Thu Aug 24 2017
It’s Day 2 of our six-day Festival Series, which features main stage tips from the hard-grafting food and drink vendors we spoke to at Barclaycard Presents British Summer Time 2017 (BST), Hyde Park, London. If you missed Day 1, here are tips A to D. Keep your eye out @BcardBusiness for announcements on the next tips to top the bill.
From pop-up stalls to bricks and mortar stores, and vice versa, the chance to evolve your business with the help of festivals is potentially massive. Some of the vendors at this year’s British Summer Time Festival told us that the things they’ve learnt at festivals have helped them to successfully set up permanent shop. Arancini Brothers is one such vendor. By adapting quickly to the British palate (the “brothers” – Dave and Dave – met while working in Australia) Arancini Brothers took off.
“When we started, we brought the risotto ball to the market with a salad. We very quickly realised that the English market wants everything in bread. So we got a wrap and put the salad and the balls inside the wrap, and put some nice sauces. From that day onwards, our business really changed.”
This learning happened while Arancini Brothers was a tiny market stall on Brick Lane, when overheads and cost of setbacks were low. Now, the brand delivers all over London, caters at private events and has a bricks and mortar restaurant in Kentish Town, North West London. For the brand, growth really did come from understanding the market and testing new things at pop-up locations.
If you’ve ever been to a festival or event, you’ll know that queuing is a necessary evil. If you want a drink, some food or some event merchandise, you may well need to queue and that may well mean you miss part of an act.
Not ideal. Did you know that the maximum acceptable queuing time is just nine minutes. And that festivalgoers are likely to go elsewhere or abandon the purchase altogether if they have to wait longer.
That’s missed revenue for vendors, which could hurt when you think that food and drink accounts for over a quarter (27%) of a festivalgoer’s budget1.
So one of the biggest tips that came from our chats with BST vendors was to serve people delicious, fresh food, quickly and with a smile. Contactless card payments is a huge part of what they said made up a great experience for festivalgoers because it means they can speed through queues, particularly important during peak times
It’s easy to assume you know that consumers want, but you won’t always be right. Just as Andy from The London Po’Boy Company said, getting stuff wrong is often the best way to learn what works. So, ask your consumers what they want and make adjustments based on experience of getting things wrong and feedback from people you speak to.
It’s also important to choose the right festivals and events to sell at. If you sell a particularly trendy product that appeals more to a younger demographic, but you set up at a 1980s nostalgia festival, for example, you might find yourself twiddling thumbs not taking orders.
Keeping your team motivated is crucial. Eddie, owner of Waffle On, talked to us about the long hours and complete dedication needed to make it in this business.
“My staff are like my family. We work incredibly long hours together and it’s crucial to see everyone as an equal part of the team. That’s the key to success for us.”
Share your motivational tools with us @BcardBusiness.
1. https://www.home.barclaycard/media-centre/press-releases/festivals-offer-new-opportunities-for-merchants-as-pop-up-commerce-grows.html (July 2017)