I can relate. Your hours look good to capture the lunch business and not overtax yourself.
I sell Island BBQ (Jerk). Initially, I operated my concession trailer as a take-out restaurant 11-7. That’s 8 hours, plus 2 hours of prep (I marinade my meat overnight), 2-3 hours of cook time, and 1 hour travel time for a grand total of about 14 hours to make anywhere from $100 – $1000 per day, but usually on the lower end. Plus don’t forget shopping time. The bulk of the business occured between 11-2. Needless to say, you’ll burn-out pretty quick doing that.
Now I cater and do a farmer’s market as a one-person operation. For the market which operates from 9-3, I’ll spend:
1 hr shopping and 2 hrs preping the day before.
1 hr travelling and setting up.
3 hrs cooking
4 hrs selling from 11-3
1 hr cleaning up and travel
That’s 12 hours of work for $600 plus consistently and a lot of fun. Farmer’s Market customers on average are usually more pleasant that your average take-out customer. Some weekends I’m fortunate to have a catering order that will double my revenue with very little additional work. My best week was probably selling $600 plus within 3 hours going non-stop.
Jack, my hats off to you. As you know, I don’t cook any bbq that takes more than 3 hours. If it does, I just butterfly it or cut it up so it takes 3 hrs or less cook time. I’ve yet to try this with brisket.