"Feel the Food" Before Starting a Mobile Concession Business

If you are considering starting a mobile concession stand selling burgers, hotdogs and philly sandwiches by the truck load, the first thing to seriously consider is not your budget, not the trailer and not the hours you will be working.

The first thing to consider is the food you will be selling.

Everything else flows from the food, so make sure you "feel the food" before making a business or emotional decision on everything else.

The major investment is obviously in the concession trailer, but the type of food you will be selling will govern the type of trailer you are going to need. The first thing to do is to research which types of trailer are most used for selling the food you will be dealing in – this will serve to narrow down the list of concession trailers to something that is manageable for you to realistically research in depth and contrast and compare.

The type of food you will be offering will also lead you to consider your storage and refrigeration requirements. If you are selling ice cream or frozen yogurts, you are going to need a lot of refrigeration capacity, but a lot less will be needed if you are selling burgers all day.

How much actual cooking will be required – if you are grilling hotdogs there and then, you may want extra grill space, but if you are making up subs, do you really need any grilling space at all – you may want extra food prep space instead.

One question is how the food will be served; it's a simple deal to hand over a burger in a bun, take the money, give change and smile at the next customer in the line, but do you want to offer something more for your customers, such as a place to sit down and take some time while they eat? Just because this is a concession operation does not mean you have to ditch adding value for customers, or employing strategies to help differentiate you from the rest of the competition.

You also need to consider the volume of food sales you are going to be moving; this will affect how many people you are going to need inside the concession trailer to assist with food prep and sales, and this in turn will affect the actual total storage, prep and selling space you are going to need in the trailer itself. Too small – you will lose sales and valuable business; too large and you waste valuable investment.

Consider how you will prepare the food and the timescales involved, between acquiring the basic ingredients for your food offering, and time to selling it. Particularly, will you be able to prep and store food off-site, or do you need to do this in the concession trailer? The more reliance you place on the concession trailer, the greater the need for a good layout, more storage, more prep space and more refrigeration.

It doesn't matter what the food offering is – the very first step in choosing the right concession trailer for your business is to think about the food you are dealing with.

Custom Concessions is a manufacturer and reputable leader of concession trailers. All their food concession trucks are custom built to order by highly skilled trained professionals.
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