Large Venue & Theater Concessions

With larger venues and bigger crowds come more business opportunities, as well as unique challenges, for your concession stands. Whether your stands operate in a constrained space as in a theater or open areas like amusement parks, layout, efficiency and safety features are just some of the things you need to keep in mind when making decisions about concessions. Find resources here for choosing appropriate high-volume equipment and supplies, increasing customer satisfaction and sales, marketing your snacks effectively, and more.

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5 Concession Stand Layout Ideas to Increase Efficiency

How to Organize a Concession Stand for Optimal Functionality

When you take over running a concession stand, there are a lot of things you may not have control over. You can’t move your sinks or your outlets, your food prep area, or your serving window. But small changes to your setup can make a big difference in the efficiency of your operation. Use these concession stand layout ideas to start making improvements.

1. Take inventory of all existing equipment and supplies. Decide what is and isn’t necessary, and if you discover you’ve been storing items that are no longer useful, pitch them right away. The first step to streamlining your operation is reducing clutter.

2. Step out of the stand and view it from the outside. What do you want your customers to see? Equipment like popcorn machines should be placed where people can see and smell the product whenever possible to tempt appetites. Store corresponding concession supplies like popcorn serving bags and boxes next to the machine for quick and easy access.

3. Mentally walk through a transaction involving each type of menu item you sell. From taking a customer order to preparing and delivering food, imagine where your employee or volunteer will move through your space and set up the needed equipment and supplies as close together as possible. For example, a bun cabinet for storage under a hot dog roller grill makes food prep more efficient and takes up less counter space than stacking buns nearby in bags. Food trays should be kept next to the grill.

4. Consider the customer’s need for counter space. When you’re organizing items in your serving window, including napkins and condiments, leave as much space as you can for use by customers. Not only will they need a place for their food to sit as they pay for it, but they may also be carrying other items that inhibit them from reaching their wallet. Nothing stalls your line like a customer juggling items while searching for money, so make it easy for them by providing empty space for things like bags or other food and drink.

5. Start the season off with smart habits. Make sure you and your staff or volunteers get in the routine of cleaning and tidying as you work instead of leaving tasks to the end of the shift. When things are put away immediately, there’s more space to work and less risk of developing clutter. In addition, build regular time into your schedule to rotate inventory. Not only does this help reduce food waste, it can also keep your storage spaces organized so that everything is in its place and easily within reach during busy times.

Once you have your concession stand layout determined, find more tips for success, learn the easiest way to obtain your supplies, and discover how to decide if you need to limit your menu choices.