For booster groups like yours, concession stands can be a major source of raising funds your group needs while creating an opportunity for your members to work together and get to know one another better. Best of all, booster club concession stands offer a fundraising opportunity that lasts all season and brings in funds for the entire school year.
We’ve assembled some ways to get the most out of your concession stand and reduce some of the stress that comes with running a successful booster club concession stand.
Better Organize Your Booster Club Concession Stand
Your team must be exactly that – a team, not just a few individuals taking on all of the work. Take some time in your next meeting to determine who would be best for each of these roles:
Concession Stand Leader
This person makes the final decisions for your concession stand and has the ultimate responsibility for everything the team does at the end of the day. They’ll get input from everyone else, but in effect, they will be the CEO for your concession stand.
A crucial member of your team, the volunteer coordinator works to turn booster members into volunteers for your concession stand. Your volunteer coordinator helps ensure all the concession stand roles are filled and provides your volunteers with any training needed.
All the food at your event has to come from somewhere. Shoppers are in charge of seeking out the best prices for your concession stand items and purchasing the items. This responsibility is great for the busy booster club members that can’t work the concession stand during events but still want to help.
And, don’t forget to pick up your non-food items as well! Your concession stand shoppers need to purchase everything from cups and napkins to spray cleaner and trash bags.
These volunteers are in charge of your concession stand’s inventory, ensuring the stock is where it needs to be and notifying shoppers of the items they need to pick up on their next shopping run. This task is good for booster club members who like organizing and ensuring the rest of your concession stand team has what they need to be successful!
Your concession stand’s cooks take care of prepping and cooking the non-packaged items sold in your concession stand—no need to serve Michelin-Star-worthy fare. Keep your non-packaged offerings simple and fast to create. Hot dogs, popcorn, and hot coffee are much easier than funnel cakes and made-to-order sandwiches.
The cornerstone to a successful concession stand for your booster club is being able to quickly and accurately turnaround orders. An excellent job for volunteers that say they can’t cook, register volunteers need a mind for customer service and don’t get stressed out when they see a line start to grow in front of the concession stand. They should also be good with money and making change.
As customers line up, you need to ensure you have small bills and coins on hand to make change. You should also decide if you’re going to take credit/debit cards, as whoever takes on this role should be in charge of the receipts and, of course, depositing all the funds immediately after each event.
The event itself is important, but having the right teams to set up, clean, and take down your concession stand is just as critical. The last thing you want is to lose some of your stock to spoilage or accidentally get someone sick. These volunteer positions are great for booster club members who have to show up late or can’t stay for the whole event.
Ensure your volunteers are informed of their roles and responsibilities. Volunteers should be trained appropriately on setting up, operating, and cleaning the equipment in your concession stand, which may include popcorn machines, fryers, hot dog rollers, grills, microwaves, and soda fountains.
Get Your Concession Approvals & Paperwork in Order
You’re going to need permission from the school and any facility where you set up your concession stand. If you’re part of an established booster club, such as for a sports team, this agreement may have been in place for many years. Still, you should get an updated copy of the school and the facility’s rules in writing each school year.
Even if your booster club has had a concession stand for some time, don’t assume you have the proper permits to prepare and sell food. Make sure you have any necessary paperwork and signage posted. If you’re unsure, contact your local health department to find out what you need to do.
If you are new to this concession stand’s operation or this is the first time your booster club is setting up a concession stand in a new facility, spend time learning how to access the facility before and after events for set up and teardown. If there’s a security team, take time to meet with them and tell them who you and your group are.
Booster Club Concession Stand Planning Checklist
Before the first event comes up on your calendar, there are many questions to answer. Consider this checklist to help you get ready:
- How many days/games/events will you be open?
- What budget will you set aside for supplies?
- What items will you sell?
- What are your expected sales?
- What are your final costs?
- Don’t forget to include utensils, cups, plates, and food safety items like gloves and hair coverings for your volunteers
- Determine menu prices
- Keep them simple and rounded up to the nearest quarter to make cash handling simpler, such as twice your food cost or higher
- Establish and communicate the rules for volunteers
- Determine who gets in for free, as well as if they get a discount on food items
- Figure out what volunteers will wear
- We advise matching shirts, hats, or uniforms to make the concession staff identifiable and show your school spirit
Additional Booster Club Concession Stand Planning Considerations
- Choose items you can make and sell quickly to avoid long lines
- Have a menu of seasonally appropriate items, like hot chocolate for Fall and sno-cones for outdoor Spring semester activities.
- Keep your menu small to reduce food waste
- Discount your perishable items toward the end of the event to speed up clean-up and reduce waste
- You can also offer your volunteers any left-overs after the event to further cut down on food waste
- Keep your concession stand well-stocked, but not overstocked to limit waste and optimize space
Beyond just having a successful event or two, you need to maintain your inventory. The Concession Stand Leader, Shoppers, and Stockers should meet regularly to determine how much of your stock has been purchased and sold, as well as what’s leftover and expired.
While you may need a longer meeting at the start and end of each semester, they will go much faster once you find a good schedule for these concession stand meetings.
You should also determine the best supplier for critical items like ice. If you have refrigeration available to keep your items fresh. Remember – no one likes melted candy or stale food!
Booster Club Concession Stand Partnerships
If you’re serving soft drinks at your event, consider partnering with Coke or Pepsi. These relationships can greatly reduce your drink costs, and they often provide free coolers, menu signage, and cups to booster clubs.
Another great partnership could be with your school’s spirit shop. Try upselling your customers on branded, reusable cups and popcorn containers at a mark-up. They make great souvenirs and can reduce your environmental impact. For an extra incentive, you can offer a small discount to fans who bring their containers back for a refill.
You may also want to reach out to local food manufacturers, grocery stores, restaurants, and catering companies to help stock your concession stand. Explain to them how your booster group helps your community’s students and offer to feature their signage somewhere in the booth or on the menu.
Finally, reach out to the people in charge of event programs and the announcers. They can help promote your concession stand during the event and drive more customers to help raise valuable funds for your booster club.
Protect Your Booster Club Concession Stand with AIM
For all the things that can go right, there are just as many that can go wrong. It’s important to protect your booster club and your members. AIM can protect your group from the potentially catastrophic financial losses that can result from any claims brought up against your group, such as an injury while working at an event. We can also help protect your group’s money and property, including your valuable concession booth items, against damage, theft, and vandalism.
AIM offers custom coverage policies to protect parent-teacher groups and make sure your fundraising dollars can go straight to improving your school and its programs. Annual coverage starts at just $65/year, and it only takes a few minutes to get a quote and purchase insurance for your group.
Want to know something specific about our coverage? Call us with your questions at tel:1-800-876-4044.
AIM is here to help your organization succeed. Check out our other blogs for fundraising inspiration, tips, parent-teacher group guidance, and more!