Mobile Catering at Events and Festivals

by David Bentley

Hi David,

My business partner and I are setting up a mobile catering business using a catering van as our premises. We are going to mainly try to do county shows, festivals and other events up and down the country. It is now November and we are looking to start next year. Unfortunately we do not have the van yet but are aiming to get it around January time.

From a business point of view, we wanted to book as many pitches (even if they cost money) as possible so that we can jump straight into it at the start of next year without the worry of not having the business there to do.

I have bought the events book guide but I've been told that it doesn't come out until the end of this year. This means that we can't get a clear picture of who to ring and who to arrange with until probably January next year - will this be too late for events happening in 2011?

Also, a lot of the county shows are asking for pictures and information leaflets to go alongside an application - how are we meant to provide these when we are only just starting up??

Your help would be greatly appreciated.

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Nov 13, 2010
Starting Mobile Catering Business
by: David

Hi David,

Firstly I think you should consider opting for a catering trailer over a van - as this seem to be most event organisers preferred food vehicle of choice.

It seems that some events organisers will not allow a catering van on site due to the combination of the engine/LPG.

For some reason it's considered more of a safety risk and hazardous. Do confirm this by calling and asking some of the event organisers before you commit to your vehicle choice.

With regards to the events book guide, will they allow you an older (last years) copy to go through in early preparation.

As I'm sure that most of the same organisers advertise year in year out, if you could get your hands on last years copy this would be helpful

Then just compare the events to the new one, once the new book arrives.

Finally, not having a catering vehicle, pictures and information leaflets can be tough. I was in this exact situation when I first started.

I was making the change from catering van to catering trailer. To get around this and secure a pitch I was interested in.

I simply found a picture of white clean catering trailer (I ended up buying the same type of trailer) made my leaflets using Microsoft Publisher or a similar application and printed off a few copies on my printer to send off with an application.

This brought me some much needed time and when it was time to trade I had acquired my catering trailer and was ready to roll.

Unfortunately you going to come across many different types of problems when staring any type of business, just be confident that in 99% of times there is always a way around a problem.

Hope this helps,

Best of luck


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