The best ideas for selling food at craft shows starts with the way you and your booth are presented to your customer. You need to have a clean area and use disposable gloves when handling food. You need to be upbeat and answer any questions about your food in a helpful manner, no matter how busy you are. Smiles and thank-you's go a long way, too.
Advertising with an eye-catching sign draws people to your booth. Create a sign that grabs the attention of potential customers in one glance. Depending on what type of food you are selling, pick one or two words that best describe your wares in big letters on your sign, such as "Homemade," "Fresh" or Award-winning." Be honest.
An advertising prop is another way to draw potential customers your way. Make a large paper mache' facsimile of your food item and hang it over your booth such as a muffin, hot dog, cotton candy or a cookie.
Food allergy, fat content and calorie concerns can be addressed for your customers if you display an ingredients poster on a wall of your booth. This reduce hesitation to purchase: if a customer knows what's in your foods, she can spend more time looking at what's available. This is especially true for people with food allergies, for which symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening.
Prepare and Package For Ease of Use
People at craft shows often look for food that is easy to walk around with, so you want to prepare and package your food with this in mind. If you are selling chili, people will be more apt to buy it if it is packaged in a deep cup than if you pour it into a shallow Styrofoam bowl. A corn dog on a stick is easier to travel with than one that is placed in paper napkins or tin foil.
A parent may be more likely to buy cotton candy for their child if it comes with a few moist handwipes. The same holds true for snow cones, frozen pops and ice cream cones.
Get a jump on your competition and use an old-fashioned selling gimmick to attract customers to your booth. Hand a lollipop out to the children (with the paren'ts permission), or throw in a homemade dog treat for their dog at home when the customer buys your homemade cookies.
Ask the customers to write down their guess of how many of your cookies, cupcakes or hotdogs you will sell at your booth today, and the one that comes the closest wins a prize at the end of the craft show. The prize can be a box of your homemade goods sent to their home, or a $10 gift certificate to a popular coffee shop in the area.
Hand out 50 balloons with your advertising on it to the first 50 people that buy your food item. This works well at the bigger craft shows.
Roz Zurko is a full time freelance writer who lives in Westfield, Massachusetts. She has been writing for 22 years and is published on several internet literary sites and in The Westfield Evening News. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The University of New Haven and Westfield State College.