From industrial estates to local parks, there is a wide market of potential clients for mobile catering businesses. One of the most lucrative avenues can be to expand into catering at festivals.
A rapid expansion in the number of outdoor events all over the country, from sporting and leisure events to open-air music festivals, means there are more potential catering outlets than ever before. Set up shop at a few small events before attempting the larger ones to get a feel for the type of products that sell, when busy times occur and the stock turnover you can expect.
Know your audience
Depending on the type of food you retail, different festivals will be more suited to your target market. Simple dishes such as gourmet burgers or hog roasts will always be popular no matter what the crowd. Sweet treats such as doughnuts or ice cream will also sell well wherever you pitch your van. Some Wilderness festival-goers even appreciate a Michelin-starred dining experience. Family-friendly festivals such as Cornbury are known for their great atmosphere and a good range of catering options, so you may find these to be profitable too.
Facilities on-site are likely to be extremely basic and you may not have much in the way of set up time, so preparing everything you are likely to need well in advance will stand you in good stead. Judging the amount of produce you will need can be difficult, especially the first time you attend a particular festival. Contacting the organizers beforehand to get an idea of the estimated foot traffic and to find out how many other caterers will be present will give you some idea of what stock to take. Unless you have another event lined up in the immediate future where you can use any leftovers, it is better to slightly understock to avoid unsold waste food. It is vital that you use adequate commercial cleaning equipment like commercial dishwashers to ensure your cutlery and utensils are stored and cleaned safely. You may want to look at some Longspan Shelving that you can source from companies like www.rackzone.ie/pallet-racking/long-span-shelving to store your equipment and items on securely in your chosen premises.
Burger, falafels, burritos, and paella are just a few of the foods that can sell very well at festivals and they could represent a valuable income stream for your catering business.