Successful Management: How to Prosper as a Booth Manager at the Taste of Chicago


Taste of Chicago is an immense enterprise in the City of Chicago, and its long running history is proof of how important residents of the city find it to be.  Part  of what makes Taste so successful every year is the management staff that runs each booth.  In order to be an effective manager one must have a keen understanding and awareness of their own product, and of their audience; management that understands their product, also is able to increase their profits, by communicating to their customers a direct message and advertisement about their varying food items.

Because Taste of Chicago is centered on food, it is imperative that a manager knows proper temperatures, food preparation, and how to handle items that have been pre-made. Food preparation for booths at a festival, is greatly different than food preparation in a restaurant. A successful booth manager is one that understands the difference between working in a high volume restaurant and outside at a festival, and is someone that can translate the work inside a restaurant to outside.  For example, when working outside all day in a booth, food temperatures can become essential to the customers experience. Also, proper packaging for items is important to the comfort level of each guest. Knowing they will be walking around all day with packages in their hand is something that a manager needs to consider. If a manager communicates well with his or her staff, then they will be able to provide great service to their customers, while empowering their staff to do the same.

In business, one must know how to steadily increase the marketing of their brand; in a struggling economy it is essential to know how communicate an effective message to your customers, and it is important to have one, clear and coherent directive about their product.  One way a manager will be successful at Taste is by aggressively advertising what their food is about, and what their style of food language is. A customer intuitively recognizes when a manager cares about their product, and understands if the manager is committed to promoting their own brand.


A strong manager is not only able to promote their product well, and to train their staff effectively, but is also able to understand how to promote their establishment and how to be detail oriented in a fast paced and challenging environment. Were one to miss important details, such as rental fees, food prices, and inventory, they would not find success as a booth manager at Taste of Chicago.

3 thoughts on “Successful Management: How to Prosper as a Booth Manager at the Taste of Chicago

  1. I have wondered about the business strategies of station managers at the “The Taste” myself, due to the excessively high volume of potential customers. I would have to say that I agree with your conclusion that it takes a lot of detail orientation and efficiency to accomplish objectives for managers in that type of situation.

  2. I think this was a really interesting topic to write about. I have always had a huge appreciation for festivals like the Taste of Chicago because they give often smaller, less well known restaurants and distributers an opportunity to introduce and market themselves to a large community. If they do well attracting business and delivering notable products throughout the few days of the festival it can significantly improve their customer demand for the following months. I would agree that a great deal of additional project management considerations go in to making a restaurants festival participation a successful one.

  3. There is surely a science to running a successful booth or be a vendor at festivals such as the Taste, or Pitchfork Music Festival which I was just at today. What can you do to make sure that people want to come and buy food from your booth over the other dozens of options? You have to consider the right amount of staff to meet the demand from the many customers, make sure supplies don’t run out before the end of the day, price items correctly, make sure you are licensed and insured, etc. It is impressive how many festivals are in Chicago in the summer, whether they are street festivals, music festivals, or food festivals – they all take a ton of planning and hard work to put together and run properly, its hard not to appreciate the work that goes into them!

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