As summer turns to fall, the concession business transitions from fair and festival season to the return of high school and college football. Known for high profitability, the concession business has long depended on a captive audience. Today's patrons demand more, and savvy operators are cashing in on this profitable segment by embracing current food trends and elevating the overall quality of the concession dining experience.
Concession Food Turns High End
Sporting venues, airports and office building kiosks have shown that improving quality directly translates into increased sales and revenues. For instance, Atlanta’s Turner field enlisted the help of James Beard award winning chef Linton Hopkins to sell his legendary Holeman and Finch burger at their stadium, which is served with hand cut fries and homemade condiments at two venues in the stadium.
Another example from the Atlanta area is Palookaville; a restaurant located in Atlanta’s Avondale neighborhood which created a following for their high end carnival food such as corn dogs made with local artisanal sausages, and eventually built a brick & mortar location. What started as a simple concession cart has grown into a full service restaurant.
Simple Tips For High End Concessionaires
The addition of a few pieces of equipment can allow operators to transform their offerings into premium quality products.
- By utilizing an induction burner and a quality blender an operator can offer homemade syrups with local ingredients for artisanal snow-cones.
- Purchasing a French fry cutter, induction burner and food processor can allow a typical booster club french fry stand to offer fresh hand cut fries with homemade condiments and sauces
Taking it a Step Further
Ride the health craze! By using conveyor ovens that have small footprints, concession stands can offer quick, healthier options to the traditional fried goods.
Offer local produce that is so fresh your customers can taste the difference. Provide fresh, raw bite or finger size vegetables to your customers with the help of a good food processor or slicer. Turn fresh fruits and veggies into highly sought after smoothies and juices.
Offer specialty food with a theme to make your concession stand a destination. This has worked fabulously for many restaurateurs. A gimmick never hurts if done correctly.
The growing popularity of street food culture has helped the growth of the concession sector of foodservice. The rise of gourmet street food trucks has definitely led to a spike in high end concession offerings. These segments of the industry offer great opportunity as long as they can appeal to today's more discernible audience. Competition is always great for the marketplace as increasing popularity directly translates into increased profitability. As concession stands begin to offer more satiating items, customers will take note.