July 11, 2013 |

Taste of Chicago in full swing, other cities follow suit

By Pizza Today

Taste of Chicago in full swing, other cities follow suitLou Malnati’s Pizzeria is churning out so much pizza from its four ovens at Taste of Chicago this week, it would make brick-and-mortar restaurants envious. The Windy City food festival attracts more than million visitors each year. From large metropolitan cities to small towns, communities across the country are hosting local food events to showcase their regions’ culinary offerings.

Check out a few “Taste of” events happening this month:
Taste of Chicago

Taste of Hartford

Taste of Buffalo

Food festivals can generate revenue, as well as result in bounce back business at a pizzeria. Before signing up for a “Taste Of” in your area, consider the following:

  • What are the logistics involved in participating? (The feasibility of transporting and operating ovens at the venue are of top concern. Or if you choose to bake pies in house, how will you ensure quality and food safety at the venue?)
  • Can you provide the same quality pizza that is made in house at the remote venue?
  • Will you have adequate staffing to man both the booth and your store(s)? Or will you close your shop and direct patrons to the festival?
  • How will you keep pace with the sales volumes at the heavily attended event? What kind of operational changes will need to be made to handle the large magnitude of orders?
  • Does your restaurant see significant drops in sales on the days of your area’s “Taste Of”? Could participation offset those sales deficits?
  • If it’s not feasible to offer pizza, are there other “Wow” menu items that you can offer at the food festival?
  • Do your research. Talk to your friends in the restaurant industry who have participated. What have they experienced with operating a booth at a food festival?

Have you participated in a “Taste Of” type event? What has been the result?