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Lorena F. Palin

Buisness Idea: Hookah Catering Service/Rentals

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Basically, the idea would be to have a company that rents out really nice hookahs for parties, and can show up and set up a hookah bar at weddings and such, and send tenders and set up tables. Maby pack it into a hookah truck. You could also rent out hookahs on the fly. Also thinking do ice-sculpture hookahs (freeze hoses into VERY thick walled ice jar, have the stem be a separated piece with the metal insulated from the ice with glass) for extra. Cast beforehand for the event, load into an icecream truck, ship out.

Any thoughts on this?

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there have been alot of people who have tried to do it. i no calcartman for any of you guys who remember him tried to get something similar started and i no there have been companies that have tried to o it as well like hookah-life. The biggest problem is there arent a whole lot of people who are willing to pay money to have hookah at an event, let alone have any interest for it. If you have a market for it where you live, and have a couple of pipes theres no hurt in trying. youll go as far as you can take it.

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That is a really good idea. I know some people who wanted a hookah themed wedding but it got really expensive because they had to purchase every hookah themselves.

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Again with what SS said. It's still a growing concept in the US, in comparison to other thigns we cater/rent.

Your sucess would depend on your location, [b]price,[/b] and practicality. Especially with the business you'd be in.

But I love the concept. I garuntee 10 years form now, such a service will not only exist, but probably be thriving.

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What you have to think is, when the bowl is cashed, who will be there to repack it? Will it be you? Or will you pay some one to repack it? How many employees will you designate to repack the bowl? How will you light your coals in a timely fashion in a safe humane area?

It seems great but I dont see carrying a 1000W hotplate to a wedding and lighting coals outside would look very professional or using the catering halls stove to light coals would go very well.

Maybe using a blow torch could work, but you would run out of butane very quickly. Maybe having a portable fire pit? It all seems like to much work and in the end wont make that much money.

And in the end it's all about the money and of course quality of services. Edited by newjacksm

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also there is a liability issue. You will need MAD insurance. Fire,broken hookahs, if someone gets sick and sue, and finally who is responsible for under age smokers. Then there are the tobacco laws. Are you selling tobacco? if so do you need a license in your state? Can you get around this by having them rent the hookah and your services and the tobacco is "on the house"? you basically have all the troubles of a hookah bar and a catering service all in one. If you can leap these hurtles and can afford to get your setup started I think it is a good Idea.
Ray

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[quote name='SuburbanSmoker' date='02 April 2010 - 01:01 PM' timestamp='1270231314' post='461534']
there have been alot of people who have tried to do it. i no calcartman for any of you guys who remember him tried to get something similar started and i no there have been companies that have tried to o it as well like hookah-life. The biggest problem is there arent a whole lot of people who are willing to pay money to have hookah at an event, let alone have any interest for it. If you have a market for it where you live, and have a couple of pipes theres no hurt in trying. youll go as far as you can take it.
[/quote]

What he said!

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I considered starting a business like this for my university because many people wanted to smoke hookah but didn't want to drive or invest. Here are a few things you def have to do though which I'm sure you've thought of.


- people might steal these, so get a drivers license/credit card on file to charge for one on one rentals.

- at parties, have a employee manage the hookahs. That way they are consistent and watched.

- people might use them for NTH, have a contract to be signed forbidding it.
Then keep personal testing kits on hand. As soon as a rental is done, test the hookah. If the test returns positive then you charge them a set fee and let them keep the hookah. (and I believe you have to report them to the cops depending on local law)

(I was going to charge $400 every time one was returned positive which would be income and buy a new hookah)

Just some ideas

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Use credit cards not cash. That way if someone does steal or use it for NHT you can charge them automatically, after telling them of course. Because if they pay cash then there is really no way to get your money back unless you sue.

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Maybe if you have a lounge of your own so the investments get more income. I think if you have to rely on just catering customers you'll struggle.

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Didn't someone post a video of their hookah catering business on here a while back? I can't remember who...

I don't see this being a very good business. More like something you do on the side from your hookah bar, but I seriously doubt you'd get enough parties to cater to make a living off of it.

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[quote name='Barnaby' date='03 April 2010 - 12:27 PM' timestamp='1270312047' post='461671']
Didn't someone post a video of their hookah catering business on here a while back? I can't remember who...

I don't see this being a very good business. More like something you do on the side from your hookah bar, but I seriously doubt you'd get enough parties to cater to make a living off of it.
[/quote]

^^^ Exactly

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Anyone who is truly into hookah, is probably going to have their own. Anyone that wants to have their hookah done for them, will go to a lounge, since that gives them atmosphere to boot.

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Overall verdict for me after reading seems to be,

Definantly not a main scource of revenue, but a outscource for a vendor/hookah bar. Intruiging in thought, but too pricey and risky on paper. Success is on a thin line depending where you live. Too much liability based on human rescource, supplies/devices, and legal matters.



Overall, I think alot more time, money and effort could go into making your hookah lounge a top notch institute, one that trumps the rest, than to sacrifice so much for a secondary business that wouldn't have as much take in as it was worth.



Bottom line, it's like wishing your room was made out of candy. It's the most bitchin'ist thing on the face of this earth, For about 5 minutes, and then you realize that maybe it wasn't such a good idea. Lol.

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[quote name='TheyCallMeDave' date='04 April 2010 - 09:26 PM' timestamp='1270430814' post='461853']
Overall verdict for me after reading seems to be,

Definantly not a main scource of revenue, but a outscource for a vendor/hookah bar. Intruiging in thought, but too pricey and risky on paper. Success is on a thin line depending where you live. Too much liability based on human rescource, supplies/devices, and legal matters.



Overall, I think alot more time, money and effort could go into making your hookah lounge a top notch institute, one that trumps the rest, than to sacrifice so much for a secondary business that wouldn't have as much take in as it was worth.



Bottom line, it's like wishing your room was made out of candy. It's the most bitchin'ist thing on the face of this earth, For about 5 minutes, and then you realize that maybe it wasn't such a good idea. Lol.
[/quote]

Why don't you consider opening a lounge? Maybe get some partners?

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In Michigan, Near Dearborn there are acual places that do that, 20 Bucks out the door for a bowl packed delivery and pickup, you have to leave a deposit tho i'm pretty sure but it's not worth it in my opinion.

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I say go ahead and do it, if you have the hookahs and are willing to pay for the state tobacco distributors lisence then do it. Here are some pointers, use golden coal or ignight coals, both are instant light, they aren't as good as the coconara or Gaia natural coconut coals, but they work just fine when you need something fast and easy. It is also a good idea to have a contract with the customer saying they must pay a fee if any hookah has been tampered with using illegal substances. Also upon purchasing the tobacco retailers permit, registerthe permit to your vehicle. It will now act as your store, if you plan on traveling and delivering the tobacco to the event. It is a very smart and simple business to start if your town is in the market for it...you can purchase your equipment at whole sale price from www.hookahwholesalers.com or thehookahcompany.com

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I guessa year and a half old thread is still fair game. But as I pointed out the permit paperwork is different from state to state.

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[quote name='mushrat' timestamp='1320838676' post='530889']
I guessa year and a half old thread is still fair game. But as I pointed out the permit paperwork is different from state to state.
[/quote]

There have been a lot of thread revival lately hasn't there been?

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i almost commented trying to help without looking at the date, but mushed saved me from that.

for those that are curious, i believe in some states you can't simply give tobacco away for free, such as california. you can charge a penny, but you can't actually give it for free.

also, i think i remember seeing someone talking about how this idea is a lot more popular in europe, due to prices, taxes, etc on personal tobacco

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[quote name='Caila' timestamp='1270237614' post='461550']
That is a really good idea. I know some people who wanted a hookah themed wedding but it got really expensive because they had to purchase every hookah themselves.
[/quote]

Hookah Theme? Sounds like a novelty in that case. At this point most of my friends smoke hookah so any wedding I attend will be a hookah wedding by default :)

As for the idea of hookah catering... IDK, I've seen something similar but I doubt it would work. Why not just invite a hookah friend to come to the party with all their awesome pipes and a bunch of Tangiers and smoke you guys down (for a small fee perhaps?)? I feel like whoever brings the pipes, whether they are getting paid or not, is going to do all the work to set up, manage smoking, and clean up anyway because they aren't going to trust the noobs to do it.

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Hookah weddings sound like the best kind.

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We're just starting one up in our area.   I did a quick google search and found about 4 different places in the USA that do hookah rentals.  does seem to be a good supplemental income.

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So how is ur business going so far?..and what states did u find the rentals in..So far California is a big hit for the catering aspect..

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