I Just Took Over Our Concession Stand. Where Do I Start? 

When it comes to athletic fundraiser ideas, concession stands remain one of the most effective ways to raise money. The margins on concessions are generally good, and with smart operations, your club can raise the money necessary to fund your athletic program.

If you recently took over the concession stand, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. The key is to get organized and work to maximize efficiency rather than just getting by. Here are a few tips to make your concession stand successful: 

Look at the Data

When your concession stand keeps any receipts or records at all, you can learn a lot from the data. Learning from previous years can help you gain efficiency and learn what works and what doesn’t. Scan the data for key metrics such as:

  • How much did you sell last year?
  • What are the top-selling items?
  • What are the unpopular items?
  • Are you staffed properly?
  • Do you have enough inventory?

Answering these questions can help you streamline your operation and prevent waste.

Make a Plan

Smart planning is critical to the success of your concession stand. You’ll need to ensure you have a plan for the basics like staffing, ordering food, and cleaning. Beyond the basics, your operation can benefit from a calendar planning out the next few games or even the whole season.

You can also use booster club software such as BoosterHub to keep inventory, manage volunteers, and send reminders. Effective organization helps volunteers know what is expected and will ensure that you are meeting the needs of your patrons.

Be Flexible

Even if you have a detailed plan in place, there will always be unexpected things that pop up. You may experience an inventory issue with a vendor, be impacted by weather, or have volunteers not show up. 

Running a concession stand often takes improvisation skills, and sometimes your plans simply fall apart. Luckily, most supporters know that you are volunteering and doing the best that you can, so they’ll understand when things don’t go as planned.

In addition, not all concession stands are successful enough to meet your fundraising goals. If your concession stand is struggling, consider other booster club fundraising ideas to make up the difference. 

Add to Your Offerings

One of the great parts about concession stands is you have total control over what you offer. If you get requests for a particular item, consider adding it to your menu. During the cold months, consider adding seasonal foods. New products can often incentivize new patrons to visit your stand.

You should also consider adding credit card payments to your operation if you’ve been running on cash. Many patrons don’t carry cash, so offering electronic payment can boost your sales significantly.

Running a concession stand isn’t always easy, but it is a great way to raise funds quickly and meet your goals. It is also a great opportunity to promote the club and share your other booster club fundraiser ideas!