Getting Started with Your Own Concession Business
The First Steps to Your Own Concession Business
As a concessions industry leader since 1931, Gold Medal has seen many people start and grow successful fun foods businesses. We’re here to help you create and develop your business, while focusing on bringing in 70-80% profits.
Why Start a Concession Business
Fun foods have been making people happy for decades. People grew up eating them and associate them with the nostalgia of childhood. As adults, those same people want to share the experience and the taste with their own children. Fun foods are a tradition passed throughout generations of families.
Concession foods are people magnets – they’re available at places where individuals and families have gathered for fun, whether it’s a Little League game or a festival. People are drawn to fun foods! And it’s likely you’ll find that there are lots of opportunities. Many fun events are underequipped for concessions and would welcome your business.
Your Fun Foods Investment
More and more families are embracing the “staycation,” which means local attractions need more to entertain and feed crowds. You don’t need a shop – instead, start from a tent or trailer on weekends, setting up at farmers’ markets, community events, and children’s sports games.
Keep your day job and sell concessions on weekends until your business is profitable enough to expand. Start small with one great machine like Polar Pete® to test out your idea, or choose a few types of concessions. In the following example, you’ll see how quick and easy it can be to recoup your initial costs.
Sample Purchase for a Small Trailer or Booth
12-oz. Whiz Bang Popcorn Machine: $1,495
Auto Breeze Cotton Candy Machine: $1,095
Deluxe Sno-Konette Ice Shaver: $899
Selling less than 1,000 servings from each machine at $2.00 will pay for your concession equipment! If your market will bear it, you can even charge higher prices. Quite often, your first really busy weekend or two will pay for these three machines.
Tips for Selling Fun Foods
- Offer a limited menu. Keeping things simple will allow you to provide faster service and reduce waste. Start with 3-4 menu items.
- Don’t compete with the wrong businesses. Avoid carbonated drinks and burgers – you’re here to sell fun foods and not to try and take business from burger joints.
- Observe what others are doing. Attend local fairs and festivals to get inspiration on how others market and price their products.
- Sell the concept. Remember that people are purchasing an experience. For example, Sno-Kones® sell for about $1, but shaved ice can retail for $2-$4 because customers view it as a higher-value product.
Download the full ebook for more insider information on starting your concession business.