Does anyone have experience with doing a festival? We have a large festival near us. The turn out is huge and this year we were offered to be the exclusive pizza vendor. I would like to do it. I already have a propane Lincoln conveyor. I would like to get some feedback on how your guys do big volume out of a tent or possibly a concession trailer.

If your shop is close enough you can do what I do. We use the K.I.S.S. method. Two people are set up at the booth. We have pep. and cheese pizzas in our delivery bags. Staff at the booth calls the shop when more pizza is needed and we send a delivery driver over with the requested pizza. Here is what I like about this setup.

  1. There is no waste as we keep the booth supplied with only what is needed.
  2. If a customer walks up to the booth and wants something other than pep. or cheese, then our staff upsells the customer with a supreme or other specialty pizza and simply phones the shop for the order.
  3. Many additional items are for sale that is not available in our shop. Beef jerky, popcorn, cotton candy, candy bars, etc. (you can really get creative here).

We are not close enough to do this, well we are close, but the traffic in an out is a nightmare. Im just looking for how some mobile units handle these festivals


Back when I used to be with Papa John’s and we would do major events, we had a steam cabinet in a trailer. It would hold about 20 - 25 16" Pies in boxes for multiple hours because of the humidity it did not dry out.

We would do events selling over 100 full pizzas across the day, and would have set predicted deliveries scheduled throughout the day (we utilized 3 stores since the event was centrally located, but the principle is the same).

Because the pies would hold for 3+ hours, we could order an hour in advance of when we “needed” them, which gave ample time for traffic and the like.

Just a thought.

IMO there are a few issues in selling off location…

If your off location product is not close to 100% of the quality that you typically serve you may turn off potential clients from your permanent location…

Will service at principal location suffer while resources are deployed off site?..You need to keep your eye on the ball so as not to have any of your bread and butter clients suffer…

Will you make any money?..Often an off site undertaking is more expensive and therefore needs higher selling prices than your permanent location…You and I may know why you need higher prices but some of your regular clientele may be turned off…

The big picture is that you need to focus on your regular location…That will serve you best in the long run…

Completely agree Royster. Its in the middle of the summer in a college town. 40,000 people concert.
The town is dead while this is going on. I have two stores to spread this out over, so the stores have ample ability. Just trying to get some insight on the best way to handle this. This is something that happens every year, and I have been trying to get involved for a while. I am going to invest money as this is something I would like to do every year, just like to see if baking them on sight is best way, or delivering pies and hot hold is better.

Hi AJ ;

In my opinion pizzas are always better baked on site.

Our experience with festivals is limited to supplying ovens to concessionaires.

Our largest project was supplying 36 ovens to the 2nd Woodstock festival.

you best have a conveyor oven or two to do the job as the orders come in a flood, 275000 -10 in sold at that festival.

George Mills

How many days is the show? What hours? Are they charging a flat fee or percentage? Is it a first year event or has it been running for a few years? Do the purported attendance numbers seem correct?
How many other vendors are there? Was there a pizza vendor last year that didn’t come back? Why? Are the attendees doing drugs that suppress appetite(i.e., a rave or electronic music. ) These people tend to eat between midnight and 6AM and if your not accessible during these hours your toast.
These are some of the questions I ask.
I’ve been doing shows for 20+ year’s and the thought that an established 40K event doesn’t have pizza is surprising.
One time I traveled 1000 miles to do a 2 day event that the promoter said would have 25,000 people per day and only 5 food booths and wasn’t charging a fee. Thought I struck gold. The concession promoter saw me to my location and never saw her again. When asking some of the other directors about attendance, they said 2,000/day was a good year. On top of that it rained horizontally. Cost me about $4,000 for that trip.

The above being said:
As far as larger festivals go, we use a 2440 XLT double conveyor oven built onto a special moving cart and 6 Comstock Castle PO26 deck ovens. All set up for propane. These ovens cost about $35,000 total. I Operate out of a 20x20 canopy booth with side screens. Canopies can be rented and set up by the event canopy company and it should have a fire tag on the material.
Doughs are stretched on site by up to 3 people then to the topping stations. The prep area can use ice baths for chilling in many health jurisdictions, but we use up to 3 True refrigerated prep tables. A volume show would utilize 20’ of frontage with 4 POS.
Some of the people that strictly do large events use reconditioned blodgett or XLT 3870 double stack conveyors, propane.
It’s tricky if you only do a few events as it’s difficult to rent this type of equipment and if you find some 3870’s on the cheap, spare parts are a plus.