Merchandising & Display

Complete your concession stand or carnival booth with merchandising supplies like signage and novelty beverage cups.

Cotton Candy Supplies

Whether you’re operating a concession stand at a state fair or a sports stadium, our cotton candy supplies will come in handy.

Snow Cone Supplies

Shop our selection of snow cone supplies and give customers a cool treat that is perfect for all ages.

Nacho Supplies

Increase impulse sales by offering nachos at your concession stand. We have the chips, cheese, and other nacho supplies you need to make this snack.

Hot Dog & Hamburger Supplies

Not only do we carry bulk hotdogs and burgers, we’ve also got the buns and equipment you need to keep serving these all-American classics to your customers.

Popcorn Supplies

By stocking up on popcorn supplies, you’ll be able to offer a profitable snack on your menu. Choose from our kernels, glazes, poppers, and carts.

Lemonade Supplies

Shop our lemonade supplies to outfit your business with cups, concession apparel, hand squeezers, and more.

Funnel Cake Supplies

Funnel cake is a popular treat that’s easy to make with our funnel cake supplies. You can whip up fresh, hot funnel cakes in no time using our specialty fryers and funnel cake mixes.

Ice Cream Supplies

Make delicious desserts with our frozen product supplies. We have everything you need to store, scoop, decorate, and serve your tasty treats.

Condiment Supplies

Our condiment supplies allow you to offer sauces, dips, and other toppings to complement your customers’ orders.

We have all the concession equipment and supplies needed to assist you in prepping, holding, merchandising, and serving your freshly made treats. Our products are sure to help boost impulse sales at your high volume sports arena, ballpark, carnival, fair, or community pool. By maintaining an organized and clean serving area, you’ll have hungry and thirsty guests lined up at your concession stand! Be sure to also have all the appropriate cleaning chemicals to keep your prep area sanitized. Our floor mats are great for your employees’ comfort, and you may also want to set out recyclable cardboard garbage cans to collect customers’ trash.
How to Start A Concession Stand

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. 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.

Concession Stand Food Ideas

Concession Stand Food Ideas

If you develop the right menu, opening a concession stand is a low start-up cost way to join the foodservice industry. Whether you want to revamp your existing concession stand menu or generate one from scratch, we developed a comprehensive concession stand food ideas guide filled with healthy items, profitable snacks, pre-made concessions, and spruced-up concession stand fare to help you increase your sales. Shop All Concessions Supplies Click below to learn more about concession stand foods: Classic Concession Stand Food Ideas Most Profitable Concession Stand Foods Healthy Concession Stand Food Ideas Pre-made Concession Stand Food Ideas Store Bought Snack Ideas Preparing Concessions On-Site vs Off-Site Classic Concession Stand Food Ideas Your concession stand menu isn't complete without these classic foods. Investing in some key concession equipment allows you to expand your menu to include popular foods that will boost your sales. We rounded up the most profitable menu items and provided tips on upgrading these classic concessions. Hot Dogs If you're looking for a traditional concession food that's cost-effective, popular with customers, and requires very little labor to prepare, hot dogs are the perfect choice. Countertop hot dog rollers do most of the work for you, displaying footlongs, brats, and sausages while they cook and adding a tempting aroma to your concession stand that draws more attention. Condiment dispensers make it convenient for guests to choose their favorite toppings, whether it's ketchup, relish, or mustard. Try adding some of these popular hot dog combos to your concession stand menu: Ketchup or Mustard: In the battle for the most popular hot dog topping, you can stay neutral by offering your guests their choice. Chicago Style: To make this regional favorite, start with an all-beef frankfurter and top it with yellow mustard, green relish, a pickle spear, tomato slices, pickled peppers, and a sprinkle of celery salt. Coney Island Hot Dog: The quintessential Coney Island dog is made with a beef frank topped with meaty chili, hold the beans. Finish it off with chopped onions and yellow mustard. Cleveland Polish Boy: This Cleveland classic combines a kielbasa sausage with a generous topping of cole slaw, french fries, and barbecue sauce. Extra napkins are a must for this messy hot dog. French Fries It's hard to resist a bucket of fresh-cut french fries. This classic concession food can be prepped ahead of time or cut fresh to order with a french fry cutter. Just a few minutes in your countertop fryer and you'll be ready to serve up this crowd-pleasing snack. Try some of our ideas for mixing up your concessions french fry menu: Potato Alternatives: Instead of russets, try a different type of potato like a purple Peruvian or a Japanese sweet potato. You can even skip potatoes altogether and offer jicama or yucca fries. Cooking Oils: Experiment with a range of deep frying oils like coconut oil, olive oil, or duck fat. Loaded Fry Ideas: Load up your fries with tasty toppings like carne asada fries, bahn mi loaded fries, or poutine fries. Chicken Wings Fried foods like chicken wings are great for concession stands because the cooking process is very simple. Drop an order of wings in the fryer and toss them with sauce when they're done. Plate the wings with celery and blue cheese, and they are ready to be served. You can take this simple menu item and spice it up with our tips: Meatless Alternatives: More consumers are interested in plant-based meats than ever before. Try offering vegan wing alternatives made of crispy cauliflower, deep-fried seitan, or buffalo tempeh. Smoked Chicken Wings: If you want to put your chicken wings over the top, try smoking them the night before. Flash fry them to order and toss them in a classic Memphis dry rub seasoning before serving them with ranch dressing. Global Flavors: Take inspiration from popular street foods around the world and offer Korean fried chicken wings, shawarma chicken wings, and pollo frito chicken wings. Nachos Even with gourmet ingredients, loaded nachos are relatively inexpensive to produce and quick to assemble. Unexpected Proteins: ahi tuna, toasted chickpeas, pulled pork, huli-huli chicken, fried tofu. Unique Cheeses: beer cheese, paneer, cheese curds, queso, vegan cheese, Ayib. Tortilla Chip Alternatives: pita chips, beetroot chips, Fritos, wonton chips, sweet potato chips, Cheetos. Funnel Cake Trends toward health consciousness aside, most patrons are happy to splurge at events. Use these funnel cake ideas to create desserts customers will set their diets aside for. Funnel Cake "Sandwiches": funnel cake ice cream sandwich, fried chicken funnel cake sandwich, funnel cake Monte Cristo. Sub Funnel Cake Into Classic Desserts: Replace vanilla wafers in banana pudding, shortcake in strawberry shortcake, or graham crackers in smores with funnel cake. Flavored Funnel Cake Batter: red velvet, chocolate, peanut butter, birthday cake, lemon. Grilled Cheese Grilled cheese is classic comfort food that sells well at concession stands when they're made with unexpected and fanciful ingredients. Artisan Breads: sourdough, pumpernickel, focaccia, gluten-free, croissant, rugbraud, buttermilk biscuit. Specialty Spreads: spinach and artichoke, ajvar, baba ganoush, Amba. Add-Ins: mojo pork, mac and cheese, BBQ chicken, crab cakes, burnt ends. Pizza There will be other vendors offering this beloved food, so use our pizza ideas to outproduce your competitors. DIY Toppings: allow customers to select their desired sauces, cheeses, and toppings. Serve Less-Known Types of Pizza: Roman pizza, Detroit pizza, Ohio Valley pizza, Sicilian pizza, Greek pizza. Accommodate Alternative Diets: gluten-free pizza crust, vegan cheese, cauliflower pizza crust, meatless sausage toppings. Cotton Candy Nostalgic and easy to eat on the go, cotton candy is a classic concession stand food. Use our gourmet cotton candy ideas to attract the cultivated modern palette. Use Organic Ingredients: use organic sugar and flavorings in your cotton candy recipe. Creative Cotton Candy Containers/Sticks: ice cream cone, twisty stick, mason jar, rock candy stick, glow stick. Fancy Flavors: pina colada, prickly pear, cherry cordial, pumpkin spice, pitaya, white chocolate, acai. Corn Dogs Corn dogs are classic concession stand fare, but there is nothing basic about these corn dog ideas. Non-Sausage Corn Dogs: lobster corn dog, dill pickle corn dog, chicken tender corn dog. Creative Batters: beer battered corn dog, tempura battered corn dog, pancake battered corn dog. Unique Dipping Sauces: marinara sauce, curry ketchup, mustard BBQ sauce, maple syrup, tomato chutney. Beef Sandwiches There are countless takes on the beef sandwich, proving that however you smother or slice it, people love hot beef between warm bread. Dress your beef sandwiches up to the nines with these beef sandwich ideas. Convert Comfort Food Into A Sandwich: beef stroganoff sandwich, Salisbury steak sandwich, pot roast sandwich, beef bourgeon sandwich. Regional Beef Sandwiches: Philly Cheesesteak, Beef on Weck, Italian Beef, Baltimore’s Pit Beef sandwich. Unique BBQ Sauces: El Sancho BBQ sauce, Carolina mustard BBQ sauce, guava BBQ sauce, Carolina vinegar BBQ sauce. Concession Stand Menu Tip: Find something that you do very well and make that the focal point of your menu. Once you have a loyal customer base frequenting your stand, look to expand. Most Profitable Concession Stand Foods Profitable concession stand foods are inexpensive to purchase in bulk, easy to mass-produce, and don't require cutlery. We've rounded up the most profitable concession stand foods below: Popcorn Cotton Candy Nachos Pretzels Roasted Nuts Snow Cones Corn Dogs Ice Cream Back to Top Healthy Concession Stand Food Ideas When forming your concession stand menu, it's important to consider the growing trend towards health-conscious eating and the broader awareness of food allergens so you can accommodate customers' dietary restrictions. Here are some healthy snacks you can sell at your concession stand. 1. Fruit Snacks The best fruit snacks for concession stands are easy-to-peel and consume. Stock your concession stand with these fruit snacks. Fruit Snack Ideas Pre-Cut Melon Slices Bananas Apples Oranges Fruit Cups 2. Roasted Nuts Roasted nuts' healthy fat content will keep ballpark customers satiated when the game goes into overtime, making them an ideal, nutrient-packed snack to offer at your concession stand. Roasted Nut Recipes Praline Pecans Honey Roasted Nuts German Roasted Nuts Cinnamon Roasted Nuts Toasted Coconut Rum Nuts 3. Vegetable Snacks Pre-cut vegetables paired with single-serve dips are on-the-go snacks that won't leave your concession stand customers feeling heavy. Vegetable Snack Ideas Celery and Peanut Butter Sweet Bell Pepper and Hummus Cucumber Slices and Tzatziki Jumbo Dill Pickles Carrot Sticks and Ranch Back to Top Pre-made Concession Stand Food Ideas You can make simple crowd-pleasers off-site and transport them to your concession stand. Some of these food options require equipment if you want to serve them hot. Investing in a food warmer allows you to keep pre-cooked food at ready-to-serve temperatures without having to upgrade your concession stand space or increase on-site prep times. 1. Cookies On average, we eat seven billion cookies each year in the United States. Selling these beloved treats is a safe way to turn a profit, but which flavors do people prefer? We're sharing the most popular cookies so you can turn a major profit. Most Popular Cookies Chocolate Chip Cookies Peanut Butter Cookies Oatmeal Cookies Sugar Cookies Snickerdoodle 2. Popcorn These beloved popcorn flavors are sure to sell. Reimagine them to set your concession stand apart. Popcorn Flavors Caramel Popcorn Cheese Popcorn Chocolate Popcorn Coconut Oil Popcorn with Toasted Coconut Cajun Popcorn 3. Brownies Brownies are a beloved baked good you can easily make ahead in large batches and sell for a high profit at your concession stand. Here are some ideas for the best types of brownies to sell. Types of Brownies Keto Brownies Vegan Brownies Everything Brownies (cookie, Oreo, and brownie layered bar) Peanut Butter Brownies Cream Cheese Brownies 4. Sandwiches Pre-assemble America's most popular sandwiches and sell out daily. Most Popular Sandwiches BLT Roast Beef Sandwich Turkey Sandwich Grilled Chicken Sandwich Ham Sandwich 5. Soft Pretzels From giant soft pretzels to pretzel bites, soft pretzels are inexpensive to produce and return a considerable profit. Discover the best soft pretzel dip ideas below. Soft Pretzel Dip Ideas Spinach Artichoke Dip Honey Mustard Beer Cheese Whole Grain Mustard Creamy Horseradish Concession Stand Menu Tip: Try introducing a new pre-cooked item and see how it sells. When you learn what your customers like to buy—and how much—you can pre-cook with more confidence. Back to Top Store Bought Snack Ideas Store-bought foods allow you to serve the largest number of people at the lowest prices. We researched and compiled lists of the most popular snack flavors and brands for you. All you have to do is pull these items off the shelf and hand them to your customers. Most Popular Candy Offer the top five most popular candies in America at your concession stand: M&M's Skittles Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Starburst Twizzlers Most Popular Soda The polls are in and these are your patrons' favorite soda flavors: Coca-Cola Diet Coke Pepsi Mountain Dew Dr. Pepper Most Popular Candy Bars Discover the best-selling candy bars in America: Hershey's Bar Snicker's Kit Kats Twix 3 Musketeers Most Popular Chewy Candy The most popular chewy candy brands will fly off your concession stand's shelves: Sour Patch Kids Swedish Fish Gummy Bears Sour Gummy Worms Fruit Gummy Rings Most Popular Gum According to a 2020 research study, Americans ranked the most popular chewing gum flavors as follows: Spearmint Peppermint Wintergreen / Winterfresh Fruit Flavors Cinnamon Concession Stand Menu Tip: Stocking your concession stand with bottled beverages such as bottled water, iced tea, and lemonade at a lower price than on-site food vendors will encourage their patrons to make a separate trip to you. If you sell food, creating a drink deal and including a bottle of water with meals is a great way to set yourself above your competition. Back to Top Preparing Concessions On-Site vs Off-Site If you're trying to decide where to prepare your concessions, we've broken down the benefits and risks of preparing your concessions on- and off-site to help you decide. You should also consider your location and your customer's needs. For example, if your concession stand is at a sporting event, you would do well to focus on pre-made snacks since your customers will want to return to their seats quickly. Benefits and Risks of Preparing Concessions Off-Site Selling pre-made concessions reduces the amount of equipment you need at your stand. If you have limited space, preparing your food in a commissary kitchen ahead of time can be helpful. Less on-site prep time means you can sell more products than if you cooked them to order. Although prepared food saves time on site, it also involves some risk. You must estimate how much you can sell before setting up shop for the day/evening. This gamble could cause overproduction and waste if you're unfamiliar with your customers' needs. Benefits and Risks of Cooking to Order at Your Concession Stand The freshness and authenticity of made-to-order food allow you to charge more for your concessions, and you’re more likely to have return customers if you have something unique to offer. Also, cooking to order means you won’t have extra prepared goods at the end of each day, reducing food waste. There isn’t a lot of risk in selling food to order, but it can be harder to turn a profit. The added prep time means you’ll probably sell fewer items, and the added expense of purchasing equipment lowers your profit margin. Additionally, keeping up with customer orders may require you to hire a small staff or work with a partner. Rapid Cook Ovens If you want to increase your menu and decrease prep times, rapid cook ovens are essential. They can cook a pizza in less than four minutes, create a perfectly crisp panini in seconds, and roast a chicken breast in under seven minutes. Rapid cook ovens take up significantly less space than traditional ovens, making them ideal for concession stands. Depending on your menu, this could be the only piece of equipment you'll need. Back to Top The best concession stand menu is filled with low-cost, easy-to-assemble items that are well-suited to the event it serves. If you're interested in pursuing other vending opportunities, check out our guide comparing food trucks, food trailers, and food carts and discover which mobile food business is right for you.

Make Fresh Snacks To-Go and Increase Impulse Sales with Our Concession Supplies and Equipment

Keep customers lined up at your food stand with our selection of concession supplies! Whether you’re setting up a stand at a carnival or state fair, or you operate one at a sports or event stadium, we’re sure to have everything you need to maintain speedy service. Offer freshly made cotton candy, popcorn, hot dogs, fries, and other traditional on-the-go snacks and treats your customers love.

Read more

You’ll find all the concession equipment you need to prep, hold, merchandise, and serve your food products. All of our cooking, frying, or merchandiser units are designed for your compact space. Simply place a griddle, fryer, warmer, or popper on your countertop, and you’ll have hot and fresh food ready in no time! We also have all the concession supplies you need to offer refreshing hot or cold beverages to your patrons, including slushies, lemonade, coffee, and hot chocolate.

To help you cut down on prep time, be sure to also check out our consumables. Portion control condiment packs are great to serve with fries, burgers, and hot dogs, while our chopped nuts and dessert sauces are perfect for making delicious funnel cakes and candy apples. You can also stock up on our various batters and sugar concentrate to make fresh cake cones, funnel cakes, and hand spun cotton candy.

Top Products