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 No food service experience. Would like to open small concession stand. Where to start?

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Botterson

  • Total Posts: 1
  • Joined: 6/14/2013
  • Location: Gainesville, FL
No food service experience. Would like to open small concession stand. Where to start? Fri, 06/14/13 6:58 PM (permalink)
Hello, all. I'm looking to open a small concession stand to run on the side in addition to my full time job. This would be something that I would primarily do on the weekends. I was thinking of starting off with just one food item (fried cheese balls to be exact). Even after reading about licenses and permits and whatnot, I still feel like I have no idea where to start. As I mentioned in my title, I have no food service experience aside from a few months working at Starbucks. Is there anyone who would be willing to give me a little direction? I would appreciate any advice.
 
#1
    THE WILD DOG

    • Total Posts: 1465
    • Joined: 1/12/2010
    • Location: Hunt Valley, MD
    Re:No food service experience. Would like to open small concession stand. Where to start? Fri, 06/14/13 7:38 PM (permalink)
    first, I would do my due diligence and make sure it's something that you really want to  do.
    second, I would draw up a plan of action ( aka business plan )
    third, I would see how much money I have to spend on what I will need, then times that by 3
     
    fourthly, I would contact your local health dept and then tell them what you want to do, and ask them what you will need in your county to set up, get licensed and so on.
     
    fifthly, I would sit down and think about how much time you have to invest into a business, b/c doing it on weekends is NOT going to make you the amount of money you think it's going to make right away, unless you have a massive demand for balls of cheese.
     
    Sixly, I would then determine if you wanted a truck, a trailer, or a cart to do business out of, and then research the benefits of each one and the cons of each one.
     
     
    seventhly,  Google & Bing will answer most of your equipment questions, don't ask people on here what your county health dept may say, it's not worth your time or ours bc only your local heath dept will know... ACTUALLY you are in florida, so it might be a statewide health code and not a county... <---- thus another quest for info has arrised...  **** see how this can get complicated quickly...
     
     
    EIGHTLY,   good luck, and let us know
     
    #2
      chefbuba

      • Total Posts: 1952
      • Joined: 6/22/2009
      • Location: Near You, WA
      Re:No food service experience. Would like to open small concession stand. Where to start? Fri, 06/14/13 9:22 PM (permalink)
      Why do you think that fried cheese balls will make you a living?
       
      #3
        daddywoofdawg

        • Total Posts: 299
        • Joined: 2/23/2011
        • Location: Starkweather, ND
        Re:No food service experience. Would like to open small concession stand. Where to start? Mon, 06/17/13 12:13 AM (permalink)
        are you talking about doing fairs or sitting in a parking lot?
        If your doing fairs You don't just roll up Friday nite and set up shop.most events have booked the vendors though an application process 6 months or more in advance.Start putting in your apps now for next year.all though your in fla. so you may have time to book fairs as most down there start in Jan.
        If your thinking pull into a parking lot and sell you need the land owners permission and some cities don't allow vending.
         
        #4
          Buck & Vi's

          • Total Posts: 822
          • Joined: 4/19/2010
          • Location: dodging,snakes,spiders,roaches, armadillos.opposso
          Re:No food service experience. Would like to open small concession stand. Where to start? Mon, 06/17/13 3:31 PM (permalink)
          "myfloridalicense@dbpr.state.fl.us" here is a good place ti start...ask them what you need to know, they are very helpful, I just e mailed them when I was starting out with any questions I had there very good about getting back to you and thru e mail you have a record if any questions come up after the fact. after you get going and everything you will have an inspector that is assigned to what ever area, you can get all your questions then answered from him. I have found our inspector very generous with any info, and glad to help in any way he can. As  A matter of fact I had to call them just today for a license issue they fixed the problem quickly and apologized  greatly!
           
          #5
            Foodbme

            • Total Posts: 9544
            • Joined: 9/1/2006
            • Location: Gilbert, AZ
            Re:No food service experience. Would like to open small concession stand. Where to start? Mon, 06/17/13 5:53 PM (permalink)
            I'd suggest getting a part time job with an existing vendor to learn the ropes and see if you're willing to put in the effort to be in the business. It's HOT hard work.
             
            #6
              Foodbme

              • Total Posts: 9544
              • Joined: 9/1/2006
              • Location: Gilbert, AZ
              Re:No food service experience. Would like to open small concession stand. Where to start? Mon, 06/17/13 5:55 PM (permalink)
              I'd suggest getting a part time job with an existing vendor to learn the ropes and see if you're willing to put in the effort to be in the business. It's HOT hard work.
               
              #7
                jcheese

                • Total Posts: 739
                • Joined: 3/5/2011
                • Location: Fieldale, VA
                Re:No food service experience. Would like to open small concession stand. Where to start? Mon, 06/17/13 9:16 PM (permalink)
                Have you defined your market? Unless there is colony of Homer Simpson clones nearby, I'm wondering who's going to flock to a place that only sells greasy balls of cheese.
                 
                #8
                  Speedymike

                  • Total Posts: 32
                  • Joined: 6/13/2013
                  • Location: Niagara falls, NY
                  Re:No food service experience. Would like to open small concession stand. Where to start? Sun, 06/23/13 10:27 PM (permalink)
                  No food experience??? Better get a partner or you will learn THE HARD WAY.
                   
                  #9
                    ricoboxing

                    • Total Posts: 33
                    • Joined: 5/20/2011
                    • Location: Oshawa, ON, XX
                    Re:No food service experience. Would like to open small concession stand. Where to start? Wed, 07/3/13 9:46 AM (permalink)
                    OP I was in the same boat as you 3 years ago, no food experience, just an idea and some determination. Just start off small and take it one step at a time. Even though I'm only selling on weekends and the occasional weekday party, I'm always working during the week after my full time job.
                     
                    #10
                      kingofcreams

                      • Total Posts: 111
                      • Joined: 1/3/2012
                      • Location: Duluth, MN
                      Re:No food service experience. Would like to open small concession stand. Where to start? Wed, 07/3/13 11:09 AM (permalink)
                      ricoboxing


                      OP I was in the same boat as you 3 years ago, no food experience, just an idea and some determination. Just start off small and take it one step at a time. Even though I'm only selling on weekends and the occasional weekday party, I'm always working during the week after my full time job.

                      I'll add to this... You definately will not just be doing this on the weekends. You'll be try hard as hell to get bookings, getting insurance, business permits, electrical inspections, making repair, cleaning, stocking, ordering, figuring out signage, menu pricing and on and on and on during the times your not actually selling. Selling is one part of it but it really is very time consuming and it's not easy work so make sure you completely know what you are getting yourself into before you even start. In addition to 40 hour per week regular job, I work around the clock managing and working my "side business". In reality I have a 40 hour a week "side job" and run a more than full time business.
                      <message edited by kingofcreams on Wed, 07/3/13 11:12 AM>
                       
                      #11
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