Countywide : New Firm Wins O.C. Fair Food Service Contract

The Orange County Fair has awarded a food service contract to Fanfare, an Oakland-based food service company, replacing a company that had operated food and beverage concessions at the fairgrounds for the past 11 years.

The new contract will come before the Fair Board of Directors on Thursday for approval.

The five-year contract is expected to generate gross revenues of more than $1 million a year. Three other food service companies submitted competing bids for the contract, including Cutting Board Caterers of El Toro, the company currently operating food and beverage concessions at the fairgrounds in Costa Mesa.

The new five-year contract includes food service at Pacific Amphitheatre, the Equestrian Center horse shows, International Speedway and other events during the annual Orange County Fair. The contract does not include concessions at the swap meet held on the fairgrounds, operated by Tel-Phil Enterprises. And about 75 other independently operated food booths will continue to offer food during the fair season.

The food service contract includes the cafeteria at the fairgrounds, food provided at Pacific Amphitheatre concerts and other special events at the fairgrounds. Fair officials say they expect no significant change in the type of food offered.

Fair spokeswoman Jill Lloyd said the new contract is estimated to bring an annual net profit to the Orange County Fair of $397,000, compared to last year's $366,000 net earnings from food and beverage sales.

Fanfare currently provides food and beverage service for the Ventura County Fairgrounds, the Fresno Fair and the California State Fair in Sacramento.

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