot. I will have to check the store for price per pound on butts but that means I would have to be smoking 6 a day.

    Mike S.
  5. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'd figure you'd get about 36 sandwichs out of a 9 lb butt (finihsed weight of course) give or take a sandwich or two. I agree with jimr, 1/4 pound sounds bought right. Now, I think I might serve that meat on regular white bread instead of a bun! Seen many q shops serve em up on regular bread and they can't make enough of um!

    Try yourself a test run, get an 18 pounder and cook her up and see what you got left, pull her, and start hammerin out some 1/4 pound sandwichs. Cheap trial run might save you a disaster latter!

    Good luck with the adventure!
  6. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    a 18 lb BOSTON BUTT??????

    i gotta see the hog THAT came off
  7. brentman0110

    brentman0110 Meat Mopper

    Well, unfortunatly it does depend on a couple of things. The weight of the bone in the butt and the amount of fat as well. My last 8#er actually came out to be around 6#'s pulled and sprinkled in finishing sauce, thus losing about 2 #'s in fat and bone which is about 25% loss. So, assuming a 9# butt follows the same trend, you would yield about 6.75# of meat and 18 decent sandwiches of 6oz's, thus needing 17 butts. Alternatively, a 4oz sandwich would yield about 27 sandwiches and thus around 11 butts.
  8. mls

    mls Fire Starter

    About 9 or 10lb is the biggest I can find in the stores round here but will a 10 lb butt shrink to 5 lbs of eating meat? Thanks.
  9. From a 9Lb butt (pre smoke) I can feed about 12 people on reg sized burger buns with slaw and or pickles. Do the math..Good luck and if you decide to accept this mission we will require q-view.[​IMG]
  10. desertlites

    desertlites Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    my thoughts are buy a 8-9 lbr. smoke & pull it and invite friends over for a dry run-I bet it will tell u alot!
  11. seboke

    seboke Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My last smoke I did 3 bone-in butts, all between 7-8 lbs, came out with just under 15 lbs of pulled.
  12. brentman0110

    brentman0110 Meat Mopper

    Lastly, you need to ensure that you do not exceed a 25% food cost on the total plate cost. That will guarantee that you make a decent profit. I am sure that you know this, not to insult, but if you do not, just take the entire cost that it costs you to produce the plate of food and divide it by your selling price. Again, this should not exceed 25% because you are not including your time and other expenditures such as wood, gas or whatever you use to produce the final product. If you do include all of those in your final cost, do not exceed a 30% food cost on the entire plate. Hope this helps.
  13. mls

    mls Fire Starter

    Great idea. Sometimes I can't see the forest for the trees. Tomorrow I'm gonna buy 2 and try it. I'll fix one like meowey recomends and the other with no spray and no foil to see what happens. If the no spray/foil doesn't work at least my 2 cattle dogs will love me. Thanks again.

    Mike S.
  14. mls

    mls Fire Starter

    You are right !!! We have to watch the food cost. So far it has been easy with our trailer because all we've sold is hot dogs, nachos, slushees, and things that have a fixed cost. It is easy to put a pencil to a hot dog, a bun, a bag of nachos and things like that but getting into preparing meat is a different story. We always try to keep our food cost at 25% or a little less because supplies, condiments, fuel, entrance fees and such will quickly eat up another 20 to 25% and I'm not about to work for nothing. We can normally net $400 to $500 a day but that's only on weekends. If this lunch deal works out we should be able to net about $200 to $250 a day because there would be no set up fee and it would only be a couple of hours, not counting prep time. Thanks for the advice.
  15. lawdog

    lawdog Smoking Fanatic

    18 lb butt, now we are talkin hogzilla, PLEASE post the q-view
  16. LMAO lawdog[​IMG]
  17. lawdog

    lawdog Smoking Fanatic

    No serously, MLS good luck wilth the concession trailer, hope you make mucho $$$,
    travco, sorry bout the stab, but this has passed around the web (sure you have seen it) just couldn't let it go with out a smart a** comment.

  18. david-s

    david-s Newbie

    Interesting thoughts. We sell hotdogs, hamburgers, and sausage "dogs" at a c-store. Offering a variety allows us to adjust our profits when needed. When beef is up, we don't always raise the price on burgers. Instead, we may up the price on hot/sausage dogs by 10cents to offset the loss in margin.

    Considering the costs of bread, pickles, onions, mustard, catsup, paper and styro products, etc. as a fixed cost is rather simple. Keeping the variety seems to fill a need for most. Not everyone likes just one item and hot/sausage dogs are a top profit center. Consider doing a three item menu.

    A close friend of mine has a burger joint the sells lots of bbq. He cooks butts. His shrinkage is around 40%. He has often told me that selling a "wet" sandwich by weight, soaked in sauce, makes his sauce worth about $200 a gallon.
  19. meowey

    meowey Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My experience has also been that the finished weight of pulled pork made from bone in shoulders is about half of the pre-cooked weight. So a 9 pound butt would give you 4½ pounds of finished meat. At a ¼ lb serving that's 18 sammies. Good luck and post q-view please!

    Take care, have fun, and do good!


  20. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    A lil' to tipsy to reply last nite but this is the first correct answer you have gotten.....i believe you also were correct in saying 50# of butt's for your 100 sandwiches.
    Good luck with this venture, and i'd think about going $5.00 a plate min!!

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