Selling concessions at an outdoor event is a great way to make money and it can be a lot of fun, too. If you are getting ready to sell concessions at your first event, congratulations! This is a big step towards making money as your own boss, setting your own hours, and doing the work you're really passionate about. Food is easily the most popular sales item at any rodeo, state fair, carnival, or outdoor music festival, though to ensure that you have the kind of success you know your business is capable of, you need to make some careful choices about what treats you want to sell. Expert concession sellers have shared some of the following advice.
Know Your Event
Every event is different; even the same event can drastically vary from year to year. You have to be mindful of how the event is going to impact how people buy the food they'll enjoy while on the site. If the event grounds has few seating areas or none at all, don't serve foods that take time to eat Anything that requires utensils won't be popular. Concentrate instead on things like corndogs, hot dogs, kebabs, burritos, hamburgers, and sandwiches. These are all types of food that can be eaten while standing or walking.
Know Your Audience
Who is going to be attending this event? Are there likely to be lots of adults or will the demographic be considerably younger? Different age groups appreciate different foods. Kids respond well to traditional favorites such as hot dogs, hamburgers, French fries, and cotton candy. Adults like these foods too, though are more ready to experiment with foods they're less familiar with; gyros, Caribbean jerk dishes, samosas, dim sum are other popular fair ground foods that are more likely to be enjoyed by a more experienced crowd.
Know Your Competition
Do you know what other food vendors are going to be working the same event? Are there established concession stands that will be in operation during the event? Will all the food vendors be grouped together or will they be spread out in different locations on the site? If you have already firmly decided on what kind of food you want to sell, then you'll just have to cope with what competition there might be among people selling the same items. If you are capable of vending a variety of foods and like to change up your menu from time to time, try to learn what other vendors will be present and make any adjustments you feel are necessary. Even though multiple vendors selling traditional American food are likely to do just fine even with competition, food vendors selling specialized dishes such as ethnic cuisine or regional favorites may wish to change up their offerings a bit to ensure that there's little overlap.
Long term success at selling concessions depends on how well you know the event and your audience. If you have never attended an event you're considering vending at, consider sitting that event out as a vendor and attending as a guest instead. That way you'll get a firsthand look at how the event is run, how the site is laid out, and who is attending. Take some advice from the pros and make sure you know as much as you can about the event you'll be vending at.
Rachael enjoys attending special events and sampling all the wonderful food vendors. Be sure to visit http://www.customconcessions.com/ for information about the concession business.
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