Why You Should Start A BBQ Pop-Up

When the BBQ bug bites, it bites hard. Soon, you’ll be increasing your internet allowance to make way for the constant streaming of Youtube videos, increasing your credit card limit to allow for constant Ebay purchases, and increasing the size of your freezer so you can buy 6 briskets when they’re on special. There are many things you can do to compensate for this, and for many, opening a BBQ pop-up is an attractive option. For the rest of us, here’s Why You Should Start A BBQ Pop-Up. 

Just one of the vendor Q’s at BBQ & Beer Roadshow

BBQ Pop-Up: The Traditional Model

There is of course the obvious reason – money. Opening a (successful!) BBQ pop-up can bring in some much-needed cash to keep the wheels turning. For many, making a living out of ‘Q would be a dream. Opening a BBQ pop-up gives competitive teams a place to exploit their profile. That is, they compete to build a reputation, then leverage their reputation to drive traffic into their businesses.

Burgers are always popular with the punters!

BBQ Pop-Up: The Non-Traditional Model

In an interview with Rohan from Ro’n’Slow BBQ, Rohan explained a different model. Rather than compete to support a business, Rohan has opened a business to support his team. Firstly, it allows him to pull in a little money to offset his BBQ comp addiction, and at $1800 return every time he comes over to compete on the mainland, every dollar helps. More important though, are the less-obvious benefits of running a BBQ pop-up that come from using this Non-Traditional Model.

BBQ Pop-Up: The Hidden Benefits

Aside from dollars and cents, there are several intangible benefits that can’t be overlooked. Firstly, running a pop-up gives him a wider range of feedback on his flavour profiles: particularly important as the rest of his family is vegetarian!

This beautiful Radar Hill sees a lot of catering action!

Secondly, the feedback will be more reliable and ‘honest’ as paying customers will always be more direct in their feedback than people eating for free. The third benefit stems from this: you’ll nail your flavour profiles faster. This will happen not only because of the sheer volume of feedback discussed above, but because of the volume of meat that you’ll be outputting: you might cook a brisket once a month at home versus several a week for your BBQ pop-up.

Finally, opening his pop-up has allowed Rohan to drive interest in the low’n’slow movement. Last year, there were no competitions and only one team in Tasmania. This year, there are 3 official events on the calendar and 8 teams. The knock-on effets are obvious – more interest in the movement, the more bums on seats in your BBQ pop-up.

A vendor’s two favourite words…

For more on Why You Should Start A BBQ Pop-Up, managing a team, and some great stories, check out Ep 7 of the Smoking Hot Confessions on iTunes, or whichever podcast service you use. Alternatively, you can listen to it right here.

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