Participate in Festivals, Catering and Special Events

If you own  a food trailer, people naturally assume you have mobile capabilities. Take advantage of your wheels by getting your trailer to special events.


Some of the biggest money-makers of the year are festivals. Planning is crucial when attending a festival, so make sure you enter with the event planner on time and that you budget accordingly.

Feeding at a festival requires additional kitchen equipment, a budget for entry fees, more staff, and larger food orders than your normal business. You’ll also need to take a considerable ‘bank’ to have enough cash on hand.

A few of our favorites in the Austin area are the Gypsy Picnic (fall), the Austin City Limits Music Festival (fall), and the Zilker Park Kite Festival (spring). The city calendar is a great resource for finding special events throughout the year in which mobile vendors can participate.


If you are going to make your business available for mobile catering opportunities, it is wise to create a limited menu and require a minimum to be paid up front. Include this information, along with pricing, on your website and social media pages, and also have a PDF you can readily send to clients.

Things to Consider Before Participating in Special Events

Whether you are going to a festival or catering a party you will need to have some basic information in your memory bank. Some smart questions to consider:

  • How much power is available at the event, and will you need a generator?
  • Will there be power when you arrive so that your food can remain cold before preparation?
  • Will there be waste water and grease bins available onsite? (Important if the event lasts more than one day.)
  • Are any vendor fees returnable?
  • What happens in the event of rain or bad weather?
  • What is the parking and load in information for vendors?
  • Can you sell other items besides food? (Often festivals will not allow you to sell drinks, but private parties will require it.)


See other articles about starting up a food trailer.

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