Sin City Smokers Blog

A look into the mind of Steve as he travels, cooks, and meets some great BBQ people

Quality

Let’s talk About QUALITY…. So what is it? Many things from the goods you purchase and decide to use or resale in your business. The level of training your staff has. The commitment to which you stand by your morals in business. The level at which you can be counted on in confidence when you give your word or place your name on something. I would venture to say, for most of us the economic downturns we experience in this country post 2008, did not force many of us to forgo many of our dining and or purchasing practices. It did however, I feel teach many of us to be smarter consumers. We are more diligent about where we spend our money. Let’s face it money is not easy to come by, and expendable income is precious and should be revered as such. For this is what lends to our “Quality of Life” so to speak. At our home we do not dine out less frequently than before. We do however choose our establishments more carefully. I am sure many of you do the same. We tend to frequent the same spots over and again as we feel comfortable or treated better and definitely choose according to quality. Even in this day of Social Media many consumers who feel they are not treated fairly for their dollar exchange do not “Rant” about it they just do not tell you and they most likely do not give you a second chance. So when I ventured out into this rough and tumble world of business quality has become a huge focus factor in how I run my operation. Maybe it has to do with getting older and a refined taste or something. Perhaps it has more to do with years of working for others who get lost and forget their principles. As a Caterer I chose to specialize in a small are of offerings rather than try to be all things to everyone. I could tell you my philosophies about two different and seemingly successful Burger Chains. One who does every food trend under the sun and serves billions, however their product while consistent is mediocre at best. Another who does a very small menu, does a very good product, does it very well and serves millions as well and has not reinvented their image since they opened. So we specialize in a specific area. We buy the best quality we can. When it comes to food outstanding quality does not cost, it pays. When I purchase equipment I try to buy the best as it tends to be more reliable and ends up costing less in the long run. We order, cook and focus on one client/event at a time. We are very specific and have high expectations of our staff. We do things my competition does not do, both with menu offerings and delivery of our services. We focus on what we can handle and know what we cannot. We have turned some business away and that is okay. Knowing who we are and what we do, not being the cheapest alternative is okay with us. When you offer quality and maintain a reputation that is unbending, your success will grow, I have found this true. People will pay for quality; however they expect to get just that. Above all else when people call us and decide to use our services they are purchasing CONFIDENCE. That’s correct, while I sell food and services to my clients it is the confidence that they will be taken care of is what really sells my company. From the moment I talk with them to the day we show up and serve their guests they must feel like everything is in good hands and taken care of. So that is precisely what we do.

RichText.

Stand By your promise...

Stand by your promise…. Okay so I recently took a vacation to NOLA. That’s New Orleans Louisiana to those that don’t know. It was a bucket list item to go to Mardi Gras. The city of New Orleans is amazing, and the people there are very hospitable. They clearly understand that tourism drives their economy. Now some people act out customer service yet everywhere we went people here live it to the fullest. Real customer service should be effortless. As a business owner I am very aware that in the city of Las Vegas there are many options for my clientele. I must not only offer a quality product at a fair price but I am expected to deliver it as promised. I happen to feel my services are worth more than my local competition as I do this. So let’s get back to my point. Out vacation was amazing. All the food in NOLA was amazing as well. We ate at Legendary Fried Chicken joints, seafood houses Creole and Italian restaurants, Barbecue and all the touristy stops as well. We had Po-Boys-Red Beans- Muffalettas-BBQ Shrimps Beignets Crawfish boils etc. etc. etc. In fact I may have eaten two weeks’ worth of food in one week. It’s hard not to. Everything as delicious! Until my last meal there. Now maybe my expectation were high and rightly so as all the previous meals were amazing. Did I mention that already? So we are at the airport, I know I shouldn’t expect much at an Airport but we were in New Orleans. The restaurant is a highly recognizable food brand, synonymous with Creole and Cajun Style food. If you were at your local store you could find their side dishes easily. So I figured it would be decent. Well…. Here is where my point gets made.I ordered from the menu, enjoyed my beer and waited. When the food arrived it was not what was stated on the menu. I am not just being too picky here. Being in the business I have a real peeve against over “fluffing” your menu descriptions. These were not that way. They were simply stated and it’s fair enough to say not un-executable. So I am add ing a picture of the menu so all can see. I ordered the Charcuterie Plate and also Grits and Grillades. The first reads: Shaved Tasso , Creole hot sausage, boudin sausage, pickled okra, dill pickle slices, served with Creole Mustard and assorted crackers. The second description: Slow cooked Beef smothered in our grillade gravy and pored over southern cheese grits. The price was fair and I was excited as I am a Charcuterie lover and dig me some Grits. Well when the food came out here is what I was served. Over cooked bacon ( Tasso is like Prosciutto and does not need to be cooked),there was some Boudin but no other Sausage. There were no pickled Okra and the Pickles were your standard hamburger pickle. The assorted crackers were cello wrapped saltines and I never knew that “French’s” was a Creole Mustard. The Grillades were actually overcooked finely chopped deli roast beef –no gravy and served over the most flavorless grits and no cheese what so ever in them. So yes I mentioned something to the extremely nice waitress and she tried to make the customary excuse without bad mouthing her place of employment. I rather enjoyed her local charm and wisdom in all things gator hunter as she has lived around the Bayou her entire life. I don’t think many businesses understand the crime here. If you make a promise to deliver a good or a service to your customer, then it is up to you to do just that. You may not get the second chance to earn their business and they could shred your business on social media. In fact I feel it’s my duty to do this and a little more each time we go out. Face it folks it is not that difficult to take care of customers, but you do have to care.

RichText.

Cornerstones of a Successful Business

 

I had probably the perfect sandwich for lunch today.

It was a BLT. One of the most basic sandwiches there is, and could possibly be considered a “Mother” sandwich as these things go. Good Quality simple white bread, I used a grocery store brand Italian style loaf-precut and in the middle of the isle. Mayonnaise, there is still some wondrous thing going on in that jar with the blue label. I don’t want to advertise for any certain brands however when I use Mayonnaise, I bring out “the BEST”. I add just a sprinkle of salt and pepper to enhance the flavor. Fresh and very cool and crisp iceberg lettuce on one side next to the mayo. Perfectly placing three or four one quarter inch slices of a juicy, slightly over ripe Beefstake Tomato on the other slice of pre mayo-ed bread. Then the Bacon, we could do three days’ worth of dissertation on Bacon, as many of you know. Bacon is the star of the show so to say. Good quality, hardwood smoked, not too meaty and not too fatty, not too thin and always cooked in the oven. This is best to get that evenly cooked, not shriveled crispy mahogany brown and delicious perfection for this application. When assembled properly nothing can match this unpretentious flavor juggernaut. I might need a moment here. 

Okay so what does this have to do with business principles?

Well after over thirty years in the Food and Beverage Industry I have found these simple rules to stand true.

One- Keep things simple. Too many times we seem to overthink the process. A very respected Five Star Chef from my early days once told me, “If you want to make something really nice, keep it simple” This is a yardstick I keep close to my heart even today. Let me put it this way… If you can’t do the simple things perfect, how will you ever hope to handle the hard stuff?

Two- Quality pays it does not cost. Well this seems to be harder for businesses to understand as every year goes by. In my opinion the economic strife we have experienced in this country has made many of us better consumers. Most people have not really downsized there personal entertainment expenditures. They are however becoming better educated and more demanding of service and quality for their hard earned dollars. This is a good thing. People will pay good money for Top Quality! But it needs to be worth the rate of exchange.

Three- Do the right things right. Consistency is the key to a success in any venture. Doing the right things right is not hard, but it can get boring for lack of a better description. Many times business is started by one with passion. As said business grows, it usually expands. This is where things start to fade. The one with the passion is now passing the reigns to another, usually one with less training and a lack of the “Vision”. What happens next? Corners get cut. Budgets become the measuring stick and management becomes more concerned with the bottom line than quality, service and reputation. Training and passing along the founding vision is of utmost importance to a growing business. Remember where you came from.

Four- Dance with the one that brung ya. What does this mean? Be what you are and be the best at it. Don’t try to be all things to everyone. I could tell you about two successful Burger chains in America. One who has done the same simple menu with a great quality Burger since the day it opened. It pays employees more, and is more demanding of recruits. This concept is known for its quality, service, and cleanliness, and sports a long line out the door and drive through line every day. The other tries to make all things from breakfast, salads, burritos, and any other fad for now and is somewhat inconsistent in these offerings. They consequently spend billions remodeling their dining rooms and stores every so many years and is known mainly for the billions they served so far and going global.

Want to guess where I spend my Burger Money?

Five and finally for today’s lesson- Keep high standards. Weather it is in your staffing, purchasing or facilities maintenance. If you make it hard to belong to your team you will end up with only the best players. Otherwise if you accept any old thing you can get because it’s easy or cost less, guess what you will end up with? Slow down and take the time to train, and share your principles. Keep your facility clean and operation at a high level of production, safety and sanitation. This makes a difference to your staff, your business and since it displays what type of business you operate, it matters to your customers

B- Believe it!

L- Live it!

T- Train it!

 

Summertime Smells

Some smells just seem to take you back, back to a time when things were more simple. Remembering your childhood days can be so serene,and as simple as just smelling the oh so delicious smells of summer. When we fire up the grills for that seasonal bliss referred to as Barbecue.We seem to relate so many emotions to smell, like coffee and Bacon in the morning nothing seems to revel in summer like meat on a grill. I love the smell of fresh corn on the cobb, beer and charcoal burning off the remains of the last cook. You can always tell when someone in the neighborhood is lighting up their grill and we get a little nostalgic for the good old days. We grill so any things at our house I often wonder what my boys will drool over when the smell of an old familiar food is getting going on someones grill now? Will it be fresh garlic and veggies cooking or some peppers roasting for salsa or Lamb Kebabs with exotic spices being grilled? I know they love my Ribs and Pork and they love the smell,as do I , of Hickory wood burning. Do they have another favorite I wonder. Get outside and light your grill you could be cooking and creating memories right now.

RichText.

Spring is here!

April 2015

I don't know about you'all but here n Las Vegas this is about the best time of year! The weather is frickin phenominal. The farmers markets start to bring in the best new produce. Barbecue season has begun. Concerts are being announced and we have many great outdoor events to attend.The smell of food is in the air...and most folk are dusting off the old family grill and starting to burn something, usually steaks or burgers. I know this because we can smell it all around the neighborhood. Here is a free grilling tip for you. TURN DOWN THE HEAT!!!! you don't want to cook on INFERNO setting-especially when you spen an exhorbanote amount on a good peice of beef! Slow Down and learn to work your grill. usually a grill has more thank one side so you can sear your meat on a high heat level -then move it over to the low heat side to finish it off. As well this can be done using charcoal by only piling your coal on one side of your grill.Bonus tip when using a marinade keep the sugar out! Sugar Burns!!! so glaze your meat with sauce etc. towards the end of it's cook for better results.next time we will discuss building a proper marinade!Happy Grilling!

Getting Excited!!!

March 2015

Okay so it is warming up and we have been busy doing weddings, bachelor parties and rehearsal dinners too!Now Competition Season is underway and we can't get enough! Really getting after it this year with a newfound VIGOR!!! so many things going on too and we have been cooking, practicing and Catering so in a word WE ARE BARBECUING!!!!GBA!!!

 

Got My "Mojo" Back

May, 2013

WELL IT'S BEEN A WHILE SINCE I HAVE BEEN TO MY SITE AND ITS ALMOST MAY 2013 NOW - I'VE BEEN REAL BUSY OR SO THAT'S THE EXCUSE I HAVE BEEN USING... ACTUALLY BEEN CHECKED OUT A LITTLE I GUESS- CHANGED JOBS- WENT THROUGH THE BIG END OF SEASON GRANDIOSE EVENTS( SAMS NATIONAL- GUT MY BUTT KICKED, THE JACK -SCORED FIRST PLACE COOKS CHOICE AND 12TH IN PORK- PRETTY GOOD TILL YOU LOOK AT MY OTHER CATEGORIES-, AND THE WORLD FOOD COMP IN LAS VEGAS- GOT MY ASS HANDED TO ME AGAIN!) THEN WE DID A NON SANCTIONED EVENT IN LAS VEGAS ON FREEMONT STREET- AND ACTUALLY HAD FUN AGAIN AT A COMP-TOOK GRAND WITH FIRST IN BRISKET AND RIBS AND CHILI-AND SECOND IN PORK AND CHICKEN-COOKED IN JANUARY -LAKE HAVASU - TOOK FIRST IN ANYTHING BUT WITH A 180- AND WE TOOK FIRST IN DESSERT BUT DIDN'T DO WELL IN THE FOUR MEATS...NOT SURE WHERE MY "MOJO" WENT BUT THINK A BREAK WAS GOOD-PREPARING TO DO A FULL ON PRACTICE COOK NEXT WEEKEND- I DON'T USUALLY DO THESE THINGS- NOT SURE WHY...BUT A WISE MAN ONCE SAID" YOU DON'T WIN IN PRACTICE, BUT YOU WON'T WIN IF YOU DON'T" SO I FIGURE WHAT THE HELL! IT WILL BE FUN TO JUST COOK WITHOUT THE PRESSURE AND SEE WHERE THINGS END UP. BESIDES WE HAVE ELEVEN TEAMS COMBINED DOING THIS IN THE SAME PLACE WITH REAL JUDGES SO IT IS SURE TO BE HELPFUL AND EYE OPENING! LET YOU KNOW HOW IT TURNS OUT!

On the Road Again...

March 15, 2013

OKAY SO THE MONEY HAS BEEN SAVED, I'VE BEEN PLANNING THE TRIP FOR MONTHS NOW AND ITS ABOUT TIME TO WASH AND LOAD THE RIG FOR THE FIRST LONG TRIP EAST BY SOUTHEAST TO BENTONVILLE ARKANSAS. NEVER BEEN THERE OR MOST OF THE PLACES ALONG THE ROUTE SO I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO THE TRIP EXCEPT THAT I WILL BE TRAVELING SOLO. PERHAPS THIS IS GOOD, TIME TO REFLECT AND FOCUS ON THE TASK AT HAND, PERHAPS NOT. IN ANY EVENT I VENTURE OUT LOOKING TO BRING HOME "PRECIOUS METAL" TO THE WILD WEST IF YOU WILL. I THINK EVERYTHING IS IN LINE - MEAT IS ORDERED, SAUCES AND RUBS WILL BE MADE THIS WEEKEND- JUST NEED TO WASH AND HITCH UP THE "SMOKEWAGON" AND HEAD EAST. I WONT REALLY BE ALONE AS MANY OF YOU KNOW I WILL HAVE FRIENDS THERE, BARBECUE FRIENDS. THESE ARE SOME OF THE BEST KIND OF FRIENDS TO HAVE. I WILL ALSO HAVE MY SWEETIE CHECKING IN ON ME AND I WILL PROBABLY GET A CALL FROM MY PARTNER IN CRIME ON SATURDAY MORNING-A PEP TALK SO AS IT IS. THEN WHEN ITS ALL OVER NO MATTER WHAT THE OUTCOME I WILL DRIVE THE 1336 MILES OR SO HOME AND CLEAN AND RELOAD THE RIG TO HEAD BACK A WEEK LATER FOR "THE JACK" ANOTHER 1825 MILES AWAY. WOW IT SEEMS SO SURREAL AT THIS POINT. SOON IT WILL ALL BE A HAPPY MEMORY. I CAN'T WAIT FOR SOME NEW BARBECUE PLACES IN SOME TOWNS I HAVE NEVER SEEN AND TO SEE SOME OLD FRIENDS AND SOME SAFE AND HAPPY TRAVELS.I'LL LET YOU KNOW HOW WE TURN OUT!

Please reload

Call Us Today! (702) 823-5605
  • Wix Facebook page
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • Yelp Social Icon
  • Snapchat Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon