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Year! This month, food vendors can learn of the importance of
LOCATION at the festival, and get the scoop on getting in line for the
hot spots! Enjoy!
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|The Biggest Factor By Rob Bowe
biggest factor affecting your sales is a combination of location of
your food stand, the popularity of your product, how your food stand
looks and how much competition there is at the event. This issue
we are going to focus on securing a good location.
You will hear constantly, the phrase, "Location, Location,
location! When you are starting out in the food vending business,
booking decent shows with good locations can be challenging.
To make sure you are getting the best location, you should discuss in
depth with the promoter the traffic flow and other attractions in the
area of the location being offered to you. Remember location is
everything. It’s a good idea to ask questions such as; Is there a
map available of the show grounds? What was last years
attendance? If you are starting new in this business you will discover
some locations are great, some are poor and most fall in between.
Some shows tend to "sell real estate" to anyone and everyone as way of
making money for the promoter. Some shows only allow a new vendor
in if someone leaves. Usually they will offer that vacated spot
to someone who has been with them for a while and then after the
shuffling you may be offered the least attractive spot at the show.
That could be on the main traffic fare. If your location is
behind or to the side of a building off the main traffic flow, or stuck
in no man's land, you will NOT make much money. No one will find
you. Other questions to ask about your location include cost (AKA
Privilege Fee)?, distance to amenties such as water and electric hook
ups. How many people are selling my primary menu items?
You need to be where the traffic is! Even a few feet off the main
traffic way can make a big difference. Nearby obstacles can be a
factor as well. Usually the main traffic way is the best and some
side streets might be great as well, many are not. Think of it
like this; If I built a McDonald's in the alley would it be as
successful as if it were off a major freeway exit? It may be
better to pass on a location with poor traffic flow than to accept it,
and then again if you are willing to work your way up in a mega event
with a poor location, that location can still yielded good sales, but
know this, they tend to be rare. Sometimes you will only know by
trying or talking to other vendors who go to that event.
The reality is if you are new to this business, most locations
available to new vendors (at any decent event) tend to be below
average, i.e.: They suck! It's just the way it is. Many vendors
have been there for years and their spot has been earned by seniority,
luck and perseverance. You must always try to improve your
location until you get a place that works to the optimum. That
means lobbying and keeping your ears and eyes open to find out if
someone is not coming back and jockeying for that spot if it is better.
Generally speaking it takes about 3 years at many events to get an
acceptable spot. So ask yourself this question: Can you afford to
hold out and are willing to give that event that long to develop or
should you consider something else?
Make sure when you contact show promoters you ask the all questions
that will give you the information to make a good sound decision and
get the best available location. Researching ahead of time
will help you achieve success and avoid disappointment.
Rob Bowe is a 19 year
veteran of the food concession industry and author of the top selling
food concession book: Everything
You Wanted to Know about the Food Concession Biz But Didn’t Know Who to
Outdoor Publications © 2006-2008
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