Top 8 Amusement Park Restaurants
Let’s be honest. Amusement parks aren’t often known for their memorable food options. The phrase "amusement park food" alone brings up images of deep fryers bubbling with fried and greasy food. However, there are some parks with restaurants that are just as alluring as their wild attractions. Check out our list of the top eight amusement park restaurants to find out where the best culinary attractions are located.
8. Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs
While Nathan’s Famous hot dogs are widely accessible, some people will tell you that the best way to experience these all beef dogs is at the original Nathan's location on Coney Island. Maybe it has something to do with the air, heavy with the scent of salt water, or perhaps it’s the nostalgia of eating at the original Nathan’s restaurant. Whatever the reason is, stopping at this stand is a must for anyone spending the day exploring the attractions at Coney Island’s Luna Park. Not to mention, Nathan’s offers other delicious food options, like Krispy chicken sandwiches, juicy burgers, and fries loaded with toppings.
7. Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant
The food at Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant is so good that the amusement park was built to entertain the long line of guests waiting to get a seat in the restaurant. Back in the 1920’s, Knott’s Berry Farm was exactly what it sounded like: a simple berry farm. In 1934, the family decided to open up a five table tea room that sold fried chicken, biscuits, and boysenberry pie. Over time, the meals at Mrs. Knott’s restaurant became so popular that the family decided to build shops and attractions for guests while they waited for a seat. Today, the restaurant has expanded in size and offers both indoor and outdoor seating, along with a full-service bar, not to mention a massive amusement park.
6. The Alamo
While Knoebels is primarily known for its odd spelling (pronounced kuh-no-bels) and abundance of rides, this amusement park is also a destination for some tasty eats. The Alamo, named after the historic Alamo Mission in Texas, is a full-service restaurant that has been in operation since 1926. The menu here offers a little something for everybody: chicken and waffles, broiled New England whitefish, and even gnocchi. If their menu listings don’t sound appealing, maybe the fact that Knoebels has won the Golden Ticket’s “Best Food” award 12 years in a row will draw you in to see what all the hype is about.
5. Hungry Dutchman Cafe
Nelis’ Dutch Village is a destination within a destination. Not only does this park boast fields filled with colorful tulips, but it is also designed to represent the different villages of the Nelis family’s home country, Holland. However, the best part of this amusement park is that you can try food from the Netherlands without having to leave the country. Located within the 10 sprawling acres of Dutch Village lies the Hungry Dutchman Cafe. It's here that you can try traditional, and mouthwatering, meals from Holland, like pork sausage baked in flaky pastry dough with a side of Dutch apple pie.
4. Boma - Flavors of Africa
With as many dining options as Disney World has to offer, it’s no surprise that one of their restaurants landed a spot on our list. Much like the Hungry Dutchman Cafe, Boma provides guests a wide variety of flavors from other countries without having to spend money on the airfare. Located within Disney’s Animal Kingdom, this restaurant offers delicious and unique entrees, sides, and desserts from over 50 African countries, like Harira soup, Pap and Chakalaka, and Tunisian couscous salad. The building itself is even designed to resemble a bustling African marketplace. Boma also offers more kid-friendly meal options such as corn dog nuggets, mac and cheese, and grilled chicken.
3. Three Broomsticks
Transforming the fictional world of Harry Potter into an interactive theme park isn’t an easy task. But, it’s something Universal Studios has done not once, but twice. Besides offering all the fan favorites like Honeydukes and Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, the snowy, magical town of Hogsmeade also has a festive place to dine, the Three Broomsticks restaurant. While the menu mostly features dishes native to England, like shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, and bangers and mash, this restaurant also offers the great feast platter that allows visitors to dine like a wizard returning to Hogwarts. Guests can even sip on Butterbeer, available in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options.
2. Aunt Granny's All You Care to Eat Buffet
Tucked away in the Great Smoky Mountains, tourists can find Aunt Granny’s All You Care to Eat Buffet, the perfect place to try a wide, and endless, array of classic Southern comfort foods. While the name may seem to come from an older member of the Parton family, ‘Aunt Granny’ is actually a nickname given to Dolly herself from her nieces and nephews. Dollywood also offers other quality restaurants, like Backstage and Granny Ogle’s Ham n’ Beans, where guests can feast on sides and entrees like fried green tomatoes, banana pudding, and meatloaf.
1. Mythos Restaurant
Take a break from all the hustle and bustle of Universal Studios by unwinding and dining in the otherworldly Mythos Restaurant. Designed inside and out to look like a grotto carved by the gods, this 5-star, sit down restaurant is renowned by both foodies and amusement park goers for having some of the best food around. Their menu boasts a variety of options like spanakopita dip, pad thai, and pressed porchetta panini. They also offer a kid’s menu that features simpler dishes, like chicken fingers and cheese pizza. If their wide range of tasty dishes isn’t impressive enough, they’ve also been declared the world’s best amusement park restaurant six years in a row by Theme Park Insider.
Not only can you find thrilling attractions behind the walls of amusement parks, but you can also discover mouthwatering meals. So, forget about the notion that all amusement park food is greasy and fried, and check out the delicious dishes these restaurants are serving up.
Top 10 Food Truck Cities in America
Determining the best cities for food trucks isn’t exclusively based on good weather and public interest. State-and-city-imposed fees, permits, and regulations heavily affect a food truck’s success and must be factored into your food truck business plan. So, where exactly are food trucks most successful? We’ve rounded up the top 10 food truck cities in America. Click on any city’s name for its breakdown. Portland Denver Orlando Philadelphia Indianapolis Houston Austin Los Angeles New York City Nashville How Profitable Are Food Trucks? So far, the food truck industry's revenue in 2020 is $1.1 billion, and its market size has a greater rate of increase than the rest of the consumer goods and services sector. New and seasoned restauranteurs alike are interested in starting a food truck and tapping into the profitable mobile vending industry. While experts predict that the food truck industry will continue to sky-rocket, how profitable food trucks are for their owners varies widely based on their city's licensing and operational procedures. Individual owners should evaluate their city's friendliness to food trucks before investing in their own. Top 10 Best Cities for Food Trucks in America While most cities have at least a handful of food trucks, some cities are more profitable for food truck owners and provide a friendlier environment for food truck operations. Learn more about the top 10 food truck cities in America for food truck operators. 10. Nashville, Tennessee Music City, Athens of the South, Nash-Vegas, Nashville is known by many names, all of which bespeak its reputation as a cultural mecca for musicians, intellectuals, and late-night revelers alike. Nashville is the perfect environment for inventive food trucks to thrive. Thankfully, the city of Nashville provides moderate regulations on food trucks, making it number 10 on the list of the most profitable cities for food trucks. Operating a Food Truck in Nashville Registration: Food truck operations in Nashville face somewhat high registration fees and an additional water permit. City Acceptance: The cost of operating a food truck in Nashville is consistent with national averages. In a recent survey by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation,, food truck operators reported that officials are friendly to them at office visits, and that they’re only required to visit city offices an average of 15 times to run their food truck business. Vending Limitations: It is Nashville’s unusually high proximity limitations that keep it at the bottom of our top 10 best food truck cities in America list. Nashville food trucks cannot be within 150 feet of a building inhabited by either a full-service or fast-food restaurant. 9. New York City, New York New York City is steeped in food truck history and is home to some of the best food trucks in the country. However, it's comparatively stringent food truck rules and regulations keep it from topping the list of the best cities for food trucks in America. Operating a Food Truck in New York City Licensing Cap: New York City has placed a cap on the number of available food truck licenses, making it nearly impossible to legally obtain one. Food truck operators in New York City reported that acquiring a two-year vending permit often requires 15 years on the waiting list or paying over $25,000 to obtain one on the black market. Impossible Restrictions: Food trucks are not allowed to vend from metered parking. Not only are open parking spots hard to come by, they must also be 20 feet from a building’s entrances and 10 feet from crosswalks. These two restrictions combined make operating in Manhattan nearly impossible. Food truck operators reported that receiving $65 tickets from the police is just a part of operating a food truck in New York City. Extra Licenses: Every employee working in your food truck, from the cashier to the chef, is required to have a food handler's license and attend a health department class. 8. Los Angeles, California As the birthplace of the modern food truck craze, one would expect Los Angeles to top the list of the best cities for food trucks in America. If you’re wondering where to get the best food truck food, Los Angeles may still be the answer. However, if you want to know where food trucks are most profitable, the outlandish expense of operating a food truck in Los Angeles prevents the city from topping the list of the best cities for food trucks. Operating a Food Truck in Los Angeles Restrictions: Los Angeles doesn’t impose a lot of restrictions on where food trucks can operate. While food trucks cannot vend on public property, private lots are prevalent and there are few proximity restrictions for operating around schools and public parks. On the whole, Los Angeles has embraced the food truck market as a key element in its culture. Permitting Expenses: The biggest challenge Los Angeles food truck operators face is that their permit doesn't allow them to operate across the entire county. Obtaining multiple permits to operate across the metro area is extremely costly. 7. Austin, Texas Thanks to their food truck friendly regulations, the capital of live music seems to be sharing another title these days: food truck capital of America. While Austin may not have as many food trucks as other major cities, they make up for it by producing some of the tastiest eats and offering a profitable market for food truck owners. Operating a Food Truck in Austin One-Stop-Shop Permitting Process: On average, acquiring a food truck permit requires 20 steps and 14 trips to regulatory bodies, but Austin has eliminated this exhaustive process by creating a one-stop-shop for food truck licensing. Additionally license fees in Austin are comparatively lower than America’s other best food truck cities. Average Restrictions: While proximity limitations are in-line with national averages, each county surrounding Austin imposes different taxes and rules which add difficulties and expenses. Challenging Health Inspection Process: The most consistently reviled aspect of operating a food truck in Austin by food truck entrepreneurs is the city’s difficult health inspection process. A tight window for conducting your inspection is provided, and both the inspection itself and the ensuing approval process is lengthy. 6. Houston, Texas While food trucks may not be the most practical dining option in ‘The Bayou City’ (they receive 53 inches of rain per year.) Houston's international residents and strong local traditions of Tex-Mex and BBQ are well-suited to the food truck industry. Thankfully, from residents' tastes to regulatory terms, Houston is a city where food trucks are profitable. Operating a Food Truck in Houston Zoning: While Houston has no zoning code, Houston's food truck operators are prohibited from using street parking, cannot operate within 100 feet of a restaurant, and must remain 60 feet apart from fellow food trucks. Extra Commissary Fees: Commissary kitchens and storage spaces require food truck operators to visit daily whether they need to or not. Additionally, food truck owners must pay the commissary daily regardless of whether they operated their business on that day. Hidden Fines and Regulations: Houston food truck operators face additional and often unexpected fines such as an electronic monitoring fee. They are also required to submit notarized letters from the private properties where they operate stating that they have permission to use the location and that there are bathrooms on-site. 5. Indianapolis, Indiana Most people will tell you that the food truck scene is best on either the west or east coast. However, Indianapolis proves that the midwest offers equally delicious and unique food truck options. Due to its comparatively limited restrictions, Indianapolis surpasses many coastal cities as a destination where food trucks are most successful. Operating a Food Truck in Indianapolis Easy to Get Started: Its low food truck start-up fees and comparatively few required trips to regulatory offices make Indianapolis one of the best places to buy a food truck start a new food truck business. Simple Ongoing Compliance: It is easy to comply with Indianapolis’ food truck regulations since the majority of them are surrounding food safety and sanitation requirements. These safety and sanitation requirements are in line with the rest of Indiana’s standardized Administrative Code. Information Scarcity: While Indiapolis’s rules for starting a food truck help operators, information on how to start your business is not readily available on the city’s website. Finding the information requires scouring multiple websites and trudging through dense terminology. 4. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Home to numerous colleges and universities and imposed with few restrictions, Philadelphia food trucks are highly profitable. See why the City of Brotherly Love is one of America's top food truck cities. Operating a Food Truck in Philadelphia Few Regulations: Food truck operators in Philadelphia enjoy an easy start-up process, few trips to licensing offices, and light regulatory procedures. Most of the regulations food truck operators must adhere to are universal safety and sanitation rules. Frequent Health Inspections: In addition to their annual review, food trucks must receive a health inspection for every large event they vend. On average, food truck operators in Philadelphia will receive between 10 and 30 inspections in a given calendar year. Difficult to Vend in Prime Locations: The Philadelphia food truck market is heavily saturated, so, acquiring approval to vend in the most profitable spots is difficult and can require years of waiting. Inconsistently Enforced Rules: Because Philadelphia's rules (such as the mandate that food trucks not park within 30 feet from each other and must not operate past midnight) are inconsistently enforced, food truck operators lose their competitive edge if they comply with rules and risk fines if they don’t. 3. Orlando, Florida While Orlando is known for its theme parks, this Florida city is home to a lively foodie scene, and its rules and regulations make it one of the best cities where food trucks are most profitable. Orlando is the US city with the most food trucks per capita due to its friendliness towards trucks, earning it the number three spot on the top 10 food truck cities in America. Operating a Food Truck in Orlando Most Affordable Operational and Permitting Fees: Orlando helps food truck vendors succeed by offering them unbeatable $50 permits, low on-going operational fees, and readily available compliance information on their local government’s FAQ page. Challenges and Limitations: Orlando food truck operators cannot sell food or merchandise on city streets or sidewalks. Additionally, vending across the metro area requires additional permits and inspections. 2. Denver, Colorado Consistently ranked as America's fittest city, Denver's residents are drawn to food trucks that offer local, organic, and healthy food menus while they walk the streets for exercise. Denver is also one of America's fastest-growing cities, attracting young professionals and families. Combining the two essential elements for a food truck's success: a strong clientele base and food truck friendly rules and regulations, Denver is it the second-best city for food trucks in America. Operating a Food Truck in Denver Straight Forward Startup Procedures: Denver aids food truck entrepreneurs by offering just 10 start-up procedures and requiring only a few trips to city offices to obtain approvals. Government permitting processes are transparent and easily navigated on government websites. On-going operational compliances are equally transparent and as easy to follow as start-up procedures. Altering Vehicles for Safety: To operate a food truck in Denver, owners must install fire suppression systems, change gas lines, and adjust propane tank sizes. Making mandated updates and repairs to comply with the rules can be costly. and requires a well-planned food truck layout. Complex Cross-Metro Operations: Operating your food truck across Denver’s metro area will incur additional regulatory costs and permitting fees. Additionally, you are required to file taxes in each city you operate within, which is both a hassle and an expense. 1. Portland, Oregon Portland Oregan is the city where food trucks are most profitable, reigning our list of the top 10 food truck cities in America. While they're commonly referred to as “food carts” in their neck of the woods, Portland boasts over 600 trucks and trailers serving up tantalizing treats. This “weird” city has so many carts that they have multiple food truck parks, like Cartlandia, Mississippi Marketplace, and Cartopia. The city of Portland embraces its food carts by making sure its food trucks are profitable so they can continue enriching the city's vibrant culture. Operating a Food Truck in Portland Easy to Get Started and Easy to Operate: Portland helps food truck operators thrive by making licenses easy to obtain and making vending processes clear and easy to follow. Portland imposes no proximity limitations on food trucks nor do they impose sales taxes. Portland is hands down the best city for food truck operators in America. Effortless Vending: Downtown Portland has set aside many parking lots exclusively for food trucks. Additionally, the government invests resources into creating easily navigable procedures for remaining operable. Expensive Permits: While straightforward to obtain and easy to come by, Portland’s food truck permits aren’t cheap. Additional expenses are incurred by the requirement that operators obtain a special permit to cater an event. Without this permit, food truck operators must use a separate commissary kitchen to cater events and weddings . Water Tank Requirement: Food trucks must have a 50-gallon water tank on hand. While not all cities require this specific measure, food truck operators should create a food truck equipment checklist to make sure they always have the supplies they need. How Did Food Trucks Get Their Start? Then and Now Now that you know the top 10 food truck cities in America where food trucks are most profitable, you may be wondering how food trucks got their start. We've broken down the fast facts of both food truck history and the modern food truck craze. We then explain how you can incorporate the tactics of the modern food truck craze's top entrepreneurs and make your food truck business more profitable. Food Truck History The first known food truck was created in 1872 by a man named Walter Scott. Scott cut windows into his wagon and parked in front of a Providence, R.I. newspaper office where he sold sandwiches, slices of pie, and coffee to journalists who worked long and odd hours. For this same reason, parking near a college campus to serve students is profitable for modern food trucks. While Scott created America's first food truck prototype, the New York City hot dog cart popularized America's street vending tradition. The history of the hot dog cart began in the 1860s with German immigrants serving sausages with milk rolls and sauerkraut from a cart in New York City's Bowery. In 1893, the first official hot dog cart was opened by Charles Feltment in Coney Island with tremendous success, 3,600 dachshund sausages were sold in Feltman’s first year. Since NYC is largely responsible for popularizing street food in America, it’s no surprise that it is a top food truck city in the modern food truck craze. We’ve examined three of NYC’s best food trucks and provided tips on how to run a successful food truck. Learning from the Best Food Trucks in New York City: The Cinnamon Snail: As the first vegan organic food truck in the US, The Cinnamon Snail set the industry standard for how to accommodate vegans and vegetarians and prove to meat-lovers that vegan food can be flavorful and delicious. Unfortunately, the Cinnamon Snail closed their food truck in 2020, but the legacy lives on in their cookbook, Street Vegan. The Halal Guys: The Halal Guys began serving a niche market in NYC and has since proven that a food truck can turn into a major franchise represented across the US. The secret to their success? They serve food that travels well and remains true to their roots by continuing to use certified halal meat even though approximately 95% of their current clientele is not Muslim. Perhaps the true secret is in their signature sauce. Having a signature sauce will draw customers to your establishment in even the most saturated market. Korilla BBQ: Korilla takes the spicy flavors of Korean barbecue and applies them to traditional Mexican dishes such as tacos and burritos. Korilla is an example of what a successful food truck marketing plan can do. Korilla has grown a social media platform of 28.6K Twitter followers and 18.3K Instagram followers by connecting with their client's values. Additionally, they've leveraged broadcasting exposure by appearing on TV shows such as Sesame Street and The Great Food Truck Race. They now boast several food trucks and a brick and mortar location. Modern Food Truck Craze The modern food truck craze began in LA circa 2008 with Kogi. Not only did Kogi kickstart the modern food truck craze, but they are also responsible for innovating the fusion food truck trend. Since Kogi's wild early success, LA has continued to pioneer America’s modern food truck craze. Follow top Los Angeles food trucks' patterns of success as you develop your own food truck business. Learning from the Best Food Trucks in Los Angeles: Kogi: Arguably the spark that started the modern food truck movement, Kogi has been serving up Korean-Mexican fusion food since 2008. Kogi was the first to harness the power of Twitter in the food truck industry, setting the standard for how to leverage social media. Prince of Venice: While pizza may be common to food trucks, Prince of Venice fills the void for pasta. Prince of Venice combines Italian imports and locally sourced ingredients to deliver from scratch noodles and sauces. Its name is not just a clever moniker, it is run by Prince Emanuele Filiberto, the grandson of the last King of Italy, Umberto II. While you may not have royalty to leverage, Prince of Venice shows how combining authenticity and loyalty to one's heritage with fresh local ingredients earns a loyal following and tremendous success. Coolhaus: Woman-founded and led Coolhaus uses responsibly sourced ingredients to create innovative twists on classic ice cream pints and cookie sandwiches. They are the perfect example of how you can turn a menu item into an easy to consume, handheld dish. They’ve continued to partner with other female-owned businesses and show the power of women supporting women to achieve feats of entrepreneurship. They now boast several food trucks, brick and mortar locations, offer on-demand delivery (including next day air delivery), and their products are sold at retail locations. Knowing where food trucks are most profitable and educating yourself on how pioneers of the modern food truck craze achieved success primes your food truck business for a lucrative future. We hope you use our guide to the top 10 food truck cities in America.to launch your food truck business with open eyes; ready to take advantage of the benefits your city provides and tackle the challenges it poses.
The 10 Most Underrated Craft Beer Cities
As beer drinkers continue to jump on the craft brew bandwagon, cities like Asheville, Denver, and both Portlands have come to prominence as some of the best beer towns in the United States. However, several lesser-known cities are also appearing on the craft beer scene, many of which produce beer just as delicious as the big name breweries. If you're wondering where to go on your next beercation, the towns on our list below are sure to keep your beer mugs overflowing with tasty brews. Keep reading to learn more about the most underrated craft beer cities in America! Frederick, Maryland While Frederick may not be Maryland's largest city, it offers plenty of things to do for locals and tourists alike. If you're a history buff or have an interest in learning more about the Civil War, Frederick is jam-packed with historic landmarks, African American heritage sites, and museums. One of Frederick's other great assets is its craft beer scene, which continues to blossom. Two of its finest breweries are listed below: Flying Dog Brewery Flying Dog Brewery was founded as a brewpub in Aspen, Colorado by George Stranahan in 1990. In 1994, Stranahan and partner Richard McIntyre constructed a full-fledged brewery in Denver. The pair then purchased Frederick Brewing Company in 2006, moved across the country, and the rest, as they say, is history. Their signature beers include: Raging Bitch, a Belgian IPA (8.3%) Gonzo, a Baltic imperial porter (9.2%) Bloodline Blood Orange IPA, an American IPA with blood orange (7%) Monocacy Brewing Company Monocacy Brewing Company was founded in 2012 as the off-site expansion facility for Brewer's Alley brewpub. In addition to producing all of Brewer's Alley beers, Monocacy also makes their own brews. Their goal is to embody the rich history of Frederick, which is evidenced by their name referencing the historic Monocacy Aqueduct on the C&O Canal. Their signature brews include: Riot Rye, a rye pale ale (6.2%) Brewtus, a coffee imperial stout (8.6%) H.L. Rex, an American session pale ale (3.7%) Louisville, Kentucky Whether you're visiting the Kentucky Derby Museum, catching a University of Louisville football game, or traveling the Louisville Urban Bourbon Trail, you'll love all that this town has to offer. While the city's brewing scene may not be as well known as some of its regional neighbors, Louisville still has plenty to offer beer lovers. To learn more, check out the list below: Great Flood Brewing Company Founded by Vince Cain, Zach Barnes, and Matt Fuller in 2014, Great Flood Brewing Company is one of Louisville's most popular beer spots. Dissatisfied with their day jobs, the three learned the art of craft brewing in 2012 and moved into a historic building on Bardstown Road, which is a hub of culture and great food. A few of their signature beers include: Tomahawk IPA, an American imperial IPA (9%) '37 Porter, a Baltic porter (6.8%) Juniper Wheat, a light wheat ale (5%) Cumberland Brewery Cumberland Brewery was founded in 2000 by entrepreneur Mark Allgeier. Along with brewers Cameron Finnis and Evan Blanford, Allgeier only served beer in-house for many years, but the trio has recently begun bottling their unique craft beers for distribution around the country. A few of their must-try brews include: Nitro Porter (5.8%) Matt's Red, an American amber ale (5.5%) Pale Ale (5.9%) Grand Rapids, Michigan Declared one of The New York Times 52 Places to Go in 2016, Grand Rapids is renowned as one of the country's favorite travel destinations. Perfect for music lovers, history buffs, and families of all shapes and sizes, Grand Rapids is a smart choice for your next vacation or long weekend. The city's 40+ breweries, hotel brew packages, and ale trail also make it an ideal spot for any beer aficionado. To learn more, check out the list below: Founders Brewing Company The road to opening Founders wasn't an easy one, but owners Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers opened what is now one of the top breweries in the country in 1996. Their goal is to create beers for those in search of complex brews bursting with aromatics, flavor, and body. A few of their signature beers include: All Day IPA, an American session IPA (4.7%) Porter (6.5%) ReDANKulous, an American imperial red IPA (9.5%) Grand Rapids Brewing Company Grand Rapids Brewing Company was originally created in 1893, when six local breweries joined forces in what is now the site of a state office building. Today's brewpub opened in 2012 and is owned by Mark Sellers, who founded BarFly Ventures and also runs three other Grand Rapids bars. Grand Rapids Brewing Company's signature brews include: Silver Foam, an American lager (4.5%) Pannell's Flanders Red (8%) Downtown Dank, an American imperial IPA (9.3%) Temecula, California The warm climate of Temecula makes it the perfect tourist destination for golfers, wine lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and just about everyone else. The Old Town district also features a number of historic buildings and plenty of antique shops, making Temecula a great choice for history buffs, too. While California is primarily known for its vineyards and wineries, Temecula is full of unique craft breweries that deserve a visit. Two of the best are listed below: Black Market Brewing Company Founded by Kevin Dyer in 2007, Black Market Brewing Company was originally housed in a small warehouse the size of a large garage. Black Market is dedicated to using only the best yeast, malt, and hops, and is known for their creative, experimental, and innovative brews. Their signature beers include: Invasion Imperial Red Ale (6.5%) 1945 Berliner Weisse, a sour wheat ale (3.8%) Holiday Triple Black Rye IPA, an American black ale (7.5%) Relentless Brewing Relentless Brewing is a family-owned craft brewery that was founded in 2013 by brewmaster James Hess. They are best known for their sours and barrel aged brews, but you'll also find saisons, IPAs, and dark beers. Nestled between two other popular breweries, this spot is definitely a must-try. Their signature brews include: Ride or Die, a golden sour (4.5%) Tripel (6.7%) Eta a la Ferme, a French farmhouse ale (6.7%) Bend, Oregon Bend is one of the country's up-and-coming destinations for leisure, but you'll also find plenty of skiing, whitewater rafting, and other outdoor activities to keep you busy. If you like to bring your furry friends along when you travel, you'll love Bend's status as one of the most dog-friendly cities in the country. Bend is also drinker-friendly and is home to the Bend Ale Trail, the largest brew trail in the West. To learn more, check out the list below: Deschutes Brewery Deschutes Brewery was founded by Gary Fish in 1988 as a small pub in downtown Bend. The brewery is family- and employee-owned and dedicated to improving their processes for maximum energy efficiency. With pubs in both Bend and Portland, Deschutes is one of the most well-known breweries in the country. A few of their signature beers include: Black Butte Porter (5.2%) Fresh Squeezed IPA (6.4%) Mirror Pond Pale Ale (5%) Bend Brewing Company This brewery was founded in 1995 by Dave Hill and Jerry Fox, who were originally planning on opening a downtown brewing company called Brooks Street Brewery. The pair ended up changing the name to more closely associate it with the city, as it was only the town's second craft brewing company upon its inception. Their signature brews include: Ching Ching, a Berliner Weisse (4.5%) Hophead Imperial IPA (9.2%) Outback X, an old ale (9.5%) St. Petersburg, Florida Located between the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg is famous for its warm weather, sparkling water, and beautiful beaches. The city is also a cultural hub and is home to the world-renowned Salvador Dali Museum and the Creative Clay Cultural Arts Center. If you're a fan of the great outdoors, you'll love St. Pete's state parks, bike and walking trails, and fishing spots. The city is also home to a host of breweries, two of which are listed below: Green Bench Brewing Company This brewery was founded in 2013 by Steven Duffy, Nathan Stonecipher, and Khris Johnson. In the early 1900s, St. Petersburg was known as the "City of Green Benches," as some 2,500 benches once lined the downtown sidewalks. These seats represented hospitality and brought people together, which is how this brewery came to be named. Their signature brews include: Skyway Wheat, an American pale wheat ale (4.5%) Maximo Milk Stout (5%) Green Bench IPA (6.8%) St. Pete Brewing Company St. Pete Brewing Company was founded by Tom Williams and Jon McCracken. The latter was a former chef who enjoyed homebrewing and graduated from the American Brewers Guild, but never intended to become a commercial brewer. When he and Williams joined forces in 2014, though, St. Pete Brewing Company was born. Their signature brews include: Orange Wheat, an American wheat ale (4.7%) Evacuation Route ESB, an extra special bitter (5.3%) Scottish Ale (5.9%) Ithaca, New York If you love the outdoors, Ithaca is the perfect place for your next adventure. With over 150 waterfalls in 10 square miles, an expansive network of hiking trails, and countless fishing spots on the shores of Cayuga Lake, you'll enjoy all of Ithaca's natural wonders. While the Finger Lakes region is usually known for its wineries, Ithaca is also a mecca for craft beer lovers and boasts a number of taprooms, brewpubs, and brewing companies to suit any palate. To learn more about Ithaca's flourishing beer scene, keep reading: Ithaca Beer Company This brewery was founded by Dan Mitchell in 1998 with the goal of exemplifying the unique spirit of the Finger Lakes. The brewery opened a new facility in 2012 that features a state-of-the art brewing area in addition to a taproom and beer garden that offer the perfect environment to enjoy Ithaca's award-winning and creative brews. Their signature beers include: Flower Power, an American IPA (7.5%) Nut Brown, an English brown ale (5.4%) Happy Pils, a German pilsener (5%) Bacchus Brewing Company Conveniently located on the historic Finger Lakes Beer Trail, this brewery is an innovative addition to Ithaca's blossoming craft beer scene. Founded in 2012 by David McCune, the company's master brewer is Richie Shallcross, who was originally hired to help with a variety of tasks. Their signature brews include: Blonde Ale (5.5%) Bacchus IPA (6.5%) Beerded Brown, a brown ale (5.2%) Omaha, Nebraska From casinos and golf courses to day spas and shopping, Omaha is the perfect tourist destination. Whether you're hanging out in Benson, Dundee, Old Market, or North Downtown, the city is bursting with culture, nightlife, and a rich culinary scene. Omaha is also one of the country's up-and-coming craft beer cities, and if you're interested in visiting them, the Omaha Craft Brewery Tour is sure to quench your thirst. Two of the city's finest breweries are listed below: Infusion Brewing Company Infusion Brewing Company is located in a historic building that operated as a market and butcher shop in the first half of the twentieth century. This brewery was founded in 2012 by Bill Baburek, who also owns Crescent Moon, a local alehouse. With another location in West Omaha, you're sure to find Infusion beer wherever you go. Their signature brews include: Mango Habanero Wit, a spicy witbier (5%) Keg Stand Session IPA (4.8%) Splish Splash Tart Cherry Wheat Ale (5.4%) Farnam House Brewing Company Farnam House Brewing Company was founded by brewmasters Phil Doerr and Tony Thomas in 2014. They specialize in Belgian, French, and German beers, and began their brewing journey by crafting unique saisons. Additionally, they always have a rotating sour or brett ale on tap, along with spontaneously fermented ciders. Their signature beers include: Oud Bruin, a Flanders oud bruin (7%) Farnam House IPA, a Belgian IPA (7.7%) Farnam House Gratzer, a smoked beer (3.5%) San Diego, California From the beaches of La Jolla to the famous Torrey Pines golf course and a world-famous zoo, San Diego is a sunny paradise that has something for everyone. California's second largest city, San Diego is also home to over 70 miles of scenic coastline, making it the perfect spot for whale watching and other aquatic attractions. While San Diego isn't one of the country's well-known beer cities, it is packed with innovative craft breweries. To learn more, check out the list below: Green Flash Brewing Company Green Flash Brewing Company was founded in 2002 by husband-and-wife team Mike and Lisa Hinkley. Since the brewery's inception, they have focused on producing aggressive, hoppy, and high IBU IPAs, which has gained them recognition around the country. They also own Cellar 3, which specializes in barrel-aged and bottle-conditioned ales. Their signature beers include: West Coast IPA, a American double IPA (8.1%) Passion Fruit Kicker, an American pale wheat ale with passion fruit (5.5%) Sea to Sea Lager, a zwickel lager (4.0%) Ballast Point Brewing Company This "back room" brewery grew from founder Jack White's Home Brew Mart, which he opened in 1992. Along with his friends, Pete A'Hearn and Yuseff Cherney, White officially opened Ballast Point Brewing Company in 1996. Dedicated to blending science and art, this company has reinterpreted brewing while also reinvigorating the industry. Their signature brews include: Pineapple Sculpin, an American IPA (7%) California Kolsch (5.2%) Fathom, an India pale lager (7%) Bozeman, Montana Bozeman is an outdoor lover's paradise, and you'll find plenty of biking and hiking trails, campgrounds, fishing spots, and even ranches where you can go horseback riding. Bozeman is also located a mere 90 minutes from Yellowstone National Park, making it a perfect vacation destination. You'll also find a number of unique craft breweries that are sure to please any beer enthusiast. To learn more about what Bozeman has to offer, check out the list below: Bozeman Brewing Company Bozeman Brewing Company was founded by husband-and-wife team Todd and Lisa Danzl Scott. A homebrewer for many years, Todd worked at Napa Valley Brewing Company and Spanish Peaks before starting the Bozeman Brewing Company in 2001. Their signature beers include: Hopzone IPA (7%) Bozone Select Amber Ale (5.4%) Berliner Weisse (3.2%) Bridger Brewing This brewery was founded by David Breck and David Singler in 2011. The pair met in 2007 and formed an engineering consulting company, but soon decided their mutual dream was to open a brewery. After building their company from the ground up, they brought on head chef Jim Eberhard and opened for business. Their signature brews include: Bobcat Brown, an American brown ale (5.2%) Ghost Town Coffee Stout (5.8%) Vigilante IPA (6.7%) From Frederick to Grand Rapids and Bend to San Diego, the craft beer scene continues to maintain its popularity in small towns and big cities around the country. While the U.S.'s major beer cities are certainly worth visiting, there is also a host of lesser well-known brew towns that are focused on sustainability, fresh ingredients, and unique craft creations. Whether you're a seasoned beer drinker or a craft brew newbie, our list of the 10 most underrated craft beer cities is sure to help you expand your palate and nurture your love of beer.
How to Start A Concession Stand
Concession businesses have lower startup costs than both restaurants and food trucks, making them a great way for entrepreneurs to get their start in the foodservice industry. They’re also an ideal business model for operators who specialize in one niche menu item. While your concession stand’s location will determine its ongoing success, starting a concession stand requires a unique menu, corresponding equipment, and a thorough business plan. Read on to learn how to start a concession business and determine if it’s the right off premise dining model for your concept. Shop All Concession Supplies Click any of the tips below to learn about starting a concession stand: Develop A Concession Stand Concept Write a Concession Stand Business Plan Get Funding for Your Concession Stand Purchase a Concession Stand Get the Required Licenses and Permits Choose Food Storage and Preparation Equipment Select Your Concession Stand Supplies Hire a Concession Stand Staff Market Your Concession Stand What Is a Concession Stand? A concession stand, sometimes referred to as a snack bar, is an area where guests can purchase food, drinks, and snacks. They can often be found inside movie theaters, amusement parks, and stadiums. While some establishments own and operate their own concession stands, others contract with third parties. Common foods sold at concession stands include hot dogs, popcorn, and pretzels. How Much Does a Concession Stand Cost? The cost of acquiring a concession stand varies by the size of the unit and whether you’re purchasing a used cart or having one built from scratch. A new, medium-sized concession stand will cost between $11,000 and $21,000 to build. A new stand won’t contain any equipment, which increases your startup costs. You can purchase a used and equipped concession stand for between $6,000 and $45,000. The price range for used concession stands is so wide because it reflects both minimalistic, older stands and lightly used stands stocked with premium equipment. How to Start a Concession Business From writing a solid business plan to marketing your concession stand, we walk you through each step of starting your concession business. For additional financial planning advice, check out our guide to profit and loss statements complete with an interactive spreadsheet. 1. Develop A Concession Stand Concept Your concession stand concept and menu determine what size cart you need, how much startup money you’ll require, and the ideal location for your concession stand. Concession stand menus can offer everything from pre-made snacks to creative and gourmet cuisine. The needs of a simple prepared foods stand differ from a concession stand that sells fresh, gourmet waffles. 2. Write a Concession Stand Business Plan Once you have a general idea of what kind of concession stand you want to operate, you need to develop a business plan. Your business plan acts as the blueprint for your concession stand’s growth trajectory and helps you make the right investments without wasting time or money. A solid business plan is also what you’ll use to gain outside funding for your business venture. It gives both you and your investors a clearly defined look at your concession stand’s financial status, concept, target audience, and business structure. We have a comprehensive guide on how to write a business plan that walks you through each step of the process. 3. Get Funding for Your Concession Stand With your business plan in place, you’ll know how much money you need to start your concession stand. While you may launch a small, simple concession stand on your own, a larger concession business with a complex menu may require outside financing. We provide a list of potential places where you can seek funding below: Investors: You can use your business plan to pitch your concession stand concept to investors. Loans: There are small business loans, equipment loans, and leasing opportunities, and traditional bank loans available to business entrepreneurs. Crowdfunding: “Crowdfunding” allows a large group of people to invest small amounts of money into a business. It typically takes place on websites like GoFundMe, where you can set your concession stand funding goals, attract investors, and update them on your progress. 4. Purchase a Concession Stand With your business plan and funding in place, you can purchase a concession stand that meets your scale and budget. You’ll need to consider whether you want a stationary, short range, or trailer concession stand. This will affect what kind of stand you purchase, where it’s located, and even what laws apply to it. If you have a great location where you can reliably set up shop, like a stadium, then an inexpensive stationary concession stand is perfect for you. However, if you want to vend at multiple street corners spanning a few blocks, you’ll need a short-range cart. To cover more distance and change locations frequently, invest in a concession trailer or consider whether a food truck better suits your needs. Types of Concession Stands There are three different types of concession stands: stationary concession stands, mobile concession stands, and concession trailers. Each concession business model reaps the benefits of their target audience’s spending patterns. Stationary concession stands conduct their business in short bursts of high output. Short range carts experience slower and steadier sales. Trailer concession stands can serve events and a steady stream of returning customers. However, while the trailer model combines the benefits of stationary stands and short-range carts, they are more expensive to purchase and operate. Stationary Concession Stands: Stationary concession stands are small, have fixed locations, and don’t provide space for a lot of equipment or ingredient storage. They typically sell one prepared menu item or pre-made snacks. Mobile Concession Stands: Designed for short-range use, mobile concession stands often have a home location where vendors prepare their food before adding it to the cart, which typically contains a holding unit. Concession Trailers: Concession trailers offer long-range mobility, are powered via gas or generators, and have space to create a compact kitchen complete with countertop warming equipment and undercounter storage. Back to Top 5. Get the Required Licenses and Permits Like any business, you need licenses and permits to operate a concession stand. We provide a few of the common licenses and permits, but please check with your local ordinances to make sure you align with their stipulations. Food Manager Certification Food Vendor License Food Handling Certificate Sales and Use Tax Permit Employer Identification Number If you operate a mobile concession stand, check with your local drivers’ license department to see if you need a commercial license for your concession stand. 6. Choose Food Storage and Preparation Equipment Your menu determines what concession equipment you require. To power the equipment, it’s best to use a generator or a container of propane to keep everything operational throughout the day. It’s also important to note that some equipment — particularly gas-powered equipment — requires special hookups like gas connector hoses. To prevent overcrowding and heating, we suggest using undercounter or half height appliances. Some concession stands cook their menu off-site at a commissary kitchen and equip their carts with a few warmers. However, you may run out of food fast, which could hurt your reputation and customer retention. You can address this challenge by hiring additional staff to replenish and transport goods. Concession Stand Equipment The perfect concession equipment list balances tools for storing pre-cooked food at food safe temperatures and appliances for preparing raw food. As you form your list, evaluate your space and make sure you don’t overfill it. Having spare room maintains a safe working environment for employees enclosed in the small, hot space. While your exact equipment needs are defined by your menu, here are the most common concession business appliances: Food Holding & Warming Equipment: Keep your fare ready-to-serve with food holding and warming equipment. Hot Dog/Sausage Equipment: Invest in a roller grill, steamer, and merchandiser to cook, preserve, and sell sausages and hot dogs. Griddles: Cook burgers and hot sandwiches on a griddle. Ventless Fryers: Ventless fryers are perfect for compact concession stands. Remember to save space for spare stocks of oil. Popcorn Machines: Popcorn is an easy, inexpensive, and profitable concession stand food item. Cotton Candy Machines: You can set up a countertop cotton candy machine in your concession stand or use a cotton candy cart to conduct your business. 7. Select Your Concession Stand Supplies The equipment you choose will determine what kitchen tools and serving products you need. Tongs and turners are great all-purpose tools, but some appliances may require fryer baskets, ladles, or cutlery. You’ll also need cups, bowls, trays, and other common disposables to serve your customers. While the exact supplies may vary, almost every concession stand requires these items: Aprons Coin Dispensers Cash Registers Signs Snacks and Drinks Disposable Concession Supplies Cooking Equipment Serving Utensils 8. Hire a Concession Stand Staff Once your concession stand is established and you have acquired the necessary permits, you’ll need to hire a staff. The number of employees you’ll need to hire depends on your expected output and how much you offer on your menu. For example, a concession stand that offers a limited menu in a small venue may not require many employees to function, while stands that serve a large number of people and offer several different foods can require a larger staff. How Much Do Concession Stand Workers Make? A concession stand worker, or concession attendant, typically makes somewhere between $15,000 and $35,000 per year. This can vary depending on several factors including how often they work and where the stand is located. It’s important to note that concession stand workers are typically paid hourly, with wages ranging from as low as minimum wage to as high as $18/hour. 9. Market Your Concession Stand Thanks to social media, you can begin marketing your concession business before you open. Post pictures of your menu items as you practice your recipes. Use Instagram polls to engage with your target audience and find out what flavors would convert them into customers. For example, if you’re a gourmet popcorn concession business, ask your followers whether they’d rather try a Bloody Mary or Nashville hot chicken inspired popcorn mix. Back to Top Compact, accessible, and convenient, a concession stand is a unique foodservice model that has the potential to turn major profits. Concession stands are most successful in areas with sports stadiums and regular events. Save our guide as a reference to help you start your concession business. <aside class="pquote"> <blockquote> The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Please refer to our Content Policy for more details. </blockquote> </aside>