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By Kohei Yagura

Are you interested in selling something in May Festival and Komaba Festival? It is great fun and an invaluable experience to set up a food booth with your friends in your class or circle activities. The ties among your friends will surely get tighter, too! However, you will face difficulty when deciding what kind of food to sell. I was responsible for the booth of our class in both the May Festival and Komaba Festival. From my own experience, I would like to tell you the criteria of what kind of food to select.

May Festival at the University of Tokyo, Hongo campus. Photo by author.

May Festival at the University of Tokyo, Hongo campus. Photo by author.

The most important point is whether the food sells well or not. You have to make as many people as possible buy your food, so it must be attractive. I personally recommend desserts since people eat them at any time, not only at lunch time. You have to consider the weather, too; cold food is better at the May Festival and hot one at the Komaba Festival. Since there are so many food booths in both festivals, it is likely to have several booths selling the same food. If you want to avoid competition with others, it is important to have a unique and wild idea.

Another important thing is profitability. When you think of maximizing your profit, you have to select the food with inexpensive ingredients and high selling price. For example, cotton candy, Wataame in Japanese, matches well in this criterion because its only ingredient is sugar. The more profit you earn, the more fun you get at the party with your friends!

Whether it is easy to make the food or not is important, too. This is controversial, though. When you emphasize the efficiency of the food booth, easier ones such as tapioca drinks would be better. But when you think more of togetherness among your friends, difficult ones such as Taiyaki (a fish-shaped pancake with anko in it) and waffles, which I had sold in the two festivals, would be better. You can make better friends with your fellow classmates through hard work.

In setting up food booths in the school festivals, preparation beforehand is necessary. It’s better for you to start thinking now of what kind of food to sell. It is fun, too, to come up with many ideas and to simulate them in your own mind! So let’s try it!

Kohei is a first-year student at the University of Tokyo. 

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