How do I know?
How do you determine how much food to buy prior to an event? Say the event projects 7000 to 9000 people, what percentage can you expect to eat from your truck/cart?
Congrats on having your food truck at an event. You’ll need to use your own experience for how popular your product is compared to other vendors at the event. You’ll also need to know how many other food trucks are there — how long the event is, what time of day it is, etc. Even the weather can affect sales. Let’s say it’s a really hot day (unlikely, now that it’s October). Hot food won’t sell as well as cold snacks.
Here are the factors to consider:
How popular has your product been in the past compared to other vendors? Same? More guests than most? Fewer visitors than most?
How many other food trucks are going to be there? 1, 10, 100? (the more vendors, the less you can expect to visit your truck)
How long is the venue (in other words, how hungry are people likely to be)? (If it’s a one-hour morning event you’ll have fewer customers than a four-hour event that runs past lunch time)
What time of day is it? (Some folks won’t eat heavy meals midday, or will buy more during an evening event where they can take it home after)
What type of venue is it? (You’re likely to sell more at a sporting event, than say an art show)
How well does your product’s customer match the demographics of event attendees? (For example, when my family provided Italian food at an annual Italian cultural festival, we always ran out and had to make periodic runs to restock the truck!)
Also, consider how perishable is your product? Can you stock more in a nearby location if you run out? Or do you have to prepare it all in advance onsite and have it ready for sale at a moment’s notice?
Also ask yourself — what’s worse, running out of product and leaving early? Or having tons of inventory spoil after the event?
While we can’t estimate your sales for you, these factors should help you consider how much inventory to stock and prep.
Laura, Staff Writer