Problem Solver - August 2009
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Finding the Right Grill

When you want to increase your profit potential, it pays to consider all your options. You may have a concession already offering popcorn, candy and soda for your visitors, but what about upping the ante with a barbecue grill?

Q: What should I know about grills before I make the purchase?

A: When you want to feed a hungry crowd quickly, you'll want a larger cooking surface. A 24-inch by 60-inch surface will enable you to cook 35 steaks in just 8 minutes, or 150 hot dogs in just 5 minutes. You'll also want to make sure you grill is tough enough to handle such big jobs. Look for a firebox built with 12-gauge steel, which is 41 percent thicker and much stronger than 14-gauge steel. Also look for a welded firebox with reinforcements on the underside.

Also remember that BTUs aren't the most important considerations. It's more important to find a grill that distributes heat evenly. Look for individual burners with adjustable heat, as well as a hood, which will ensure the best performance while also saving fuel.

Finally, never underestimate the importance of safety. Look for a grill certified by agencies such as UL, Intertek Testing, NSF and CSA to ensure your grill is safe. These types of certifications can help you avoid accidents, and they'll also ensure you meet any local fire or cooking codes.

Q: How can I use my grills to boost profits for my facility?

A: Versatility will ensure you can maximize the profit potential of your grill. In addition to paying close attention to the factors already listed, if you really want to boost your profits, you'll want to find a grill that is easily portable. Be sure that the manufacturer you buy your grill from offers trailer-mounted models or a trailer to which your grill can be easily and safely mounted.

You also might want to consider your grill's ability to handle unique dishes like roasted pig. If you can offer more than just burgers and brats, you'll be able to boost your profit potential.

Q: What about providing a place for patrons to cook their own meals?

A: Everyone loves to gather around the fire to cook, roast marshmallows or sing along to "Kum Ba Yah." An outdoor camp stove park grill or campfire ring will also contain campfires and prevent them from spreading and turning into wildfires.

Belson Outdoors Inc.: