Welcome!


This is a membership forum. As a guest, you can click around a bit. View 5 pages for free. If you would like to participate, please join.

[ Pitmaster Club Information | Join Now | Login | Contact Us ]

There are 4 page views remaining.

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Meat Monsters story so far.

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Meat Monsters story so far.

    Who knew barely a year after we launched our smokehouse and as we were really starting to lift off, we'd get slammed by a global pandemic.

    Funnily enough it wasn't one of the risks identified on my business plan 🤣😱.

    We had full order books for parties, some big catering events in the calendar, masterclass demand was high and our core business of dine-in, delivery and takeaway was generating a real buzz.

    One year in to the project in earnest we were getting to the end of our family's subsistence budget and needing the business to start picking up some of the tab.

    Truth is it was. Then we saw the pandemic and the national lockdowns accompanying it, sweeping across the European Continent, heading our way. At the beginning of March we were engulfed too.

    I remember sitting in front of the PC in our smokehouse office a couple of days after nationwide UK lockdown was announced and in the space of 30mins (3 or 4 emails) we saw nearly £5,000 of events and bookings for the weeks ahead disappear.

    It's tough to start a restaurant business, it's extra tough to start a BBQ business (due to high produce costs) and as I sat there looking at the screen I thought it was now basically going to be impossible with this unprecedented event.

    Then something strange happened.

    The government said we could continue to offer covid compliant collection and delivery. We were well set up for that, with our own ordering app, in house delivery capability and out of town location with plenty of room for parking and spacious smokehouse.

    Then with the majority of folks essentially housebound and increasingly wanting to treat themselves and have something to enjoy while locked indoors, our takeaway and delivery volumes started to shoot up.

    Not enough to make up the shortfall, but enough that we could just about keep our heads above water.

    The desire to support local business was palpable in the community. It translated to direct, deliberate support for us with our chilled sales (smoked and packed brisket, pork, sauces etc) really picking up too.

    If ever there was a time the words "everyday is a bonus" were more apt then I can't remember it. I'd come in every morning at 4:30am to fire up the smokers to the sound of our order printer beeping and a roll of orders spilled off the table and onto the floor.

    We were hanging on, and in response to the communities support we started giving back, offering discounted food / fundraising for our National Health Service heroes and the volunteer groups helping support elderly or incapacitated folks with food supplies and transport.

    Charles Dickens said it best... "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times".

    I won't bore you with the details of the intervening months. Restrictions tightened and relaxed in cycles, money worries and stress ebbed and flowed like spring tides. We kept responding to the changes and putting everything into survival. Government financial assistance arrived and we were able to breath easier, if not completely in peace.

    Now almost on the eve of the original lockdown we are starting to see hope. Vaccinations are rolling out at pace, we've managed to sustain our livelihood and the livelihoods of those that depend on us.

    We have a big hill to climb, as does the community around us. The aftershocks of recession and unemployment are now on the horizon. BUT at least we can do something to manage those, they are more of a known quantity.

    As of today, 2nd March 2021, I can say this though...

    We haven't thrived, but so far we've survived and I'm God darned thankful and humbled for that.

    I'll leave you with some pictures from the year past and keep working hard to have plenty to share in the year ahead.

    Much love brothers and sisters of the smoke.
    Alistair
    Monster in Chief & Pit Boss
    Meat Monsters
    Attached Files

    #2
    Wow. If you can weather this past year, you can weather anything. My sincere wish is for this coming year to be a glowing success that will make up for this last one.

    Comment


      #3
      Starting a business is tough. Starting in the restaurant business is tougher. Staring in the restaurant business then Covid hits, damn impossible. But, you proved that wrong! WOW!

      Comment


        #4
        Awesome story. Really glad you were able to weather the storm.

        Keep the smoke rolling brother

        Comment


          #5
          That is simply awesome! Makes me even more proud to count Scots amongst my primary pool of ancestors (Irish, too ... but don't tell my friends ).

          BTW, when I'm describing my ancestry to my Irish friends, I might occasionally reverse the positions of the words "Scots" and "Irish" in the above sentence ... ...

          Keep up the good work, my friend.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by MBMorgan View Post
            That is simply awesome! Makes me even more proud to count Scots amongst my primary pool of ancestors (Irish, too ... but don't tell my friends ).

            BTW, when I'm describing my ancestry to my Irish friends, I might occasionally reverse the positions of the words "Scots" and "Irish" in the above sentence ... ...

            Keep up the good work, my friend.
            LOL, I'll keep it quiet! MBM

            Comment


              #7
              Congrats on pulling through. I'm sure it's been extremely tough.

              Comment


                #8
                My friend bought a pub in the village I used to live in (making it only the second remaining after two others shut down during the "war on pubs"), he was renovating it (East Anglia), and was days from opening when COVID hit... and then the floods hit.

                I think he was counting on beer sales first while he established the food side... Obviously things flipped for him with a quickness. As I've followed his struggles I can emotionally relate to the struggles you have had as well.

                As other have said, you (and my friend) have survived probably the toughest possibility for a new food/hospitality orientated business... the world is your oyster moving forward!

                *EDIT* I sent him a message with your website with the thoughts he may want to reach out and you could both share lessons learned, so if some stranger reaches out to you from Alconbury that's him
                Last edited by ItsAllGoneToTheDogs; March 2, 2021, 03:30 PM.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Amazing story of perseverance and community. Cheers to you and your efforts!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Wow, I am tearing up! I was born and raised in the industry and my heart and soul will always be a part of hospitality. Wishing you continued success for the weeks, months, years to come. And a few good naps, too! You deserve it!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Your story touches the heart! You fought hard & ya can tell in yer smiles. Keep em smokin!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Awesome work! Proud of ya!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          You're story of survival is awe inspiring. Hopefully once things get back to a more normal footing, it turns into a story of smashing success. You've certainly put the work in.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by ItsAllGoneToTheDogs View Post
                            My friend bought a pub in the village I used to live in (making it only the second remaining after two others shut down during the "war on pubs"), he was renovating it (East Anglia), and was days from opening when COVID hit... and then the floods hit.

                            I think he was counting on beer sales first while he established the food side... Obviously things flipped for him with a quickness. As I've followed his struggles I can emotionally relate to the struggles you have had as well.

                            As other have said, you (and my friend) have survived probably the toughest possibility for a new food/hospitality orientated business... the world is your oyster moving forward!

                            *EDIT* I sent him a message with your website with the thoughts he may want to reach out and you could both share lessons learned, so if some stranger reaches out to you from Alconbury that's him
                            Cheers! I'll keep an ear out for Alconbury!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              It takes tough people to weather tough times, you Sir are one tough person (front row player I assume).
                              The fact that you have manage to keep afloat by applying yourself during the difficult times is proof your success going forward is going to be one of abundance.
                              Much respect deserved, you did not only have yourself in mind but also those around you in need.

                              Comment

                              Announcement

                              Collapse
                              No announcement yet.
                              Working...
                              X
                              false
                              0
                              Guest
                              500
                              ["pitmaster-my-membership","login","join-pitmaster","lostpw","reset-password","special-offers","help","nojs","meat-ups","gifts","authaau-alpha","ebooklogin-start","alpha","start"]
                              false
                              false
                              {"count":0,"link":"/forum/announcements/","debug":""}
                              Yes
                              Rubs Promo

                              Spotlight

                              These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

                              These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

                              Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

                              A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs


                              The Efficiency Of A Kamado Plus The Flexibility Of The Slow ‘N Sear Insert

                              kamado grill
                              Built around SnS Grill’s patented Slow ‘N Sear charcoal kettle accessory, this 22-inch kamado is a premium ceramic grill that brings true 2-zone cooking to a kamado.

                              Click here for our article on this exciting cooker



                              Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.

                              Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts


                              Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

                              The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.
                              Click here for our review of this superb smoker


                              Blackstone Rangetop Combo: Griddle And Deep Fryer In One


                              The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, grilled cheese, and so much more. And why deep fry indoors when you can avoid the smell and mess by doing it outside!

                              Click here to read our detailed review and to order


                              The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted


                              Napoleon’s 22″ Pro Cart Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It’s hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the 22″ Pro Cart a viable alternative.

                              Click here for more about what makes this grill special


                              Grilla Pellet Smoker proves good things come in small packages

                              We always liked Grilla. The small 31.5″ x 29.5″ footprint makes it ideal for use where BBQ space is limited, as on a condo patio.
                              Click here for our review on this unique smoker


                              Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker


                              This is the first propane smoker with a thermostat, making this baby foolproof. Set ThermoTemp’s dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin’.

                              Click here to read our detailed review