Concession stand trailers blend the concession stand cart's portability and convenience with the positive attributes of a brick-and-mortar-style concessions building: a bigger size, an enclosed space and the ability to house large appliances like stoves, ovens, microwave and grills. Concession-stand trailers can be located anywhere that a car can drive. Be careful, though, of your area's ordinances and commercial codes.
The Cold Weather Trailer
When setting up in a cold-weather situation, such as at a Thanksgiving parade, a winter holiday or an outdoor sporting event, people will crave warm foods and drinks.
On the drinks side, sell hot cocoa and coffee. Sell by the size if you want to keep things simple. Otherwise, try selling more complex coffee and cocoa drinks, such as mochas or lattes. Hot apple cider works great too. Around the holidays, make mint hot chocolate and serve with a candy cane. Pastries, doughnuts and cookies are great companions for your hot drinks. Serve them warm and note that on your menu, such as, "Warm Cookies."
If you want to make your trailer be more meal oriented, many of the same things you'd expect to see on a warm weather concessions menu should be found on a cold weather concessions menu: hot dogs, nachos and cheese, funnel cakes, fries, popcorn and pizza by the slice. Imagine is people without gloves. If they don't have their hands stuffed into their pockets in order to carry their food, what would they want to hold? Something warm. Any food that has enough warm to heat up the container it comes in is a great idea for a cold weather concessions trailer.
The Warm Weather Trailer
Setting up a concession trailer in a warm weather situation is easy. On a hot day, people want to cool down, but few people are opposed to a hot meal, even on the hottest of days. Therefore, sell both hot foods and cold drinks.
On the drinks side, sell carbonated drinks The most important thing is that they be very cold. Lemonade, especially if is fresh squeezed, will be in demand on a hot day, as will bottled water. In the Southeast region of the United States, sweet tea will be in strong demand.
Snow cones, slushies, smoothies and ice cream, either the prepackaged kind or by the scoop are important warm weather concessions staples. Keep in mind that ice cream by the scoop will take much longer to serve than the prepackaged variety. Ice cream by the scoop should only be sold if that is the main product of your concessions trailer.
When it comes to food, serve the regular concessions food as mention in the cold weather section, along with cotton candy, chips and packaged candy.
The Restaurant-Style Trailer
In some concession situations, you won't want to sell the standard carnival-style foods. If you aren't selling at an event, this is often the case. Your concession trailer will more serve as a mobile restaurant. Run it as you would a carry-out restaurant. Stick to one type of food and do it well to earn loyal customers and get word of mouth. Market yourself as a burger stand, a taco stand, an Asian food stand, a sandwich or hoagie stand--any fast food type will work. Although your food needs to be fast, don't limit yourself to prepackaged, fast foods. You could experiment and blend different cuisines in fusion foods or use fresh ingredients to make no fuss, tasty food. Try to sell something other food restaurants aren't selling or sell old standards in new ways. Sell your hamburgers with nonstandard toppings. Whatever you sell, it has to be delicious to keep people coming.
Antonia Sorin started writing in 2004. She is an independent writer, filmmaker and motion graphics designer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has completed work for the Long Leaf Opera Company, the former Exploris Museum and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She graduated from Thomas Edison State College in New Jersey with a Bachelor of Arts in communications.