New Business Venture

Junior Burger
2005/07/19 22:31:16
Hello...I am new to the forum. I am so glad I stumbled upon this site. My husband would like to start up an apple fritter business at fairs, fesivals, etc. We have no idea where to even start. Neither one of us has ever been in the food business. I make dog treats but that isn't the same. I know he would like to get a concession trailer. Does anyone know if they rent these? Has anyone ever been in the apple fritter business? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
Filet Mignon
RE: New Business Venture 2005/07/19 23:32:47
I am not a restaurant professional, but since you haven't had a reply yet, I found this web page where they discuss some of the plusses and minuses of concession trailers at fairs and festivals. I thought it might give you some insight on the situation.
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
RE: New Business Venture 2005/07/19 23:44:56
I have to wonder why you believe that people would be interested in eating apple fritters when they can have corn dogs; sausage, peppers and onion sandwiches; funnel cakes; elephant ears; and all the other good things available at fairs and festivals.
Filet Mignon
RE: New Business Venture 2005/07/20 00:30:30
Since I have never seen apple fritters at a fair or festival, I can imagine the novelty of the product could be a plus, while it really is somewhat similar of a funnel cake or elephant ear with apple topping (which I have seen). If your recipe uses raw apples (as most of them do that I have come across) would "browning" of the apple be a problem, and if you used lemon juice (or ascorbic acid) to cure this would there be an undesirable flavor change to the fritters? (Have you checked this out?) I am guessing you probably would want to prepare your apple chunks/slices ahead of any rush, and to have them look discolored would probably turn off your customers. I don't know if cooked apples/applesauce could be used in your recipe or not, but these are things (among many others) that you need to be thinking about.
Filet Mignon
RE: New Business Venture 2005/07/20 09:34:50
It's a very, very hot, sunny day. You're at a festival. You have a choice between a cold fresh squeezed lemonade, a corn dog, an elephant ear, or an apple fritter. What's your food of choice? Visit festivals and fairs to see who's doing the volume business. Look for the longest lines of people willing to wait. Hopefully, those lines will be moving at a rapid pace. I vend hot dogs and beverages from a cart. This has been an extremely hot, humid summer, so I'm also vending ice cream. On hot days, people need to cool off and I offer other products that meet the customer's needs. This has been a great summer for ice cream and cold drinks and hot dogs always hold their own.
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
RE: New Business Venture 2005/07/20 09:45:19

These folks make good points about the selection of Fritters as fair food. In my humble opinion- and I am certainly not a professional food marketer- I visualize the Apple Fritter as a "Cool or Cold Weather" food, served with hot chocolate or coffee or even Milk. They are wonderful in that roll (no pun), but as a hot weather 'Fair Food' I think you may want to rethink your target consumer group.
Caramel Copper
RE: New Business Venture 2005/07/20 19:56:42

If I were you I would be very flexible about what I wanted to serve. If you do so, you can cook/serve many things for each season with the same equipment. Also, it would be boring for YOU to do the same thing over and over.

I personally think apple fritters would be wonderful at the fall/chilly festivals. But in the heat of summer, not so well.
As has been said, provide for your customers needs.

I am focusing on steam table/grill specials because my customers drive big ole air-condition trucks (company footing the bill). Walking around in a fair/festival environment would not work for these items.

I was crazy enough to do a July craft show and agreed to paint portraits on site, I didn't even get a break on the booth and learn.(ie go figger)
I couldn't concentrate on my subject due to the Lemonade stand across from me. It was hand squeezed and poured over shaved (not crushed) ice. Let me tell was an oasis to a lost traveler in the desert.

It was served in a huge styro-foam cup with a lemon slice on the rim ($3.00). These guys (lemonade vendors) fought yellow-jackts all day, I mean the stingin' things were crawling all over their hands!! The folks in line didn't seem to care.....they stood and stood.

Then got their Lemonade and came to watch me. But never spent a dime. The LA vendors took pity on me and ran me these cold icy lovely concoctions all day for free. I never sold the first painting. (first time "painting in front of someone" too, what a stressful endeavor )


I bet you those guys grossed over $1500.00 that day.

A lesson WELL learned,
Junior Burger
RE: New Business Venture 2005/08/01 00:01:09
Thank you all for replying. I really appreciate the input. I have to share this info with my husband and see where he wants to go with it. Thanks again!
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Business Venture 2005/08/01 08:41:38
I would think about selling them to breakfast houses,I have them on my breakfast menu and I buy them from a food vendor.I love them, how about a recipe for them?
RE: New Business Venture 2005/08/01 17:55:47
I think you should do some serious research into the fair food business,and this forum is a good start.Most fairs have a long waiting list of prospective food vendors,and the ones that are there usually don't leave they come back year to year,because it is possible to make a lot of money in a short period of time(with a lot of hard work,and the right conditions ,weather being one of them) and more than a few people get the idea"Hey,I like to cook,and that looks like fun,and look at that cash draw stuffed with cash,I think I found a gold mine idea!" Well hundreds of people get the same idea,and the fair promoters are inundated with people who want to sell food at the fair,and there is usually a long waiting list,and if you can get in you have to usually have a food item different than the other vendors to get in when there is a food vendor opening.I like apple fritters myself,but at a fair it would not catch my eye,I also go for the pizza,corn dogs,funnel cake,sausage and peppers,blooming onions,fresh cut fries etc.the usual popular fair items that sell very well,and have been selling well for decades,and the vendors who sell them do very well,and come back every year.If you check Ebay or concession trailers .com you will see many concession trailers for sale from people who have the same idea and found out how hard it is to get into a big fair,and if thay had the good luck to get in with an odd ball item,they did not do that well against the heavy hitter fair items in the flashy expensive trailers.I am not trying to discourage you,although it might seem like I am,it is just an area I am familiar with and have seen many people try to break into without much luck because they did not realize how hard it is to get into big fairs and festivals.I would go with one of the popular mentioned food items and try to get into smaller venues first,like car shows,craft fairs church carnivals,music festivals etc ,it is usually easier to get into and you can still make good money while learning the business.
Good luck