The South Island’s biggest mobile foodservice vending business – renowned for serving up tasty fast-food takeaways at big crowd events from Blenheim to Invercargill for more than 40-years – has been placed on the market for sale.
The Food Den brand operates from a fleet of four bright red painted food trucks serving up well-priced gluten free food options – with drinks, chips and slushy treats served in 100 percent plastic-free cups. The business operates for seven-months a year – allowing any new owner to potentially expand the calendar of events into a year-round activity.
Based out of Timaru to allow for pivotal access to both the northern and southern portions of the South Island, the Food Den has a significant presence throughout the South Island – using proven practices and products to make high volumes of high margin food items in very quick timeframes over extended periods of time, some lasting several days.
Now The Food Den business and assets are being sold by private treaty for $550,000 through Bayleys Timaru. Salespeople Jessica Frewen and Wayne Frewen said The Food Den annually served tens of thousands of customers with a wide range of burgers, fried chips, American hotdogs, battered sausages, hot and cold drinks, frozen slushies, candyfloss, and toffee coated popcorn.
Wayne Frewen said that in the eight-month period between July 2022 and March this year, The Food Den trucks attended 114 events across the South Island – with average till receipts of $6,277 per event.
“Just some of the larger events where The Food Den fleet serves thousands of patrons and attendees are the Caroline Bay Carnival, the Christchurch A & P Show, the Electric Avenue Festival, the Omaka Airshow, Levels Speedway, the McLeans Island Swap Meet, the multi-day music festival Rhythm and Alps, the popular Wanaka A & P Show, and the Gibbston Valley Summer Concert. Turnover at these bigger events ranges from $26,122 to $79,785,” he said.
Other events where The Food Den has served at include the Kaikoura Hop, vehicle shows, motorsport rallies, school and town galas, rodeos, A & P shows, Christmas parades, international cricket matches, beer and wine festivals, and motorboat championships.
Included among the vehicle assets for sale within The Food Den chattels are three commercial trucks, and four mobile kitchen trailer units with names such as Fortune Teller, One Eyed Joe, Three Armed Juggler, and Snake Charmer. The business is being marketed as a ‘turnkey’ entity ready to begin trading immediately.
“Measuring from 4.8 to 7.2 metres, each Food Den kitchen trailer is fully self-sufficient – including water, grey waste, power, gas and refrigeration units. Two high-pressure cooking vats and a massive hot plate allow for a high volume of hot food to be produced quickly for a prolonged period of time,” said Frewen.
“Concurrently, a three-metre counter space for serving customers guarantees that customer waiting times are minimal, while The Food Den trucks are all outfitted with leased EFTPOS sales terminals.
“Each trailer has a 12-volt power supply with battery back-up to power lighting, cash registers, a water pump, chillers and freezers, dry goods storage area, and point of sale terminals. All of the trailers also have a national Food Control Plan, fire extinguishers, electrical warrants of fitness and registration, and gas certification.
“By operating a fleet of food preparation and service units, The Food Den can operate simultaneously at up to four events. Efficiencies are achieved by each unit serving up a standard menu of fare utilising a centralised food purchasing system along with a centralised back-office administration.
“The business is being sold with a comprehensive operations manual which fully documents aspects such as food preparation, stock ordering, suppler details, repairs and maintenance, financial and administrative systems, event booking procedures, historical financial data, and planning templates.
“Casual staff are employed over the operating season – allowing for total flexibility on numbers pertinent to the event which is being catered for. The bigger the event, the more staff which can be employed. Typically, each food trailer utilises four or five staff.
“The Food Den business is being sold inclusive of a substantial number of forward bookings already totaling more than $450,000 in forecast turnover running from spring 2023 through to autumn 2024.”
Jessica Frewen said The Food Den’s owners would look at selling individual truck and trailer units individually for $150,000 each. The current owners have run the business for the past 10-years.
“Both the fleet of trucks and the foodservice kitchen trailers have been extremely well-maintained over the years to ensure not only easy movement of vehicles from location to location to meet set-up deadlines, but also underpinning high levels of foodservice hygiene which go on to produce quality food,” she said.
“The Food Den sells only gluten-free hot dogs, hot chips, and loaded fries, with no gluten products going into the deep fryers. In addition, all sauces, meats, and ingredients are gluten-free - making it the only mobile food vendor in the South Island to sell this range of takeaway menu items.
“This point of difference has sustained a reputation over the years, and is one of the main reasons The Food Den is repeatedly booked for events. The company has proven strong operating systems and procedures, along with an excellent trading history, and comes with the vendors’ commitment, if required, to assist and transition any new owner into the business and its network throughout the South Island.”
The Food Den suite of marketing collateral associated with the sale offering includes the brand’s website and domain name, email accounts, and branding. Popcorn and candy floss manufacturing equipment and bags can be purchased separately.