Tasked with trying to figure out what to sell at high school game concession stands this coming school year? Are you in charge of selling treats at club concession stands? Think outside the box and up your profits with some of these easy and simple concession stand food ideas!
You are ready to start and have some fun ideas for what treats you would like to sell at the concession stand. Here are some factors you will want to consider when you are getting ready to start selling:
- Team/School Demographics
I can't tell you how many football games I've been to. How many softball game tournaments I've sat through. (And played in). Coaching cross country meets in the blazing fall heat.
I'm tired. I'm hungry. And a lot of times I don't want to sit through long lines waiting for items to be heated up. Or I find the tournament fields might be located way away from any nearby fast food eateries and the only offerings for a day of softball at the softball concession stand are nachos and candy bars.
The biggest argument you need to have when thinking about having or not having a concession stand is that concession stands are profitable when done right!
By keeping the profit at the games, it ultimately will always benefit who it should--the players. If you have them, examine profits from the year before. What sold, what didn't? What feedback are you getting from people showing up to games and tournaments? Are there items that players and families mention they would like to have at games that would be profitable to sell?
Pricing has to be competitive but fair. If you want to keep people buying from the concession stands, the pricing needs to be competitive. Say you buy a candy bar for $1. Marking it up to a $5 sale price probably isn't going to get you a lot of sales. However, you mark that $1 candy bar to $1.50-2, you will probably sell a lot. But, let's say after the game when you look through your sales list you see that the demand for Snicker's at $1.50 is incredible and you are selling a TON of Snickers. You could probably bump up that price to $2 for Snickers and still get people to buy them due to demand. Ultimately, your stand is there to make money and profit for the players and make sure they don't run somewhere else!
At the end of the day, accessibility is key. I can't tell you how many tournaments we end up sending a parent or two to grab meals for everyone. They are usually gone for about an hour grabbing food. Never have those runs cost me under $100. But that's an hour and at least $100 that could be coming to MY concession stand! I want to make sure that it comes to me by making sure I'm providing what my demographics want.
When starting to plan a menu, first look at the team and school demographics if planning for a high school team. What is the mascot of the school? Are there already foods and items that are unique to the area? What type of cultures make up the area?
For instance, one of the high schools my child played at was in an area where there were several colleges. The colleges were known for their fries. People loved going to the games for the fries. Our high school opted to serve fries too but we had a large hispanic population within our school. So we served taco fries with spicy nacho cheese dip. they were a hit!
You also need to know your financial demographic too. Do you sell a lot of meals or snacks? This plays a HUGE part in what you are going to sell. At a high school football game if you live in an area with lot's of families and children, you probably aren't going to want to sell $15 themed meals. How about selling a fun kids meal for $5 with hot dog dippers, chips, a mini treat, football or baseball tattoo or sticker and drink?
One thing that always surprises me when traveling to games or tournaments is the sense of community. You want someone visiting that concession stand to know and get a feel for the community they are coming to. What makes your community and your school unique and how do you get those that visit to see it too?
I am shocked that some schools bring very few people to the stands while others bring many. What I find for those that do have a large population is that sense of community. The schools that have a sense of community often have former alumni showing up at games, extended family, friends and a large population from both teams. The community supports them.
Tournaments bring lot's of vacationing out of town family and extended family that may not be familiar with your particular area. So making sure your concession stand is a destination for them during tournaments is very important and brings profit.
Strategic marketing to maximize your concession stand profits is also important. You can have all the best treats in the world but if no one knows about it, it's probably not going to get the end profit result.
There are several ways to advertise food offerings at games. Post it on your social media page. Reach out to visiting teams or tournament organizers and let them know what food options you will be offering along with an offer to give them a premade post with concession offerings they can post on THEIR social media pages. Canva is a great place for finding templates to use.
Can you offer a way to pre order food at the game or online? Can you offer a quick order line for your special of the day? Any way to make it simple and easy for people to get the food they need is going to make them want to come back for more!
During a high school game, have the announcer strategically make several announcements regarding the concession throughout the game about concession stand food. Often you'll hear announcers say something like:
"Don't forget to grab a hot slice of pizza--available at halftime at the upper concession stand!" or "can you smell those fresh hot chocolate chip cookies? A fresh batch of cookies and a warm glass of hot cocoa are ready for pickup at concessions to keep you up!" At tournaments we have had organizers come around and make announcements to those of us in the bleachers or along soccer sidelines letting us know of the offerings available.
One small city we visited was famous for their pie and shakes. There was signage all over town and at the tournament letting us know we didn't need to run for their towns famous pie and shakes--we could grab it right there at the game as part of their concession stand food offerings!
Now that you've got everything ready it's time to present the menu!
Use Fewer Ingredients
Simplify your menu by using fewer ingredients. The more ingredients you use, the higher your overhead. Concession stand food should be simple and easy and include an ingredient list that allows customers some choice--just not so much that your leaving money behind on unused items.
- Why are items like hot dogs so profitable? All you need is a hot dog, bun and a couple of different options. In addition to ketchup and mustard you could offer an additional nacho cheese hotdog or a chili filled hot dog. All you would be purchasing is some nacho cheese or some chili.
THAT'S FIVE INGREDIENTS YOU NEED FOR A GOURMET HOT DOG STAND!!
Try This Recipe!
Check out our famous grilled donut recipe here...it's perfect for games!
And it only uses a few ingredients!
They grill up in just a minute and you can add vanilla and caramel sauce for a delicious, quick and easy treat that is sure to get rave reviews!
What About Some Other Recipes?
Some other fun themed recipes you could serve are:
- Hawaiian Bowls--Teriyaki chicken with a few topping choices
- Burrito Bowls--Chicken or Beef with a few topping choices
- Fry Bowls--Fresh grilled fries with special seasoning or toppings
- Hot Chocolate--Hot chocolate with a twist--maybe a pinch of chili powder, etc.
- Donuts on a Stick--placing mini donuts or donut holes on a skewer stick (with sharp end cut off) Have the option to have dipping sauce like frosting, chocolate or strawberry jam if desired.
- Fried chicken bowl--mashed potatoes with bits of diced fried chicken strips and topped with gravy and cheese.
- Biscuits--Hot biscuits served with fresh honey and butter or gravy sauce
- Salad bowl
- Tacos-Tortilla, taco meat, cheese and sauce.