26 Apr Top Tips to Speed up Concession Stand Lines
4 Tips to Speed Up Concession Stand Lines
You spend a lot of time stocking your concession stands and finding volunteers, but you must also make sales. In a previous post, we discussed how to increase your sales, and today we want to talk about another critical variable in your control: the lines.
Moving the lines quickly creates sales!
Many would-be buyers who see a long line will “wait until the line thins” to make their purchase. Sometimes, the line doesn’t thin. In this case, you’ll lose a sale because it’s a hectic event with only so many volunteers for the day. If you want to speed up your concession lines, the small changes below can be implemented today to streamline your lines, sell more concessions and ease the pressure on anyone helping you during the event.
1. Improve Line Management
When did you last sit down to optimize your concession stand lines? There’s a good chance that it’s been a while. Line management isn’t the most exciting part of running a concession stand, but it’s the first area you need to look at to speed up lines and increase sales. There are two sides to line management the customer side of the counter and the volunteer side of the counter.
Consider the following:
- Review your operations to find customer bottlenecks and create a plan to relieve bottlenecks
- Is there a product that takes more time to either select or prepare that may need a separate line
- Review stocking practices to ensure product is easily accessible and available for purchase
For example, if taking orders is slowing your team down the most, consider adding a second ordering line and offering mobile ordering using Blitz Concessions. Often, young kids with a $5 budget from their parents are your worst nightmare! They want to see how much sugar they can buy for that $5. This creates a standstill in your concessions while they decide and want to see every sugary selection. Consider creating a “candy stand” that just sells candy. Ideally, a regular 6′ table lets them easily see the selections. Consider these options, such as adding more lines or volunteers to considerably improve your concession stand’s speed. Volunteers are hard to find these days, so make sure you use the ones you have most efficiently.
Additionally, look at how your concessions stand is organized. Does it flow? Are your volunteers having to cross over each other to get products? It is crucial to make your highest-selling items easily accessible. Organize your most central cooler to hold the highest-selling items to make it easy to grab drinks for all the cashiers or runners. Ensure you have multiple “grab points” for the highest-selling chips and candy as well.
How do you know what sells? Most concessions volunteers are “eyeballing” or working off “gut instinct” about the highest-selling items without actually knowing for sure. Blitz Concessions allows quick and easy access to inventory reports based on current or cumulative sales to lay out your stand to operate smoothly.
Are you making hamburgers, hot dogs, or other items that you prefer to make as they are ordered? How are you handling your customers waiting for orders? Do you have a pickup line for those items? Blitz Concessions allows you to create the online ordering option, which essentially buys your volunteers time to make items and put together orders to prevent customer backups around the stand by notifying them via text when their order is ready.
2. Allow Mobile Ordering
People prefer card payments. In fact, one survey found that 80% of customers prefer to use their cards over cash. If you offer mobile ordering, you’ll do a few things:
- Reduce the time it takes to count change and talk to customers
- Avoid the pitfall of giving back the wrong change
- Allow customers to order their food from the stands and pick it up
- Have better inventory controls
- Take the pressure off your volunteers in the stands by allowing them to fill orders without the people staring at them!
A dedicated area for mobile order pick-up will help keep your concession lines short and free up your volunteers to handle more orders, cook food, or clean up.
3. Manage Volunteer Schedules
Volunteers are invaluable to your concession stand, but managing your team properly is also tedious. You can use a platform, such as Blitz Concessions, to:
- Add or remove volunteers to your roster
- Schedule volunteers for each event
- Communicate with volunteers
If you need five volunteers for a football game and only three of them show up, your lines will overflow with hungry customers. Maintaining strict control over your volunteer schedule and confirmations will allow you to:
- Keep food and drink serving fast
- Reduce lines
- Keep everyone happy
When using Blitz Concessions, you can even automate your training process with volunteers to ensure everyone knows their role when they’re scheduled for an upcoming event. Document management allows you to post volunteer instructions and training videos that they can see when they log in to work their shift.
4. Offer Pre-ordering
If you’ve ever been to an event with a concession stand, you know there’s one point during the car ride to the game where you think, “I’m hungry.” Offering customers the option to pre-order food while they’re headed to a game is something they 100% want. Most importantly, you want to capture their money. Most fans are planning to eat before, during or after your event. So you want to make sure you are offering them a menu they can get excited about to support your club. So, instead of people stopping to pick up food before the game, target this demographic by making it fast and easy to preorder from your concession stand.
- Accept credit
- Have food ready for when the person arrives
- Sell more food
- Create zero inventory menu items by selling certain items that you would order from an outside vendor before the event to avoid losing money if you don’t sell items.
Blitz Concessions can help you speed up your concession stand lines with state-of-the-art features built-in to a straightforward app: inventory logging, volunteer management, presell meals, mobile ordering, and much more.
Leslie Harrell developed the Blitz Concessions platform with parent volunteers in mind, because she IS a volunteer parent. 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.