To stock a concession stand, select foods that are quick to prepare and easy to store, cook or keep cool. While prepackaged foods are simple to offer, spectators at an event or visitors to an attraction may be planning on grabbing a full meal. Decide what foods will fit in with the event, how much supplies will cost, and what you'll charge for each item.
Your snack food customers will probably want something quick. Whether packaged or fresh -- which will depend on your facility -- snacks are basically divided into two categories: sweet and salty. Easy to stock sweets include candy bars, suckers, cookies, cotton candy and ice cream.
Salty snacks that are simple to provide include popcorn, soft or hard pretzels, bagged chips and peanuts. Because these items are salty, they often encourage your customers to buy drinks as well, which can increase your sales.
Canned or bottled drinks often work better than trying to manage a fountain machine. Think about serving clear and dark sodas, some with caffeine and some without, and potentially some fruit-flavored drinks. Offer bottled water for customers who may not want excess sugar or calories.
If you have the room and facilities to heat up food, explore your options when it comes to serving meals. Items such as pizza, hot dogs, burgers and nachos with warm cheese sauce are great sellers at lengthy events, because they provide more sustenance than quick chips or a candy bar. Provide condiments for items such as hot dogs or burgers.
Consider offering a combo price when customers purchase a meal item with a drink. Sometimes a difference as little as a dollar or 50 cents will be enough for a customer to chose a combo over just a meal item.
If you don't want to deal with different types of products, you can specialize in one specific type of food and offer only that. An ice cream stand, for example, can present a customer with six varieties of scooped ice cream and a couple of options for cones, or serve prepackaged ice cream bars. A specialty stand can work because you corner the market for your area. Just make sure you'll be the only one offering those items.