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Catering, Food Handling and Awareness *OnTopic* Forum to educate us on safe food handling. Not specifically for Catering or competition but overall health and keeping our families safe too.


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Unread 04-16-2012, 12:45 PM   #1
MattG
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Default festival vending

There is a festival in our town that had 10000 attending last
Year. I'm thinking of trying to vend the event. But its $200 and 30%.
That sounds steep. Its a 3 day event and only 2 other food venders and I would
be the only BBQ. 30% plus $200 soinds high. What's your thoughts?
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Unread 04-16-2012, 01:34 PM   #2
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Ok, look at it this way. Say you get 33% of the people to dine at your booth/tent and each person spends an average of $6 (guesstimate). That is approximately $19,998.00 in sales. Now subtract the 30% ($5994.00) and that leaves you with $14,004.00 minus the $200.00 gives you $13,804.00.
Now figure out your costs. Ballpark running a 30% food cost (high for vending) and a 16% labor cost, you should clear $7562.16. I am not sure what your extra overhead or travel expenses are, so subtract them from the $7562.16. Is the final number worth your time? I would think so. Vending is the most bang for your buck when it comes to catering.
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Unread 04-16-2012, 01:55 PM   #3
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Matt - If the event promoter told you attendance was 10,000 last year then most likely it was really 5,000 to 7,000. Most of them tend to exaggerate a bit.

Even it was 10,000 how many of them are going to eat? Maybe a 1/3...and you may get a 1/3 of that depending on what the other 2 venders are selling. If they are selling $2 hot dogs and your selling $5 sammie...guess where Dad is taking the kids to eat.

Also, what kind of event is this and what are the hours? That may determine your sales potential also.
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Unread 04-16-2012, 01:56 PM   #4
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oh...and the $200 PLUS 30% does seem high.
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Unread 04-16-2012, 03:27 PM   #5
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Not for me, I would tell them count me out. Food cost will be 30% give or take and that is only if you sell it all, don't and it could be much higher. You will have huge risks in the event of rain and you are banking on the numbers the event organizer said would be there which are probably higher than the truth like Uncle Buds said. Plus you can not count on all 10k eating. I have done 3 day events that had that many people at but there were more vendors. With 5k in sales I had a net of about $2700 (thinking in my head not looking at it on paper) after food, gas, extra labor etc. I paid about $350 for the vendor spot which left me $2300 for about 80 hours work and 40 hours for my wife. Going by what the organizer is asking you for he would have gotten $1500 leaving my wife and I $1200 and the cost of doing business (insurance, business license etc) still has to come out of that.

Take in to account I down charge $3 for a drink and $8 for a sammie, if you do the event you will have to charge those super high prices to make it work.
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Unread 04-16-2012, 04:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Buds BBQ View Post
Matt - If the event promoter told you attendance was 10,000 last year then most likely it was really 5,000 to 7,000. Most of them tend to exaggerate a bit.

Even it was 10,000 how many of them are going to eat? Maybe a 1/3...and you may get a 1/3 of that depending on what the other 2 venders are selling. If they are selling $2 hot dogs and your selling $5 sammie...guess where Dad is taking the kids to eat.

Also, what kind of event is this and what are the hours? That may determine your sales potential also.

Dave your right I looked it up on the internet and they had lil over 5000 last year. I've got a call into the person running it and going to ask him to put some things in writing. I looked at the application again and missed the part where it states "Each food vender is priced individually after the Festival Committee application review." So maybe its not $200 and 20%. We will see if I can get somone to call me back.
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Unread 04-16-2012, 04:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OMFGBBQ View Post
Ok, look at it this way. Say you get 33% of the people to dine at your booth/tent and each person spends an average of $6 (guesstimate). That is approximately $19,998.00 in sales. Now subtract the 30% ($5994.00) and that leaves you with $14,004.00 minus the $200.00 gives you $13,804.00.
Now figure out your costs. Ballpark running a 30% food cost (high for vending) and a 16% labor cost, you should clear $7562.16. I am not sure what your extra overhead or travel expenses are, so subtract them from the $7562.16. Is the final number worth your time? I would think so. Vending is the most bang for your buck when it comes to catering.

Do you count on getting 33% of the attendees business when you vend? If your pulling in 33% I've been doing something bad wrong.
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Unread 04-17-2012, 08:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattG View Post
Do you count on getting 33% of the attendees business when you vend? If your pulling in 33% I've been doing something bad wrong.
More like 20% and then divide that between vendors.
If 5000 show, expect to cook for about 300. Not worthwhile in my mind, besides his take is way to high.

YMMV.
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Unread 04-17-2012, 08:22 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone. Finially got in touch with the person heading it up and was told there was 12 venders already signed up (2 cooking BBQ) and they were waiting for more to sign up. I told him thank you but no thank you. When asked why I said way too many food venders for that many people. He said that he didnt think so. O well.
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Unread 04-17-2012, 08:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattG View Post
Do you count on getting 33% of the attendees business when you vend? If your pulling in 33% I've been doing something bad wrong.
Absolutely. Why would you not expect to draw 1/3 of the business attending when there are only three venders, not to mention you said you were the only one selling BBQ. I have read additional posts after my initial comments and it seems that some of the details have changed as far as number of vendors attending and actual turnout. If the event coordinator is setting the prices, you do not have to worry about being undercut by the competition. Just have a better product and count on the hometown recognition. When people attend large outdoor events, they eat. Having 3 successful restaurants, I have always had name recognition to help boost my sales at festivals and events. If you assume you are going to do 20% sales, than you will probably be apprehensive to vend any event. You will never know how successful your endeavor will be if you never try. Even if you break even, the exposure is hugely beneficial at local events. Nobody knows who you are if they don't know who you are.
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Unread 04-18-2012, 08:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OMFGBBQ View Post
Ok, look at it this way. Say you get 33% of the people to dine at your booth/tent and each person spends an average of $6 (guesstimate). That is approximately $19,998.00 in sales. Now subtract the 30% ($5994.00) and that leaves you with $14,004.00 minus the $200.00 gives you $13,804.00.
Now figure out your costs. Ballpark running a 30% food cost (high for vending) and a 16% labor cost, you should clear $7562.16. I am not sure what your extra overhead or travel expenses are, so subtract them from the $7562.16. Is the final number worth your time? I would think so. Vending is the most bang for your buck when it comes to catering.

These numbers aren't very realistic. You have to always keep in mind how many people you CAN serve. Let's say it's a 10 hour event that expects 10,000 people. You're not going to serve everyone, so lets say you plan for 30% that's 3000 people. To serve 3000 people in 10 hours, you would have to serve 5 people a minute, or one person every 12 seconds. You can only sell as much as you can serve given your resources.
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Unread 04-18-2012, 08:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teej View Post
These numbers aren't very realistic. You have to always keep in mind how many people you CAN serve. Let's say it's a 10 hour event that expects 10,000 people. You're not going to serve everyone, so lets say you plan for 30% that's 3000 people. To serve 3000 people in 10 hours, you would have to serve 5 people a minute, or one person every 12 seconds. You can only sell as much as you can serve given your resources.
This is a three day event.
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Unread 04-18-2012, 10:44 AM   #13
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This is a three day event.
That's still 1 person every 60 secs for 10 solid hours every day for 3 days.
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Unread 04-19-2012, 08:57 AM   #14
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Wish my crystal ball worked. It don't!!!!! I use the following to make my guess. Sometimes it works sometimes not so much.
At an all day event between 40% and 45% will buy food. Then figure how many standard venders there are. I think I read 12 venders with 3 BBQ/specialty. Assume that 50% of those buying will go for the specialty product and of that you should get 1/3 maybe a little more based on the belief in your product.
One more factor - organizers have a tendency to exagerate/LIE
Estimated attendance 10,000 with LIE correction 6000
6000 X 40% = 2400 purchasers
2400 X 50% = 1200 specialty purchasers
1200 X 1/3 = 400 your realistic share
Just my opinion I know venders that figure 3% of actual gate count as their max. They may run out toward the end of asn event but they minimize waste.
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Unread 04-19-2012, 09:09 AM   #15
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I use a formula, take the number of attendees (6,000) divide by 1/2 and you end up with 3000 attendees. Then you divide that number by the number of food vendors and you end up with 250. I did an event once serving pulled pork sandwiches and hot dogs for the kids. I couldn't believe the number of people who shared a hot dog with their kid. They will spend $10 on a frozen pizza for share a hot dog. LOL.
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