Concession stand treats – a license to print money.
I was at a local fair recently. The kids were hungry, I was thirsty and we all wanted a snack break. But my wife and I knew we’d have to pay the price. At events like these, you’re paying way over the norm for anything. A 16oz soda cost me $4, a simple burger was $8! By the time I had fed my family, I had very little change left from $35. And to be honest, the food was junk. Welcome, my friends, to the over-priced world of event concessions.
It’s actually a double-edged sword. As the consumer, you’re paying the high price of being a captive audience. Be it a movie theater, zoo, church event or a local concert, you can expect to pay serious extra cash for a regular item. From the $5 bag of popcorn to the $4 corndog, these are premium prices for very ordinary foods. But you usually let it go, because you’re having a good time.
You may grumble as you hand over $9 (yes $9) for a beer, like I did recently at a Stevie Wonder concert, but it’s all part of the show. And other than sneaking in food and drink, there’s really not much you can do about it, other than not eat or drink at all.
However, if you’re a business owner or a charity or looking to do a little fundraising, concessions are a veritable goldmine. I did a little digging on this, which wasn’t easy as it sounds. Most companies don’t want you to know food markup percentages, with very good reason. However, a friend of mine recently did a fundraising event and when I asked him about his supplies, he gave me the number and website of a business called Fun Food Products. As you can clearly see, the markups on some of these concession stand items are enormous.
We’re talking a 97% profit margin on a simple Sno-Kone! But on a hot day, with the sun beating down, those Sno-Kones are in high demand, and people will pay your asking price.
So, you can use this information to save money, or make it. As a consumer, if you’re going out to a gig or fair, go prepared. Grab a bite beforehand or if you are allowed, pack a lunch. We usually take a cooler with sandwiches and drinks if we know we can get away with it.
If you’re looking to make some money, whether it’s for fundraising, charity or your own pockets, concessions are a great way to go about it. You could even hire someone to man the stand for you, at $8-$10 per hour you’ll easily cover the cost of that person’s salary with the huge markups you’re making from the menu.
Bottom line – concessions are very healthy for your bottom line as a business. But buyer beware, as a consumer this is daylight robbery and no mistake.