032 Cameron – BBQ Spit Rotisseries

How to Buy the Right BBQ for You

032 Cameron -
BBQ Spit

Cameron from BBQ Spit Rotisseries takes a knee in Ep 13 of Season 2 ‘Living the Dream’. Cameron runs the Sydney branch of one of Australia’s most successful independent BBQ retail stores. In this episode, Cameron takes us behind the scenes of what must be a dream for so many of us – he gets to hang out and play with BBQs and talk ‘Q with people all day long. If you’ve ever dreamed of running your own BBQ shop, this is your episode!

Much thanks and appreciation go to this episodes sponsors:

Pure Meats Robina

Pit Brothers BBQ

JAGRD Woodfired Smoker Ovens


  • Cameron jumped on a friend’s food truck and helped do a big cook up for Australia Day
    • 500 – 1,000 servings
    • It was so hot it was like slicing brisket while doing Bikram Yoga
  • Through the shop, he has access to many types of BBQ and can’t remember how many BBQs he has
  • His favourite is a ‘Cypress Grill’, a take a traditional Greek Souvla grill
  • His favourite thing to cook is Tritip. Quick, cheap and versatile. He’s not a fan of lamb for low’n’slow, but loves it on a spit roast
  • He loves to do whole hog on a spit, but also loves it Carolina style like Hillbilly does
    • He prefers the spit as the beast self-bastes and find that the moisture and tenderness is higher on a spit
  • He prefers electric to hand spun motors for spits
    • On a motor, it’s much easier – you can adjust heights and things for example
  • The trickiest things he’s ever cooked is brisket
    • If he cuts into a brisket and it’s dry, he throws it in the bin
    • If he wouldn’t eat it himself, he won’t serve it
  • He was introduced to low’n’slow when he went over to the States to visit his brother. He’s always been into Americana
  • Changing trends in the last few years
    • People are moving back to solid fuels and away from gas
    • Modern methods for starting charcoal fires have lead to people moving to charcoal more and more
    • Charcoal units are now by far outselling their gas units
    • He doesn’t think gas is going to make a come-back as a counterculture to charcoal
  • Pellets vs Offsets
    • His personal preference is an offset either charcoal or stick
    • Pellet grills are easier – you don’t have to work as hard for it
    • Cameron doesn’t like them in comps
    • Pellet grills let people get sleep which is great at competitions, which will often result in a better decisions if you’re not tired
    • He feels that there is a steeped tradition in BBQ and cooking with flame and taming the flame. He feels that pellets take that away
  • How to choose the right BBQ for you
    • Looks for service – customer and after sales
    • Find people who are using the grill you’re looking at
    • Keep an ear out for someone who’s obviously reading from a script
    • Length of warranty – look for someone who’s willing to back their product
  • The key to good customer service is to create a community
    • Create an experience
    • Foster the community
    • One of his team mates started out as a customer
    • Genuine care – they have a clearly defined set of ethics they operate by
  • The future of BBQ – it will slow as the fad fades but it won’t go away
    • The people who are not supported are the ones who will leave the scene
  • BSR started 11 years ago by a husband and wife team
  • They bought a factory in China to produce their own line of smokers. Means they have full quality control
  • They are forever evolving – what’s version 2.1
  • Cameron has a background in retail
    • Customer Service is the key to success
    • They focus on bringing the face back to digital business
    • Cameron customises the after sales experience – he grabs his phone and shoots a quick, personalised video
    • People buy from like-minded people
  • A day in the life for Cameron
    • Cameron is the first person people talk to – either online, on the phone, or in the store
    • He manages the social media side of the business
    • He plans the master classes and events
    • If he doesn’t know the answer, he will find it right away
    • Sourcing products
    • Cooks – there is a lot of cooking at work
  • Personal Traits to run a BBQ shop
    • Be approachable
    • Don’t profess to know it all – avoid the snobbery of BBQ
    • Be excited about sharing your knowledge
    • Take an interest in the customer and what they are planning on cooking etc
  • What to consider before opening your own shop
    • Be ready to put in the hard yards
    • Be always looking to improve
    • Love BBQ
    • Having too much product can alienate customers as the choices can be overwhelming
    • If you are planning on being the public face of the business, be prepared to take the good with the bad
  • How to decide which BBQs to have in the store – customer / client suggestions make up 90% of the product line
    • Have some conviction with the products that you stock – you have to believe in your product
  • Customisation is important – people love making products their own
  • Value-ads are also really important
    • Most sales people try to add in a million and one things that you don’t need
  • Something he wishes he knew now that he didn’t know when he started
    • Be aware of how addictive it can be
    • Consider getting a gym membership
  • He rates running a BBQ retail shop extremely highly as he like helping people put on a show for their friends and family – you get to become a part of the experience
  • What should people look at when redesigning their backyard?
    • Are you going to be using that area a lot and will you be entertaining guests in that immediate are? If so, maybe gas might be best
    • Are you offering an experience for your guests? Might be charcoal
    • Consider the function of the space
  • Any food he wishes he’d never put on a spit roast?
    • Pineapple – first time he tried it, it just fell off
  • How has the retail landscape changed and what will happen in the future?
    • There has been a massive uptake in the low’n’slow realm – he went from a couple of bags of charcoal per week to a whole pallet
    • He thinks there will be a bit of a drop off, but low’n’slow will still have it’s core fans
    • There will be an increase in the number of products that make things ‘easier’
  • What are some changes he expects and what are some new BBQs that we should be keeping an eye out for?
    • Their new unit will be very exciting
  • What would he have on his pit if money were no object?
    • An open pit with Asado grill options and Asado cross and spit rotisserie options, and it would have to be portable on a trailer
  • Most popular meat for a spit
    • No one answer, but there are cultural favourites i.e. lamb through Eastern Europe and the Middle East
    • Two most common and popular are lamb and pork
  • What goes into making a good quality spit?
    • It shouldn’t serve just one function – should be able to grill on it to
    • Needs a decent single drive motor that can drive the load
    • Should be able to option it out for bigger motors
    • The structure of it, should be thick enough, at least 1 to 2 mm thick to take the heat
    • If the spit pole is over 1.2 metre, it should definitely be solid
  • How to make your shop stand out from the crowd?
    • You don’t compete on price – you compete on service
    • The service, expertise, and helpfulness is what makes you stand out
    • Wear your business morals on your sleeve and be proud of what you achieve
    • Be passionate and care about your job
  • Do people prefer to buy online or in person?
    • BSR does a lot of business on line – they’re the biggest online spit store in Australia and are Google accredited
    • Make sure your website is click friendly
    • They go well above and beyond in customer service – everyone who makes an order overnight gets a confirmation phone call in the morning prior to shipping
  • Advice for people buying their first competition BBQ
    • Doesn’t have be the Rolls Royce
    • Cook on what you know, and know your pit before the competition
    • It’s not the pit that does the work, but the person running it that’s more important
  • Top Three Tips for people wanting to open their own BBQ retail store
    • If you’re going to be importing, find a reliable supplier and strike up a good relationship with them. They had heaps of problems with suppliers on AliBaba. Being your own manufacturer is the only way to ensure quality in every aspect
    • Be prepared to put in long hours. There’s no 9 to 5 if you run your own business. Prepare your family too
    • Get a gym membership as you’ll put on weight


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