How to Start a Concession Stand Business?

How to Start a Concession Stand Business?

Opening a concession stand is a simpler way to get started in the food business than opening a full-scale restaurant, but still provides ample opportunity for making a profit. Festivals and fairs all across America need food vendors. If you make a few delicious items and want to take your cooking show on the road, a concession is a good way to get started. While it may seem like an easy way to work just on the weekends, getting a concession stand ready for business and then keeping it running well takes hard work and motivation.

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How to Start a Concession Stand Business?
The following are the steps to start a successful business:
1.    Write a business plan. Even if you have the money you need to get started, writing a plan will help you get your goals in line. You should include your projected expenses, potential profits, a marketing plan, the items you intend to sell and your long-range business goals.

2.    Evaluate your financial situation. Good credit will be required if you intend to lease or finance a full-service mobile concession trailer. You will also need cash on hand to purchase ingredients and equipment. You can also finance your new small business with money from an investor, your credit cards, a small-business loan and a local or federal government grant, as well as gifts from family and friends.

3.    Purchase or build your mobile unit. A lot of websites have listings for concession trailers for sale. Decide what type of food you will be selling and what your needs will be and then look for a unit that is suitable. If you prefer to build your own stand, you will need to submit your plans to your local health department and have them approved before building the unit and getting it inspected.

4.    Research the types of fairs and festivals where you would like to sell.

5.   Contact your city or county clerk’s office and find out what types of permits and licenses are required.

6.    Get your health inspection. After you have consulted with your local officials, you will need to complete and pass the inspection. Once you have passed, you’ll need to fill out and pay for the required permit. After you have passed the health inspection, you can file your business permits and get your business name accepted by the county or state. Go to your state’s tax department website as well and download the proper meals and rooms tax forms for selling food in your state.

7.    Purchase your ingredients. Once you’ve inspected, head to the restaurant supply store or a warehouse store and stock up on the ingredients you need to make your food. In the beginning, it is always better to over-prepare, especially on items that will hold should you not use them.

8.    Arrange your placement at your first few fairs or farmers’ markets and get cooking. Look at the map of the festival you are thinking of attending and try to choose a location that seems as if it would draw a lot of hungry traffic. Sometimes you won’t have a choice, and you will be placed by the organizers where they have room. The fortunate thing about a concession stand is that it doesn’t require a lot of promotion to get business for you. If you have clear signage, your prices are right and your food smells good, you should have plenty of business.

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Things Needed

⦁    Vendor’s license
⦁    DBA
⦁    Location seller’s permit
⦁    Concession stand trailer
⦁    Wholesale food supplier
⦁    Food products
⦁    Napkins
⦁    Straws
⦁    Ketchup
⦁    Mustard
⦁    Computer
⦁    Printer
⦁    Cell phone
⦁    Microwave oven
⦁    Refrigerated units
⦁    Warming units
⦁    Grill
⦁    Hot dog rotisserie
⦁    Cotton candy machine
⦁    Fliers

Make sure you have your trailer at all major events in and around your area. Hire workers as needed, especially if your concession stand is open long hours. However, employ a spouse or family member to keep your labor expenses down early on. Use your profits to open additional concession stands.
Cordell Davenport

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Cordell Davenport

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