Last year the bulk of our summer was filled with private hire bookings; birthday garden parties, corporate launches, weddings and even a man celebrating his new conservatory (which in fairness was actually bigger than our house!)
This year we had to turn down a lot of private hire enquiries after filling up our weekends with one and two-day events and festivals.
Is there much of a difference between the two? Is it better to take a guaranteed amount of money for a specific amount of pizzas? Or is it more lucrative to take your chances at an event where you could potentially make double, triple, even quadruple the amount of profit?
We’ve found this year that some events and festivals we’ve been at haven’t been as successful as planned and in a couple of cases it would’ve been better to have done that wedding. Outdoor events (which are the only events we can do on account of the big fire in our van) are weather dependent and any event can be cancelled at the last minute leaving you with an empty weekend (this has happened to us twice in as many weeks). You also have to play the guessing game! Ah, the guessing game, it’d actually be quite fun to play…if our livelihood didn’t depend on it!
You have a go:
Q. If you put a pizza van in a field with 4,000 people, how many of those 4,000 people will buy a pizza over 3 days?
A: <Enter your guess here>
There is in fact a well-known industry equation to help you figure out how many portions you’ll be likely to sell at any given event, assuming you know the number of expected attendees. But this is not foolproof by any stretch of the imagination.
Sometimes you just want to be told there are 120 people who will want to eat a pizza at a certain venue on a specific date within a three-hour period. You know exactly how much stock to buy and how much to prep for. Brilliant! It’s only an afternoon or evening so you don’t need loads of infrastructure (tent, fridges, freezers, gazebo storage area etc.) as you would at a two or three-day festival.
Also with private hire, if the booking is cancelled close to the date you have the security of a deposit. But most importantly, you’re not paying them for the privilege, they are paying you! Hurrah, money in the bank. Hallelujah. Except there’s a lot of added pressure when you’re catering someone’s BIG DAY or birthday party (everything needs to be perfect and run smoothly) and they can be quite stressful as everyone usually wants to eat at the same time. The advantage of a public event over this is that you do get to sing to your own tune.
Luckily we love doing both types of events! We love making pizza that makes people want to come back for a second pizza. So next year we’re going to go for more of a balance between private hire and public events, using the experience we’ve gained over the past two years we know which weekends we’re likely to want to keep free and which we can fill with lovely white weddings, corporate shindigs and pizza parties!
BOOKINGS NOW OPEN!
So, this is probably a good time to let you all know that we are now taking private hire bookings for 2015! If you would like the best wood fired pizza this side of Italy at your event, get in touch!