I went to a fried chicken contest yesterday, held at a cookbook store in Noe Valley.
Eaters pay $5 to sample six types of fried chicken. They vote for the best, and that chef collects the pot of money. There were 50+ eaters, so the pool is at least $250.
The contest started at 6:00pm, and the chicken ran out at 6:10pm. More people poured into the bookstore, but the chicken was already gone.
Here is entry #6.
The bookstore is so smart! They didn't have to actually cook chicken. They only had to advertise the contest and set up tables and beverages, but they got all the publicity. They probably paid less than $50, in exchange for luring a hundred people to the bookstore.
More storefront owners should hold smart contests like this!