How to run a concession stand

Concession stands can be found pretty much everywhere because people get hungry no matter where they are. In addition, if you get a mobile stand, you can take your business to wherever hungry people are. However, there are a few steps that you should take to ensure that you are successful.

The first thing you need to do is find out if you need any permits or licenses. While you may not need a business license in some areas, you will most certainly need a certificate from the health department. You may also need someone from the fire department to come out and do a fire safety inspection. Be sure to have all of the paperwork done before you open so that you do not have to then close down.

If you are considering forming a corporation, partnership or limited liability company you will have to register your business with the secretary of state’s office in your state. You will also have to apply for an Employer Identification Number through the Internal Revenue Service so that you can open a business bank account and use both business documents and tax forms. You should also look into purchasing business insurance so that you are covered in the event of damage to your equipment including your popcorn machine or other concession supplies. Insurance is also good to have in the event you are part of a lawsuit or need to make a settlement.

Whether you choose to go mobile or stick to a permanent site, the spot wherein you do business should be large enough to put together food plates, store supplies and heat up food. Once you have secured a business venue, your next step is to come up with a menu. You need to decide what it is you will be serving. You could do a variety of different foods, or stick to one or two that you do well.

Once you determine what it is you will be selling, you will then need to find a place to prepare it. This includes cutting and chopping, cooking any meat products, making sauces, and assembling food platters. All of this is done in order to reduce the amount of food preparation needed when selling products at the concession stand. While you can do this at home, if you choose to do so, you will need to contact the health department in order to find out about any additional permits, licenses and/or home inspections that may be necessary.

The last step in the process before you can open the proverbial doors is to purchase the concession equipment that you will need to do business. This includes a popcorn machine if you will be making popcorn, a microwave to reheat foods, a fryer if you are selling fried goodies, and a small refrigerator to keep things cold. You will also need to buy plates, utensils, napkins and a fireproof box to store the money you make until you can get to the bank to deposit it.