Thursday, September 3, 2015

Starting a BBQ Grill Cleaning Business
Part Five


Jeff Krentzman, President of The BBQ Cleaner™, arrived at my home at 9:00 a.m. a few days ago, ready to go over all aspects of the business as well as a hands-on session of using my new equipment to actually clean a grill.

We spent about three hours going over different sections of the training manual and discussed topics including:

  • The Startup Phase
  • Business Operations
  • Traditional Marketing
  • Online Marketing
  • Business and Vehicle Insurance
  • The Website
  • Phone and Answering Services
  • The BBQ Cleaner Process
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • and many more.

By noon, we were ready to get lunch so we went to a local restaurant. Jeff shared many stories about his experiences about cleaning grills, as well as things he's learned from the hundred-plus business owners who have purchased The BBQ Cleaner system.

At around 1:30 p.m. it was time to get the cleaning process started. Weather in Florida—this time of the year—really is a crap-shoot, as blue skies can quickly become dark and menacing, with thunder, lighting and rain, especially by mid-afternoon.

We got the steamer tank ready and walked to my backyard, since our own grill was to be the first one I cleaned. And it desperately needed some attention, I am embarrassed to admit.

I will spare you a step-by-step account of the process, but I will say that I am amazed at the amount of grime an outdoor grill accumulates in a little over a year of use. And all this buildup was the reason our grill was smoking so much every time we lit it up. Flare-ups were starting to be a problem, as it is impossible to properly grill a piece of meat when the heat is uneven.

After applying the degreaser solution, the layers of fat and grime started to soften, and we scraped as much of the stuff as possible. And here's a pic to show you just how much of it you can get off the surface by using the right tools and cleaners.

Once the unit was as clean as possible, we reassembled and tested it, to make sure the burners were unclogged and burning properly. I also made a mental note to order new flavorizer bars from Weber since mine are pretty rusted, albeit clean.

The last step was to polish the grill, and this brought it back to life again. There's only so much you can do with cooking surfaces, as metal tarnishes, discolors, corrodes, stains, or a combination of all of the above. But my Weber is now clean and grease- and smoke-free.

But a clean and shiny grill does not mean that you're done cleaning. Far from it.

You still need to clean the work area, bring tools and supplies back to the trailer, and then, you have to clean your equipment so it's ready to be transported beck to home base or the next job. That's not a big deal, of course, but doing so in the afternoon Florida heat and humidity isn't pleasant.

After all the equipment was clean and back in the trailer we stepped back inside. Thank God for air conditioning! Jeff and I went over the cleaning process again and talked about a few other items before he drove back to his hotel near Orlando International airport.

So far, everyone who's seen my clean grill has been very impressed, which is a good sign. And now I feel confident enough to start taking care of local customers.

As a matter of fact, while I was going through the last part of the training session, I took a few minutes to answer a couple of calls that came courtesy of one of my EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) campaigns, and I now have three customers on the schedule already for next month.

A great way to end Grill Cleaning Training Day!