While you’re waiting for the health department to send you all the information you requested sit down with your family or whoever you’re going to be in this business with and decide on a menu.
Nothing extravagant at first just a rough idea of what you would like to sell. Now narrow that down to 3 or 4 items. I also want to add that you should be creative. Unless you have a super delicious hamburger with a sauce that will make you forget your mortgage is due tomorrow don’t sell hamburgers and fries.
Everybody and their brother are already doing it.
Serve something unique that makes people want to stop and try it. For example serve steak tips with roasted garlic and mushroom sauce plate. Don’t see many of those so people will stop just to check you out. Come up with your own combination of unique recipes.
Don’t be scared.. I know you can do it;-)
In this business more is not better. McDonalds started out with 3 items on the menu….hamburgers, fries, and shakes. That’s how they were able to call it fast food.
Now look at them 97 items and adding more every day and a long ways from fast food. You can get an order faster at red lobster than a fast food joint now days. Too many items on the menu.
In the concession food business you have to offer fast food and mean it. People stopping at your concession trailer are unforgiving. They will not give you a second chance. You have to impress them the first time or you will never see them again. Then they go tell every one they know how horrible there experience was at your place. Its not a pretty picture so get it right the first time.
Just remember people are always in a hurry but they want good service and food as well so give them both. It’s not that hard to do.
Just imagine yourself on the other side of the window standing in line; you just got off work, kids screaming in the car. Little Josh duck taping his younger sisters’ head to the armrest. You’re standing there trying to remain calm knowing you’re only 2 steps from a nervous breakdown.
Then finally you get your order and rush to the car to find that Josh is now eating what is left of a seat cushion. You reach into the bag only to find that your order is not right!
Do you think you would ever visit this establishment again? Heck no! Not without a can of gasoline and a box of matches.
Now I know that example was a little extreme but you would be surprised at the condition people are in when they order food. People are stressed and always in a hurry so take that into account and do everything you can to make their day better.
Treat them with kindness and always give them a big smile and mean it. Let them know that you are appreciative of their business. Do this and you will have a loyal customer.
Ok I got a little off course from telling you to decide on your menu. (I will do that from time to time. Just a warning.)
Ok now we need to decide how many you are going to have working in the concession stand or trailer. Keep in mind this is a small space and not a full service kitchen. It also depends on the size of your trailer. If you are going to have 1 or 2 people inside, a 6 or 7 foot wide by 12 to 14 long will do. If you have 3 to 4 on the inside it will have to be 8 foot wide by at least 16 foot long.
Don’t plan on working with anyone you cant get along with on the outside because once you get in that little space it only gets worse. In my experience the perfect set up is 3 people. One working the window and register while fixing the drinks, One cook and one preparing the orders.
Since your just starting you can manage with just yourself doing it all and as your business grows bring another person in, as you need them. Or one cooking and one taking the orders which works out good for a husband and wife team. Now on to step 3….