Starting a Food Concession Business – Ask Yourself This

concession tent

concession tent

Two things I really like about the food concession business are the variety of food booths, and the people who run them.  Go to any event and you will see concessionaires who are young, old, educated, uneducated, liberal, conservative, cheerful and cranky. They run food booths of every description; from concession tents, concession trailers, and pushcarts, to food trucks and stick-joints.   Every concession business is operated in a way that suits the needs of the operator. They are run part-time, full-time, simply or with gusto.

I have known many concessionaires who hit the season hard with a robust crew, and a full calendar of contracts at large events and fairs. Some of these people make well over one hundred grand during the season. I also know as many other people who hold down full-time jobs, operating their concession at a handful of weekend events where they hope to make the extra money they need to feel financially secure.  There is no shortage of semi-retired couples who pull a concession behind their motor coach as they travel the country.  Last summer I met a group of students who were collaborating on a concession booth to pay for college.  They figured each would make enough to fully pay for a year in school. I didn’t doubt it. Four strong, energetic young people can manage a full-service concession with ease. I meet a lot of families with concessions. Many are started by parents who raise their kids in the business, then, as they get older, pass the business on to the next generation.

The flexibility of the concession business to be individually customized to suit the needs of the operator is unusual amongst small businesses, and one of the key reasons people go into it.  A concession is most rewarding when the concessionaire first examines their own personal needs, abilities and goals and then designs their business to accommodate their personal situation.

Four questions should be asked and answered by anyone starting a concession business.

  • What is your purpose for starting a concession business? Do you need extra money to help make ends meet or buy the extra things you enjoy? Is your job at risk? Do you need to earn money for college? Is your retirement nest-egg inadequate? Are you tired of working as an employee?
  • Ultimately, what do you expect to achieve from your concession business? How much is enough? Will an extra twenty thousand dollars provide you a more satisfying retirement? Perhaps an extra five or ten thousand dollars will bridge the gap in your inadequate income or make a down payment on a new car. Perhaps you need to earn enough from your concession to entirely replace your existing income.
  • What are your financial resources? Do you have the financial resources you need for start-up capital, as well as enough reserves to see you through the first season or two of low returns?
  • What are your personal skills, resources, and capabilities for seeing your plan through? Will you be juggling your time and energy with other responsibilities such as parenting small children or working another job? Do you have the skills required to manage a business, or drive a large vehicle and pull a trailer?

The monetary rewards of running a concession business are almost always proportionate to the operator’s investment. A moderate investment of time, energy and capitol will produce moderate returns.  A small investment will produce small returns, a large investment; large returns. Fair enough.

About admin

With nearly three decades of experience in the food concession business, a position on the Oregon Food Services Advisory Board and as founder of Northwest Vendor’s Network Association, Barb Fitzgerald is a leading authority on this unique mode of self-employment. Her own experience and dedicated passion for the concession business drives her belief in the food concession business as a path to self-employment for nearly anyone with the desire to become responsible for their own income. She is a concession start-up consultant, and the best-selling author of, Food Booth, The Entrepreneur’s Complete Guide to the Food Concession Business. Go to: http://www.foodbooth.net
This entry was posted in concession start-up and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

72 Responses to Starting a Food Concession Business – Ask Yourself This

  1. Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Many thanks
    Android Phones

  2. Hello! I realize this is kind of off-topic however I needed to ask. Does operating a well-established website like yours require a massive amount work? I am completely new to blogging but I do write in my diary every day. I’d like to start a blog so I will be able to share my experience and feelings online. Please let me know if you have any kind of suggestions or tips for new aspiring blog owners. Appreciate it!
    my site is on family vacation ideas.

  3. Classic Moms and the internet Transportation Suitcase as well as the Jumbo Cooking timer Moms and the internet Transportation Envelope have a zippered, fully-lined plastic handbag and of elasticized within pouches to safely host

  4. Chasidy says:

    hello there, perfect wordpress blog, and a great understand! 1 for my favorites.

  5. Lekisha says:

    This is something I have to find more information about, appreciation for the blog post.

  6. Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the images on this blog loading? I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

  7. I simply want to mention I am beginner to blogging and truly loved you’re web-site. Almost certainly I’m want to bookmark your site . You amazingly have amazing articles. Thanks a bunch for sharing your web-site.

  8. I have not checked in here for a while since I thought it was getting boring, but the last handful of posts are really good quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend. :)

  9. I got what you intend,bookmarked , very decent internet site .

  10. Hanoi Tours says:

    You’ll locate some fascinating points in time in this post but I do not know if I see all of them center to heart. There’s some validity but I will take hold opinion until I appear into it further. Amazing post , thanks and we want much much more! Added to FeedBurner too

  11. Stan Clark says:

    I just could not go away your web site before suggesting that I really loved the standard information a person supply on your visitors? Is gonna be again steadily in order to check out new posts

  12. My Site says:

    The general public, in the mean time, does not look untamed with regards to practically anything

  13. Deference to website author , some wonderful entropy.

  14. I simply want to say I am all new to blogs and seriously savored you’re web blog. More than likely I’m want to bookmark your website . You absolutely come with incredible articles. With thanks for sharing your blog.

  15. Very efficiently written information. It will likely be useful to anyone who usess it, including myself. Keep up the nice work – for certain i’ll take a look at extra posts.

  16. Tammy says:

    Really like your web sites particulars! Undoubtedly an exquisite provide of data that’s extraordinarily helpful. Keep it up to carry publishing and i’m gonna proceed reading by the use of! Cheers.

  17. Alex says:

    hey all, I was just checking out this weblog and I really admire the premise of the article, and don’t have anything to do, so if anyone would like to to have an engrossing convo about it, please contact me on AIM, my name is heather smith

  18. Hello i have question.

  19. Hello intelligent points.. now why did not i consider those? Off topic slightly, is that this page sample merely from an bizarre set up or else do you utilize a customized template. I take advantage of a webpage i’m looking for to improve and properly the visuals is probably going one of the key issues to complete on my list.

  20. super randka says:

    I’ve been exploring for a little bit for any high quality articles or blog posts on this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this website. Reading this information So i’m happy to convey that I have a very good uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what I needed. I most certainly will make sure to don’t forget this web site and give it a glance regularly.

  21. I have read a few excellent stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how so much attempt you put to create such a wonderful informative site.

  22. Amazing article thank you!

  23. That’s truly a great put up ! Added to my favourite blogs checklist.. We have been reading your weblog last couple of weeks and delight in just about every little bit. Thanks.

  24. F*ckin’ awesome things here. I’m very glad to see your post. Thanks a lot and i am looking forward to contact you. Will you please drop me a mail?

  25. Baxter says:

    My neighbor and I had been simply debating this specific subject, he is usually in search of to prove me incorrect. Your view on this is great and exactly how I truly feel. I simply now mailed him this website to point out him your own view. After trying over your website I e book marked and will be coming back to learn your new posts!

  26. My Blog says:

    This one is an inspiration personally to uncover out far more associated to this subject. I must confess your information prolonged my sentiments as well as I’m going to proper now take your feed to remain updated on each coming blog posts you might possibly create. You might be worthy of thanks for a job perfectly done!

  27. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an impatience over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.

  28. Steve says:

    Many thanks for posting this, It’s simply what I used to be researching for on bing. I’d quite a bit relatively hear opinions from an individual, barely than a company internet page, that’s why I like blogs so significantly. Many thanks!

  29. That isn’t to say that there aren’t faults.

  30. I must show some thanks to you just for rescuing me from this setting. Right after surfing around through the online world and coming across tips which were not beneficial, I thought my life was well over. Existing minus the solutions to the difficulties you have resolved by way of your main posting is a critical case, and those which may have badly damaged my entire career if I had not discovered your blog post. Your good natural talent and kindness in maneuvering the whole thing was excellent. I am not sure what I would have done if I had not encountered such a point like this. It’s possible to at this point look ahead to my future. Thanks so much for this specialized and results-oriented help. I will not hesitate to refer your web site to anyone who should get guidelines on this subject matter.

  31. I dugg some of you post as I cogitated they were very useful very beneficial

  32. Sweet website, super style and design, very clean and utilise genial.

  33. copy games says:

    Almost all quality improvement comes via simplification of design, manufacturing… layout, processes, and procedures.

  34. Awsome article and right to the point. I am not sure if this is actually the best place to ask but do you guys have any ideea where to hire some professional writers? Thx :)

  35. advice says:

    You are a very capable person!

  36. I am glad to be one of the visitors on this outstanding web site (:, thankyou for posting .

  37. You have brought up a very superb points , thankyou for the post.

  38. I started thinking if My spouse and that i need to use this write-up on a world-wide-web web page, Let me link it again to your website even though. If, maybe it is a predicament please make me conscious and i will definately eliminate it instantly. I admire the beneficial support and assistance you supply inside your articles. I’ll definitely e-book mark your post and get my colleagues check-up here routinely. We are reasonably positive they are going to learn lots of fascinating info right here when compared to just about anyone different .Thanks a good deal when it comes to creating this facts.

  39. An incredibly interesting examine, I may possibly not concur fully, however you do make some really valid points.

  40. Thanks for all your efforts that you have put in this. very interesting information.

  41. My partner and I actually enjoyed reading this weblog publish, I was simply itching to know do you commerce featured posts? I’m at all times looking for somebody to make trades with and merely thought I’d ask.

  42. I went over this website and I believe you have a lot of good info, bookmarked (:.

  43. Mayme Caroll says:

    Hi there. Just wanted to leave a quick statement and enquire exactly where you received your particular internet page model I am starting off own site and honestly really like your personal design.

  44. Lawrence says:

    ive been researching starting a concession business to increase my fun money each weekend, i have a good m-f job and looking to make some extra money. Im very handy and can build my own concession trailer, im thinking of a open air trailer with all the goodies, my question is is it better to go with a enclosed generator and electrical fryers and griddle or lp gas. i know i need 2 refrigerators because of cooked and uncooked meat have to be seperate. but the cost of gas equiptmen is 3 times the price of electrical. and cheeper to purchase a generator to run the equiptment. please need advise.

  45. admin says:

    Without knowing more about your menu and targeted venues/volume it is tough to answer. My inclination is to go gas. Gas equipment is more powerful, dependable, holds up better in transport, and is easier to work on when it needs servicing. Many concessionaires are able to service their own gas equipment. Generators are prohibited at some events.

  46. I usually do not drop a leave a response, however I looked at a few of the responses on this page Starting a Food Concession Business – Ask Yourself This | Fair Food, Food Carts and the Food Concession Business. I do have a couple of questions for you if it’s allright. Could it be simply me or does it look like a few of these remarks appear like they are coming from brain dead folks? And, if you’re posting on other places, I would like to keep up with you. Could you make a list of every one of your social networking sites just like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

  47. admin says:

    No, it’s not just you. I think 99% of the comments are from creepy spambots. I have a filter but many still get through. This blog and its associated website is all there is. Facebook, Twitter and the rest are too intrusive for my taste. I try to post a new blog once a week, at least until the concession season starts and I will no longer have time to write. Food concession topic requests are appreciated.

  48. Charla Kasen says:

    It’s always pleasant when it’s possible to not only end up being advised, but interested! I think you possessed entertaining creating this information. Exceptional admittance! Now i am been recently trying to find subject areas while useful since this particular. Getting excited about the next publish.

  49. Guy Lipton says:

    I must say i understand why Terrifying Web Video game article. I’ve been searching around for this! Thank goodness I ran across this online. You’ve made my own day time! Thanks again.

  50. Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this site. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s hard to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and visual appearance. I must say that you’ve done a superb job with this. Also, the blog loads very quick for me on Chrome. Exceptional Blog!

  51. I am just starting my web site. I published my site about a week ago but it does not show in google search. I have typed content of the site exactly in search box with quotes around but google does not find it. I don’t know if my site never listed or just dissapeared even before I found it.

  52. eagles are very important!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  53. Sleep more, bully less | PinkShirtDay.ca just great!

  54. hi, i love to cook and i think that the eggless choc chip and banana muffins with buttermilk were great! they were a huge hit for my kids, they went crazy! They turned out to be really moist, with fantastic flavour! if anyone is thinking about making muffins, and they don’t have any eggs left than i wouls really recommend making these! i was just wondering what would you have to change if you were to put eggs in these?

  55. Located your content quite appealing in truth. I seriously liked reading through it and you simply make rather some great points. I’ll bookmark this site to the potential! Relly fantastic article.

  56. san diego says:

    Uncovered your content really appealing certainly. I really appreciated studying it and you make fairly some very good points. I will bookmark this internet site with the long term! Relly wonderful report.

  57. Uncovered your write-up pretty fascinating without a doubt. I actually experienced examining it and you make fairly some superior factors. I will bookmark this site for that potential! Relly great short article.

  58. Found your short article quite remarkable indeed. I genuinely really enjoyed examining it and you make very some good details. I’ll bookmark this web page to the long term! Relly good post.

  59. Uncovered your short article quite interesting indeed. I truly loved reading through it and you simply make fairly some good details. I will bookmark this web-site for the potential! Relly good report.

  60. Pinterest says:

    Discovered your post really fascinating indeed. I truly loved looking at it and you make quite some good factors. I am going to bookmark this web site for your potential! Relly terrific short article.

  61. google says:

    Located your article pretty appealing in truth. I actually appreciated looking at it so you make quite some great points. I am going to bookmark this website with the long run! Relly great write-up.

  62. google says:

    Found your write-up incredibly exciting certainly. I definitely loved studying it therefore you make fairly some very good details. I’ll bookmark this internet site to the long term! Relly excellent short article.

  63. Uncovered your report extremely intriguing without a doubt. I seriously appreciated reading through it and you simply make quite some superior factors. I am going to bookmark this internet site to the upcoming! Relly terrific report.

  64. Identified your content very fascinating in truth. I really appreciated reading it so you make very some excellent factors. I am going to bookmark this web-site for that upcoming! Relly terrific post.

  65. Observed your short article pretty interesting without a doubt. I really loved studying it and you simply make really some excellent points. I’ll bookmark this site with the upcoming! Relly wonderful write-up.

  66. Tobi says:

    Nice read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing some research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Therefore let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch!

  67. holy cow says:

    Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back often!

  68. Hmm it seems like your site ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any recommendations for newbie blog writers? I’d really appreciate it.

  69. Although I’m not in agreement with almost everything you’ve claimed, its an intriguing viewpoint.

  70. Thanks so much for giving everyone a very marvellous possiblity to check tips from this site. It really is so nice and as well , packed with a great time for me personally and my office peers to visit the blog not less than 3 times in 7 days to find out the fresh issues you will have. And of course, I’m just always pleased for the cool creative concepts served by you. Some 1 ideas in this post are certainly the very best we have all had.

  71. Hey there, You’ve performed a fantastic job. I will definitely digg it and in my view suggest to my friends. I’m sure they’ll be benefited from this site.