How To Make Money Selling BBQ Plates

How To Make Money Selling BBQ Plates in 2023 (Complete Guide)

In my view, there’s something undeniably captivating about the sizzle of a barbecue and the delicious aroma of smoked meats in the air. It seems to me that these experiences are not just about mouthwatering meals; they offer an opportunity for anyone to turn their passion for grilling into a profitable venture.

Personally, I believe that exploring the world of “How to Make Money Selling BBQ Plates” holds the key to turning a beloved hobby into a business. As far as I can tell, this article will uncover the secrets and insights needed to make your own BBQ plates a successful money-making endeavor.

Robins Thoughts

To be profitable, you’ll need to calculate your costs and sell plates at a price that covers expenses and leaves a profit. For example, if it costs $3-4 per pound for meat, buns, sides, etc., and the average plate weighs 2 pounds, your cost of goods is $6-8 per plate.

Selling plates for $12-15 each would allow for covering the cost of goods as well as operating expenses like propane, paper goods and marketing/labor costs estimated at 25-35% of revenue. [2]

At the lower price point, selling 50 plates per event at a few local pop-ups or farmers markets each weekend could generate $600-750 in revenue. After expenses, that’s around $300-500 in potential profit.

With higher volume catering gigs, it may be possible to sell 100-200 plates at $15-18 each, bringing in $1,500-3,600 per event before costs. Even accounting for 50% expenses, that’s $750-1,800 in profits.

With practice, positive reviews on platforms like Facebook and Yelp can help drive more business. Over time, this could become a lucrative side business.

What is a BBQ Plate?

How To Make Money Selling BBQ Plates

A BBQ plate is a type of meal that is often served at a barbecue or outdoor gathering. It typically includes grilled meat like hamburgers, hot dogs, or chicken, along with side dishes like baked beans, coleslaw, potato salad, or corn on the cob. BBQ plates may also come with condiments like ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise, and may include rolls or buns for sandwiches. In some areas, BBQ plates may also be called “soul food” or “southern plates.”

Different Types of BBQ Plates

There are many different types of BBQ plates that can be prepared and served to customers. Some of the most common types of BBQ plates include:

  1. Classic BBQ Plate – This type of plate typically includes grilled meat, such as hamburgers, hot dogs, or chicken, as well as a variety of side dishes, such as baked beans, coleslaw, potato salad, or corn on the cob.
  2. Rib Plate – This type of BBQ plate is centered around ribs, which are typically slow-cooked and basted with a BBQ sauce. Rib plates may also include sides like baked beans, coleslaw, or cornbread.
  3. Pulled Pork Plate – This type of BBQ plate features pulled pork, which is slow-cooked pork shoulder that has been shredded and mixed with BBQ sauce. Pulled pork plates may also include sides like coleslaw, baked beans, or macaroni and cheese.
  4. Brisket Plate – This type of BBQ plate features brisket, which is a cut of beef that is slow-cooked and often served with BBQ sauce. Brisket plates may also include sides like baked beans, coleslaw, or potato salad.
  5. BBQ Chicken Plate – This type of BBQ plate includes grilled or smoked chicken, which may be served with BBQ sauce or other seasonings. BBQ chicken plates may also include sides like baked beans, coleslaw, or potato salad.

How To Make Money Selling BBQ Plates

Ok selling Selling BBQ plates can be a really profitable business for entrepreneurs all around the world but to succeed you need to know how to make money selling BBQ plates right? Many people, such as Paula Deen and Eugenia Duke, have made careers out of selling food. Starting small by selling BBQ plates to friends and family can be a good way to test the market and see if there is demand for your product. You can advertise your plates on platforms like Facebook and accept payments through Cash App

Start small and Work Your Way Up

If you’re passionate about grilling and looking for a new business opportunity, consider selling BBQ plates. You can start small by using a 27-inch griddle to cook delicious meals and make enough money to support your family. Personalize your plates and create a logo to sell them on platforms like Facebook, using payment methods like Cash App. Many entrepreneurs have successfully started selling BBQ plates at events and have found it to be a popular and profitable business. You can start selling plates from home with minimal upfront costs and tap into a large market.

Make a Menu

When organizing a BBQ fundraiser, it’s important to set a financial goal and work backward to determine how many plates you need to sell and at what price. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Create a Menu – Determine what type of meat you will sell, keeping in mind that traditional BBQ involves smoking meat over low heat.
  • Consider outdoor cooking restrictions – Many health departments prohibit outdoor cooking, so it may be best to set up an indoor restaurant or separate building to sell your plates.
  • Use your backyard or other space – If you have space at home or elsewhere, you can sell BBQ plates from there, just make sure to keep it separate from your personal residence.

Develop a BBQ Sauce

Starting a BBQ sauce business can be a straightforward and easy way to enter the market. All you need is an idea and the time to perfect it. Research your competition to find their strengths and weaknesses, then create a unique recipe. Be sure to document the ingredients and nutritional information clearly for customers, as required by the Food & Drug Administration. Before selling your BBQ sauce, it’s important to test it with real people to get feedback. Conduct free taste tests and make multiple batches to determine which one is the most popular.

A Cook-Off Competition

To successfully plan a BBQ cook-off competition, you will need assistance from a committee. Reach out to volunteers or board members of your organization to help with the event. The goal is to raise a minimum of $1,000, which you can achieve by setting a price per plate and deciding how much to charge. Determine the type of cooking competition you will hold, whether it be for amateur or professional chefs, or for businesses to promote networking and teamwork. Decide how the dishes will be evaluated, whether by food industry judges for professional competitions or by public voting for amateur events.

Different Ways To Make Money With BBW Plates

grilled chicken on a bbq plate
  1. Food truck or stand
    Set up a BBQ food truck or stand in a busy location or travel to different events and festivals to sell your BBQ plates.
  2. Farmers markets or fairs
    Many farmers markets and fairs allow vendors to sell food, including BBQ plates.
  3. Catering events
    Offer BBQ plates for events such as weddings, corporate events, and parties through a catering business.
  4. Online platforms
    Use websites or platforms like Etsy or eBay to sell BBQ plates to customers who are looking for something to eat.
  5. Local restaurants or food trucks
    Partner with a local restaurant or food truck to sell BBQ plates. This can be a good way to get started in the BBQ plate business without having to handle all the logistics yourself.
  6. Community events
    Participate in community events such as festivals, carnivals, or block parties to sell BBQ plates.
  7. Private events
    Offer BBQ plate options for private events such as birthday parties, family reunions, or backyard barbecues.

How Much Money Can You Make Selling BBQ Plates?

  • Weddings: BBQ caterers can earn up to $5,000 for a reception with 350 guests, including supplies for cutlery, plates, side dishes, and drinks.
  • Festivals, concerts, sports days, and other events: You may need to pay a participation fee for a space to sell your food, so be sure to budget for this.
  • Industrial areas or beach locations: Setting up shop in an area without other BBQ food options or near the beach during the summer can lead to regular daily sales.

Daily Earnings:

To calculate daily earning potential, consider the unit price of your BBQ items. For example:

  • BBQ hot dogs: Average price of $2.25 each
  • Production rate: 20 hot dogs in 4 minutes with 2 people
  • Sales rate: 240 hot dogs per hour
  • Earnings: $540 per hour or $4,320 per day (8 hours)

Annual Income:

Assuming a BBQ catering business works 3 business days per week at a regular location and 1 day per weekend at an event, the earning potential could be around $8,600 per week. With average sales of $300 per hour for 4 hours per day, plus $5,000 per day on weekends, the monthly earnings could be approximately $34,000. After accounting for overhead, staff wages, and purchase costs, the profit could be around $10,200 per month or $122,400 per year for working 4 days per week. Keep in mind that seasonal demand and other variables can impact actual income.

Is Selling BBQ Plates a Good Business Idea

different grilled meat and veggies on a bbq plate

Selling BBQ plates can be a good business idea if you are passionate about cooking and enjoy creating delicious meals. It can also be a profitable business if you are able to find a good location or market for your product. Some factors to consider when deciding if selling BBQ plates is a good business idea for you include:

Demand: Is there a demand for BBQ plates in your area? If there are already a lot of BBQ plate sellers in your area, it may be difficult to stand out and attract customers.

Competition: Who are your competitors and what sets your BBQ plates apart from theirs? It’s important to have a unique selling proposition to differentiate your business from others.

Location: Where will you sell your BBQ plates? Consider the demographics of the area and the type of events or locations that would be suitable for your business.

Start-up costs: How much will it cost to get started, including equipment, supplies, and marketing expenses? It’s important to create a budget and determine if the potential profits will be sufficient to cover your costs.

Time commitment: Selling BBQ plates can be a time-intensive business, especially if you are catering events. Consider whether you have the time and energy to commit to the business.

Selling BBQ plates can be a rewarding and lucrative business if you are able to find a demand for your product, differentiate your business from competitors, and manage your costs and time effectively.

Pros and Cons Making Money With BBQ Plates


  • Profitability: BBQ plates can be a profitable business if you are able to find a good location or market for your product.
  • Flexibility: Selling BBQ plates allows you to set your own schedule and choose when and where you want to work.
  • Creativity: You have the opportunity to be creative in developing new BBQ plate options and flavors to attract customers.
  • Personal satisfaction: If you enjoy cooking and creating delicious meals, selling BBQ plates can be a fulfilling and rewarding business.


  • Competition: There may be a lot of competition in the BBQ plate market, making it challenging to stand out and attract customers.
  • Start-up costs: Getting started in the BBQ plate business can be expensive, with costs including equipment, supplies, and marketing expenses.
  • Time commitment: Selling BBQ plates can be a time-intensive business, especially if you are catering events.
  • Seasonal demand: Demand for BBQ plates may vary depending on the season, which can impact your income.
  • Physical demands: Preparing and cooking BBQ plates can be physically demanding, especially if you are working long hours.

My Personal Experience

I can’t help but think about my own journey in the world of barbecue plates. I have a strong sense that, to the best of our ability, my experiences have revealed the significant financial potential this endeavor holds. It’s clear to us that beyond the mouthwatering flavors, there’s a recipe for financial success. I’m convinced that, from my perspective, the insights and strategies I’ve gained are invaluable to those who aspire to embark on this delicious path. According to our analysis, my personal involvement in selling BBQ plates has provided a firsthand perspective on the journey from passion to profit.


In my opinion, selling BBQ plates can be a rewarding endeavor both financially and personally. I assume that it offers not only delicious bites but also the satisfaction of turning your culinary talents into a successful business.

I’m sure that, from my perspective, diving into the world of BBQ plate sales is an opportunity you won’t want to miss. In my personal judgment, it’s clear to me that this path is flavored with potential and seasoned with opportunities for success.

To the best of my knowledge, there’s more to BBQ plates than meets the eye, and with the right approach, you can undoubtedly turn your passion into profit.


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