How to Open a Food Stand

by Rick Suttle - Updated September 26, 2017
Woman passing snack stand

People run food stands at ballparks, county fairs, inside malls and office buildings or at virtually any location where lots of people congregate for various reasons. The actual food stand be located at small counter; or the business owner can rent or purchase a concession trailer that contains a grill and other cooking accoutrements well as storage capabilities. Following are some steps to help you get your food stand business up and running.

How To Start A Food Stand

Consider getting some experience as a short order cook on weekends for awhile to help you learn how to make all types of food in quantity.

Decide which types of cooked and frozen food you want to sell as well as any packaged foods like chips or candy bars. Decide which drinks you want to offer at your food stand.

Go online and look for a local beverage company to supply your drinks and carbon dioxide tanks and a local wholesale food and snack company to supply your buns, meat, cheese, chips, candy and sweet items and various condiments, according to Find a wholesale supplier such as Sam's or Costco to supply your paper products and supplies.

Decide where you want to set up your food stand. Secure a permanent location for your food stand or concession trailer by contacting the property management or leasing company that manages your location. Sign a lease agreement for the location.

Order your products once you have a secure location for your food stand. Create some inventory forms to help keep track of your food items and paper supplies. Set up a regular delivery schedule with the beverage and wholesale vendors once you get a feel for how fast these items sell. (See references 1 and 2)

Decide on a business name for your food stand business. Contact your local county administration office and obtain an application for registering your DBA (doing business as) and getting your vendor's license for paying sales taxes. Mail your application back along with the required fee. (See reference 3)

Contact the city health department to see what other licenses or permits are required for operating your food stand. Obtain insurance for your business.

Set up an area in your home to count your money and keep track of sales, expenses and profits. Look for any big events or concerts that are coming to your town so you can set up a temporary food stand at these functions.


  • It is best to research certain food items and find out which ones sell the best. You can do this by calling the food vendors and having them tell you which food products are in highest demand. Employ family members if you need help covering shifts or taking occasional breaks. This will ensure that you do not loose any potential sales. Finally, always be fair to your customers. If they want to have their order redone for any reason, allow them to do it. Build your reputation in a positive manner and the profits will follow.

Photo Credits

  • Jason Florio/Photodisc/Getty Images
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article