How to Start a Luxury Picnic Business (with a reasonable budget) – Part 1
Part 1: The Essential Inventory Guide
You’ve seen the luxury picnic setups at the beach and park and thought to yourself, “You know what? I could do that too.” But perhaps you haven’t gotten started because you have a lot of questions. “What should I buy first? How do I get customers? What should the pricing strategy be?”
As someone who went through the trials and tribulations of starting a 6-figure luxury picnic company, I had the exact same questions. Through experience, I discovered what worked and what didn’t, and I can tell you that starting your own luxury picnic business is not only very doable, but profitable as well.
In this 4 part How to Start a Luxury Picnic Business series, I’ll go over four major topics for getting started and include tips and tricks that only an experienced picnic business would know. For example, did you know that you should use stakes for securing your teepee to the sand, otherwise, they may blow away on a windy day, leaving you with a very unhappy customer.
I’ll aim to provide information that is both thorough and applicable. Too many times when doing my own research, I ran across blogs that simply listed random items simply for affiliate marketing (which is where the blog owner receives a commission when someone purchases the item listed on their blog). I am not utilizing affiliate marketing, and intend to only list items in our How to Start a Luxury Picnic Business series that are used by actual luxury picnic companies like myself.
Remember, you are operating a business. And a business is meant to make profit. So it’s vital that as you start your journey into entrepreneurship, that you keep in mind budget! We’ll talk more about that.
The four topics in our How to Start a Luxury Picnic Business series will include:
- Inventory (current blog)
- How to Set-Up
- Pricing and Add-ons
- Customer Interaction (How to book clients!)
A successful business is more than just creating a nice setup. By following the guidance and the pro-tips in this four part How to Start a Luxury Picnic Business series, you’ll learn what it takes to make it in this business, and how to avoid the potential pitfalls! Without further ado, we’ll begin with what any picnic business needs: the inventory.
Rugs or Throw Blankets:
These are, no pun intended, the groundwork of your luxury picnic setup. It’s important to obtain rugs whose color fit your picnic themes. That being said, a white or light beige color rug will fit almost all types of aesthetics, and should be your starting point.
The rug should once again be light and fairly rugged, easy to clean, and approximately 50” X 60”. Typically two rugs per table is a good ratio for your luxury picnic setup.
Pro tip: There are rugs that you can buy that are much bigger. You may think using them will prevent you from having to use two rugs. However, large blankets are very difficult to wash in the washing machine. Medium size blankets are ideal for their aesthetic and utility and highly recommended for luxury picnic businesses just getting started.
While I included three samples below, simply searching “Throw Blanket” in amazon or google will provide you many suitable options. None of the options are very expensive.
Favorite: American flat Throw Blanket
While I prefer Cream Herringbone color, there are many different color options available for purchase at a very affordable price. These blankets are large, machine washable, and at a $16.99 price, very affordable.
More Luxurious: Ultra Soft and Cozy
At $22.99, these are the most expensive rugs, but they definitely worth it. They are soft, warm, and can even be used as a spare blanket. Their coziness and beautiful fringes make it one of the top choices for luxury picnic setups.
Most Affordable: Fleece Blankets
Same size as other rug, but a bit softer. These blankets are a bit softer and are often nice to use in the colder months of evenings. That being said, they aren’t as strong as the blanket listed previously, don’t have any fringes, and may wear overtime from over-washing. These blankets come in many different colors, but I prefer either a white or light gray. At $12.74, they are very affordable.
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Atop your table, you’ll need a nice table runner to create that elegant and luxurious aesthetic. Table runners can either be used as a traditional tablecloth (where the entire table is covered) or as a runner, where you leave portions of the wooden table exposed. I definitely recommend the 2nd option as it creates a sharper look.
Don’t be afraid to buy ones that are extra long. Most table runners are very thin and sheer, so they can easily be transported and washed. Extra length also allows you to use one table runner even when there are multiple tables being used for the setup. Any extra material on the sides of the table can be tied into knots.
Pro Tip: There are thicker/heavier table runners available (that are more rug like in feel). However, I recommend straying away from them simply because they add more weight and space to you during transportation (which you won’t want when you’re setting up luxury picnics everyday).
Favorite: Ivory Chiffon
Easy choice, elegant feel, and works well for most picnic tables. Multiple colors available all for $11.90; though if you’re looking for something universal, white is ideal.
Alternative Options: Vatin Chiffon
Similar to other table runners, this is a good alternative if the other runner is not available. At $10.99, it is a very affordable option.
Teepee and Decor:
Some picnic providers offer the Teepee as standard and some offer it as an add-on purchase. Nevertheless, the teepee truly creates that luxurious feel of the picnic, and is so easy to set-up as well.
Some teepees come with floral designs already part of them, which add a nice touch. Teepees come in multiple sizes. Some small and some quite tall. The smaller ones still look amazing, so don’t feel that you need to splurge for the extra big ones. And bare in mind, the larger the teepee, the less sturdy they are (especially on windy days).
Future Pro-tip: In the next blog, I’ll discuss the best methods for cleaning the teepee.
Favorite Choice for Small: Teepee with rose floral decorations
At a size of 71 x 47 x 47 inches, this teepee, while not the tallest of teepees, is an ideal choice for your picnic. Not only that, but it can fit in your car, making it an ideal choice for a luxury picnic business just starting out.
Favorite Choice for Extra Tall: Large Teepee with Decor
At a size of 49 x 49 x 85 inches, this teepee is much larger and can fit two adults. The all lace appearance gives it a lighter and stunning look. A bit harder to clean and more prone to holes forming, as the material is less durable than ones that utilize more fabric. Also a bit more expensive at $89.99.
As always, simply searching boho in teepee will provide many other options.
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Placemats are one of the easiest and most inexpensive things you can add to your luxury picnic setup to elevate the experience. Fairly easy to find by searching through amazon or checking out your local stores (Ikea, Ross, TJ Maxx, Crate and Barrel, Target, etc).
I honestly would just head to your local store to buy these, since you’ll get a good feel of what you’re purchasing. When looking at stores, make sure you find ones that are thin (for maximizing space) but also durable. To increase the longevity of the placemats, avoid washing them in the dishwasher, as the high heat can cause them to bend and curl. Hand wash them for best results.
They come in either rectangular or circular. I’ve personally utilized circular ones, but feel free to find the style that works best for you. I’m including only two examples since they are so easily found. Like other items, I recommend obtaining placemats that are relatively thin to aid in transportation space.
For those who want to simply buy on amazon, here are some good options:
Favorite Choice: Natural Water Hyacinth Weave
A weave option is stronger than woven placemats, will last longer, and will generally prevent the placemat from curling or bending overtime. $13.99 for four.
2nd Choice: Woven Round Placemat
Thinner than the weave option. Choose from different colors to fit the theme you’re going for. A beige color will typically work for most themes though, and provide a nice rustic / boho feel to your setups. At $11.59 for a set of 4, these are an easy item to include in your luxury picnic setup, but due to their thinness, may become damaged overtime.
Do not misjudge the importance of the chalkboard. Guests love it because it gives them an opportunity to write a personal message about the person or event they are celebrating. There are many options you can choose from whether you go to a local craft store like Michaels or search on amazon.
Most Economical Choice: Framed Chalkboard
Simple, clean, and does the trick. Lean this framed chalkboard against your luxury picnic with a custom message and you’ll be set. At only $14.99 from Michaels, it’s the most economical choice. I also like it’s size of 17″ x 23″, which isn’t too big or small. Its flat design also make it ideal for transportation and space conservation.
Make sure you also grab some special white chalkboard markers like these Mr. Pen ones. Or feel free to purchase colored ones as well.
Alternate Choice: Chalkboard Easel
Many luxury picnic providers use a stand-up chalkboard. I found this one to work nicely due to its size at 18” X 31.5”. There are a lot of easel chalkboards on amazon at 20” X 40”, but I feel these are a bit too big. A bit more expensive than the economical choice at $54.99, but still a good choice.
The picnic table sets the scene for your entire setup and is typically the heaviest of all items in your inventory. Finding one that is lightweight and foldable or with removable legs is essential. Remember, you’ll be transporting these items in your car; anything you can do to minimize space will give you more room in your vehicle as you expand your business to larger and larger parties. Finding a picnic table under 15 pounds is also vital. You may think you can lift more, but once you start setting up regularly, and carrying the items across sandy beaches, you’ll be extremely thankful you went for the lighter option (especially when setting up for parties of 10 or more people.)……
Want to read the rest of our How to Start a Luxury Picnic Business series?
Send us a message HERE and we’ll walk you through the process and send you a complete How to Start a Luxury Picnic Business inventory guide that includes the best table choices, and the rest of the inventory needed for your picnic, including:
- Picnic Table
- Table Runner
- Plates, cups, and cutlery
- Boho pillows
- Floral centerpieces
- Teepee & teepee decor
- Ice Bucket
- Bluetooth speaker
- Charcuterie Board
- Decorations – The fun part!
Will also be following this with our 2nd How to Start a Luxury Picnic Business guide in the series that will provide setup options and all the tricks and tips to avoid disasters.
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