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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 04-21-2007, 09:35 PM   #1
chinesebob
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Default Cooking for non-competition festivals

Brethren,

I have a question about doing non-competiton festivals.
I have done research and created spreadsheets estimating costs and volumes of meat for cooking for festivals.

I am a little intimidated by the thought of cooking for such a large group but I am signing up to do some festivals in central Ohio.

Does anyone do these types of festivals and do they make money at them? Do they have checklists of things they have to take or ways to estimate cost and volume of meat? I may be in the Circleville Pumpkin festival which is one of the largest festivals in Ohio for the whole year.

Prior to that there are several smaller festivals I'm going to be doing and ramping up for the bigger one but I really want to get up and going so it can pay for my competitions and my hobbies.
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Unread 04-22-2007, 04:47 PM   #2
midnight
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I have done several of these festivals and make very good money at it. Do you know how many people will attend? How many food vendors will be there? Bigger isn't always better. I do one festival that is a one day only car and bike show with about 10,000 people attending. I make more money at another one day festival with only 6,000 people attending due to fewer vendors.

I make a check list of everything I need and I also take detailed notes during every event. My check list is very similar to what you would need for a competiton.

As far as food goes, keep it simple. My menu consists of pulled pork sandwiches, beans, coleslaw, water, lemonade, and occasionaly pork ribs.
Be sure to have a combo meal of some type.

Figure your cost times three to get your pricing. This is not a very scientific method of figuring amounts, but what has worked well for me is to take the number of people attending and devide by the number of food vendors. This gets me realy close to the number of people I will feed. Don't forget to figure in your costs of serving dishes and etc. Make sure you are charging enough for your food. People will pay higher prices at events like these than at say a restaurant.

Good luck.
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Unread 04-22-2007, 08:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midnight View Post
I have done several of these festivals and make very good money at it. Do you know how many people will attend? How many food vendors will be there? Bigger isn't always better. I do one festival that is a one day only car and bike show with about 10,000 people attending. I make more money at another one day festival with only 6,000 people attending due to fewer vendors.

I make a check list of everything I need and I also take detailed notes during every event. My check list is very similar to what you would need for a competiton.

As far as food goes, keep it simple. My menu consists of pulled pork sandwiches, beans, coleslaw, water, lemonade, and occasionaly pork ribs.
Be sure to have a combo meal of some type.

Figure your cost times three to get your pricing. This is not a very scientific method of figuring amounts, but what has worked well for me is to take the number of people attending and devide by the number of food vendors. This gets me realy close to the number of people I will feed. Don't forget to figure in your costs of serving dishes and etc. Make sure you are charging enough for your food. People will pay higher prices at events like these than at say a restaurant.

Good luck.
I do the same as you and keep record of all that you do it make it easer the next year. But I have a truck and enclosed traler with smokers. and get a lot of repeat coustmers and I get larger valume every year. Every time I go back I make more $$$ every time so far. And pick up a cuple more catering gigs of every event I do. When I set up I is first class all the way. I don't have a check list I just order more than what I need and will get rid of it the next time. But I have a large catering busness when doing festivals it is a lot ot time out but great advetising. Make sure that you have busness cards for you custmers to take with them.
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Unread 05-14-2007, 01:57 PM   #4
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bob,
You better be serious about doing it up right at the Pumpkin Festival. I have been there the past two years as a visitor and the crowds are enormous. I visited a BBQ vendor last fall (one of only two I saw BTW - Stagecoach BBQ of South Bloomfield was the other) and his stand was empty. I don't think the BBQ was going over very well compared to every one else. Something about the fair food makes the others too much of a draw. I really think it is hit or miss. The stand I visited last year was definitely a miss. The pricing was a little high when compared to the others, which probably hurt his sales. It's tough to compete against a Texas Tenderloin for $3.00 with a pulled pork sandwich for $5.00.

I also think location is critical at the punkin show. Don't be on the far corners or you won't get the foot traffic.
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