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Managing Catering and Meal Tickets for Music Festivals.

Andy Robertson

The number of artists, crew, contractors, staff and volunteers working on a music festival site can stretch to the thousands and all these individuals need feeding over the course of the live dates. How can festival organisers manage the on-site catering and issuing of meal tickets to ensure that everyone is sufficiently fed in a timely manner. 

The size of an event may determine how meals are provided to those working on a festival site. This excludes festival-goers and VIP guests who will usually have separate arrangements from food and beverage vendors on-site. Some organisers arrange for dedicated backstage catering facilities and others may do deals with vendors who have pitches open to all visitors. Whatever arrangements are made it is crucial that organisers maintain control over meal allocation so that catering costs are managed and that sufficient stock is ordered. Control of meal allocations is usually done by issuing meal tickets.

On-site Catering.
Allocating a catering facility to a dedicated space close to the back stage zone with restricted access is not unusual. The number of meals required can easily be calculated becasue the catering supplier will know in advance how many meals along with specific dietary requirements and food selections will be needed. Access control measures can also ensure that only those authorised individuals can enter this area.

Vendor Agreements. 
For smaller festivals where the numbers of artists, crew and operational staff is lower it may be preferable for the organisers to work out a deal with some of the food and beverage vendors who have booked pitches at the festival. Given the high number of guaranteed meal sales vendors will usually offer a discounted rate but individuals will have to queue along with festival-goers which some may find unacceptable.

Meal Tickets. 
Whichever route the organisers opt for all meal allocations can be managed by using meal tickets. A good event management system that already includes details of artists, crews, contractors, operational staff and volunteers will enable meal allocations to be assigned against each individual. Meal details can be confirmed in the advancing process and every individual can be issued a meal ticket including a scannable QR Code. As these are issued prior to the event dates organisers will know exactly how many of each type of meal has been allocated and this can be given to caterers. Knowing the number of meal tickets allocated enables caterers to reduce their food wastage because there is less chance of over ordering. Once QR codes have been scanned a good system will automatically deduct that meal from that individual’s overall meal allocation and prevents abuse of any meal allocation system in place.

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics including the ability to allocate meals tickets. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by Wayne Fotografias via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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