Tips for a Festival Vendor – Setting Up a Food Booth
A festival vendor is primarily, a businessperson. Therefore, it is important for anyone selling items at a fair, especially those who plan to set up a food booth, to have a concrete plan if you want to put your products on the market.
Choosing the food to be served is of course, the primary consideration for any vendor. Since you will be operating at a fair, as a festival merchant keeping the menu simple and easy to prepare is best.
Aside from planning and choosing the menu there is a list of things a festival businessperson should do before he can set up a food booth. Here is a rundown on steps you must take as a festival vendor before you can begin operations:
1. To become a vendor, you must first apply for a business license with the small business administration office in your area or the county clerk’s office.
It is also important to have already secured an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) from the Internal Revenue Service in order to complete the documentation for a business license.
2. If you only want to participate in an annual fair or festival, you can apply for a temporary food retail license.
However, if you eventually intend to branch out from being a festival operator to a concession stand owner in public venues, make sure you complete the local health department’s training and pass the appropriate licensing exam.
3. Get in touch with the organizer or director of the fair or festival. Some county festival and fairs require vendors to give a portion of their profits or earnings as payment for their participation.
Also, find out the theme of the fair and ask what kind of food you are allowed to sell. You should also get a clear idea of whether or not there would be other vendors offering the same food or beverages you are.
4. If you are planning to prepare the food you will be serving at the festival in your home, you should inform the local health department.
Some areas have strict regulations that may even require an inspection of your home kitchen in order to check your compliance with the health department rules.
5. Once you have been assigned as a vendor for the festival, make sure you have all the equipment you need to run your booth and that these items are easy to transport.
Make sure that you have enough food supplies available for customers. You should also prepare a portable tent canopy, tables and chairs, and a cash box.
Also, bring a credit card machine. There may be many buyers who wish use their cards so do not lose sales by not being prepared.
If the festival concessionaire already has a food truck or cart that has the approved sanitary features (i.e. 3-compartment sink), some of the steps above can be skipped.
Preparation is the key to success and any successful festival vendor will say that his business flourished, not just because of a good product, but because he was able to comply with all the rules in order to put his product in the market.
These are just a few basic tips to help you grow a business as a festival food vendor. What are some additional tips that you have to offer?