First, let me begin by saying I love a good wedding. I have been to my fair share, in pretty much every capacity, and enjoy them immensely. I’m still missing “mother of the bride/groom” and “wedding officiant”, but I’m confident at least one of those could be a long term project. So for all you folks out there who want to sell wedding street food and all you wedding planners out there who might want to book street food traders, here are my top tips.
Booking Street Food for Your Wedding
- Tell us when and where you’re getting married. I know it sounds daft, but if I had a pound for every email we get saying “hi can you quote me for 200 portions, k thx” I would have probably nearly £30.
- Don’t use the words “on a tight budget”. Get a quote first. Street food usually works out much cheaper than buffets, so you’re already quids in. From experience though, if a potential wedding couple say that, they will probably haggle over every penny further down the line.
- Pick a time when your guests will want to eat. We will show up at your place whenever you like, but wouldn’t it make more sense for us to show up when folks are hungry? People eat between 19:00 and 22:00, so unless your wedding breakfast finishes at midnight, it would be worth us showing up then for you to get your money’s worth.
- Don’t book too far in advance. We have already had enquiries for 2017. I love and admire your enthusiasm, but we are a tiny business in fickle financial times; who knows what the future holds. We don’t take money off people for events we can’t guarantee we can do, but there may be folks out there who will. If they go out of business, your cash is gone.
- Work out where you will park you wedding street food and how to get power out to them. We need a pretty standard parking space, but we cannot drive through bollards, over walls or serve your guests through the cab. Gazebo traders may also not be delighted about the prospect of having to carry their entire setup half a mile across a field. Power for lighting means you avoid generators whirring away all night, and just means cracking a nearby window for an extension lead.
For the sake of mutual understanding lets all hold hands and look at it from the other side. Peace and love, everyone.
Serving Wedding Street Food
- Be prepared for a long chain of emails or a lot of phone calls. This is their big day, and that means getting it right. I don’t even know how we manage so many, but at least if you have everything in writing both sides can refer back to it later. Just for the love of all that is cheesy don’t start a fresh email each time. This is what the reply button was built for.
- Make sure both sides know exactly what you will be providing. If you have different menu options, itemise the bill. We bring 50% ham and cheddar toasties to every wedding, because trial and error has taught us that this is what people want. In the early days, before itemised billing and knowing things, we ran out all the freaking time. This led to much consternation for all parties.
- Get there early. Weddings are stressful, complicated days. People will make a point of panicking if you say you will be there at 7, but do not get there by 7.
- Don’t let people asking for a kebab put you off. It’s the free bar talking.
- Try and feed the bride and groom. Speaking as someone who did the wedding thing recently. They probably haven’t eaten much, and have spent the whole day trying to smile and make small talk to random relatives. Probably pretty hungry.
- Agree how many portions you will bring NOT how many people are coming. At an average wedding we will serve 1.4 toasties for every guest on site. We therefore strongly recommend buying that many so that folks who want seconds (thirds, forths) can have them. You will need to know how many you are likely to sell at a wedding so that you don’t run out, but are not quoting wildly into space.
- Bring exactly that many.
- Know how fast you can sell. Weddings vary, but usually everyone wants food at exactly the same time. Mass queuing ensues, and can get frustrating for a customer unless they are aware that you need a few minutes to make your product. They can forewarn the guests that there is plenty and no need to rush: everyone wins.
- Special Dietary Requirements. If you have the capacity to offer them, it’s worth checking during the booking process. You can make a gluten free person really happy like that.
Tada! We did a wedding last weekend, and I had weddings on the brain (it was a lovely event). Plus it was great to be back in the van. Everyone’s a winner.