Indoor and outdoor concession stands are common at many sports and concert venues. Not only are concession stands mobile businesses that let owners change locations to garner the most customers, but they often require fewer startup costs than restaurants. Whether you are selling traditional foods, such as hot dogs and pretzels, or an exotic culinary creation, you can attract customers to your stand with the correct marketing strategy.
Choose a location where there will be a lot of people walking by. This may take some research. If you are setting up your stand near a sport or concert venue, walk the area first and see where there are the most people. Choose a location that doesn’t have a lot of competition from vendors selling similar items. Check with the organizers of the area or zoning laws to make sure the location is available and that the rent is within your budget.
Create colorful signs to place on or just outside of your stand. Use as few words as possible so people passing quickly will get the important information, such as what you're selling and how much it costs.
Print fliers to advertise your product, especially if your item is unusual. If you're selling something common, use your flier to tell people why your product is the best. State your concession stand’s exact location on the flier.
Offer discounts or deals on your product. For example, if you are operating a concession stand at a high school football game, you could offer 20 percent off one item in your stand if the home team scores a certain number of points. Not only will this draw people in for the discount, it will create interest in a stand that supports the home crowd’s team.
Place an advertisement in an event brochure. Clearly display your name and your concession stand’s location, and mention any discount or deal you are offering.
Use social media to your advantage. Create a Facebook page for your stand and have satisfied customers write reviews of your stand on “foodie” Internet sites like Yelp or Chowhound. Don’t be afraid of these types of media. Younger consumers especially get a lot of their information from these types of sites, and it’s minimum work (and entirely free) to promote your stand this way.
Jessica Jewell is a writer, photographer and communications consultant who began writing professionally in 2005. Her chapbook, "Slap Leather," is forthcoming from dancing girl press. Her recent work has appeared in "Nimrod," "Harpur Palate," "Copper Nickel," "Rhino," "wicked alice," "Poetry Midwest" and "Barn Owl Review." Jewell was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She earned her Master of Fine Arts from Kent State University.