Festival Network Online Newsletter
Commercial Vendors Edition - May 2006
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A note from the editor...Hey Commercial Exhibitors and Food Vendors,
Happy Summer. This month, Robert Berman of Mobile Catering Business sent me an article pertaining to the interests of beginning food vendors. He runs a helpful website: mobilecateringbusiness.com - with forums and articles.
Let me know what you think!
Food Concession Industry - An Entry Point to Self-Employment
The food concession industry offers many opportunities for budding entrepreneurs to start their own businesses. Although a fully equipped food concession trailer can easily exceed $50K, there are excellent entry points into the industry for capital investments in the $3K to $5K range.
The most economical and cost effective entry point is a vending cart. New vending carts can be obtained for less than $10K and used units for as little as $3K. Vending carts come in a variety of configurations. From pretzels, hotdogs, sausages, and ice cream to more complex mobile barbeques and smokers. Most vending carts are towed to the location behind a vehicle. There is no need for a special or heavy-duty vehicle. eBay is an excellent venue for buying used vending carts, concession trailers and other needed equipment.
If interested, but hesitant in entering an unknown industry, vending cart franchises are beginning to appear. It is however important to remember that a franchise is not a guarantee of success and you must perform due diligence on the franchisor before signing on the dotted line and turning over your franchise fee.
The primary key to success as a vending cart operator is location! An operator needs to locate a high traffic area that is not currently being serviced. You may identify a location that appears to be excellent, but before you run out and buy your vending cart make sure that the owner or tenant of the property will allow you to utilize it and if so, at what cost or fee.
Many vending cart operators will operate on parking lots of big box retailers and providing you have obtained the necessary permission this is usually an excellent high traffic location. Another good area is industrial parks with a light and medium truck traffic.
Vending carts require licenses and health certificates. It is important to check with your local city and county licensing and health departments to identify their specific requirements as they do vary in different cities, counties and states.
An operator must also remember that they are generally operating on his or her own and will need to arrange for relief during that operating period. As well, an operator must also consider, depending on what they are serving that they may need additional product delivered to the operating location in order to maintain service.
Numerous websites exist to help operators and those considering becoming operators of a food concession business with regulations, equipment, carts for sale and tips and tricks of the trade.
Article provided by:
Robert Berman, owner of the website mobilecateringbusiness.com: the only website and forums exclusively for food concession, vending cart and mobile catering businesses.
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