Non Profit concession stand advice appreciated

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b33p3r
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2011/12/05 12:01:05 (permalink)

Non Profit concession stand advice appreciated

About our group. We're a small local Little League in N.E. Pa. Although our league has been around for a while, our concessions have been lacking attention....until this year. Our concessions typically run 5 months out of the year. At our busiest schedule it's open 5 days a week 3-4 hours each day. With a new group of officers and many volunteers ready to do what's needed, we're looking to move our concessions forward starting with deep fryers.
            I have read many posts here on the subject but still would like to hear all your opinions on the matter. Propane vs electric ? Start small or "Go big or go home" etc etc.  Jump right into multiple products(chicken strips, mozzarella sticks, fries) or add one single product (Fries in my opinion) until we've mastered them and then add as we go. Other menu ideas?
            Multiple smaller vats to avoid cross contamination or one big vat? Any and all suggestions would be appreciated! Looking for pros and cons to present to the board later this month.
If this is the wrong forum for this post, please excuse me and direct me to the proper post. Looking for $$ Ideas.
 
#1

20 Replies Related Threads

    Foodbme
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    Re:Non Profit concession stand advice appreciated 2011/12/05 14:36:03 (permalink)
    Suggest Propane verses electric. heats quicker and will bring you up to temp quicker on re-loads.
    Plan menu FIRST, then decide what equipment you need.
    KEEP IT SIMPLE!
    Suggest fries, corndogs and maybe onion rings. for the fryer. Forget Chicken and Moz sticks. Remember the 80-20 rule. 80% of your volume will come from 20% of your items. Don't overexpand on fringe items. You're not a gourmet restaurant, you're a concession stand!
    Put yourselves in the minds of your customers.
    Everyone wants food they can easily hold in their hands and eat without utinsils.
     
    post edited by Foodbme - 2011/12/05 16:45:44
    #2
    Teej
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    Re:Non Profit concession stand advice appreciated 2011/12/05 15:15:16 (permalink)
    Better check fire codes to see if you can have them in your stand. Our local band booster club can't have them because of fire hazard.
    #3
    b33p3r
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    Re:Non Profit concession stand advice appreciated 2011/12/05 17:16:36 (permalink)
    Foodbme,
    Thanks for the ides. I'm personally against chicken.I am all for fries.     Corndogs..hmm never thought about them. We will remember the 80-20 rule as we go. Honestly I've never heard the rule before but how true it is.
     
     Teej, I presently have a call into our local fire dept to find out what's possible or needed. Thanks.
    #4
    edwmax
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    Re:Non Profit concession stand advice appreciated 2011/12/05 17:50:44 (permalink)
    Sounds like your concession has been in operation for a few years and you basically just had a change (new) of crew.     In many states non-profit are exempt from all or part of the HD Codes.   You do need to read and be familiar with those and be in compliance with them as much as possible if you are exempted. 
     
    Next, even tho this may not be required by Code, get 1 or 2 persons certified as Food Handlers/ Managers.    Let them instruct the concession crew as to how to handle, prepare, deliver the food and how to properly clean the equipment; and make sure the concession is up to good food service standards.    ... You do not want any of the Fans getting sick from your food!   ... So be clean and used fresh or properly frozen food & packaged food.    ... Make sure no one who is sick, is working in the concession.
     
    Keep a count of items sold each day/night and how many freebies (no sale items) are handed out.   A good cash register with programmable item departments or a POS computer system will do this.     The info will help to balance money against sales & inventory; and help with planning how much food to order to be on hand; which items sells and which don't.  Nothing should leave the concession stand that was not rung up on the registers/POS.    ... Only a couple of people should be running the registers/POS and handling the money (accountability).      The item counts from the register reports should agree with the items used from stock/supplies.
    #5
    jcheese
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    Re:Non Profit concession stand advice appreciated 2011/12/05 17:57:59 (permalink)
    Well, being Baseball, you gotta have hot dogs!
    I'd suggest a "Kiddie Dog", a real basic smaller dog and a "Gourmet Dog" for the adults....a high quality dog with high quality condiments.
    Fries, onion rings and maybe sweet potato fries.
    K.I.S.S......a lot less work and investment.
    #6
    Foodbme
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    Re:Non Profit concession stand advice appreciated 2011/12/05 18:04:49 (permalink)
    b33p3r
    Foodbme,
    Thanks for the ides. I'm personally against chicken.I am all for fries.     Corndogs..hmm never thought about them. We will remember the 80-20 rule as we go. Honestly I've never heard the rule before but how true it is.
    Teej, I presently have a call into our local fire dept to find out what's possible or needed. Thanks.

    I started a HS concession stand at football games for my daughter's swim team and we tried Curley Fries. They were labor intensive and did not go over as well as we thought they would. Stick to regular fries, they're easier! KISS!
    You'll sell way more corndogs than chicken tenders. Junk food sells best, not healthy food. You'll have those "Health Nut" parents that want to sell only healthy food. Don't get sucked in---it doesn't sell!
    Quick selling items that produce turnover is what produces profits, not fringe items. 
    #7
    Buck & Vi's
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    Re:Non Profit concession stand advice appreciated 2011/12/05 20:11:34 (permalink)
    hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, candy,soda, gator-ade,cotton candy,french fries, the dogs and burgers can be cooked on a b.b.q grill, biggest investment is cotton candy mach. my grand daughter is in band and thats what the boosters do and they rake in about 2 grand at each game, the band parents man the stand (volunteers that do have money taken off there childs accounts)they always have plenty of help with 3 over seers.
    very simple and very efficient. just my .02
    #8
    b33p3r
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    Re:Non Profit concession stand advice appreciated 2011/12/05 21:45:36 (permalink)
    Thanks to all. Lots of good stuff. It's obvious from all the responses that keeping it simple is the key. I truly appreciate all the responses. I received a PM but please understand I can't reply to it because I'm new to the forum. Know that I appreciate the advice though.
        We ran a major fundraiser last month and did well so we want to turn some of the profit into some money making equipment for the concessions. Thus the deep fryers. Thanks again. I'm already re-thinking a menu for the stand because of all the great replies! Now to get the health nuts to approve it?
    #9
    Foodbme
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    Re:Non Profit concession stand advice appreciated 2011/12/05 23:09:45 (permalink)
    Buck & Vi's
    hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, candy,soda, gator-ade,cotton candy,french fries, the dogs and burgers can be cooked on a b.b.q grill, biggest investment is cotton candy mach. my grand daughter is in band and thats what the boosters do and they rake in about 2 grand at each game, the band parents man the stand (volunteers that do have money taken off there childs accounts)they always have plenty of help with 3 over seers.
    very simple and very efficient. just my .02

    You can now get bagged cotton candy from concession suppliers without going to the expense of buying a machine and the headaches and labor associated with making it and cleaning the machine.
    Just Google "Pre-made bagged cotton candy" and you'll get tons of suppliers. Not as good as fresh made but a good rider on a fast horse won't know the difference.
    #10
    JodyP
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    Re:Non Profit concession stand advice appreciated 2011/12/06 08:30:49 (permalink)
    I ran concessions stands as either a volunteer or as a lease operator for years. First thing is to keep it simple and second to offer a decent product. Hotdogs, burgers and fries make up the base menu for most concessions stands. For the hotdogs purchase a decent product such as Nathans’ or Sabretts. You will have to charge a little more but we never got any complaints. I used a roller grill for cooking and holding the hotdogs. Also a decent hotdog will hold a lot longer. The burgers are best if you can grill them on a propane grill. Either make you own patties or purchase a brand like Bubba Burgers or if you have a Sam’s or BJ’s use the 1/3 pound sirloin burgers. (The 1/3 pound sirloin burgers cook faster). Coat them with a little Season All and Worcestershire sauce and grill till done. (Biggest complaint is raw burgers.) The best investment I ever made was purchasing a small commercial counter top fryer. (I had to get one of the dads to wire up for 220 volt.) A commercial fryer will not only cook faster but will also cook hotter for a crispier fry. A $2.00 bag of frozen French fries made a lot of profit for me. Round out your menu with sodas, water, sports drinks, candy bars, peanuts, and of course sunflower seed.
     
    Not sure about your area but in Georgia non-profit concession stands are exempt from the Health Department. I would recommend keeping disposable gloves and instructing all volunteers to use them. Basically just go over some safe guidelines with them. (Washing hands, handling raw food, etc.)
     
    I used a cash box. I think it is too much trouble to run cash registers.  Generally at most sporting venues you have a major rush between the games and it is a lot easier for several people to be serving and collecting money. The most important thing is to have one person who is charge of the inventory. This is more to insure that you do not run out of items. Your volunteers probably won’t steal from you but they will help themselves to a drink or a hotdog. Just consider it part of the cost of doing business.
     
    Good luck    
    #11
    Chicnscoop
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    Re:Non Profit concession stand advice appreciated 2011/12/06 08:36:41 (permalink)
    Be sure to talk to your local Health dept and fire marshal before ordering any equipment. Adding a fryer means adding a hood/ventalation and possibly ansul system. Make sure you know your local requirements before committing any money in equipment. You don't want any surprises.
    #12
    pnwchef
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    Re:Non Profit concession stand advice appreciated 2011/12/06 09:28:50 (permalink)
    Fries, a must
    Hot Dogs, a must
    Burgers, a must
    Corn dog Thawed and fried
    These are the items that would be found in every little league concession stand in the USA. The reason being, they are working with volunteers that change daily. You need to have  a menu that anyone can cook. I would also take into account that you are in Pa., you may be able to offer regional ethnic foods............
    I think pizza by the slice would be  a hit, every kid love pizza. They have small pizza ovens that can handle your needs. I would also design the front counter to use a Pizza display case like this...

     
    #13
    b33p3r
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    Re:Non Profit concession stand advice appreciated 2011/12/06 18:10:32 (permalink)
    Following advice from everyone, I have a call into our local fire department and am waiting for a reply. We do have burgers and dogs on our menu but I will definately look into a better quality product. I must say I like the corn dog idea and our quest for deep fried fries is the reason I'm getting all these good suggestions.
       In Pa. Pizza is a great seller. We have a local pizza shop that supplies us with pizza to sell at a reasonable profit for our stand.
    Thanks again.
       
    #14
    b33p3r
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    Re:Non Profit concession stand advice appreciated 2011/12/06 18:18:32 (permalink)
    JodyP, You mentioned a counter top commercial fryer in your post. That was one of the options I was considering putting in front of the board. Do we want to go all out and purchase a large fryer or try out a counter top model? My immediate thoughts were try the counter top model and if successful we could always add another countertop model or opt to upgrade to a larger model. But that is up to the league to vote on. I just want them to know the pros and cons of each.
               My main concern with a larger stand alone fryer would be maintenance. Like mentioned in posts here, with a little league it's all volunteers and the faces change on a regular basis. I feel it would be difficult (or nerve racking) for most people to filter and clean a large model.
            Can you tell me more about your countertop model and it's maintenance requirements? We can easily run a 220v circuit(I'm an electrician by trade) so that's not an issue. Ease of cleaning and changing oil is. Thanks in advance.
    #15
    Benzee
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    Re:Non Profit concession stand advice appreciated 2011/12/06 20:38:58 (permalink)
    Hot Dogs , good quality Sabretts , Nathans or Bests
    Hamburgers - Bubbas or sams , BJ club
    French Fries
    Soda
    Chips
    Candy
    Wala you are good to go
     
    Benzee
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    b33p3r
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    Re:Non Profit concession stand advice appreciated 2011/12/06 22:11:18 (permalink)
    As a thank you to everyone who has tried to help us out with our concessions, here is an item that does extremely well for our concessions. "Walking Tacos". Cook up some taco meat and keep in a crock pot. Buy bags of single serving Corn Chips. Open the bag of corn chips, put a scoop of taco meat in, add whatever ingredients you or the customer likes(cheese,lettuce,tomatoes,olives..etc etc) Kids love it! Big seller. Most like just the corn chips meat and cheese.
    #17
    JodyP
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    Re:Non Profit concession stand advice appreciated 2011/12/07 08:44:50 (permalink)
    I think it was a Star 15 pound, 220 volt table top. It worked really well and we did not have any problems with production. We also had one of the French fry dump, warmers alone side of it. The 220 volt models will give you good recovery time for continuous frying if needed. A lot of the ball fields have outside frying areas and use a full size 30 pound fryer. Generally you can purchase them fairly reasonable. Our concession stand didn’t have an adjacent safe area for frying so we went with the table top. Even if your code doesn’t require it you need to install some type of ventilation system. Even a small residential unit vented outside will help, if not all of you are going to smell like French fries.
     
    As far as maintenance goes we really didn’t have any issues. We made a point of keeping the unit clean, washed the baskets when done and keep the unit covered when not in use. We would change the oil at least once a week or more depending on use and would do a good cleaning of the cooking tub when we changed the oil.
     
    A word of caution about purchasing any used Star Manufacturing equipment. Should you need replacement parts the parts may end up costing as much as a new unit and will definitely cost more than purchasing new import equipment. Star is American made quality restaurant equipment. But they will rape you on replacement parts. Our last purchase of a Warning sandwich press was in part because of purchasing replacement lids for a used Star Hotdog warmer we purchase. Even though we found decent used Star sandwich presses we could not justify purchasing because of the parts replacement cost.
    #18
    Buck & Vi's
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    Re:Non Profit concession stand advice appreciated 2011/12/07 19:11:57 (permalink)
    Foodbme

    Buck & Vi's
    hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, candy,soda, gator-ade,cotton candy,french fries, the dogs and burgers can be cooked on a b.b.q grill, biggest investment is cotton candy mach. my grand daughter is in band and thats what the boosters do and they rake in about 2 grand at each game, the band parents man the stand (volunteers that do have money taken off there childs accounts)they always have plenty of help with 3 over seers.
    very simple and very efficient. just my .02

    You can now get bagged cotton candy from concession suppliers without going to the expense of buying a machine and the headaches and labor associated with making it and cleaning the machine.
    Just Google "Pre-made bagged cotton candy" and you'll get tons of suppliers. Not as good as fresh made but a good rider on a fast horse won't know the difference.


    yea ,they tried the bagged stuff there was something they didnt like about it tho?? i'll see if i can find out, I did  a haunted trail and they bought it over there it was a cute little machine, but i didnt watch it run much but i know there was always a line there too, they ran out of sugar !
    #19
    jcheese
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    Re:Non Profit concession stand advice appreciated 2011/12/07 20:17:44 (permalink)
    Walkin' Tacos!!
    In some places they call them Frito Pie or Frito Boats.
    Except it's Fritos with Chili and Cheese.
    Most Doggers will have it(ingredients) on their cart anyway.
    Had a gig last summer where I promoted them.
    Had fresh homegrown tomatos.
    Couldn't find a supply of Frito "singles", so dumped Fritos in a tray, with chili and cheese, cut the tomato on the spot(Plum) and squirt Sour Cream that I made thin enough with lime juice. Jalapenos and onions, if requested.
    Had one guy come back and gave me a $3.00 tip.
     
     
    #20
    UncleVic
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    Re:Non Profit concession stand advice appreciated 2011/12/09 07:56:24 (permalink)
    Consider Tater Tots - deep fried... We added them to the menu and both kids and adults love them...  They cook up quickly also...
     
    #21
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