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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 04-09-2010, 10:50 PM   #1
Oinky
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I just got the news that a fair wants me to come. I'm a rookie to big events. Attendance is 250,000 over 10 days. Some major entertainers.
$2200 cost for a space for 10 days, 20% of my profit to the fair. I know there are a lot of variables and expenses. I know this is a big project. I would love to try it. Anyone who can help or has this type of expirence give me an idea of what I'm up against? Anything? Thanks
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Unread 04-09-2010, 11:14 PM   #2
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20 % of profit??? The fairs have no way of knowing your profit. They make you run tapes and charge a percentage off of GROSS SALES. Better check---it is a big difference
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Unread 04-09-2010, 11:26 PM   #3
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20 % of profit??? The fairs have no way of knowing your profit. They make you run tapes and charge a percentage off of GROSS SALES. Better check---it is a big difference. If you sell a sandwich for 5 dollars---they get a dollar. When you buy food at a fair the prices are horrible---this is the reason. Some fairs collect tapes every hour. Some fairs report your gross sales to the state and then the state wants required sales tax.
Some fairs have a sign on every food vendor booth where to report you if you do not give them a receipt. Be carefull Do your homework. Why do they need new food vendors---did the vendors from last year get screwed and not come back?
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Unread 04-10-2010, 06:13 AM   #4
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Run away from this till u have a lot more experience.
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Unread 04-10-2010, 06:22 AM   #5
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20% of gross sales plus 220 per day is not all that unusual for a large festival. The organizer is delivering you 250,000 potential customers, so that's worth something. You have to raise menu prices to make it work, making the food more expensive for the patrons as pointed out above. The key is knowing your food and labor costs, then setting prices properly. In general I price at an average of 3x food costs as that works well in this part of the country. For this event you'd better be at 4x to cover the 20% and make it worth your time. Another issue in multiple day events is being set up to be "cooking for tomorrow while you are serving today". It's one thing to cook for 1,000 people one time, and quite another thing to do that 10 days in a row. Best of luck!
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Unread 04-10-2010, 07:04 AM   #6
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Some simple math to think about. $3000 sales per day average means $30,000 gross - fair takes $6000 + 2200, cost of food = $7500, labor 3 people x12 hours x10 days @10 per = 3600. Cost at this point = 19,900. Your time, assorted supplies such as rub and profit is left.
If it rains for 10 days sales = $5000 total and you are left with a big loss.

Questions - do you have refrigeration to handle the food raw and cooked? Do you have cooker capacity to do that quantity of food. Is your trailer big enough? How many events have you done where you sold $3000 per day even if just one day - not counting catering? Will you need to rent a trailer for staff to sleep in? Will you need 2 shifts of people? What are the hours and rules of the event? Some say must be open from gates open to close or there's a penalty and you can't run out of food and close early.

I think that Bubba is probably right but you're new here so tell us a little about your experience first.
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Unread 04-10-2010, 10:01 AM   #7
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Yes that is 20% of gross sales sorry about that.
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Unread 04-10-2010, 08:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oinky View Post
I just got the news that a fair wants me to come. I'm a rookie to big events. Attendance is 250,000 over 10 days. Some major entertainers.
$2200 cost for a space for 10 days, 20% of my profit to the fair. I know there are a lot of variables and expenses. I know this is a big project. I would love to try it. Anyone who can help or has this type of expirence give me an idea of what I'm up against? Anything? Thanks

Sounds like the mafia is running the fair
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Unread 04-10-2010, 09:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grillfella View Post
Sounds like the mafia is running the fair
Bill - Long Beach Grand Prix is $2800 for 4 days and 28% of sales - They're everywhere!
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Unread 04-11-2010, 12:20 AM   #10
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We need to know , if you got crew and equipment to even make it happen. If you are renting, then you are way spending too much! YMWV!
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Unread 04-11-2010, 02:24 AM   #11
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Bill - Long Beach Grand Prix is $2800 for 4 days and 28% of sales - They're everywhere!
Wow thats a good chunk of change
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Unread 04-11-2010, 06:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big brother smoke View Post
We need to know , if you got crew and equipment to even make it happen. If you are renting, then you are way spending too much! YMWV!
Love that crew picture

Can you send them up to MI to help me out?
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Unread 04-11-2010, 02:32 PM   #13
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also remember when calcualating average daily sales....tues and wednesday are DEAD at fairs.......Thursday it starts to pick up and then Friday Saturday and Sundays are the days to pump it out the door. Timing is important.....food should be piled up and ready to go before and after scheduled events.......no one leaves a concert or demo derby to get food....they get it on the way in and the way out.....depending on your location you have to try and schedule when the traffic will be hitting your stand....are you next to a beer tent ? a grandstand ? the entry gate ? Just something to consider...
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Unread 04-11-2010, 04:05 PM   #14
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Our last festival we were able to get the pitch directly across from the beer tent and were the first food stall as you entered the gate to the concert stages etc. Great thing about a spot like that is people can see you so when the masses started coming in for the concert tents I opened the cooker tossed in a bit of smoke wood and started slicing pork as they walked by and after the concerts finished we were slammed!! We started serving breakfast at 6AM and worked till 3AM everyday. Have plenty of staff available, we did it with five people and were balls to the wall but I couldn't afford to hire anyone. It's a tough haul but it's all worth it when you're counting the cash days later.

We didn't have the numbers you are talking so it's best to consider two shifts wit a back up plan.
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