October 2007 - Fairs and Festivals.Net Monthly Newsletter

March 2009

Food Concession Vending Author,

Start your own Food company

Vending Food At Festivals: A Great Business Opportunity

If you are looking for a fun seasonal job or want to be your own boss, then consider vending food at your local flea market, seasonal festival, craft show, or bazaar. There are many opportunities to set up and become a food vendor in a variety of locales. You’ll need to decide what kind of food to vend for your particular festival, create a unique booth display, and buy the right equipment. You’ll also need to learn about local laws and finally apply to many different festivals. You’ll need a convincing application in order to become a food vendor. Check out these tips to get a head start on your business today.

Serve It Up Right

One of the hardest parts of vending food is getting your first break at a festival or fair. You’ll need to convince the organizers that you should be vending food at their event. There are a few things you can do to accomplish this goal. For starters, pick your food carefully. Maybe you have a specialty you’d like to serve up, but try to aim for a large target audience. For many organizers they want something that will stand out from the rest. Vegetarian or vegan options could be a good idea if this fits in with the demographic of the festival. Vending food that is ethnic could also be a hit, which makes you stand out from the crowd. Creating a successful pitch to organizers is important. Vending food out a unique booth will drive traffic, as well as to impress a festival organizer. Having interesting uniforms for your employees is one idea or any other themed ideas that you can create for your booth could work well. Stay away from music or anything noisy, which is usually a turn off for organizers.

All In Order

You’ll need to do some research on the specific fair or festival you would like to set up at to know what paperwork you will need. You may need to get a license from a local authority for vending food, which could include a fee. You will have to present this in your food vendor application and you’ll need to make sure you have all the right documentation. You should also find out about insurance requirements. Does the festival cover vendor insurance or will you need your own? These are all important questions to find out in advance. Ask about electricity availability for your booth, as well as how garbage disposal works. Each fair and festival will be slightly different when it comes down to the running of the operation. Make sure you ask all the right questions before you submit your application. You want to make sure that you’ve covered all your bases.

Making The Cut

Event organizer will take into consideration your food selection, references, and set up. If you haven’t set up before, then create a mock-set up in your backyard to photograph your booth and equipment. You can present any references that you have from the restaurant industry or any other relevant qualifications if you are new to the festival scene. Make sure to always apply early. An early application is key to getting into the game. You have to remember that food vendors book spots at big festivals up to a year in advance. These are the regulars and you need to try to squeeze into one of the few spots they have available to new food vendors. To make the cut always emphasis that cleanliness is of the utmost importance to you and your business.

You may have to fill out many different food vendor application at first, but it will get easier as you accrue more experience and become more known in the food vendor community. Make sure you find out why you were turned down each time so you’ll know how to improve your food vendor application. Stick with it even if you ear a lot of “no’s” at first, you’ll soon receive a positive response if you keep trying.

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