Whether you work at a school, stadium, theater, or outdoor festival space, one thing is always certain: crowds of people mean lots of mouths to feed. Times like these call for a skillfully operated concession stand.
Running a concession stand can get hectic, especially during intermissions or breaks. So if you’re wondering how to build a concesstion stand that’s successful, you’re in luck! We’ve compiled 10 tips for operating a booming concession business, from planning your menu to buying the right concession stand equipment.
Leadership: Choose one person to manage the concession stand and take on the leadership role. It’s also crucial to assign specific duties to the rest of the staff to reduce confusion and optimize your workflow.
Food Choices: Lines get long fast, and people want to reduce their wait and get back to their seats. Choose concession stand food that is quick to cook and serve, such as candy, popcorn, nachos, and hot dogs.
Prepare: Be prepared by arriving at the stand early. You never know when something will go wrong, and it’s always better to deal with those issues before the event than during!
Permits: Make sure to collect any necessary permits from your local health department before opening. As the Houston Chronicle reminds readers, this also applies if you plan to prep any of your concession stand food at home.
Stock: Have plenty of items in stock for every event. After operating for a few weeks, you should also be able to get a better idea of which concession stand foods are your top sellers.
Pricing: If possible, keep the prices of your concession stand menu items consistent. This allows your customers to know what to expect and budget for.
Presentation: Make sure your stand or vending cart looks neat and clean at all times. Encourage repeat customers by ensuring every customer has a welcoming, positive experience.
Planning space: Don’t lose money! Attempt to keep souvenir sales or fundraisers away from your stand. Convince other vendors that maintaining distance between businesses will help you both keep profits up.
Plan ahead! Contact coaches or event managers before opening so that you can get started on orders early. This can help you avoid struggling to fill orders during the pre- and mid-event rushes.
Buying Concession Stand Equipment
Central Restaurant Products offers all of the concession stand equipment and supplies you will need to have a successful operation. With everything from popcorn poppers and pizza supplies to condiment servers and hot dog roller grills, Central is your one-stop shop for concessions. Need help deciding on the perfect model? One of our helpful product consultants is happy to assist when you call us at 800-215-9293!
Hope has been a Content Specialist since November 2015, where she brings to the table years of experience in the food service industry in a variety of roles. Throughout her time with Central, Hope has focused on learning all things possible about everything from cooking equipment to concession and specialty products in order to empower operators with education on commercial equipment and supplies. Hope is a wife, new mom, avid crafter, and food lover (french fries please!).