Food-themed nights such as Pie or Pizza nights are a famous Aussie sports club tradition. Pie nights have been around for years and with good reason, they are a proven way to raise funds as well as a great way to get the club members together and having fun.
These days there are many variations on the Pie night – Pizza, Taco, Pasta, Sushi – to cater for all tastes and the more health conscious club environment but the underlying principle remains the same – members gather together to enjoy food and the club reaps the benefits via bar sales, raffles, eating contests and maybe a modest entry fee.
This is very low risk event with little outlay as most clubs will run this event on a training night and make attendance compulsory, thus alleviating any risks. Food costs will be the main upfront costs. Raffle prizes need to be factored in but often sponsors and local community businesses will provide goods - bottles of wine, hampers, meat trays - in return for promotion.
Utilize existing club resources and social media to promote your club's Pie night. Club resources include: newsletters, the club website, social media and noticeboards. The more members that are attracted to the event and participate, the better the atmosphere and financial return to the club.
Revenue opportunities from this type of fundraising event centre around the raffles, competitions and entry fee (if charged). Clubs should not seek to make a premium on the food offered as a $10 pie takes away motivation to attend. With this type of fundraiser, clubs can expect to raise anywhere from $200-$2000.
Licenses and Permits
If alcohol is to be served then a liquor license will be required. Depending on the formats of the raffles and games, you may require a gambling license. Check with your state regulatory body. In Australia, the food law places many responsibilities on the proprietor of a food business. If you are the organiser of an event or an official of a charity or community organisation that is selling food, you need to be aware of these responsibilities. See our Food Safety for Clubs page for further information
Factors to Consider
Club volunteers will need to be on hand to help prepare/order food as well as run the raffles and games. Motivational talkers or keynote speakers that can engage your audience are a valuable addition to this type of evening.
This procedure should be treated as a guide only. Your club should seek advice specific to the needs of your club and event. Seek further details from authorities and service providers; especially in regards to insurance, licences, permits, spectator and participant safety.