Concession Stand Superstars: Tips for Building a Crowd-Pleasing Menu

If you’re in the business of selling concessions, you know that a crowd-pleasing menu is key to success. Whether you’re selling at a fair, a sporting event, or a concert, your menu needs to be appealing to a wide variety of customers. But how do you create a menu that everyone will love? 

Being “crowd-pleasing” means having a menu that delights and satisfies a wide variety of people, from picky eaters to foodies, from kids to adults. It’s about offering something for everyone, whether they want something salty or sweet, savory or spicy, healthy or indulgent. A crowd-pleasing menu has the power to draw in customers and keep them coming back for more, increasing profits and building a loyal following. At Allen Associates, we understand the importance of catering to diverse tastes and preferences, so we offer a range of high-quality, popular concession items such as Mini Melts, Weaver Popcorn, Ricos Nachos, Slush Puppie, and Eight O’Clock Coffee that are sure to please any crowd.

Tips For Building A Crowd-Pleasing Concessions Menu

Here are some tips to help you build a crowd-pleasing concessions menu that will keep your customers coming back for more.

1. Start With The Classics

It’s important to include classic concession items on your menu, like popcorn, nachos, and hot dogs. These items are popular for a reason – they’re easy to eat, they’re familiar, and they’re delicious. We’ve talked about why fun foods are so fun – the nostalgia factor is big when it comes to these treats. Allen Associates’ Fun Food Programs can provide you with the best quality products for your concessions. From Weaver Popcorn to Ricos Nachos, we’ve chosen the best of the classics that are consistent, high-quality, and sure to pique interest and initiate nostalgia in your customers of all ages and backgrounds. 

2. Variety Is The Spice Of Life

While classic concession items are essential, it’s important to mix it up with some unique and unexpected options. You can offer unique twists on the classics items or veer into unexplored territory. The world is your oyster! Here are some ideas you can try:

Gourmet Popcorn: Take your popcorn game to the next level with unique flavors like truffle, sea salt and vinegar, or sriracha.

Loaded Fries: French fries are always a crowd-pleaser, but why not take them up a notch by adding toppings like bacon, nacho cheese, and ranch dressing?

S’mores Kits: Are there campfires or grills at the event venue? Give customers the ultimate DIY dessert experience with pre-packaged s’mores kits that include everything they need to roast marshmallows and make the perfect campfire treat. Easy to assemble and ridiculous fun and nostalgic. No campfires or open grills? Marshmallows roast up quickly and easily under a broiler in an oven. 

Gourmet Hot Dogs: Elevate the classic hot dog by offering unique toppings like kimchi, avocado, or even mac and cheese.

Specialty Slushies: Create alcoholic slushies for adult events, using flavored spirits or wine. Or, make a Slush Puppie float with various slush and ice cream flavor combinations. With some creativity and experimentation, Slush Puppie machines can be a versatile and exciting addition to any concession menu.

Cotton Candy: You can also create unique cotton candy creations, such as cotton candy bouquets, cotton candy burritos, or cotton candy + mini melt ice cream sundaes. Another idea is to offer cotton candy cocktails or desserts, where cotton candy is used as a sweetener or garnish. And don’t forget about adding a branded twist – you can customize the colors of the cotton candy to match a specific theme or event.

3. Offer Healthy Options

Consumers are more health-conscious, and even though most people come to the concession stand to enjoy a treat, it’s also worthwhile to offer some healthier or allergen-friendly options on your menu as well. Fresh fruit cups, popcorn, veggie cups, and smoothies are all great options for those looking for something a bit healthier. Gluten-free, Kosher, vegetarian, vegan, and organic are all terms that consumers are familiar with and appreciate if they follow any dietary specifications. Offering items that fall into those categories and advertising them are surefire ways to draw in more customers. 

4. Presentation Is Everything: Get The Creative Juices Flowing

The way you present your concessions can make a big difference in how they’re perceived by customers. This is where Berk comes in! Consider serving your popcorn in branded buckets or your Slush Puppie in fun cups with crazy straws. It’s also important to read the room – consider how your concession items are going to be consumed. Are customers standing when eating? Perhaps consider Totally Bananas, which can be eaten one-handed since they’re on a stick.  These little touches can make your concessions stand out and create a memorable experience for your customers.

By incorporating a mix of classic, nostalgic fun foods, unique twists on the classics, and some healthy, allergy-friendly options, you’ll be building a well-rounded concession menu that is sure to please a variety of customers. Allen Associates’ Fun Food Programs is here to help you develop the ultimate crowd-pleasing concession menu that will increase your profits. Since 1945, Allen Associates has been showing our customers how to increase their profits through our programs in concession supplies and balloons. We are all about profitable programs, and as a family-owned and operated business, dedicated to great service, having a real person answer the phone, and making sure we sell only the best products. We are New York’s Specialty Beverage and Fun Food Distributor. Ready to build your perfect menu?