Is it an impulse or a compulsion that makes you want to eat that soft pretzel? Or is it simply the tangy mustard pumped onto it? Displayed food must look its best when laid out for speed and convenience, even for captive audiences at arenas, stadiums and outdoor entertainment venues.

No matter whether concession fare is pretzels, hot dogs, popcorn or other fun foods, items must be held at the proper temperatures and the point of sale lighting should accentuate rather than detract from them. We’d rather look at the food than see the equipment that is holding it. People eat with their eyes first.

Menu board photos can only go so far to whet customers’ appetites and drive demand. An interesting exception to this exists in subway stations in South Korea. There, whole grocery stores are represented graphically and commuters can shop virtually via QR code readers on their cell phones. Here in the States, however, we prefer a less virtual experience during our grazing rituals.

Specialized equipment, such as roller grills, popcorn makers, cotton candy machines, hot food display cabinets and cup and condiment dispensers, along with its selection and layout, plays a key role in maximizing the limited space available in most concession environments.

Panini presses have made the leap “across the pond,” along with gyro machines, orange juice squeezers, cappuccino makers and gelato cases, adding an ethnic flair to even the tiniest of service points.

Hot fudge pumps can push out that tantalizing hot chocolaty goo through heated spouts; cup dispensers can speed service at busy stations. Heated merchandising cabinets, designed to keep foods warm, moist and appealing throughout service periods, help to cut down on waste and drive sales. Grills, fryers, equipment stands, soft serve machines and re-thermalizers all function to speed up the service of concession stands’ tasty treats to waiting (hopefully not too long) fans, concert goers and fair attendees. Napkin, straw and PC organizers function to keep counters neat and clean (able). Although the business opportunities are typically short and/or seasonal, concession stand snack bars can be a lucrative endeavor for owners and operators, and provide convenient pit stops for consumers.

With the possible exception of parkland venues, healthful and sustainable meal options have not been the norm at these grab ‘n go venues. However, salad bar selections, cup and/or frozen yogurt, soups and stews can often all be easily added to the offerings to please today’s more discriminating consumers. Savvy operators will also look to offer whole grain products to satisfy their more health-conscious customers.

Foodservice operators have come to expect big profits from small concession stands. Foodservice equipment and supplies professionals should work to create a seasonal bump in their sales when such stands open up each year.

Appeared in TSRMag

Joe Ferri

Views: 56

Tags: Ferri, FoodEquipper, Joe, Pecinka, RestEquipper, concession, equipment, foodservice


You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh




Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries


Kids LiveWell atwitter over Twitter party

In its continuing effort to promote more nutritious and flavorful children's menu options, the NRA will hold a Twitter party  -More

Starbucks could become top on-premise wine seller in U.S.

Starbucks is planning to slowly expand its evening sales of wine, beer and small plates to thousands of selected stores throu -More

The evolving nature of snacks

Snacks have shifted from an after-school treat to a meal alternative as meal times become more fragmented.  -More


Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Wahlburgers Announces Expansion Plans Including Franchise Agreement in Philadelphia

Wahlburgers has signed a franchise agreement with Hingham Associates, LLC that will bring five Wahlburgers to the metropolitan Philadelphia area over the next several years. The franchise group is actively looking at sites and is targeting a late 2014-early 2015 opening for its first restaurant.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. First Quarter 2014 Revenue Up 24.4%

Comparable restaurant sales increased 13.4% - Restaurant level operating margin was 25.9%, a decrease of 40 basis points

Jamba Juice Announces Grand Opening of New St. Louis, MO Location

Jamba Juice Company announced the brand’s continued expansion in the St. Louis market with the opening of a Jamba Juice® store at 11477 Olive Blvd. on April 16, 2014.

Expert in Real Estate Analytics Joins Luna Grill

Luna Grill, the San Diego-based Mediterranean restaurant chain, is welcoming retail real estate industry veteran Greg Thorburn to its leadership team. Thorburn has been brought on board to fill the newly created position of Vice-President of Real Estate.

Rita's Italian Ice Awards Area Development Agreement for Kansas

Rita's Italian Ice has awarded franchise and area development agreements for Kansas and the Kansas City area, which extends to the Missouri side of the city, to franchisees and local residents Jay Miller, Jeff Miller and Pat Reilly.


If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.


TED: Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces - Matthew Carter (2014)

Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

TED: Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets - Jeremy Kasdin (2014)

Astronomers believe that every star in the galaxy has a planet, one fifth of which might harbor life. Only we haven't seen any of them -- yet. Jeremy Kasdin and his team are looking to change that with the design and engineering of an extraordinary piece of equipment: a flower petal-shaped "starshade" that allows a telescope to photograph planets from 50,000 kilometers away. It is, he says, the "coolest possible science."

TED: Norman Spack: How I help transgender teens become who they want to be - Norman Spack (2013)

Puberty is an awkward time for just about everybody, but for transgender teens it can be a nightmare, as they grow overnight into bodies they aren't comfortable with. In a heartfelt talk, endocrinologist Norman Spack tells a personal story of how he became one of the few doctors in the US to treat minors with hormone replacement therapy. By staving off the effects of puberty, Spack gives trans teens the time they need. (Filmed at TEDxBeaconStreet.)

TED: Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar - Jennifer Senior (2014)

The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it's "a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic," as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In this honest talk, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service