Local organisations and individuals are invited to each produce ‘one brilliant dish’ to sell in a proposed ‘food court’ during this year’s Bingara Orange Festival.
Local criticism of out-of-town caterers being invited to the Festival last year prompted Council’s Special Events Committee to explore ways for local organisations to take advantage of demand for snacks and meals at the Festival.
Committee member Nancy Capel has been appointed to oversee the development of the ‘food court’ idea.
"The Civic Centre has not been used during the festival for some years, and is ideally placed as a food venue," Ms Capel said.
The committee has embraced the suggestion that the Civic Centre be opened up and turned into a ‘food court’ during the festival.
"The proposal is for organisations to choose an appealing, easy to serve dish," she said.
"One group might like to run a noodle bar, other suggestions include a good curry, a particular salad, trendy cup cakes, there are many possibilities.
"We plan to set small tables up in the centre of the floor, with the food stalls around the walls. A large banner and some tables and chairs outside will also advertise the food court.
"Customers will buy a small ‘book’ of vouchers, and use them to pay for their food so that workers do not need to touch money. This system works very well at food courts overseas. I have also seen it work very well at a food fair at Tamworth," she said.
"The aim is for people to leave the hall thinking ‘wow’, rather than just satisfying their hunger. Bingara’s cooks can do that."
Concerns have been raised by organisations which were asked to cater for specific numbers at the World Youth Day, and lost money because attendance was lower than expected.
"This is different because nobody is telling people what to buy," Ms. Capel said.
"Each group is invited to prepare as much food as they think they can sell. When a stall sells out, they close up, and cash in the vouchers they have collected from the customers."
A meeting will be held at the Civic Centre next Wednesday, June 18, to begin planning for the food court.
Ms. Capel said she hoped local businesses which sell food will also attend the planning meeting