Concession Trailer Business Course

Welcome to the Concession Trailer Business Course. Here in this course you will find all the information you will ever need to know about food concession trailers and the concession business. I have broken down the relevant information into easy to read steps to help you get setup and into the business of making money with your very own concession trailer, espresso stand or coffee trailer.

Keep in mind when I mention concession trailer that the concession stand also falls into this category.

The difference is the concession trailer is mobile and can be moved from place to place to do shows, fairs, festivals, races, or just anywhere a gathering of people might be.

The concession stand is set up just like the trailer except it is usually permanent. You will usually find concession stands set up in a busy park or in a parking lot in front of shopping malls or department stores. Whichever style your interested in both have their good qualities and maybe a couple not so good. But don’t worry about the downside if you are really serious about the concession business then the good will over come the bad.

Another thing I want to add is don’t ever get in a rush.

This process will take time and if it’s rushed you will not succeed. When planning to buy or build a food concession trailer think of it as an investment and like buying a home for you and your family. You don’t go out looking for a house one morning and buy the next do you? Neither should you with a food concession trailer.

I know your excited and ready to start making the big bucks but trust me when I tell you that taking your time will pay off.

To do it right you should allow at least six months if not a year for planning and getting your concession trailer or concession stand built before making your first dollar.

Now I am sure your sitting there wondering why it’s going to take so long just to set up a food concession trailer. Here is why. If you are planning on traveling across country doing shows with your concession trailer this will not apply to you.

The very first thing or first step you need to do is get in touch with your county and city health departments and city ordnances office. These people are under staffed and never get in a hurry.

Expect this process to take from one week to 3 months.

Visit your city and county health departments in person if possible. Call first to make an appointment. Once you get an appointment sit down with him or her and explain to them what you are planning. Tell them you want to operate a food concession trailer in your state and you need to know what the codes and laws are. Also ask for a manual with all the guidelines in it pertaining to the concession business.

If you have an idea where you might like to set up mention this and make sure of any special codes or laws for this area. Then they will tell you what they need from you. Usually they ask for an outline of your trailer and all the plumbing and wiring diagrams and a business outline. Don’t panic. It’s not as hard as it sounds.

Now to step two.

Go to step..  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

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23 Responses to Concession Trailer Business Course

  1. jodielmp says:

    Hey Jeff,

    You mentioned in one of your steps to starting a concession business that you would be posting manufacturers of concession trailers. I am very interested in getting this list from you. I am thinking about a mobile espresso business and have only seriously looked at The Coffee Guy Inc., and was wondering if you had any feedback or experience with them. Or do you have a better recommendation?
    Thank you,
    Jodie

  2. warren d says:

    i was wondering if u had a list of manufacturers? i live in Houston,Tx and do u know anything about our rules & codes?

  3. Cindy Holtz says:

    I am planning to use my concession trailer in different states. Is there a universal inspection or do I have to be licensed in each state? Also how do I contact events to contract as a vendor?

  4. Gregory P. says:

    Where do you store a concession trailer if you don’t have a place at home? I am planning to take my trailer on the road. Do you need a special commissary?

  5. Gregory P. says:

    I am going to take my trailer on the road and I don’t have a place to store it. Do you need a special place to store it? Also, do you need a food commissary? Thank you, Greg

  6. Karina says:

    Wonderful information. Iwould like to know if you still offer the list of whoesalers were one would be able to buy the needed equipment, also would ike to know if you have mamufacturers in GA. Thank you

  7. Joe says:

    Looking for all equipment nad inclosed cabnets. Where do you find these to buy?

  8. Joe says:

    Where doI but cabinets and equipment at thebest pricce? I am looking at doing enclosed cabinets withdoors and latches. I am in Fort Wrth Texas

  9. Joe says:

    Looking for all equipment and inclosed cabinets. Where do you find these to buy?

  10. nick ramphos says:

    We are a hood manufacturer for restaurants and concession trailers. I was reading your course and unless i just missed it, you never mention the exhaust hood which in many cases is the largest item in the trailer…..and maybe one of the most important

  11. Rob Brewer says:

    I just started my food business. My first event was in August of 2010. I sell Homemade ice cream and waffle cones etc. I actually built my own trailer with the help of my father. Actually, since he is the master woodworker I just kinda did the no-brainer-jobs and he directed me. It was GREAT fun and I LOVE selling a great product. I have just discovered this site and will continue to read the whole course, but from what I have seen, he is RIGHT!!! It will take s few months to really see a profit and there is SO much to learn. Every time I sell I learn many new things, so if I can be of any help to anyone lemme know. Thanks for reading and this is a great site, wish I had found it last year!

  12. Carole Jordan says:

    My partners and I are starting with catering, as one is a cook/chef and the other is in food service industry for many years, with they both have years of the work experience and ethics to operate such a venture.

  13. Carole Jordan says:

    We have the exhaust system and it is indeed the biggest part of the kitchen, full length of the area over the cooking area and the stack is on the outside and looks like a cotton candy machine stuck on top of the roof.

    We are under the impression that we will be required to install a suppression fire system and a code fire extinguisher before being permitted and licensed to operate as a business. These two items are expensive, but necessary.

    The rules have been made more strict, and now do not allow open cooking under canvas or other outside tents, as the farmers markets and other events in crowded areas have more risk and therefore, wagons may be equally restricted from setting up cookers outside under tents as frequently seen outside of grocery stores locally. Rules obviously vary by area and jurisdiction. But, everyone should know before they go.

  14. Pingback: Increasingly» Blog Archive » Food concession business

  15. johnny says:

    Hi I am glad I found this excellent resource regarding all aspects of the concession trailer business.
    I agree strongly with the point that starting out with a couple of unique menu items as opposed trying to be yet another burger and fries vendor. How exciting would that be for customers if there was only burgers and fries to choose from at the event.
    I think its important to research the industry before jumping in to get rich quick. Looking at ebay, many have not done any research and struggled to get sales at events and it gets to hard and they have to sell the van. Sometimes less can be more !

  16. Dan says:

    Hello, I’m thinking about starting a concessin trailer business to prepair home made Italian meals. Italian comfort foods and deserts. I was thinking of serving the meals in those little tin dishes with the plastic lids. Just wanted your take on it. good idea? Thank you

  17. Kevin Gallati says:

    Hey Dan
    I think that is a wonderful idea, I am planning on doing the same menu. A friend was telling me about seeing someone doing Crepes, I thought why not a Italian concession business. Beings that when I make my Lasagna, everyone rants and raves about it, I make my own pasta and a sauce that I think is good enough to bottle and sell. All I see here in Arizona is Mexican and Mexican Hot dog stands. Good luck on your venture. Sure hope your not in Arizona. If you have any ideas or thoughts on setting up this venture I sure wood love to hear yours.

    Thanks and good luck again

    Kevin Gallati

  18. Judy Reynolds says:

    I have lots of questions. This lesson was some what helpfull. But what if you are traviling with a carnival? Also what about buying a used consession trailer? What kind of permets and where would i get them? Also what kind of insurance? I am just full of questions. I know people who have done it for years and are still doing this but some of the trailer requierments you posted are not what i see. Im sorry i just have lots of questions. I really want to do this. lol
    Thanks for listening

  19. Dwain says:

    I am finding new and used concessions stands and trailers on E-bay. are there any other internet auctions that buys.sale.trade these units?

  20. I actually Think that post, “Concession Trailer Business –
    How to Setup and Operate Concession Business” ended up being spot on!
    Icould not agree with u even more! At last looks like I personallylocated a blog page
    well worth reading through. Regards, Sherrie

  21. Steven says:

    Did you guys get started back in 2010 and how did it work out ? I am about to start a consession business and your site was very helpful. I want to work the road and start up north and work all the way down to florida each year. Not so much the state fairs but some of them also but selective in the places I go and work and the best money generators. I want to provide a good service along with good clean menu of goodies.

    Thanks for the information and I would love to email you personally to ask a few questions of you guys.

    Thanks again
    Steven

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  23. Eldon says:

    I am genuinely thankful too the hilder of this web site who has shared this enormous paragraph at at this place.

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