My answer to We run an annual event and control access. What is a fair charge or percentage to allow a food truck o…
Answer by Desmond Last:
As General Manager of Matilda’s 40 Food Trucks in Sydney which we sold to Spotless Catering in Melbourne I have had to tender for several outside catering events.
We ran the canteens for the construction force at the Sydney Olympics and the Sydney Casino as well as catering for the Bankstown Sydney Air Show – all were successful for both Matilda’s and the Operators.
My advice is to negotiate a fixed fee. This will mean you do not have to verify turnover or worry about the rain or any other problem which may affect attendance and caterer performance.
It makes it easier for the Caterer as they can plan their event budget accordingly.
Food has low money value margins and needs the turnover to make money. You will need to bear this in mind when calculating what it is you expect the caterer to pay.
It is not possible to advise a fee without knowing more about the event.
For example what sort of event it is will determine the type of food and the quality as will the time of year. In summer it will be light food and cold drinks in winter hot food and hot drinks – they all have different margins.
The day of week or the length of service time at the weekend will also make a difference as will if it is a night or day event.
A good operator will ‘bust open the books’ and work with you. If you charge too much he will have to up his prices and blame you. So your community commitment may come into question.
Ensure the operator gives good service because he is able to pay for adequate staff and food choice. Cutting back because you have put too much of a squeeze on him may only reduce your attendance and affect future events.
In summary my advice is to negotiate a hands off fee and contain your involvement to a customer satisfaction survey.