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How to Get Parents to Buy from Your Concession Stand


One of the best parts of concession foods is the interaction with kids. There’s nothing like seeing a child beam with excitement at cotton candy or give a big blue smile after slurping down a blue raspberry Sno-Kone®. But it’s not enough to just appeal to kids, because ultimately you must sell their parents first. Parents can be a complicated demographic, but there are certain factors that can help to influence their purchasing behavior.

  • Healthy Vision – Parents are increasingly more health aware and they are looking for healthier alternatives at the concession stand. Popcorn is a natural fit for this customer base. Try SunPop™ Select – made with just popcorn, oil and salt, it delivers key nutritional benefits, being whole grain, gluten-free and non-GMO.
  • Time is of the Essence –A long line can steer parents in the opposite direction, so it’s important to be time-conscious and keep lines moving. Have grab-and-go foods on-hand, especially during your busy times. Be efficient in your operations. For example, have one area to place orders and another to pick up. Most importantly, make sure your employees are well trained in both equipment operation and customer service skills.
  • A Winning Combination – The majority of parents will be swayed on the factor of price. If you can offer them a “deal,” it will make the purchase more attractive. Put together family combo deals that pair your most popular items with beverages. And remember to offer food trays to make transport easier.
  • Serve Samples – “Try before you buy” is a philosophy that will appeal to parents. It reassures them of the value of your product. Consider trying this technique if you are testing out a new flavor of gourmet popcorn or cotton candy. Customers like the opportunity to be one of the first to taste test what’s new.
  • The Fun Factor – Parents and children alike will be won over by the things you do to create an experience. Make a funnel cake decorated with toppings to look like a smiley face. Serve kids’ drinks with fun twisty straws. Offer souvenir cups or other novelties that will make their visit memorable.
  • A Clean Sweep – Be mindful of the importance of your area’s appearance. A clean environment is inviting and will attract more customers. Take time to not only clean your counters and customer-facing areas, but also remember to properly clean your equipment. Not only is it sanitary, it will ensure the machine continues to operate well.

It’s important to be intentional about attracting parents to your concession stand. Gold Medal can help you find solutions that will work for your business. Our concession specialists are happy to consult with you about your unique needs. Give us a call at 800-543-0862 or email us at