It's a common question for street food vendors with all kinds of menus from hot dogs to Frito pie. What if I don't bring enough food to the event and I run out before it's over? Will people be upset or disappointed?
Don't run out of food at a private gig
Well it depends on the situation, so here's what you should remember. If you are on a private gig or catering for a specific number of people, be sure to bring enough for everyone.
If you know there will be 500 people at the event and you only feed 300, you will have some unhappy customers for sure.
But it's ok to run out sometimes
But for other kinds of events like street fairs or carnivals, there will be multiple food carts and vendors there. It's not your responsibility to feed every person there.
So don't take so much food that you will be losing a lot if you don't sell it all. Instead, figure out how much you'd need to sell to make it a Good Day. Not a lottery winning day, but a worthwhile day of work.
Go to the event and take care of people, and if you sell out early, that's great! You had a great day, no leftovers or wasted inventory, and you get to go home early. More fishing time!
FOMO can help drive demand
And there are some folks with home kitchen or vending operations that use the “run out of food” limited supply as part of their marketing.
You've probably seen them maybe at events or posting on social media… I'll have 25 pies on Friday, first come first served, and that's it.
A friend of mine does this, and people get so excited about the pies and worry that he'll run out, that he can have twice as many requests as he has pies to sell. So then folks will start special ordering, so they don't miss out on pie.
The limited supply you can produce helps drive the demand, and if you have a great product, people will line up, pre-order, and tell their friends about it.
So don't think that run out of food is negative. It can be a good thing!
Before you go, check out this great post about Marketing strategies for hot dog cart vendors