Food festival planning checklist, UK Edition

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Last Updated on February 24, 2023 by Maria Kennedy

Food festivals are a great way to bring people together and celebrate the culinary delights of your city or region. However, planning a food festival can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t have a checklist to help you stay organized. In this blog post, we will discuss a food festival planning checklist that will help you plan and execute a successful event.

Britain is home to a plethora of fantastic food, from the seafood in Scotland to Welsh lamb. What better way to celebrate all the wonders that you can create than by setting up a stand at a food festival? You may want to check out Pub in the Park runs from 12th May to 10th September in various locations, as well as The Big Feastival which is solely in August. In this article we will also share with you the most important UK food festivals in 2023 so keep reading!

Food festival planning checklist for vendors

Festivals offer businesses a multitude of opportunities. Festivals allow you to reach a new customer base which can often be more diverse than your usual crowd. Although you will be paying for your stand space, you are also being offered a chance to attract new people who could become repeat customers.

Furthermore, an event where there are loads of fellow foodie people can be a great chance to network and build new connections. You may also be able to source new suppliers and form new contracts through networking as well, which will allow your business to grow.

Get a good spot for your stall

Getting a good spot for your booth in a food festival is crucial to the success of your business. A prime location can attract more customers, increase your sales, and help you stand out from your competition. Here are some tips to help you get a good spot for your booth in a food festival:

Register early

Most food festivals allow vendors to register in advance. Registering early can increase your chances of getting a prime location, as many festivals allocate spaces on a first-come, first-served basis. Be sure to check the registration deadline and submit your application as soon as possible.

Check the festival layout

Before you select your booth location, review the festival layout to identify high-traffic areas. Look for spots near the entrance, main stage, or popular attractions. These areas tend to attract more visitors, which can increase your visibility and sales.

Consider your neighbors

Take a look at the vendors that will be located near your booth. Consider selecting a location next to complementary vendors or those that attract a similar demographic. This can increase cross-promotion and help attract more customers to your booth.

Negotiate with the festival organizer

If you are interested in a particular location that is already taken, consider negotiating with the festival organizer. Some festivals allow vendors to pay extra for a prime location or to switch locations with another vendor. It never hurts to ask!

Be flexible

If you can’t secure a prime location, be flexible with your booth placement. Consider opting for a location near the edge of the festival grounds, as this can still attract visitors who are walking around the perimeter. Also, consider investing in eye-catching signage or decorations that can help draw attention to your booth.

Nail your stall set up

Whatever business you are in, branding is key when you are looking to stand out in a crowded market. When you are amidst the hustle and bustle of a food festival it is important to draw potential customers in by being eye-catching yet informative.

To maximise your visibility, you could consider displaying your branding and main offerings on eye catching banners. Roller banners do not take up much space but are great for displaying your menu so people can see it when they are walking past.

To help stick in your customers’ minds you could also run a prize draw and collect emails or phone numbers at the stall so you can keep in touch with them. By advertising this on your banners or a poster, you can help attract more people.

Your menu

A menu can make or break a food business, so it is important to be able to showcase the ethos of your company as well as being tasty.

Although the temptation is to show off everything you can do, it is better to stick to a smaller number of specialities. This will allow you to keep on top of orders and keep organized. Also, you are less likely to make mistakes and waste inventory and therefore waste money.

You may also want to consider offering options for not only your vegetarian and vegan customers but for people with other dietary needs such as coeliacs. People with restrictions like these can find it harder to find good restaurant food, so are more likely to come back.

It is also important to do your research and know what other vendors will offer in their menus so you can offer something different and stand out with your menu.

Streamlined ordering

From a customer’s point of view, a smaller menu can streamline their experience. People are more likely to feel overwhelmed with a larger menu and not want to take the time to decide what they want.

Investing in your business is key, and investing in equipment for a food stand is just as important. You may consider getting high end tools and kitchenware to speed up the cooking and preparation time to keep serving customers as quickly as possible. You may also consider investing in some handheld payment systems as well.

UK Food Festivals in 2023

The Big Retreat

When? 1 – 4 June 2023

Where? Pembrokeshire

North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival

When? 2 and 3 September 2023

Where? Holkham, Norfolk

Porthleven Food Festival

When? 21 – 23 April 2023

Where? Porthleven, Cornwall

Marylebone Food Festival

When? 25 – 30 April 2023

Where? Marylebone, London

Pub in the Park

When? 12 May – 10 September 2023

Where? Various locations across the country including London, Marlow and Bath

The English Riviera Food and Music Festival

When? 26 – 29 May 2023

Where? Torquay, Devon

Body & Soul Festival

When? 16 – 18 June 2023

Where? Westmeath, Ireland

The Big Feastival

When? 25 – 27 August 2023

Where? The Cotswolds

Abergavenny Food Festival

When? 16 – 17 September 2023

Where? Abergavenny, Wales

Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival

When? 16 – 17 September 2023

Where? Isle of Man

Falmouth Oyster Festival

When? 13 – 16 October 2023

Where? Falmouth, Cornwall

Scottish Wild Food Festival

When? 2023 dates TBC

Where? Tir na nog, near Glasgow, Scotland


When? 2023 dates TBC

Where? Tobacco Dock, London

So there it is! All you need to know to ensure that you have the best offerings on the menu! As discussed, participating in festivals is brilliant for drumming up business and knowing how to stand out and get the most out of the opportunity could be the difference between just being part of the event and acquiring new, loyal customers for life!

You may also like:

Food and music festivals around the world
5 Best Street Food Markets in London
4 Unique pubs and bars for Outdoor Drinking in the UK

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