29 May Getting Your Concession Stand Ready for the upcoming School Year
It’s time to get your concession stand up and running like in the old days. Sure, chances are you’ll need to make changes to your menu and operation, but there’s no reason why you can’t bring life back to your school’s concession. After all, your school’s programs still need fundraising, right? Whether you’re new to running a concession stand or a veteran looking to make up sales from last year, follow these best practices to make your concession a success this year.
Best Practices to Set Up Your Concession Stand for Success
- Make preordering a priority. Food and retail establishments have already seen the benefits of online ordering, curbside, and pick-up in-store options. If your stand could get preordering capabilities, you wouldn’t have to worry about long lines since fans would be alerted when their food was ready to pick up. Most importantly, you can sell the food before the day of the event and eliminate guessing how much you will sell. This allows for more creative food choices as well. Blitz Concessions can do this for you!
- Rethink your best-selling items. Inventory Management is the key to maximizing profits in your stand. You need to know what your best-selling item is in your stand. Most concession stands can’t know what the best-selling items are for their events. Sales reports from Blitz Concessions give you this valuable information. Blitz Concessions can help you out!
- Offer “order from your seat.” Offering fans the ability to order from their seats increases the profitability of your stand. You will get those fans that don’t want to miss a play by standing in the line. Also, you will reduce the lines at your stand, getting people through faster. Did you know fans are more likely to make more significant purchases when they can use their debit/credit card? Blitz Concessions has you covered!
- Sell for each season. Just because you might have a dip in sales doesn’t mean you can’t profit. Play to your fans’ needs and interests for the season. Blitz Concessions can help you manage all of these sales!
- For football and soccer, stock up on sunscreen and small fans that plug into your phone when it’s warm out. On a cold, rainy days, have umbrellas, ponchos, and scarves or beanies available for sale.
- For basketball, consider having pennants, foam hands, and mini pom-poms. Think about having family/group meals available from nearby restaurants for night games, so your fans don’t have to worry about stopping on the way to or from the game.
- For swimming, think about selling swim caps (for athletes), sports towels, and water bottles. Take advantage of breakfast time for AM swim meets and have coffee, pastries, breakfast biscuits or tacos, and power bars available.
- For baseball, think baseball caps and tees, sunscreen, fans, and pre-made signs. For food, consider prepackaged snacks and light meals that are easy to eat in the stands, like sandwiches, burgers, chicken tenders, salads, and wraps.
- Have an opening and closing routine. Having a set open and closing routine like doing the dishes before bedtime or making the bed every morning. You’ll get all the logistics out of the way and be able to focus on selling and delighting your fans during operating hours. For opening, ensure:
- you have enough change needed for cash transactions
- your best-selling items are in stock
- your stand is clean and organized
- any appliances you’ll be using are prepped and ready to go, e.g., coffee machine, hot dog rollers, popcorn machine, etc.
For closing, it’s all about counting your sales, taking inventory, and cleaning every surface. Blitz Concessions can do it all! (ok, we can’t wipe down your counters for you)
If You’re New to Running the School Concession Stand
Leslie Harrell, former school concession stand volunteer and founder of Blitz Concessions, knows what it takes to manage the stand and raise money for the school. She says, “To do both successfully, you must run a tight ship. That includes staying organized, being willing to develop a sales strategy, seeing what works and what doesn’t, and not being afraid to ask for help. You can’t possibly do it all” She also says, “Remember, at the end of the day, you are volunteering to raise money for your school, and, in a time like this, your school needs fundraising more than ever.” You may be a first-time parent volunteer, so feel free to change things up and ask for feedback along the way. You won’t know what’s working unless you ask!
Need More Advice? Chat with Leslie.
Leslie has been there and knows how overwhelming running a concession stand can be, so she developed a platform for concession stands that parent volunteers, fans, and schools can benefit from. If you need help creating a plan or strategy for setting up your concession stand, or you need to discuss your concession stand challenges with someone who can understand, reach out to Leslie on Facebook, Instagram or email to chat more.
Leslie Harrell developed the Blitz Concessions platform with parent volunteers in mind. Not only does it have preordering capabilities (perfect for these times!), but it also helps you with managing inventory, scheduling volunteers, and staying organized. We know those binders and excel sheets can be a bear, so consider using Blitz Concessions to make your job easier and continue supporting your school.