Advice

Top tips for setting up a food stall this festival season

With festival season just around the corner, food stall vendors and pop-up caterers will be preparing to provide their services at music, sport and community festivals all across the UK.

And with more festivals springing up year-on-year, competition is rife on getting customers to visit certain stalls. So, to gain an extra advantage over fellow vendors, you need to utilise your offering.

How can you do that? Well, we’ve listed some of the best tips on setting up a stall that will draw in hungry customers and boost your profits this festival season:

Source high-quality chilled storage

Festivals are key opportunities for businesses to bring in a wealth of profits, as you’ll be surrounded by hundreds – if not thousands – of hungry people. No matter the size of the festival, you’re going to need sufficient space to store all of your stock. This will require temperature regulation in order to preserve the quality of your produce and prevent instances of food poisoning.

Showcase your prices

You may not want to shout your food prices through a megaphone, especially if you’re an artisan food vendor, but keeping your prices displayed on an A-board will, without a doubt, attract more customers to your stall. If your prices are hidden away, people may assume that they’re expensive and look elsewhere. It’s best to be upfront and honest about your prices – but don’t be too pushy in your selling techniques, either.

Offer passers-by a sample

Skipping on samples due to a perceived lack of time can be a huge mistake – especially at festivals. Testers are a sure-fire way to gain repeat customers if they like what they taste – so be sure to offer samples of some of your most popular products. People will remember you and return to your stall – and they may even bring a few friends along with them.

Simplify your menu

Sticking to four or five specialities is the best approach to take when it comes to serving at festivals. Although you want to be showcasing all of your products, it can often work against your favour when being overambitious with the menu. Sticking to a few recipes is the best way to stay organised – you’re less likely to miscount stock and order incorrect quantities.

Dress up your stall

At a large festival in particular, you need to stand out from the crowd – as you’ll be competing against a multitude of other food stalls. Decide what kind of look you want to go for – and be sure to stay true to your brand personality. You may wish to go for a more authentic, rustic look, or a sophisticated, high-end appearance. Whichever you decide to go for, try and add some aesthetically pleasing décor – such as string lights, bunting or a small seating area next to your stall.

Serving food at a festival should, above all else, be an enjoyable experience. So, ensure you’re well equipped with all of the essentials, and try to arrive early so that you can secure yourself a good spot!


Ross Pushman, managing director of Coldtraila the UK’s largest organisation for fridge and freezer trailer sales and rental

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