A concession stand is a great way to start your own business and make some extra money. But before you open a concession stand, there are some things to consider. Many food service entrepreneurs don’t realize how much of an investment it can be, or how much work is required to keep it running. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you understand the process of opening a concession stand and what it takes to be successful.
How To Open A Concession Stand
What Is A Concession Stand?
A concession stand is essentially a food service kiosk located in an area with high foot traffic such as a shopping mall, an amusement park, or even at an outdoor event. They offer quick snacks and beverages that are easy to access and consume on the go.
How Much Does It Cost To Open A Concession Stand?
Opening a concession stand depends on several factors, including location, type of equipment, and type of product. The cost will include the purchase of equipment such as refrigerators, freezers, fryers, and other kitchen essentials. You can expect to pay anywhere between $10,000 to $21,000 for a new setup, or you could purchase an existing concession stand for as little as $6,0000, all the way up to $45,000.
Is Owning A Concession Stand Profitable?
Yes! Owning a concession stand can be a very profitable venture if managed properly. The key is to find a location with high foot traffic and offer products that people want to buy at an affordable price. Research your local market to determine what customers are looking for and how much they’re willing to pay.
What Are The Steps To Opening A Concession Stand?
1. Choose your location
A concession stand should be located in an area with high foot traffic. This can include shopping malls, amusement parks, and outdoor events.
2. Develop a business plan and budget
Before investing in equipment and supplies, set up a business plan and budget. Analyze the costs associated with each step of the process to ensure that you’re staying within your budget.
3. Obtain licenses and permits
Depending on your location, you may need to obtain licenses and permits to legally operate a concession stand. Research the laws in your area and make sure that you’re following all necessary regulations.
4. Purchase equipment, food, and supplies
Invest in equipment and supplies that are necessary for running a concession stand. This includes cooking and serving utensils, refrigerators, freezers, fryers, and other kitchen essentials. Make sure to purchase food items in bulk to save money.
5. Hire staff (if needed)
If you plan to operate the concession stand yourself, then you may not need to hire staff. However, if you’re going to have other employees help with the day-to-day operations, make sure that they are properly trained and qualified for their job.
6. Market your concession stand to the public
Create promotional materials and advertisements to let people know about your business. You can partner with local businesses and organizations to create a loyal customer base. You can also offer discounts and specials to attract more customers.
7. Monitor sales and adjust accordingly
Keep track of the types of food and beverages that sell the most and make adjustments to your menu as needed. Technology can be used to monitor sales and inventory, making it easier for you to know what’s working and what isn’t.
What Are Some Tips For Success When Opening A Concession Stand?
1. Choose the right location
Look for high foot traffic areas that are easy to access from multiple directions with ample parking options nearby or within walking distance of nearby attractions and venues.
2. Offer unique items
Try to offer items that other stands don’t have so you can stand out and draw more customers in than competitors. Some ideas include gourmet popcorn, slushies, pretzels, or even vegan and vegetarian options.
3. Keep your prices competitive
It’s important to have a good price point for the items you’re selling, so customers will come back again and again. As inflation becomes more of an issue pricing may become more of a challenge, so it's important to stay on top of the market and adjust accordingly.
4. Advertise your stand
Word of mouth is an excellent way to get people interested in your concession stand, but you should also look into other advertising options like handing out flyers or setting up banners or signs in strategic locations.
5. Monitor customer feedback and adjust accordingly
As with any business, it’s important to pay attention to what customers are saying about your concession stand and make adjustments as needed. This can include changing the menu items you offer, adjusting pricing, and improving customer service.
6. Keep your stand clean and organized
Customers want to see a neat, tidy, and organized stand, so make sure to keep things clean and well-stocked. This will help create a better customer experience and keep people coming back.
Opening a concession stand can be very lucrative if done properly. Just remember to research the market, offer unique items at competitive prices, advertise your stand, monitor customer feedback, and keep your stand clean and organized. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to success.