Weather can be one of the most important and unforgiving factors in any outdoor event. When you operate a mobile wood-fired oven, sometimes it can feel like you are not in control of your surroundings. We’re here to tell you: “That’s not true!”
Fire Within continues to have oven operators succeed in snowy conditions as well as blistering heat. In fact, several of our Wood Fired University courses have been held during snowstorms! The only limitations are those that you choose to set for yourself.
Here are a couple of tips to help navigate unforeseen weather conditions to protect and inform your customers and employees.
Have multipurpose gear and bad weather gear in your transport vehicle for everyone who is working the event. This can include rain/snow ponchos or coats as well as canopies. Make sure your canopies and tents are waterproof and can hold up against high wind. They’re not just for keeping out the sun!
Be proactive. There is a practice called “Damaging Admission”. It’s an acknowledgement that unforeseen events at your event may occur. Let those who would be coming to your event know to plan accordingly. Whether you are catering or hosting a mobile retail event, be forthcoming with your policies in regards to inclement weather. Postings on your web site like, “It may rain this weekend but we’re gonna make the best of it! Bring your poncho!” will show your clients you are being transparent with your business.
You can always offer discounts. Discounts can spiral out of control, however. There is a tendency for people to get the impression that your regular menu is overpriced. We suggest using this sparingly.
As a business owner, you need to have as much information at your fingertips to ensure success. Sometimes, thinking “out of the box” will be a huge benefit. In order to plan effectively for weather-related items, don’t be afraid to contact your local weather forecasters. You can’t ask them to change their forecast but you can ask them to modify their delivery of what may be “bad” weather. Yes, this can work.
Remember to address the weather with the clients who have hired out. If you are working an event where you are renting a spot or getting a lump payment like catering, be sure to discuss weather and acts of god with whoever is writing your check. Having the information in a written contract will ensure you have the control of how you want to operate.