Do We Need Food Service Licenses to Serve Food in Concessions?
Like any booster club all-star, you want to make sure you have your “i’s” dotted and your “t’s” crossed before you start selling food at your concession stand. As you gear up for the rapidly approaching season, you may have found yourself wondering, “Do we need food service licenses to run a concession stand?”
To help you adhere to local and county regulations, let’s explore some general guidelines regarding concession stand licensing requirements.
Is Food Service Regulated at the State or Local Level?
For the most part, food service processes are regulated at the local level. If you live in a rural area, your county health department may govern food service protocols.
To find out specific food regulations in your area, you need to contact your local or county health department. They will be able to provide detailed answers to your concerns.
However, we can provide some general guidelines to get you started.
When Is a License Required?
Typically, licensing is required only if you are handling prepared food. This makes perfect sense, as your volunteers will be handling food items directly during the cooking process. Some examples of prepared food include:
Additionally, fountain drinks count as “prepared food” because they are not enclosed in sealed packaging.
The good news is that some states waive food service licensing requirements for nonprofit organizations and schools that are serving prepared food items. If this is the case in your state, your booster club may be able to serve up juicy cheeseburgers and a full lineup of other prepared food without a license.
If you want to avoid licensing headaches altogether, you can opt to serve only prepacked food. Some concession stand favorites include:
Individually packed cookies
This is not an exhaustive list. Your concession stand can serve just about any prepackaged food without a food service license.
As an added benefit, some of these items may be tax-exempt in your state. That means you can purchase and sell them without accounting for sales tax.
Obtaining a Food Service Certification
In all likelihood, you won’t need a food service license to operate a booster club concession stand. But if you want to avoid committing any unintentional fouls, you or one of your concession stand MVPs can obtain a certification.
There are tons of options out there, virtually all of which are offered online. With that being said, if you want to make sure you are learning the latest food service best practices, consider attending a course that is endorsed by the health department.
When deciding who should attend, select someone who is very active in the club and in concessions, specifically. They can then share what they learned with other volunteers and get everyone up to speed on safe food prep processes.
Going above and beyond by obtaining food service licensing will help you keep patrons safe and protect your booster club’s reputation.
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Our Club Has Been Using Charms and Has Student Accounts — Why Is This a Bad Idea?
There’s a lot to like about Charms Office Assistant. This program has been a music program stalwart and can help schools and boosters communicate with students, manage assessment data, and collect payments.
We get the appeal of using Charms to support your band’s billing activities — the system is already in place, and you can collect payments from students and parents all in one platform. However, Charms wasn’t really designed for booster clubs. It was really designed to be used by the school or music director.
Most booster clubs are non-profits. The activities and best practices are different. For instance, non-profits can not fundraise for the benefit of one person. They must fundraise for the group as a whole. Also, fees can not be mandatory in a non-profit. You can certainly say “100% participation is highly encouraged,” but you can not require anyone to pay to participate.
By replacing Charms with a purpose-built booster solution, your club can:
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Round Rock Volleyball Is Ahead of the Game by Using BoosterHub MVP
After each sports season, the coaching staff gets together to review what went well and what they can do better next year. Often, coaches will turn to league winners for inspiration. During this process, they analyze film, look at stats, and explore ways to incorporate these insights into their own coaching strategies.
Your athletic booster club can apply these same principles to get better at fundraising during the off-season. On that note, let’s turn our attention to the Round Rock Volleyball booster club and how they’re delivering for student athletes with BoosterHub.
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Is SMS a Good Way to Communicate with Donors and Booster Club Members?
Finding effective ways to communicate with donors and members is a problem as old as your school’s rivalry with the neighboring high school football team. And just like that generation-spanning rivalry, you never seem to be able to maintain the upper hand for long.
During your time as an athletic booster club member, you’ve probably tried a variety of communication techniques, from phone calls to flyers and even email. If that’s the case, you know that none of these strategies are especially effective for relaying information to your membership.
While you’ve probably considered using SMS messaging to talk to donors and booster club members, you may be hesitant to make yet another change to your communication strategy. But trust us — SMS messaging is the way to go. With the right SMS messaging tools in place, you can effortlessly share information, keep parents in the loop about upcoming events, and make 2023 your most productive fundraising year ever.