Fair Food, Food Carts, and the Food Concession Business

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In case you didn't’ know, earning a full-time income from a part-time concession is not the typical outcome for most concessionaires. In fact, from what I’ve observed, most new concessions fail within the first year. The reason: because information about starting a concession business is so scarce that new concessionaires must learn the business gradually and "by feel" during the critical period when they are also competing against experienced vendors for events, booth space and customers. Good News! You can let me help you level the playing field and reach your profit potential quickly by benefiting from my experience.

When you’ve been in the concession business as long as I have, and written a book about starting a concession business, it’s inevitable that you get a lot of pleas for help. While I used to have plenty of time to answer all the questions emailed to me, it quickly became unfeasible. Though I do try to offer each reader an email to address their personal concerns it has become apparent that some folks want more time. With that in mind, in October 2007 I launched a one on one, fee based consulting program that can be purchased in one-hour increments. Because of the hectic concession season this service is only available from October through March.

When I first entered the concession business I knew nothing about running a business, much less a food booth. Every event was a learning experience, and my education continues daily. Starting a concession business is easy. However, starting and operating a successful concession business can be deceptively complex. Success comes only with proper planning, execution, and an understanding of the unique marketing dynamics of the midway.

It’s been a long road traveled since starting my own concession business in 1984. In route I’ve absorbed an enormous amount of information about the food concession business. Though my experiences are different from every other vendor out there, I consider my overall perspective to be typical, and therefore relevant to vendors entering the field.

Unlike many authors who make money selling knowledge about a particular field while not actually being involved in the field, I continue to be active in the business of food concessions, still making 90% of my income from my food booth. I don’t provide second hand, or outdated advice.

How Might You Benefit From My Mentoring Service?

  • In trying to determine if the concession business is right for you.
  • Need help brainstorming menu ideas?
  • Need help acquiring a booth and designing your equipment and layout?
  • Need help analyzing event availability or discovering licensing regulations in your area?
  • Need help putting together a business plan?
  • Need help evaluating the feasibility of your plan?
  • Need help analyzing why your existing concession doesn't’t make as much money as it should?
  • Want to avoid some of the many common “newbie” mistakes?
  • Need advice about anything concession related I'm likely your gal, if not, I'll say so.


Consulting Fees:

Purchase telephone and/or e-mail sessions in one-hour blocks: one hour: $150, two-hours: $275, or three hours: $350. Paid total in advance. Use your time in one entire session or divide it into smaller sessions.


Here’ How it Works:

  1. I highly recommend you first read Food Booth, The Entrepreneur’s Complete Guide to the Food Concession Business. The information in the book may eliminate your need of consulting.
  2. Contact me by e-mail (carnival@foodbooth.net) and suggest at least three possible time slots for the initial session. (M-F, between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM Pacific Time).
  3. Include in your email an outline of what you seek from consulting. I highly recommend you first spend time evaluating your situation and goals. We can make better use of your time if I understand your prior business experience, where you are in the start-up process, what you envision your concession business will ultimately look and be like. Any menu ideas you may have. And, describe your long-term business goals.
  4. Make payment in advance of first session. Phone sessions are initiated by the customer.

Payment Options:

  1. Use Pay Pal (preferred) to make instant credit card or check payments to any e-mail address at no cost to you. It’s safe, fast and free to you. If you’re not already a Pay Pal member, go to www.PayPal.com; click “Send Money”, then sign up for the free personal account (only need to do this once). Just fill out the quick one-page form, submit it, and you’ll get a confirmation e-mail. That’s all there is to it! Return to the Pay Pal site, login and follow the prompts to send payments to my e-mail address (carnival@foodbooth.net) using your credit card or having money deducted directly from your checking account.
  2. Pay by check (if at least ten days in advance of session) made out to Barb Fitzgerald; mail to: PO Box 1068, Cornelius, OR 97113.


Confidentiality and Ethics

  • I adhere to the highest standards of professional ethics. I am committed to being honest and forthright with my clients. If I can’t provide answers or solutions I will say so. I will also discourage or encourage a particular course according to my best judgment. Of course, the client is not obligated to agree with me or follow my advice.
  • I am committed to advising only in my area of expertise, and only on matters that will provide real benefit to my client. When appropriate I will encourage clients to consult with other specialists such as financial planners or attorneys.
  • I treat information entrusted me by my clients with strict confidentiality.

Still Have Questions?

If you still have questions about concession business consulting please feel free to email me at carnival@foodbooth.net or call me at 503/628-2090.

 

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