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wanting to start a food booth as well

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

hello im Hoping you take the time to read this, me and my friends are wanting to try our hand at having a food booth this year at our local town festival we have been getting our things together but have run into a few snags, if its not to much trouble im hope that someone can educate me about my problem
we were thinking of using 2 roaster ovens as food warmers and an electric fryer for some fries, as well as a real small fridge to keep things cool,
 so my question is this when going to the local events and paying my fees to have electric and booth space will most places provide enuff power to run everything i have or are most places set up to give out some little extension cord that will barley power my roaster ovens, next questions what is a good way to heat up my water so i follow food safety regulations,i hope you can give me some insight on our issues 

post #2 of 10
I've done it a few times. If it's like around here. Get ready to have problems with tripping breakers.
post #3 of 10

Most places have 20 - 30 amp 110v circuits . Most have 20 amp.  One nesco roaster uses around 13 amps . So you will be shooting your self in the foot trying to do all electric.. 

  IMHO . i would use ice chest for cooling , chafing pans for warming and save the juice for your fryer and a fan?

 As for heating water Buy a large commercial coffee pot and it will heat water and keep it hot.

Just remember to refill it as needed

post #4 of 10

Echo what eman said - most events here will supply a single 15amp line, after that you are on your own.  Also more and more events require "quiet" generators like the 2000W / 3000W Honda models.  Go with gas or chafers wherever you can for heat and coolers with ice for cold.

CHECK WITH THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT IN ADVANCE. 

Here in Maryland every county has it's own health department and it's own rules -- to the point where a particular practice -required- in one county may be -prohibited- in another.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

ty all.... i have revamped my things and purchased a propane powered camper stove/oven ....im going to use the burners on top as a food warmer and use the oven to warm up the buns......as far as heating up the water im pretty sure there will be enuff room on the top to put a pan of water on there to heat up.......i plan on using some coolers as well but in my county with the health dept i need to have a same frig to use on foods that i have to prepare {rubbed,injected butts and loins} 

 

every concessions worker ive talked to keeps trying to tell me its not worth the money to do this little idea i have, and that im just throwing my money away, i have a hunch that there just affraid im going to cut into there business,im sure there is profits to be made otherwise why would they be doing it ...............dont you think?????

post #6 of 10

Again, check w/ your  local health dept. on the hot water. The reason i say use the coffee urn is when an inspector decides to drop by they will ask where your hot water supply is and then  will drop a thermometer in it. They will cite you if it is not hot enough and they will not give you time to heat water. Just remember most places now also require you to catch and dispose of your grey water.

post #7 of 10
every concessions worker ive talked to keeps trying to tell me its not worth the money to do this little idea i have, and that im just throwing my money away, i have a hunch that there just affraid im going to cut into there business,im sure there is profits to be made otherwise why would they be doing it ...............dont you think?????


Sounds like good advice to me... I think concessionaires are more familiar with the ins and outs than home Q'ers.....

Several folks on here have made a go of the concession business..... I believe those folks serve 200-500 folks a day.... You need that kind of volume for the numbers to work..... Their initial investment is $10,000 and up..... Good luck in your venture....
post #8 of 10
I realise things like this work differently in the states compared to the UK but as someone who does outside catering for family parties to charity events and village fairs I can tell you it isn't that simple!

You need to work out the risks.

1, insurance. Should something go wrong you need to be covered.
2, financial outlay. This isn't just food. If you normally work for $100 a day, and it's going to take 3 people a day to prep, day to serve and maybe half a day to clean up afterwards, unless you hit more than $750 profit it has not been worth your time.
3, left over stock. Can you use / freeze / sell all the stock you are buying. In what I do, on public events I need to sell between 60 and 70 hog roast sandwiches from each pig before I make a penny for myself. If you estimate 200 portions and only sell 100,your going to lose.
4,equipment...its not just about cooking. You may also need hand washing facilities, equipment / utensil washing, tables, ice boxes... This all adds up if you need to buy or rent extra things.

I don't mean to be negative but sometimes a good idea can start costing a lot of money! You may find that it's only after 4 or 5 events you can make real cash because of setup costs.

I'm just starting my 3rd full year in business and I'm yet to make a penny, between equipment costs, sorting my prep kitchen out, advertising etc. It's only now I can look at making money I am able to take out of the business.

If you did decide to go with it, good luck! And I hope it works out well for you all, just beware of the pitfalls.
post #9 of 10
Wise words Jax!
post #10 of 10

I think I've made most of the mistakes that can be made.  That doesn't mean I don't make any now but at least they seem to be new and more interesting.

I agree with everything JAX said and would add that when you figure the numbers make sure you have EVERYTHING in there for cost - even things that don't require cash right now.  Include mileage on the truck because that truck -will- wear out one day.  Something for taxes - I've seen people who used to get refunds not get it because the income from the side business ate up the refund.

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