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Concession Food Stands and Food Trailers

Operating a Stand, Cart, Food Trailer or Truck

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Home  Operating your own Food Stand or Concession Trailer business can be rewarding. Start your own Business with a Food Stand or mobile food cart on weekends as a food vendor at various popular events, then upgrade later to your own Concession Trailer or a Food Truck.

 

 Food Stands, Carts, Booths, mobile food concession trailers and food trucks come in all shapes, sizes and designs. Popular products sold include coffee, hotdogs, burgers, donuts, fries, sausage, popcorn, fairy floss, ice cream, snow cones, tacos / burritos / nachos, pizza, corn, ribs, chicken, potatoes, hot and cold drinks and more depending on the market demand. If its cooked using a BBQ, grilled or deep fried, chances are a concession vendor is selling it at a show or event. The experience of the food is part of a day for the visitor.

 Deciding your menu is the most important part of your business. Don't try to do 20 dishes at your first event. Realize the capacity of yourself and your equipment ( How many X can you honestly sell per hour ? ) and is food served hygienically in a professional organized manner and perishable goods are stored correctly.

 Is what you are selling going to make a profit ? Is it worthwhile. Is the product tested and  suitable for the customer demographic and the weather at the event.

 If you run out of your product, can more stock be sourced quickly from a supplier easily and close by. Do you have a plan and person who can go for you ?

Getting ideas for your food concession business can be as easy as visiting food vendors at events, having a look at their stand, cart, trailer or truck and asking them a few questions, some vendors will be helpful others will not. Ideas for your menu be unique and easy to prepare. Some event food vendors have probably been there for years selling the same thing.  

 Deciding to sell concession food from a tent, marquee, cart, bus, trailer or truck will vary depending on your initial start up budget and requirements. It would be best to start small with only a few items and to sell one item on your menu that is unique that no other vendor sells. Do your research, visit shows and events you intend to be a vendor at. If you are new to the industry, be prepared and well aware food vending is a highly competitive industry. Some food vendors have had generations of experience, and are given the best locations at events from organizers. If you are just starting out be prepared to take an initial financial loss, equipment and supplies are expensive. Don't expect to make a ton of money at your first few events, instead focus on learning and building your food business.

 Importantly no food can be prepared at your home. You must abide to health department regulations for preparation and storage of perishable foods. Speak or visit your local health department for jurisdictional hygiene rules and regulations, even search for their website. When booking events you must have insurance, specifically public liability insurance and product liability insurance for specific amounts ( 10 to 20 million $ ) Also insurance for your staff in case of an accident is required. Other insurance worth considering could be for theft, damage and fire. Speak to an insurance broker to discuss your individual business requirements. Insurance is an essential part of any concession business. Insurance costs can vary.

 Like any other business, being a food concession vendor can be hard work. Dealing with organizers, suppliers, the health department and happy customers are all in a days work at events like shows, markets, fetes, rodeos, fairs, concerts and festivals. Remain friendly even if your exhausted.

 Be organized an serve customers quickly and efficiently. Your concession business cart, stand, trailer or truck will need to be kept clean and tidy, well organized, friendly, fun and professional. You will want to develop good relationships with your customers to encourage repeat business and ensure your line is long.

 Other tips I would recommend is getting to the event early to set up and don't be in too much of a hurry at the end of the day to pack up and leave. Always ensure you have adequate change and a cash float, keep you prices in whole units like $ 2, $ 3, as its easier to calculate in your head and quicker to give change for. Ensure you always keep you eye on the cash box if using one, and keep it secure when packing up. Wait to you get home to count your money. There will be time for counting, when the dealings done - Kenny Rogers.

 

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