McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HELP!

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MamaG
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2011/07/19 08:02:09 (permalink)

McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HELP!

I paid $750 to Quake on the Lake (Michigan) to be the exclusive Smoothie Vendor at the National Hydroplane Boat Races this past weekend.  This was a 2 day event.  I was NOT told that McDonalds would be there to passing out unlimited "FREE" smoothies all day long on Saturday.  When we confronted the event coordinator he said that McDonalds paid $10,000 to do this.  Then we heard that McDonalds does not pay they just pass out free product.
 
I have 2 questions????  Does McDonalds really pay?  And should the event grant my request of giving me 50% back from my event fee since they lied (fraud) to me about what was really going to happen.
 
I want to be professional but do not want to get taken advantage of.  The funny thing is that this was the 12th year of this event and not one returning food vendor.  We were all new.  This is odd and I want the problem stopped.
#1

34 Replies Related Threads

    pnwchef
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/07/19 08:35:20 (permalink)
    your right Mama, but being right doesn't mean they will care about your concerns. If there was all new vendors that tells you how last year went. I would just chalk it up, there isn't much a small vendor could do, all your yelling will be in deaf ears. Live and learn, this is why I don't cater to events and people that only care about themselves. You would think if every vendor was making money, it would make for a better event......I bet last years vendors feel the same way you do right now.............................pnwc
    #2
    MamaG
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/07/19 09:00:11 (permalink)
     
    I do not think I can just roll over.  Any other suggestions???? 
    #3
    Dr of BBQ
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/07/19 09:16:34 (permalink)
    I got a bad deal at an event last year and left 4 hours before it was over. I never called, complained or gave any indication that anything was wrong but they called me this year to ask why I hadn't applied to do the event, this summer.
     
    I told them about last year and said I'd need free entry this year and a promise that what went on before would never happen again. They said deal....so we will see how it goes this year.
     
    But PNWC is correct you can do the event or not they don't care about you unless your making them a bunch of money. So stop worrying about the small stuff and move on to a bigger better event somewhere else. You'll never win in this battle.
     
    #4
    MamaG
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/07/19 09:43:10 (permalink)
    How common is it that the venue wants a "money order"?
    #5
    joerogo
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/07/19 10:04:05 (permalink)
    Do you have a contract that states you are the "exclusive Smoothie Vendor"?  If you do, sue them for your entry fee and loss of profit.  
    #6
    Dr of BBQ
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/07/19 12:13:27 (permalink)
    Joe,
    Not getting on your case 2 post in a row (sorry) but you have to be able to prove what you lost by not doing the event, and you can't do that with out a track record at that event.If you had done the event for 3 or 4 years and had a proven track record MAYBE?
     
    She just got hooked up with a bad event promoter and it's a good lesson for everyone on this forum. If you new in vending and a large event tells you no problem will get you in you better beware.
     
    If it's a large event or even some smaller events with a good track record there will be a waiting list and you can expect to see the same vendors back year after year.
     
    We have some vendors that have been coming to our State Fair for over 30 years. Some have turned the vending operation over to their kids or in some cases their grandchildren. Vending events is not easy.
    Jack
    #7
    joerogo
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/07/19 12:41:12 (permalink)
    Hey Doc, You're picking on me.
     
    MamaG sounds like she wants to extract her pound of flesh(my kind of girl).  If she has a contract, she would at least get her entrance fee back in small claims court, plus profits based on attendance figures should be part of a settlement.  Again, all based on the contract agreement.
     
    I know you guys are in a tough, dog eat dog business, and you have to choose you battles wisely, but I would want to kick someones butt.
     
     
     
     
    #8
    lornaschinske
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/07/19 17:21:59 (permalink)
    I think MamaG should ask for all her entry fee back (which she won't get) and start posting everywhere on the internet about this event. Go to other events and talk to the vendors there. Tell them what happened. I would even start a free webpage called "Quake on the Lake SUCKS" and up front post the story. Everytime someone does a search for that event, your webpage will pop up. Then next year , IF they contact you, tell them no and why. I wouldn't do it for free either. They need vendors more than vendors need them. I'm sure you aren't the only one they have treated like that.
    #9
    Parrot Cage
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/07/19 19:54:39 (permalink)
    And to expound on Lorna's idea of a web page, also make sure to have space for others to post about their experience with this event so people can see your not just some whiner or something.
    #10
    MamaG
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/07/19 22:19:27 (permalink)
    Now we are talking.   I think this is the route I should go.
     
     
    #11
    MamaG
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/07/20 09:24:01 (permalink)
    If I started a web page and presented the truth, I am afraid it would come back and haunt me.  However, I don't want anyone else to get burned.  This event is in my hometown.  I was thinking of going to the news as well.
     
    #12
    joerogo
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/07/20 09:34:53 (permalink)
    What about your contract?
    #13
    deepfryerdan
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/07/20 10:41:48 (permalink)
    The website creation won't garner you much. You'd be better off starting topics on similar forums using the festival's name as the subject line. That will show up faster and higher in search results than a new website would.
     
    As for the small claims court, I personally would present the problem and what you're going to do to the event coordinator first. Give them a deadline for when you want an answer. I would also use a lawyer. You won't get as much money but it's important to make sure that this doesn't happen again to someone else and that this event coordinator understands their wrongdoing.
    #14
    Dr of BBQ
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/07/20 19:40:36 (permalink)
    Have you spoken to the event chair person if so what exactly did they say? Did you have a contract that plainly stated that you were to be the only vendor for your product? Who's event is it, are they a 501 C Charity, and if so are they giving large checks to charities in the area? If so you could end up looking like the bad guy if you go to the press and cry.
    #15
    chefbuba
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/07/20 20:05:03 (permalink)
    Lesson #1.......$750 is a big nut to crack...right off the top.
    Regardless of attendance #'s, can you sell enough smoothies in a day to pay that size of entry fee and make a decent profit ?
    #16
    agmccall
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/07/21 05:25:30 (permalink)
    Did you know that a large radio personality has started an Ice Tea Company.  He went to a 4th of July event in Joplin MO and gave the Tea away for free.  He also went to all the vendors that were selling drinks and gave them money for their lost revenue.  A bit off topic but, oh well
    #17
    Parrot Cage
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/07/21 08:21:42 (permalink)
    deepfryerdan

    The website creation won't garner you much. You'd be better off starting topics on similar forums using the festival's name as the subject line. That will show up faster and higher in search results than a new website would.

     
    There have been plenty of people who have received justice because they started a website complaining about how they were treated by a company and said company didn't like the negative publicity.
    #18
    David_NYC
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/07/21 09:02:31 (permalink)
    I took a look at the website for Quake on the Lake, and it will give you a lot of ideas on how to address your grievance. The first thing I found is that it is sponsored by the Oakland County Community Club. However, the event and web site is too slick for the club to be running it themselves. They must have an event organizer doing it for them. Therein lies the rub; if the person hired by the event organizer to be in charge of food vendor and exhibitor space sales is a 'tard, that person has to be neutralized. Maybe that is why there are no repeat food vendors. We don't know if McDonald's bought space before or after you did. But no ethical event organizer should sell you space you can't make money on, and should have returned your money if McDonald's bought their space after you did. Competing with Free is pretty tough. I know things could get tricky; maybe McDonalds planned to give out free apple pies but changed their mind at the last minute.
     
    The website lists the names of the eight board of directors of the Community Club , including State Senator Michael Kowall. Contributions to the non-profit Community Club are tax deductible:
    http://non-profit-organizations.findthebest.com/detail/686288/Oakland-County-Community-Club
     
    Is Mike Kowall your state senator? Complain to him.
    #19
    MamaG
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/07/21 18:22:25 (permalink)
    This story gets crazier.....
     
    The food coordinator called me.  He tried to tell me a bunch of BS but I told him I was onto him.  I told him to answer this question, "We did you need me as a smoothie vendor if you had McDonalds willing to come and give free smoothies all day long?"   He could never answer the question.
    Then I asked him about the money order he mad the other vendor give.  Not a cashiers check, but a money order that was to have the payee left blank.....yes BLANK.  He says if I can show him the money order he will give me 50% of my money back?  WTF....is this a bribe?  Thank goodness her money order is from her credit union and she made a copy of it.  She emailed me a copy too.  It is blank. (She know she was stupid, but trusted him because she is new)   She is going to get a copy of the cleared money order.  We are 95% sure his name will be the payee......This is getting over our heads.
    I told him I would like the State of Michigan to audit his 501 nonprofit.  He now is ready to give me my money back.  He said he would call me in 2 days.
    This is crazy but it looks criminal???? 
    #20
    deepfryerdan
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/07/25 14:22:41 (permalink)
    Parrot Cage
    There have been plenty of people who have received justice because they started a website complaining about how they were treated by a company and said company didn't like the negative publicity.

     
    I don't mean this in a rude way but can you name a few?
     
    I think creating a website is a good idea but no one is going to see a new website. You have to link to it and to do that you have to go to current forums and tell them what you're doing and where they need to go to discuss it. Most forums don't respond kindly to people strolling in and posting links all over the place to their own website - whether the purpose be good or evil.
     
    In the end, quality forum discussions that can be recorded on your site will garner you more of an impact than just creating a godaddy account with some no-name domain and watching your stat counter for some hits.
     
    I'm an e-commerce analyst. I'm not trying to tell you a story, I'm telling you what works.
    #21
    MellowRoast
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/07/25 15:41:33 (permalink)
    I'd be on the phone with an attorney so quick, you'd think I'm faster on the draw than Matt Dillon.
    #22
    Dr of BBQ
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/07/25 18:31:10 (permalink)
    MellowRoast

    I'd be on the phone with an attorney so quick, you'd think I'm faster on the draw than Matt Dillon.

     
    Matt Dillon.....LMAO ....well there may be 2 or 3 people on this forum that are old enough to remember Matt Dillon.I'm one.
    Love it
    #23
    MamaG
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/08/24 12:59:17 (permalink)
    The owner of McDonalds confirmed they paid nothing to attend the event and pass out free smoothies.  I paid $750 to have space to SELL smoothies.  I am thinking small claims court.  Why did they need me when they could get free?
    #24
    lornaschinske
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/08/24 15:57:37 (permalink)
    I don't think you have a legal leg to stand on. You just spent $750 for an expensive lesson. So are you going to vend there again?  You need to set a limit on how much you will pay to set up at an event. And then don't go past that limit. Don't forget to factor in traveling expenses as well. I wouldn't spend $750 for an event. But we are tiny and I know what our cart can make in a day's time. We just turned down an event that is charging $75. Last year we did well at it. But we were the only food vendors, they had an attendance of 600-700 MAX and the entry fee was $40. For a 6 hour event. That's too much for the distance we would be traveling (time and fuel), David is only able to work two days in a row before needing a break and I know how much $$ our cart can generate in that length of time if we are pushing food out as fast as we can. And folks around here just aren't spending the $$ this summer.
    #25
    BackAlleyBurger
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/08/24 17:05:02 (permalink)
    is he still offering you your money back....if so i would take it and drop the whole thing..... get your money back, learn your lesson, and walk away....
     
    personally i cant see paying 750 bucks for any event....
    thats why you will never see me doing nascar events... around here they want 40% of what you make...... i dont care if i can make 10k over a big weekend, im not paying a multi million dollar corporation 4k for the privilege of taking home 6k...... now if they want to invest 40% of what it cost me to get there(the whole ordeal) then i would be glad to do it..... 
    #26
    chefbuba
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/08/24 18:10:28 (permalink)
    MamaG

    The owner of McDonalds confirmed they paid nothing to attend the event and pass out free smoothies.  I paid $750 to have space to SELL smoothies.  I am thinking small claims court.  Why did they need me when they could get free?


    They did not need you, they needed your $750
    #27
    chefbuba
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/08/24 18:25:07 (permalink)
    It has been said here time and time again, know what you can gross in a day at max output, regardless of attendance, you can only produce so much product in a day.
     
    Let's say you can make 30 smoothies an hr at $5 each, x's 8hr day. That's only $1200....and that's IF you were busy the entire time.
    Less your product cost, labor, entry fee, and whatever other overhead your paying for... I only see a net of about 12-1500 for the weekend... not worth it to me.
    I'm doing an event this weekend, THEY CAME TO ME, vendor fee is $300, told them I would not pay that much, got them down to $150.
    It's 8hrs, about 1500 people, one other "real food vendor", and a few people selling popcorn and stuff like that.
    I'm still leery of paying $150, after food, labor, propane, generator gas, ins, taxes, and my other fixed costs, I hope to walk with a few hundred.
    This spot is literaly around the corner from my regular location, it will take longer to get the trailer ready to move that it will to drive to location.
    If I had to travel, forget it.
    post edited by chefbuba - 2011/08/24 18:37:22
    #28
    Buck & Vi's
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/08/24 20:40:38 (permalink)
    I did a big car show last year, speed channel was there it was huge! i paid 300 bucks to get in,many many vendors there too... i was the first vendor as people entered the show. we made out well but had trouble with the elec from the get go, elec. was to be furnished 110 only but that was fine too. well the whole day i spent resetting breakers till i got sick of that and fired up the ole genny,, seems the neighbors didn't like my ole genny running (it's kinda loud) so they complained to the promoter, he comes over and asked why ? i told him of my problem ... he gets an electrician to come over and get me a "special" breaker that don't trip great !right?? wrong my nice neighbor unplugs me and plugs himself in!@! well i go to see him and i don't play well with others ... so well lets say we had an agreement, my fist wouldn't meet his nose if he left my plug alone!the day ends i'm thinking of all the problems i had so. first thing monday i called the promoter and tell him of all the problems i had just to vent... 2 weeks later i get a check for 1/2 my entry fee..  a month ago he calls me and wanted us to do the event this year.... free entry, I mean you cant ask for anything better than that, i declined, nothing to do with him but we're busy... so some of them aren't too bad either, but yes i've had horror stories too
    #29
    PurpleCheetah
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    Re:McCafe Free Smoothies at same event I paid for space to sell smoothies! HELP! HELP! HE 2011/08/25 15:26:45 (permalink)
    MamaG

    The owner of McDonalds confirmed they paid nothing to attend the event and pass out free smoothies.  I paid $750 to have space to SELL smoothies.  I am thinking small claims court.  Why did they need me when they could get free?

    It seems as tho they didn't "need you" but they needed/wanted your money. They didn't care if you sold one single smoothie or not. They wanted your 750.00 and I would go through with trying to get my money back.
    #30
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