How to Start a Concession Trailer Business
By Chris in Blog
Concession trailers are stand-alone kiosks, stalls or stands that vend foods, such as popcorn, cotton candy, cold beverages and pizza. Such businesses are typically seen at carnivals, state fairs and festivals, live music events and car shows. Running a concession stand can be quite profitable, as the crowds as these events are typically hungry and more than willing to buy food and snacks. Before starting a concession trailer business, you will need to do several things.
1. Target a niche for your concession business. For example, you can sell snow cones, cotton candy, barbecue, pretzels or frozen lemonade.
2. Make a list of the festivals, flea markets, carnivals and events in your city that accept food vendors. Perform Internet searches and check your city’s community calendar.
3. Contact your local department that distributes driver licenses to see if you will need a commercial license to operate your trailer. Regulations regarding commercial driver licenses vary by state.
4. Obtain the permits needed in your city to operate a concession trailer. You may be required to have a temporary food vendor license, food manager certification or a food handler permit, a sales and use tax permit or an Employer Identification Number.
5. Sign up as a vendor with as many festivals throughout the year as you can attend. This will ensure you have a steady stream of income. Festivals often take vendor applications several weeks or even months in advance, so it’s best to apply as soon as you have your permits.
6. Buy the food supplies and equipment you will need, along with a trailer to vend the food from. If possible, construct your own trailer to save money.
7. Develop a menu for your concession trailer. Typically, you will only need a few items because you will be specializing in a particular type of food. For instance, if you sell pretzels, your menu could offer salted pretzels, cinnamon sugar pretzels, pretzels with cheese dip and chocolate-drizzled pretzels.
8. Promote your concession trailer. Hang a colorful banner on the side of it, hand out samples to passersby, if allowed, and set up a social networking account so that current and potential customers know what events you’re currently vending at.
Thanks for the help Small Business Chron !