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           Craft Shows, Music Festivals, Fine Art Fairs
 Festival Network Online Newsletter
Commercial Vendors Edition
            January 2007

This is an opt-in newsletter.  If you got this by mistake,
please follow the link at the bottom.

A note from the editor

Hey Commercial Exhibitors and Food Vendors,

You can share and learn a lot from each other's experiences .  Members have frequently asked us to add the Show Ratings feature, so we added it, but still there are many unrated shows.  The show ratings feature is available to paid and non-paid members.  Everyone who has a FNO user id and password (let us know if you don't know yours!) can log in to search and rate shows.  Please take some time today and search for shows you have exhibited at.  Then in the top right hand corner, click on 'rate it!', it's that easy folks.

FYI: In your search results, show ratings can be found in the upper right corner of the summary box for each event and on the full-show details page. Because the show ratings feature is still relatively new (and the database is so large), you will see many events that have not yet been rated, they say "not" where the rating will go. When a show has been rated, you'll see a number (1 to 5, where 5 = the best) instead of the word "not" (above 'Rate it.').  To see the rating details, click on the rating number.

Reminder: I am having a difficult time finding resources for commercial exhibitors and food vendors.  If any of you have suggestions for me, please send me an email.   This month I bring you another article from Robert with with advice on the common question: vending cart or concession trailer?

Commercial exhibitors, you might be interested in also subscribing to the arts/crafts newsletter as many topics speak to all festival exhibitors.  To do so, follow the log in link below and go to your account.

Happy New Year!

Vending Carts or Food Concession Trailer – That Is The Question?

Deciding whether to enter the food service business with a vending cart or food concession trailer can be a difficult choice.

During the course of a week I receive one similar question time and time again; “Should I start my business with a concession trailer or a vending cart?”.

The answer to the question is subject to a lot of things, but at the end of the day, if this is someone’s first venture into the food service industry then I usually recommend a vending cart.

For the individual who has little or no experience in the food service industry, a vending cart is a much easier and much more economical entry point than a concession trailer.  Used vending carts can be purchased for as little as $3K and depending on the food service that the person wants to offer, little if any food cooking or preparation experience is required.  Many vending carts are little more than freezers on wheels, offering ice cream, Italian ices and popsicles.  Others are food warmers, offering hotdogs, pretzels and other hot, pre-prepared foods.  The more complex carts are barbeques on wheels, allowing the operator to cook items to order such as hamburgers, sausages, hotdogs, and spareribs.

In recent years, vending cart franchises have started, offering the budding entrepreneur a supposedly proven methodology to a specific product.  Along with the methodology comes training in everything from the item(s) to be sold to an education on finding venues and bookkeeping skills.

Article by:
Robert Berman owner of the website
The only website and forum exclusively for food concession, vending cart and mobile catering businesses

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