How To Find Events For New Food Concession Operators
by Robert Berman of mobilecateringbusiness.com
One of the most difficult challenges that new food concession operators face is how to find venues such as fairs, festivals, and other events and then how to convince the management of those venues that it is their best interests to have them attend.
Fairs and festivals are always looking for new and somewhat unique items to have at their venue, after all they want increased attendance and fairs and festivals that are always the same have a tendency to see attendance slowly drop from one year to next.
If you, as a new food concession operator, are providing nothing more than a "me too" menu with nothing new, exciting or out of the ordinary you will definitely have an uphill challenge to obtain space. New and exciting does not have to mean some exotic food, although a new or unusual food concept is usually a fair management grabber, it can mean a well or uniquely decorated trailer, or unusual outfits for the staff. Always be careful if you are trying to promote anything that is audio oriented, theme music can be a negative as far as some fair managers are concerned.
I always suggest that food concessionaires produce a small but meaningful electronic brochure, showing what their food concession trailer looks like, inside and out, outlining the menu and prices, and how many customers can be served per hour. This gives the fair management a feeling that you are professional and that you take the food concession business seriously. A food concession operator must always remember that the quality of the food concessions are always viewed, by the attendees, as a major part of the total fair experience. Bad or poor food quality or poor health standards and the attendees will say that the fair was bad or poor. Highlight your commitment to cleanliness and quality and as time progresses add the fairs, festivals and any other events that you have attended as references.
Do not get frustrated, filling out concession forms for fairs and festivals can be likened to sending out resumes. In the beginning you have to send out a lot in order to get a response from a few and like a resume, you have to indicate why you should be chosen over another food concession.
If your food concession trailer/vehicle is self-contained, you do not need an external source of power or water, I suggest that the new food concessionaire consider parking near little league parks on weekends. It is an excellent method of learning the business and how to cook and serve efficiently.
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