How to Start a Concession Trailer Business

Concession trailers are a needed item at many public locations. It is a chance for people to receive the services that they may need at any given time when those services may not normally be available. You’ll find these trailers in permanent locations at stadiums for college campuses, while temporary concession trailers can be found at county fairs, live music events, and annual community get-togethers.

A concession trailer is any type of stand or stall that is able to bend foods and beverages it could be a kiosk that stands by itself, or it may be in a trailer that you can hook up to your vehicle, or it may simply be a tent that gets set up at the start of the day and then taken down at the day’s conclusion. If you want to know how to start a concession trailer business, then the first thing you need to do is to know how to make the foods or beverages that people will want at the special events.

What Kind of Food Is Your Passion?

You must have a certain passion for food in order to be able to successfully run a concession trailer business. Without this passion, you will not have high enough standards for your food products that you sell and people will eventually become dissatisfied with your products. The most common foods that are sold through concession trailers are items like pretzels, snow cones, or cotton candy. Specialized treats like fried candy bars are also starting to come common. Look for the food options that you love yourself and then turn that into your concession trailer business.

After you have discovered which food you want to serve, you will need to start looking at how you’re going to be able to serve that food to people. From farmers markets to local flea markets, there are many events throughout the year that your city may allow for a food vendor to set up services. You may also want to look throughout your region for opportunities if local community options are sparse.

You Will Need to Have Permits

Because you will be handling food, most of your day will require you to have an extensive number of permit in order to do business with your concession trailer. A food vendor license is common, but temporary licenses are also available in most locations so that you can start selling immediately. Most jurisdictions will also require you to go through a food handlers permit so that you prevent disease transmission with proper safety measures.

Because you’re managing your own business will you may also need to go through a food manager certification course. This will show you how to properly store and serve the meals or snacks that you are passionate about. This will need to be accomplished before you start your business, and plan on going through these course several weeks before you schedule your grand opening for your concession trailer business.

If you are planning on serving food at different festivals throughout the year, it is also important to remember that these festivals typically need to have a vendor application received several months in advance of the event. Summer events usually have an application deadline sometime around Christmas. Plan ahead and know which events you want to attend so that you always have a stream of revenue coming in.

How Will You Get Your Food?

The easiest way to get food for your concession trailer business is to purchase it directly from the local grocery store. Just because this is the easiest method, however, doesn’t mean that it is the most affordable method of obtaining food for resale. Look at forming some relationships with food distributors that are operating in your area to see if you can get a discount on the items that you serve regularly. The advantage in doing so is that you can achieve a higher profit margin without really doing anything different.

You will also want to start looking at complementary food items so that you can expand your menu options. If you have a passion for pretzels, for example, you could offer a series of different dips that people could purchase to enhance their snacking experience. Cheese gifts are common, but ranch dips, maple syrup dips, or even salsa dips could bring in additional customers. Other menu items that make sense should also be included. If you sell pretzels, then maybe you could sell some pizza too.

So could providing product variety. Using the example above, you could sell unsalted pretzels, salted pretzels, chocolate pretzels, sugar and cinnamon pretzels, or anything else that your imagination can create. This will make your concession trailer business more tempting to a wider demographic base, and that ultimately means that you will have the chance to achieve more profitability.

Are You Ready To Get Started Today?

If you plan on running your concession trailer business with equipment that you transport on your own, a final consideration needs to be given to what driver’s license you may need to have. Some jurisdictions will require you to have a CDL in order to transport your trailer. Other groups require no additional licensing whatsoever. That’s why it is so important to look at local laws as you set up your business. It makes no sense to guess at what licenses and registrations need to be obtained so that you can get your business started.

With a little time and planning, you can create a successful business by selling food you are passionate about from a concession trailer. By using these steps, you will create the foundation that is needed to help get your business off the ground. Think about creating a business plan, talk to your community about what foods they love so that you have a natural networking moment, and you may just find that the profits from concessions will make you as happy as the people eating the snacks you’ve created.

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