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What's your ultimate concession stand vision?

Running concession stands for booster clubs and youth programs can be challenging, but it’s also one of the most profitable fundraising options. Unlike golf tournaments, galas, and skeet shooting events that require extensive coordination, rentals, and upfront money, concession stands operate at your events regardless of who manages them. They are typically rent-free, utility-free, and labor-free. As a tax-exempt organization, your profits primarily come after covering the cost of goods. It makes concession stands a highly lucrative option for booster clubs of all kinds—whether for sports, theater, band or any other group striving to bridge the funding gap.

We’ve established that concession stands can be a viable profit source for your program. Now, let's refine your vision. How do you plan to manage your stand? What are your financial goals? If you think it’s not worth the effort, assess whether you’re running it efficiently. Setting goals is crucial to making your concession stand a successful part of your program. To set practical goals, you need the right tools.

Tracking your progress

Many programs need help tracking their concession stand's success. While some use Excel spreadsheets, Square, or other POS systems, others still rely on "pen and paper." Precise tracking is essential to accurately gauge profitability.

  • Tracking Inventory - Efficient inventory management is vital for a successful and profitable stand. Implementing a system to track what goes out of your stand—whether through sales, waste, or comps—helps you focus on best-sellers and eliminate underperformers. It prevents overstocking or understocking, reducing waste and missed sales opportunities. Additionally, it prevents theft in your stand.

  • Margin reports - Monitoring your margins ensures profitability. With the rising cost of goods, selling items at outdated prices can erode profits. Use a system to regularly calculate and review your margins, factoring in promotions, such as combo sales and discounts, to maintain a healthy profit margin.

  • Sales reports - Comprehensive sales reports help you understand event revenue, balance cash, track credit card sales, and monitor giveaways. Tracking these metrics can reveal hidden losses from volunteer giveaways, ensuring tighter control and more profitability.

Promoting your stand

What will people say about your concession stand next year? Are they excited about your offerings, or are they indifferent? Effective marketing is critical. Even at events where you have a captive audience, attendees can choose to eat elsewhere. Concession stands often carry a “junk food” stigma, so it’s essential to put good items in your stand, highlight your menu, and emphasize how purchases support youth programs. Informing customers ahead of time encourages them to support your stand.

Create Excitement

Stocking items without preservatives is challenging but can shift the “junk food” perception. With enough volunteers, offering fresh-cooked options like hamburgers and hot dogs can enhance your stand’s appeal. Consider pre-selling items prepared by local restaurants. This “zero inventory” approach minimizes waste and storage issues, maximizing profit.

Preparing for Success

As you gear up for the coming year, define your stand’s operational vision. How do you want customer interactions to unfold? How will you handle credit cards? Can customers quickly return to the event, or are they stuck in long lines?

Blitz Concessions is here to help you realize your vision. We offer numerous reports, online menus, pre-order setups, and credit card sales solutions online and at the window that doesn't involve costly hardware. We strive to minimize equipment, costs, and setup requirements. Click here to schedule a demo with our team today!

Don’t miss the chance to set your program up for success. Our team is ready to help you reach your goals and create a profitable, easy-to-manage concession stand.

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