Coffee for 500 off-premise outdoor evening event in October!!!? and then some....

Discussion in 'Professional Catering' started by butterscotch, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. butterscotch


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    Professional Pastry Chef
    OK, I am not typically in the business of catering though I have done my fair share working as a pastry chef in the field.  I currently have a baking company that wholesales high end green label cookies, scones, loaves etc and also sells retail at area farmers markets.  We are looking at taking over a seasonal outdoor cafe but the big attraction is the large scale outdoor events we would have available to us.  For example:  car shows, weekly music fests, etc., garden tea parties etc  (attendance estimates of 50-100 at smaller events and as large as 11,000 for a weekend event)

    In any event I have an opportunity to test run the idea and create a vending tent for a month long event in October-Nov (weekends only 6pm-10pm)   It's Halloween focused and it seems to me essential that HOT beverages be on the menu -- cider, cocoa, coffee.  Right now the plan is to set-up a tent that is at the front-end of the event with forced enrty THRU the tent as part of admissions....

    Apples, cider, cocoa, coffee, bottled beverages, baked goods, novelties like candy apples, etc (as well as event merchandising taken care of by the sponsor...).

    Any suggestions/direction for how I :
    1. estimate the amount of hot beverage might be sold?
    2. equipment I would need to MAKE that hot beverage?  (again outdoor, off-premises in a tent with limited access to electricty and probably NOT sufficient to have multiple urns brewing)  generator? 100 cup urns, with cambro back-ups? 
    3. the goal is to provide a good cup of joe and a HOT cup of water for tea, cocoa.... we intend to work with local roasters we know thru farmers markets but none would know how to make large quantities of their coffee.
    Any sage wisdom out there telling me to run the other way?  or how to do this right?

    It just strikes me as a great opportunity as the sponsors are VERY accommodating and open to any aspect of servicing the attendees...  and it has  the potential to land us a small cafe with lots of catering in the future.

    many thanks in advcance!