Organize to Simplify: Quick Tips For a Smoother Running Concession Stand

concession stand operations

Organize to Simplify: Quick Tips For a Smoother Running Concession Stand

At Blitz Concessions, we’ve typically approached the concept of organization as what parent volunteers could be doing to manage the concession stand better. We’ve discussed inventory and volunteer management, but what about concession stand operations? There are ways to simplify the process, so that you’re not only saving yourself the headaches, but you’re also keeping your fans happy and you’re maximizing profits.

Tips For a Smoother Running Concession Stand

There’s so much to think about that goes into running the stand. And, this is perhaps why there are often mishaps and missed opportunities for increasing profits. We all too often focus on making sure we have enough product and enough manpower at the stands; we lose focus on making things better.

Product Shopping

There are tried and true techniques for selecting the right concession stand food and snacks, and where to purchase them in bulk to keep costs low and be able to turn them around to make a profit when selling. However, the traditional way of heading to Costco for a grocery run is coming to an end. Unless you’re planning on tacking on your own Sunday grocery shopping, there’s no need to spend time scouring the aisles for inventory. Take advantage of curbside service or businesses like Instacart. This makes it easier to delegate this responsibility to  volunteers, one less thing to worry about! 

Food Prep

We’ve been discussing maximizing profits and there are dozens of resources out there listing the big money makers. But, remember to keep operations easy. Don’t create extra work for yourself or your volunteers. If what appears to be a simple process takes long to get into your fans hands, you’ll start losing them.

A couple of quick tips we found on Gold Medal for food prep include popcorn kits, which already include proper amounts of corn, oil, and salt pre-measured. Cotton candy can be packaged in advance to help keep lines moving during busy times. Make sure to check out the suggested concession stand equipment to use like nacho cheese dispensers and pretzel and small pizza warmers. Don’t have the budget yet for too much equipment? Take advantage of slow cookers! You can use them for hot dogs, nacho cheese, chili, and taco meat.

Right Staff. Right Role.

It’s critical to keep your concession stand staffed. We’ve discussed how to stay organized with volunteer scheduling and training best practices, but it’s also important to staff the right people in the right roles. Chat with volunteers ahead of time to get a sense for their expertise, strengths, and weaknesses. If a volunteer has experience in being the cashier, then assign him/her the same role, especially if they’re good at it. If a volunteer would do better with organizing and replenishing items, have him or her always ensuring there’s enough product “on the floor,” for cashiers to be able to grab and go, instead of waiting for more popcorn, pretzels, etc. In the end, you want the concession stand to run smoothly and optimally, and why not start with having the right people in the right role? Make it effortless.

It’s Game Time! Is Your Concession Stand Ready?

Leslie Harrell, Blitz Concessions Founder and Parent Volunteer has experience running the high school concession stand, and she’s seen it all. It’s game time, so make sure your concession stand is up to fan standards with the right food, staff, and operations. Talk to Leslie about how to make the concession experience better for your fans, and more importantly, for your school!

Contact Leslie today!