As a restaurant franchise owner, you want to explore every opportunity for your business to grow, right? That’s a no-brainer, but finding the best ways to encourage growth can be challenging. If you feel like you have perfected the menu and the level of service at your current location, think about expanding your reach with a concession stand.

As a restaurant franchise owner, you want to explore every opportunity for your business to grow, right? That’s a no-brainer, but finding the best ways to encourage growth can be challenging. If you feel like you have perfected the menu and the level of service at your current location, think about expanding your reach with a concession stand.

Here are four ways a concession stand can help your franchise grow:

Reach More People

At your permanent location, you probably have a nice stable of loyal customers, but the goal is always to get your brand out to as many people as possible. With a concession stand, whether at a sports stadium or a festival or fair, you will be able to reach more people without the cost and hassle of opening another brick and mortar location. Often people from several states away come to these events so it is a great opportunity to grow your brand recognition. The more people know about you the more they will visit both your concession stand and your restaurant.

Less of an Investment

At some point most franchise owners are successful enough that they start to consider expansion options. Typically, opening up a new brick and mortar location is the first thing that comes to mind, but that is a major investment of time and money. It will be awhile before you see any profit from it. However, choosing to set up a concession stand is quicker and less expensive, and will still bring in more revenue and more customers.

Fine-tune Your Menu

Because it is not practical to offer your full menu at a concession stand, this is also a great opportunity to fine-tune your menu. Pick your most popular dishes that are easy to make and are best suited for sporting events and festivals and fine-tune them to make them as delicious as possible. This is also a good time to invent new dishes that will attract new customers in this setting. Don’t be afraid to tailor your food to the type of customers that will be at specific events.

Know Your Competition Better

In the bubble of your restaurant, it is so easy to be laser focused on the daily goings-on of your business and not to be aware of what is going on outside of your four walls. With staff, inventory, bills, menu, and facility issues and of course your customers, you have enough going on, right? It is not always easy to find time to scout out your competition. That is why concession stands at special events are so great. Your competition will be all around you and you can easily get a quick peak at their menu and their overall presentation. Go ahead and taste test as well, maybe you will be inspired to try something new.

Knowing your competition will help you look at your own business with a more critical eye so you can address the areas where maybe you could improve upon.Sold on the idea of opening a concession stand? Here are somethings you should keep in mind:

  • Portable foods sell faster. Food on a stick are very popular at these events. If you don’t have this on the menu already, brainstorm some ways to tweak some of your dishes to be served on a stick, in a wrap or on a cone or find other ways to make your food more portable.
  • Food Storage and Prep is very important. You want your food to be fresh and taste good and you don’t want to run out of any ingredients during the event. You need to figure out what can be prepped ahead of time and what will be done on site, as well as how you will store and transport everything safely.
  • Plan ahead for what equipment and space you will need and plan accordingly. Ask yourself if you want a stationary concession stand like at a sports stadium or do you want a cart or a trailer that can go anywhere. If you want to prepare everything on the premise then you will need to have all the right equipment. On the other hand, if your commissary is within a short distance, you can cook off-site and then just use warmers at the stand.
  • Pick staff that are work well together and are passionate about what they do because in a concession stand environment orders have to be made very fast so efficiency is important to maintain good service. Sometimes it takes some trial and error to get everything to run efficiently so be patient with yourself and your team as you work out all the kinks.
  • Make sure you do research on any regulations or codes you have to follow and any permits you need to apply for. Remember that regulations for your franchise are different than they are for a concession stand and they can even vary between events so always make sure your paperwork is in order.
  • Control what you can. There are certain things at events you can’t control like attendance size, weather, booth location and how many other vendors are offering similar menus. What you can control though is your menu (price and variety), the quality of your food and service, and the presentation of your booth.

Adding a concession stand to your franchise business can really help you reach more people and boost your revenue without the major investment of a new brick and mortar location. Of course though it is still an investment so make sure you create a business plan for your concession stand that clearly lays out how much money, equipment and staff you will need to run it. Also, carefully look at your menu to make sure that the food you serve will work well at a sporting event or festival or fair. Not all types of food work well in this setting so you need to be honest with yourself about what works and what doesn’t. Talk to other franchise owners who have concession stands to get a good picture of all it entails.

Want to learn more about how a concession stand and help grow your franchise? Contact MBB Management to learn how they can help you get started.