Yesterday we spoke about how food truck owners are consistently looking for new avenues to setup shop in to increase the coverage of their sales. It’s festival season, and while some truck owners have found these events as a great way to add temporary income to their businesses, others have missed out. This series of articles is designed to help those food truck operators that have yet to dip their toe into the world of festivals as well as those who have given it a go, but selected the wrong festivals to participate in.
In today’s article we will discuss how to decide which events will work best for your food truck business based on event length and where the event is located.
It might seem like common sense that the longer the event, the more money you are likely to make, but it is important to consider other factors about the length of the event or event where you are selling. There are typically three types of events: day-long, weekend and seasonal. Each type of event has its positives and its drawbacks.
Day-long events are a gamble that can either pay off in a big way or cause an entire day to be wasted. If the event is extremely popular, you will have a steady stream of business all day and end your day with registers full. Also, since you will only be paying space fees for one day, you will get to keep a larger chunk of your profit. However, if the event is poorly attended, you will have wasted time, money and effort.
Weekend events are a popular choice for vendors, because they offer them the ability to spread their business out over the course of a few days. There is less risk associated with an event that is going to last three to four days because if business is poor one day, there is always the chance to make up the difference over the course of the remaining days. However, space fees are usually much larger for weekend events, and they usually charge a percentage of the profits rather than a flat fee.
Seasonal events such as Renaissance Festivals can be very profitable because they are heavily attended over the course of the entire season. The events are typically only open during the weekend, freeing up your weekdays for your regular stops. The seasonal events are typically well-established and is guaranteed work every weekend of the concession season. Because of the events’ maturity, it can be very difficult to get a space in a seasonal event.
It is important to remember the hours of operation these events will have as well as how long they last. If an event closes down around five in the evening and your menu revolves around dinner food, it is not going to be as profitable as a nighttime event
It is important to consider where the event is being held. Some events are friendlier to food truck vendors than others with regard to accessibility and resources. An event that is located in a grassy park may be ideal for customers of the event, but it can be a logistical nightmare for vendors who have large trailers. Conversely, an event that takes place on the street makes it a piece of cake for a food truck to pull up and then set up and tear down quickly, and access to electricity is much easier if you choose not to use your own generator.
However, on a hot day, customers are likely to tire of the steamy pavement quickly and look for shelter elsewhere.
Don’t forget that you won’t be the only business charging your customers money at the event. If the event is large, chances are, your potential customers have already shelled out money for entrance and are planning on spending some of their other money on novelties as well. If you are unable to make adjustments to the pricing of your menu items, you may want to stay away from larger venues that charge customers for entrance.
The length of time and event has been around is a very important factor to consider as it will have an effect on your involvement with the organization.
Choose established events for a sure thing. Events that have been around for a long period of time have an established customer base and provide consistency for food vendors. However, because of their reliability, they are able to charge more for space fees and are much more difficult to get a contract with.
Risk new events to reap rewards. New events or events are often eager to get new vendors signed on to their event and will charge much less for participation, but since the event is unproven, there is some risk associated as attendance can be poor.
Avoid poorly organized events. One of the other aspects of the maturity of an event can be the level of organization within the event or event. If the event is new or small, the committee in charge of keeping track of vendor relations can be extremely small and made up of volunteers who have no experience dealing with mobile food vendors outside of the event.
The Bottom Line
There are many factors when it comes to selecting the event and venues for your food truck that will be the ideal spot and there will always be some form of trial and error before you find the exact right fit for your business. Using these tips as a guideline will help you to narrow down what you believe is the right mix.