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Anyone here with concession stand experience?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Spookwriter, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. Spookwriter

    Spookwriter Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    4,421
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    Feb 23, 2010
    Ohio
    ...such as working local fairs, flea markets and the like?

    Beginning research on another fire department thing, who better to
    ask than our many friends here?

    Primarily, trailer cost and regulations? Regulations? A reasonable expected
    return?

    And a big part of the question...what would most prefer to purchase from a
    concession stand, and what would you think to be a fair price to pay?

    Seems to me that concessions cost an arm and a leg at the local fairs. Sure
    cost enough. Spoke with one vendor at our local fair, said he grossed from
    4 to 9 thousand a week. Depends on the crowd. Offered his trailer to me at
    $11,000.

    I didn't want one then.
     
  2. PineappleMama

    PineappleMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    All those regs are going to vary by state, county and city... I think?

    And don't forget about the sales tax stuff. I have NO clue on that.

    Not on the same level, at all, but I was in charge of Field Day Concessions one year... had X amount to spend and I was expected to double it. Traditionally we had sno cones (had the machine) or popsicles... every child got one free... and then we had some kind of hearty thing... hot dogs, nachos, pizza... depending on year... and then sodas/water... and then assorted candies.

    I did a LOT of comparison shopping, online and in store, looked at ads, etc. In the end I found that Kroger/etc on sale price for sodas was cheaper than Sams Clubs big case price... I could buy them for 25c or less, and sell them for 50c and tadaa double. I think one week I hit Kroger for Coke Products and one week hit Albertsons for Pepsi products... or was it the other way around? If I'd bought the same 12oz cans at Sams I think they ended up being 30+ cent a piece, so to double I'd have had to charge at least 60c... an off number... and I had no desire to be counting pennies so I stuck with 25c increments.

    I did that with everything we sold... each candy... some things, like gum... big bucket (sams club) was X dollars and each piece ended up being like 2.5 cents... so I made it 5 pieces for 25c... my cost was 12.5 doubled the money.

    Some candies were like the gum, others were more like the sodas 20-25c each sell for 50, some were 35-45c and sold for 1.00...

    I ended up going with hot dogs and nachos when I was in charge. Added up the cost of chips/number servings to find the per serving cost... and then the same for cheese... and sold to get double that back. And the same with hot dogs... WAY easier to calculate since it's a bun, a dog... not X ounces... also with the hot dogs you can get a batch ready and wrap them in foil and be able to hand them out super fast when the rush hits... cannot do that with nachos, they get soggy, but they're a big hit. Don't forget the peppers.

    Those big ol' pickles are always a hit, and are easy. But again I found store was better priced than the big club... in this case it was the Walmart neighborhood market that had jugs of pickles that were less per pickle than Sams... odd since they're both owned by the same company, but I'll take it! Think pickles ended up being 20c or so and sold for 50c and WE SOLD OUT... had to go get more and then sold out of those... BIG hit. And again, easy. Jug, tongs, napkins.

    I made sure that every item was doubling it's money on the individual level... made it pretty easy to make sure I doubled my overall.

    I might have those old charts stashed somewhere... maybe in my yahoo files... of course they're outdated by a year or so... but if you'd like them I can email them to you... might make it clearer what the devil I'm talking about. Lemme go snoop and I'll repost/edit if I find them... then you can PM me with your email if you want a copy.


    Edit... yup sure enough found them stashed in my PTA Files... aren't I clever attaching them to an email, send it to myself, and then delete from my puter... still have them, but not taking up space on my hard drive... tee hee. Anywho, they're here if you want them, Field Day Price Comparisons, Field Day Shopping List, Field Day Tables, Field Day Tables II are the ones you might be able to use... flyer, volunteer, donation requests, etc was useful for me but prolly not for you, but I can easily forward this email with attachments from myself to myself over to you... lemme know if you'd like me to.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2010
  3. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Quote:I wonder what his net was?

    Can you give me even an idea of what you'd like to sell? For food, it varies widely, depends on location, time of year, what the competition offers, etc. What is the goal? Is it to make money?

    Trailer cost, I don't know, beyond the fact that they can be pretty expensive. I'd suggest talking to caterers and restaurants in the area. Maybe someone knows someone who has one that doesn't get used much. Rent it! A lot of people start doing this and burn out fast- it is hard work. So they end up with the equipment gathering dust. Perhaps someone needs a tax write-off and will donate it to the FD.
    As far as regulations, talk to or check out your state's Health Dept. online.

    What would I purchase..... hmmmm..... I'm a picky eater. But something like little slider burgers, all beef corndogs, boiled shrimp, nachos, but nothing in huge portions. That helps keep prices down, too. I used to have a booth next to a funnel cake one. That place stayed busy.

    Ack! I have a million ideas! I did a huge non-profit fundraiser in Austin for 20 years and have sold my own stuff at for-profit ones. LOVE doing this stuff!

    Another thought- if you can get a restaurant to donate usage or rent out their commercial, inspected kitchen to the FD you can sell the already prepared goods. That's a LOT less work at the fair, and no trailer required.

    Hey Pineapple, I never did get the sales tax stuff either.
     
  4. Boyd

    Boyd Recipient of The Biff Twang

    Mar 14, 2009
    MI
    Hm... Interested also.
     
  5. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm Premium Member

    Dont know where you are but Coke has these trailers all over the country an lets non profits use them.

    We never had to worry about taxes an we cooked the food open so everyone saw an smelled it. We did horse shows.

    If you put a grill out in the crowd where they see an smell it you sell way more inside.

    Chillie, hot-dogs, hamburgers, drinks, deserts an candy is where the money is. 5K to 10K is not hard to do in a night at the right place.

    Ive been told one stand on race day at a nascar events brings in about 100K. But Nascar takes 90% but supply everything I think.
     
  6. jobeibi

    jobeibi Out Of The Brooder

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    But something like little slider burgers, all beef corndogs, boiled shrimp, nachos, but nothing in huge portions.

    [​IMG] That's the exact opposite of the advice from one of our band moms who has done several food booths at band and Boy Scout events. "Ridiculously large portions" is her advice. "Ever seen the smoked turkey legs at Disney World? People love big food!" she says.

    Outdoor event food should be things that you can eat with your hands while you walk. If you've got a drink in one hand and a plate in the other, how will you hold your fork? So think sandwiches, big foldable pizza slices, fried things on sticks, stuff like that.​
     
  7. seismic wonder2

    seismic wonder2 I got mad ninja skills

    Feb 3, 2007
    san diego ca
    THIS ALL DEPENDS ON WHERE YOU ARE!!

    1. the cart has to pass county and city and state board of health regulations. (buyer beware--buy an out of date cart and you'll never get a permit)
    2. You need a food handlers' card. (Training from the health dept on how to prevent food bourne illnesses.)
    3. permit to sell
    4. business license
    5. you need a "commisary" where you can store and prepare your food and to store and clean your cart. (that cannot be your place of residence or non-licensed commercial kitchen)
    6. health inspection from the dept of health.
    7. liability insurance (people will eat your hotdog then go ride the "Puke -o- Matic" get sick and sue you for food poisoning)

    Then wait for next year because by the time you jump through all those hoops the Fare is gone.
     
  8. jobeibi

    jobeibi Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 4, 2010
    Florida Panhandle
    Quote:Well, that depends on where you are. [​IMG] Sure a County Fair is a once a year event, but, depending on where you live, there are lots of other events that need food vendors throughout the year. Here, we have numerous festivals, parades, and community events where a trailer like the OP's can set up, almost any week on your calendar.
     
  9. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    SC
    Quote:[​IMG] That's the exact opposite of the advice from one of our band moms who has done several food booths at band and Boy Scout events. "Ridiculously large portions" is her advice. "Ever seen the smoked turkey legs at Disney World? People love big food!" she says.

    Outdoor event food should be things that you can eat with your hands while you walk. If you've got a drink in one hand and a plate in the other, how will you hold your fork? So think sandwiches, big foldable pizza slices, fried things on sticks, stuff like that.

    You need to quote me in context, please, not just grab the bit you wish to dispute. I never said that's what would sell, I said that's what I would purchase. I don't mind the disagreeing at all, just don't forget to read my sig line! [​IMG]

    What would I purchase..... hmmmm..... I'm a picky eater. But something like little slider burgers, all beef corndogs, boiled shrimp, nachos, but nothing in huge portions. That helps keep prices down, too. I used to have a booth next to a funnel cake one. That place stayed busy.

    Please also note that none of those items require a fork.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
  10. jobeibi

    jobeibi Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 4, 2010
    Florida Panhandle
    Quote:Did you see my laughing face? I was laughing at the difference in advice. Then I started a new paragraph and started my own suggestion, separate from any comment on your post.

    I apologize for the confusion.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010

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