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 Food concession business at flea markets?

Change Page: 12 > | Showing page 1 of 2, messages 1 to 30 of 43
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Rootsman

  • Total Posts: 235
  • Joined: 7/9/2005
  • Location: Orlando, FL
Food concession business at flea markets? Mon, 02/27/06 2:57 PM (permalink)
I've given up on the parking lot, side of the street kind of mobile restaurant take-out business and now focus on catering and local farmer's markets. I'm having reasonable success with this and am thinking about adding a large flea market to the mix.

Please share your experience with and suggestions for operating a bbq food concession business at flea markets.

As many of you already know, I have a self-sufficient, fully licensed and insured log cabin concession trailer, specializing in Gourmet Island Cuisine, including JERK BBQ, one of the World's true culinary delights. I currently operate at the Celebration, FL Farmer's Market and my food, service and trailer have visitors talking and coming back every week for a very special treat. It's nice to see business grow every weekend.
 
#1
    drsmoke02

    • Total Posts: 250
    • Joined: 11/16/2005
    • Location: emmitsburg, MD
    RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Mon, 02/27/06 3:09 PM (permalink)
    I hope your food is very inexpensive, as folks go to flea markets to find great bargains.I go to farmers markets to find great food,price isn't something i pay much attention to there.
     
    #2
      dreamzpainter

      • Total Posts: 1609
      • Joined: 2/6/2005
      • Location: jacksonville, FL
      RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Mon, 02/27/06 4:23 PM (permalink)
      The "Flea Markets" in Florida at least the larger ones are much different from the ones I was used to in NJ, which were open air and more of a giant yard sale. The 3 large ones here in Jax and the one in StAugustine are in large buildings with semi-permenant vendors, with a small outside area for occasional sellers. Most of the foods available are of the high school concession stand type. Roots seems to have a growing business and the only suggestion I have would be a fan to blow the aroma further, Im sure it would draw me in, good Q would keep me returning....and spreading the word..
       
      #3
        cornfed

        • Total Posts: 344
        • Joined: 5/14/2005
        • Location: atlanta, GA
        RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Mon, 02/27/06 4:48 PM (permalink)
        I had the best chili dog at a flea market in Colton, CA.
         
        #4
          Rootsman

          • Total Posts: 235
          • Joined: 7/9/2005
          • Location: Orlando, FL
          RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Tue, 02/28/06 12:36 PM (permalink)
          I sell quality, not quantity or cheap. That being said a sandwich will run you $6 and meal $8-10; prices that I feel are reasonable whether you are selling on the side of the road, a farmer's market or flea market. The fact that you are a concession trailer is what limits your pricing, not where you set up. Naturally, at special events where you and everyone else is paying huge vendor fees you can charge more.

          Most Farmer's Market customers are rugulars showing up every week or two. Are flea market customers similar? I suspect you have less regular customers and a lot of first timers.



           
          #5
            Catracks

            • Total Posts: 196
            • Joined: 6/24/2003
            • Location: Southern, CA
            RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Wed, 03/1/06 6:11 PM (permalink)
            I still find your prices too high. I go to flea markets all the time and bring my own food rather than pay outrageous concession prices. Not to say yours are. That is just more than I am willing to spend on junk food.

            I suppose I might change my mind if you had a killer pastrami or something different than hotdog, hamburger, pretzle, popcorn, nachos, etc.

            I'll tell you who has the best food. At Pasadena City College in California people have set up more ethnic type food. The tamales go quick as do satay chicken an teriaki sticks. Egg rolls go quick. What always sells out is the lady that brings huge deep pans of sweet cornbread and different southern type cakes. BBQ is good as is tri tip.

            By comparison, the Rosebowl always had its standby concession with the above boring menu.

            Most people won't pay big bucks for the old boring when they can run to a fast food place.
             
            #6
              Jimeats

              • Total Posts: 3175
              • Joined: 8/15/2005
              • Location: Ipswich Ma
              RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Thu, 03/2/06 7:24 AM (permalink)
              You might concider offering a dealer discount to insure their repeat business week after week. Hire a kid to pass out flyers to all vendors with your menu offerings. Chow Jim
               
              #7
                V960

                • Total Posts: 2429
                • Joined: 6/17/2005
                • Location: Kannapolis area, NC
                RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Thu, 03/2/06 11:02 AM (permalink)
                Have to agree w/ Catracks...pricing seems a bit high for a regular flea mkt. Might be OK for an antique furniture one but your standard flea mkt is stolen this and that, bootleg cds and worn out farm pieces.

                Just my opinion.
                 
                #8
                  PapaJoe8

                  • Total Posts: 5504
                  • Joined: 1/13/2006
                  • Location: Dallas... DFW area
                  RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Thu, 03/2/06 11:56 AM (permalink)
                  There is a HUGE flea market in north east Texas. It is called First Monday and is in Canton just off I-20. I go there to eat! Great food of every kind imagionable, 100s of food vendors. Everything that is good sells regardless of the price. One of the bigest places sells baked potatoes. You can have them stuffed with BBQ or all kinds of other stuff. They are about $6 stufed with the Q. The place is always packed.

                  Roots, sounds like you are on the right track! I would love to try that jerk Q and would gladly pay the price.
                  Joe
                   
                  #9
                    Rootsman

                    • Total Posts: 235
                    • Joined: 7/9/2005
                    • Location: Orlando, FL
                    RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Thu, 03/2/06 12:03 PM (permalink)
                    Looks like the biggest problem around here is access. Many flea markets around here own and run their own food concessions and do not allow outside food vendors.
                     
                    #10
                      Catracks

                      • Total Posts: 196
                      • Joined: 6/24/2003
                      • Location: Southern, CA
                      RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Thu, 03/2/06 1:52 PM (permalink)
                      I missed the fact that you do have original good food. Yeah, I'd buy it then. Sounds good. I'd probably still bring my own soda.

                      The problem is one of access. I'd stick to Farmer's Markets. The Rose Bowl flea market is run by RC Canning or some such and they control the concessions.

                      You might try the flea markets that are set up often at community colleges.
                       
                      #11
                        Rootsman

                        • Total Posts: 235
                        • Joined: 7/9/2005
                        • Location: Orlando, FL
                        RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Thu, 03/2/06 10:09 PM (permalink)
                        Dealer discounts are an excellent idea. I typically do that wherever I am set up, even if it is in a plaza parking lot. You can't beat the steady business and the word of mouth advertising.
                         
                        #12
                          festivalfood

                          • Total Posts: 168
                          • Joined: 9/18/2004
                          • Location: peckville, PA
                          RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Thu, 03/9/06 9:41 PM (permalink)
                          I would do your homework on the flea market you plan to get into,before giving up a good spot that you already have.Some flea markets have a long waiting list to get in, like many fairs do and you have to have something different than everybody else when a spot does open up.The menu you have is pretty unique so that should help you a lot.I think your prices are a little high for some flea markets,but if you do the $5.99 thing instead of $6.00 it does make a difference.I was in NYC yesterday at a trade show,and there was a mobile caterer set up to sell to the people setting up their display booths(architect trade show).I was hungry,I got a chicken sandwich on a club roll a bag of chips and a can of diet coke $11.00,I was hungry so I paid it,at a flea market I would have said "I think you made a mistake,and if not you can keep your sandwich!Lol! It does make a difference where your at and what you will pay.I have a friend who owned a deli,and started selling spanish food at a very busy flea market,and made so much money selling at the flea market he sold his deli,and has been doing the flea market for over 12 years.One thing that I have seen at some flea markets,is that some of the food vendors are very "catty" and bitch a lot when a new food vendor is let in,I have seen this at two different places,and it seemed odd that people having fun selling food at a fair or flea market are so worried about another vendor doing the same.I wouldn't worry about it, it was just something that seemed a little odd .Your prices will be affected by how cheap the other food vendors are,and what type of people frequent the market.Some people are just looking to fill their stomach as cheap as possible,and some people don't care they just want something good and tasty,and are willing to pay a little more.That's the great thing about the concession business,you can try many different locations and work when you want to ,and if a place isn't working out ,you can go somewhere else,not so when you sign a 10 year lease on a restaurant location.
                          Good Luck!
                          Jim
                           
                          #13
                            Gullion

                            • Total Posts: 2
                            • Joined: 3/12/2006
                            • Location: underwood, IN
                            RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Sun, 03/12/06 5:57 PM (permalink)
                            I have a question for all who is in the concession business?
                             
                            #14
                              Gullion

                              • Total Posts: 2
                              • Joined: 3/12/2006
                              • Location: underwood, IN
                              RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Sun, 03/12/06 6:10 PM (permalink)
                              For those who have concession trailers, What type of trailer do you think is better to have? Your traditional trailer that you see at the fairs or maybe one that looks like a log cabin or Trollie?
                               
                              #15
                                prisonchef

                                • Total Posts: 296
                                • Joined: 2/13/2006
                                • Location: st augustine, FL
                                RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Sun, 03/12/06 10:52 PM (permalink)
                                the best trailer is the one you can work most efficently out of.
                                that being said it is a good idea to know what your menu is as that will dictate the equipment that is required. once that is established your choice of what manufacturers that you will purchase your equipment from will of course further dictate what form your trailer will take thus, as always, form follows function.
                                seems like an easy question but until you set your menu even thinking about the form is somewhat absurd.
                                 
                                #16
                                  Sonny Funzio

                                  • Total Posts: 902
                                  • Joined: 2/13/2006
                                  • Location: Detroit, MI
                                  RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Mon, 03/13/06 11:40 AM (permalink)
                                  ... might be a bit OT but I thought I'd mention ... the same folks who made the Hotdog, Ice Cream and Sandwich shows on PBS did another good one on Flea markets. Really showed how varied they are around the country. Showed concessions and all. Fascinating stuff. Might be worth a look if you can find it.
                                   
                                  #17
                                    Rootsman

                                    • Total Posts: 235
                                    • Joined: 7/9/2005
                                    • Location: Orlando, FL
                                    RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Mon, 03/13/06 5:44 PM (permalink)
                                    Thanks for the tips. I'll check out PBS Sonny.

                                    Gullion, I responded to your private message; hope you received it. Bye the way, good protocol would be to start a new thread/topic rather than hijack a thread with a different purpose.
                                     
                                    #18
                                      pinetree

                                      • Total Posts: 52
                                      • Joined: 4/6/2004
                                      • Location: Weston, VT
                                      RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Thu, 11/30/06 10:51 AM (permalink)
                                      Hey Rootsman ~ I don't know if you're still checking this thread but my sister had a really successful concession for years at the Elephant's Trunk Flea Market in Connecticut. She had a truck with a grill in it and sold egg sandwiches in the morning on really good Portuguese bread...that was her biggest seller. She had really good coffee. For lunch she did gourmet sandwiches, burgers, etc.
                                       
                                      #19
                                        texgrill

                                        • Total Posts: 302
                                        • Joined: 11/14/2005
                                        • Location: Pasadena, TX
                                        RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Fri, 12/1/06 12:59 AM (permalink)
                                        Papa Joe is correct the flea market in Canton Texas is one of the country's largest. I think all the vendors there do extremely well.

                                        The markets I have been to around Houston have cheaper prices than you offer Rootsman. If the other vendors are selling at a comparable price at your market then that is the going rate.

                                        Ronnie
                                         
                                        #20
                                          John A

                                          • Total Posts: 4295
                                          • Joined: 1/27/2006
                                          • Location: Daytona Beach, FL
                                          RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Fri, 12/1/06 7:18 AM (permalink)
                                          The local flea market retains the food concessions for themselves, no vendors allowed. You can sell peanuts, breads, etc, but no sandwiches, hot dogs, or the like.

                                          John
                                           
                                          #21
                                            The Dog Dude

                                            • Total Posts: 19
                                            • Joined: 6/4/2007
                                            • Location: clementon, NJ
                                            RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Fri, 06/29/07 10:20 AM (permalink)
                                            I tried my local farmers market here in jersey and he only does contracts by the year. And basically told me it was up to the other vendors opinions because they didn't want to lose the vendors that they have had there for years. Now what kind of BS is that. Is that even legal. It definitely isn't a good way to run a business. Letting your customers dictate who you can rent your space to. Maybe I should tell him I'll pay 25% more than the highest rent and see if he has a change of heart. LMAO Not that I would pay it, but just to see what he says. But I dought it. Every flea market is different, so make many inquiries!
                                             
                                            #22
                                              LuncheoNette

                                              • Total Posts: 17
                                              • Joined: 1/1/2007
                                              • Location: southwest, FL
                                              RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Wed, 07/4/07 5:55 PM (permalink)
                                              The flea markets in ft lauderdale I been to and the price isnt an issue, the place packs them in mostly to get a break and sit in air conditioning. There is gyros, subs, fish, burgers, a whole selection of items, they have the people so money doesnt seem to be an issue. I will say from back in Pa where I lived, we had favorites that made us drive to markets. That being said if you do something exceptionally well that no one else does the people will come. Sounds like you know that already.
                                               
                                              #23
                                                Rootsman

                                                • Total Posts: 235
                                                • Joined: 7/9/2005
                                                • Location: Orlando, FL
                                                RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Thu, 07/5/07 12:13 AM (permalink)
                                                I have not explored this much further. Flea World in Sanford is huge and run their own concessions and do not allow outside concessions. I may have the option of selling product in bulk (e.g., whole chickens, slabs of ribs) for consumption at home rather than consumption at the flea market. This could potentially work out well if you've got a great product that samples well, since the average check will be over $20.00. I do, so I may give it a shot.

                                                This may be a way to gain access in your area.

                                                Anyone tried this option?
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  ynotryme

                                                  • Total Posts: 562
                                                  • Joined: 8/20/2006
                                                  • Location: mansfield, TX
                                                  RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Thu, 07/5/07 12:34 AM (permalink)
                                                  Ever attempt the www.floridaswapshop.com. it advertises as the #2 tourist attraction in Florida after Disney world. I don't know their policy but having been there it looks like you could do good there.
                                                  It's not on topic but it has a 14 screen drive-in for those that like drive in movies.
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    MBFDFyre

                                                    • Total Posts: 243
                                                    • Joined: 11/18/2006
                                                    • Location: Near Burlington, VT
                                                    RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Thu, 07/5/07 8:06 AM (permalink)
                                                    14 screen drive-in? the most screens any of my regular theaters have is 10. 14 for a drive-in is crazy.
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      MBFDFyre

                                                      • Total Posts: 243
                                                      • Joined: 11/18/2006
                                                      • Location: Near Burlington, VT
                                                      RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Thu, 07/5/07 8:12 AM (permalink)
                                                      after looking over the website, its not really a swap shop per se. its a large mall.
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        donandpam

                                                        • Total Posts: 2
                                                        • Joined: 2/29/2008
                                                        • Location: N. Las Vegas, NV
                                                        RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Sat, 06/7/08 9:52 PM (permalink)
                                                        hey all rookies here! We want to start our business of selling mostly baked items-cookies, cakes, treats etc, along with a few meat items and of course, coffee and smoothies. Can we make a living at this??? We need any and all ideas you all may have. Retired teacher here, looking to survive on this business.. Thanks for all your responses!!!
                                                         
                                                        #28
                                                          cape cod johnny

                                                          • Total Posts: 34
                                                          • Joined: 7/29/2008
                                                          • Location: lignum, VA
                                                          RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Tue, 07/29/08 3:41 AM (permalink)
                                                          how much money can I make with a nice 16 ft hot dog concession trailer on the average
                                                           
                                                          #29
                                                            Coz Dogs

                                                            • Total Posts: 42
                                                            • Joined: 7/22/2008
                                                            • Location: COS, CO
                                                            RE: Food concession business at flea markets? Tue, 07/29/08 5:07 PM (permalink)
                                                            Cape Cod Johnny its the quality of food, and the customer service.
                                                            You can have a tiny cart and do great, My cart is 7ft long and I do pretty well,
                                                            most of the doggers here have a primary menu, I sell 4 kinds of dogs and beef and pork BBQ
                                                            sandwiches, your big cart give you a great choices and allows for a menu to sell

                                                            Just make sure there Dog gone Good !!!!

                                                            Gullion stay away from the willie dog carts to small they look good but just to
                                                            small for me..

                                                            COZ
                                                             
                                                            #30
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