Menu for concession trailer

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blueskyconcessions
Junior Burger
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2010/01/29 13:43:25 (permalink)

Menu for concession trailer

Hello all. With this being our first year with a concession trailer (although about 4 years doing events as a vendor), I am running into a mental block in applying for this years upcoming events. We have more flexibility now with the trailer. In the past, we operated out of a 10 x 10 EZ Up tent. Had a 6 week ball park gig as the sole vendor, so offered ball park food...hot dogs, brats, popcorn, soft pretzels, nachos, pop and gatorade. At other events with several vendors we have specialized in just fresh squeezed lemonade.
What does a promoter look for in choosing food vendors? I want to remain flexible. For example, we can do a mexican menu...sloppy tacos, soft tacos, tortilla soup, pinto beans, fiesta corn, etc. But if we offer ourselves as a Mexican food trailer and the event already has that covered, we are out of luck. Can also do pulled pork sandwiches, slaw, beans, dogs, etc, but again, if that is covered already we are out of luck.
We want to remain flexible in our offerings so we can get into as many events as we can, and maybe after this year settle on a specialty?? Am i on the right track??
Also, with different events sometimes you are one of many, and others you are the ONLY one. Makes a big difference in what to offer I would think.
Any help from experienced vendors or promoters would be appreciated!!I
#1

6 Replies Related Threads

    Dr of BBQ
    Filet Mignon
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    Re:Menu for concession trailer 2010/01/29 22:25:49 (permalink)
    You know that's hard to answer, in order to get into a lot of events you need to have something different or they won't let you in. And even though the other guy that has been there for years is selling crap food they just go along with it.

    I have done a couple of things:

    At an Art Fair I wanted into I changed my menu to Pork Verde, and on the menu wrote it this way.

    Pork Verde  (Smoked Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich)

    I did great and never heard a peep from the other vendor that was selling BBQ Pork

    So I guess it's a gamble, but most times worth it. I think you can always change your menu just enough to get your foot in the door and then you need to be johnny on the spot in paying early the next year and if it's a percentage deal be more than honest in reporting what you made.

    At another gig I took a location that was 20 feet off the street from the normal vendors row (just around the corner) and again with no change in prices did very well.

    But at both events after setting up I went to all the other vendors and told them that if any of their crew were hungry at any time their food was free.

    I think if you can get past the promoter and treat the other vendors well you'll be ok and welcome back every year.

    At the BBQ and Blues event here in town last year I got set up early and two of my biggest competitors both came late. I took my guys and gals over and we had them set up in no time and after words we just left and went back to work on our stuff.

    You just need to blow people away with your willingness to help the entire event and it's vendors be successful.

    Good luck
    Jack


    #2
    blueskyconcessions
    Junior Burger
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    Re:Menu for concession trailer 2010/02/01 16:22:42 (permalink)
    Thanks Jack, some great points. I am going to come up with three menu options....a Mexican menu, an All American menu, and a Ball Park food menu. Hopefully I can appeal to each event based on what their needs are, and can always eliminate one or two items off a themed menu if need be....eg....don't sell hotdogs if someone already has that covered but keep everything else.
    Anyone else out there have any advice? Do you specialize or remain flexible in what you can offer??
    #3
    Dr of BBQ
    Filet Mignon
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    Re:Menu for concession trailer 2010/02/01 22:06:49 (permalink)
    blueskyconcessions

    Thanks Jack, some great points. I am going to come up with three menu options....a Mexican menu, an All American menu, and a Ball Park food menu. Hopefully I can appeal to each event based on what their needs are, and can always eliminate one or two items off a themed menu if need be....eg....don't sell hotdogs if someone already has that covered but keep everything else.
    Anyone else out there have any advice? Do you specialize or remain flexible in what you can offer??


    That will work and when you come up with some idea that every vendor in the country isn't selling work on it until you have it down pat to the point that you can do it in your sleep. And when you apply at events ask for an exclusive (a guarantee) that no one will be allowed to sell your item ever, because if it's good they will all try and copy it the following year.

    Jack
    #4
    paceflchick
    Cheeseburger
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    Re:Menu for concession trailer 2010/02/03 23:41:11 (permalink)
    I have a large menu for my sandwiches and salads... along with many prepackaged candies and ice creams..and beverages..

    We are new. And have been linning up the events. We are trying all kinds of different festivities.... having a larger menu makes it easy for us to adapt to the event..and their needs

    For example
    We have a BBQ sandwich, the event organizer already has a BBQ stand, and they are doing their best not to duplicate food.
    She called us and asked us to drop it from our list...NO Problem....I have plenty of other options I can sell you, just get close enough for me to talk to YA.....lol

    I am finding...the organizers are trying to do it that way..and when you get there you ONLY sell what you listed with you application.
    A lot of the events, we have to purchase soda from them, their sponsership.....they are all different....We are very flexible....thats why I have a Kitchen On WHeels....wheeeee
    #5
    blueskyconcessions
    Junior Burger
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    Re:Menu for concession trailer 2010/02/10 13:34:54 (permalink)
    We, too, have settled on a proposed larger menu offering and will tweak it for each event, based on needs of the event so we can hopefully get in. I don't want to offer EVERYTHING at any one time, too much to prepare and keep hot/cold! I hope thru trial and error we will find our niche with what we really enjoy preparing and serving, which in turn proves to be profitable items. Our trailer is being remodeled (bought a used one not up to code) and i am anxious to get in and try it out for real! Hopefully April we'll be ready to go!!
     
    Paceflchick,
     is your trailer new to you too?? New or used? We were doing events on a limited basis out of a 10 x 10 EZ up tent before, paying Health Dept every event. Will be nice to be all licensed and can go wherever without having to have them come out (I guess we are supposed to let them know where we go each time though).
    #6
    kennyb
    Cheeseburger
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    Re:Menu for concession trailer 2010/02/10 14:44:43 (permalink)
    we to have a very large menu which to choose a few items for each event. we have had a few events email back and say it sounds good, bring it all. we then have to call them and tell them it can't happen.
    #7
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