Many successful food businesses chose to sell food products at markets in the early days! It is a great way of testing out the idea of running your own food business. It’s a cheap and highly-effective way of dipping your toes in the water; allowing you to test out your ideas on the public, gain feedback on your product range, and promote your business for any future plans you may have. This article will briefly take you through how to sell your food products at a market
Follow Regulations At Markets
It’s not possible to just pitch up a stand and start selling at a market; you must be compliant with local authorities first. Now, on one hand, it requires a little more due diligence and hoop-jumping, but conversely, this compliance keeps the public safe and goes some way to keeping standards higher.
Being compliant usually requires three things:
Register with your local council
Registering your food business with your local council ensures that you acquire the right permits and licenses for your city and state, and undergo an inspection if required. Be sure to contact your local authority to discover the steps you’ll need to take to register
To sell at a market, you may need a permit, though in some places this only applies to food trucks. Contact the market organizers to discover what type of permit you’ll need.
To trade compliantly, you’ll need insurance; with attaining product liability and personal liability insurance being highly advisable. However, this insurance can be included as part of your stall registration fee, so be sure to check carefully if you will already be insured. Additionally, many brokers offer insurance specific to market stall vendors.
Have the Right Equipment
Make sure you have all the right equipment such as serving trays, knives, ladles and so on; there’s nothing worse than being caught short if you’re fortunate enough to have a line full of customers! Make a comprehensive list of everything you might need, or better yet, find a market that supplies equipment.
What’s more, make sure you have the right equipment for all eventualities. For instance, if you’re planning to sell food products at markets that are outdoors, be sure to have the equipment for carrying out a strategy if the weather turns.
Consider How You Display and Present Your Products
Remember that your market stall may be the first time many, if not most, people will initially come into contact with your products, and you know what they say about first impressions.
Go out of your way to display and present your products in the most attractive way possible. Make your products look as irresistible and delicious as possible. Make your packaging look as attractive as you can.
Sure, this may be a trial run and you have plans for improvements, but don’t waste the opportunity to provide your customers with a memorable culinary experience
Banners and Signage
Before you even get a customer to try your food you need to get their attention; this is where effective banners and signage come into play. Be sure to create eye-catching, memorable signage that works within the ideas for your brand. If graphic design doesn’t happen to be your forte, employ the services of a gifted designer or artist.
Decide beforehand how much you intend to charge for your products. The best way to do this is by conducting a little research: visit the market you intend to sell
Print Marketing Material
Even if your foray into running a stall is designed to be a one-off experiment at this point in time, be sure to print out some marketing materials – business cards at the very least. You have no idea what impressions your products will have on people and the opportunities this may present your new business.
Besides business cards, you should also consider flyers containing more information about your product range. If you’re organized enough, these flyers could even contain a discount code or voucher for a customer’s next purchase.
Ask a Friend or Partner to Help You Out
Resist the temptation to do everything yourself; especially on your first time out. Ask your significant other, friends, or relatives for help. Without the burden of taking on all the work, your attention won’t be stretched so thinly and you’ll be better able to interact with customers and visitors to your stall.