Case Study: Food Festival

We often get requests to do live event cleaning for outdoor festivals and events and just as often, we receive a lot of push back on our staffing numbers, most often due to budgetary constraints. We understand this and we want to work within someone's budget, but we also know the reality of lots of congregating people and without proper staffing support, you can often set up your event to fail.


In any event with thousands of people, most particularly if food is involved, you are going to generate a lot of waste and that requires a lot of manpower to manage the trash and trash cans and to make sure the restrooms don't spiral out of control.



Recently we provided two shifts of ten cleaners from 10:00am to 4:00pm and 4:00pm to 10:00pm at food festival held at a television studio parking lot with an attendance of somewhere around five to seven thousand people throughout the day, Our cleaners restocked supplies, including toilet paper and paper towels for the restrooms, maintained the cleanliness of the restrooms, emptied trash receptacles and relined them, picked up discarded food and beverage receptacles, and gathered trash for pickup. We returned the next day to power wash and sweep the lot.


We staffed based on their numbers, but truthfully, we needed at least twelve to fourteen per shift. With that many people in such a small space with so much food, it becomes impossible to empty the trash cans quickly enough and to weave through the crowd to take the trash cans to the dumpsters. Several of our staff stayed later to clean up the lot and we employed more cleaners to power wash the next day.


If you are holding an event outdoor in a parking lot, here are some things to consider:


  1. Do you have enough trash cans and are they placed throughout the grounds? Assuming that just because the food court only takes up a third of the space or less, that doesn't mean that people won't travel throughout the entire event space with the food. You need to have trash cans everywhere.

  2. Where are the dumpsters? If you have trash cans throughout but dumpsters only at one end, how long will it take for the cleaners to get from the far trashcans to the dumpsters and back to unload the trash again? Do you need a trash caddy? Or a golf cart to move the garbage back and forth to make sure it doesn't pile up while the cleaners are making a trip to the dumpster?

  3. If your event space is limited and you expect it to be packed, it may not be easy for the cleaners to negotiate the crowd to empty and manage the trash. If that's the case and there isn't enough space for golf carts or trash caddies to move, then you need more cleaners to cover that area to make sure the trash doesn't overflow.

  4. Don't make assumptions about how event attendees will behave. People never do what you think they are going to do and are often messier than you think they are going to be. That's why we exist!


PopUP CleanUP is an event cleaning specialist based in Los Angeles. We have cleaned for outdoor festivals, brand activations, sporting events, private galas, and weddings. If you have any questions or needs concerning cleaning logistics for your event, don't hesitate to reach out.



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