Best Concession Food Stand Ideas

Looking to put together a concession stand food menu that will wow the crowds? Here are some of the most popular choices to make, and menu items that make the most sense for this type of roving commercial kitchen.

Most Profitable Items

Many of these profitable concession stand ideas are affordable to make and popular with people who will pay several dollars per serving. Some of the best-selling concession stand items are:

  • Popcorn
  • Potatoes (French fries, tots, etc.)
  • Roasted nuts
  • Ice cream
  • Snow cones
  • Drinks 
  • Funnel cakes
  • Corndogs
  • Soft pretzels
  • Nachos

Some of these popular ‘fair foods’ or concession stand food snacks have just a few simple ingredients. Others can be purchased in bulk, and heated up easily, like french fries and hotdogs. Include some of these high earners on the list, so that people will flock to your commercial food truck or concession stand.

Healthy Concession Stand Options

Those who are trying to attract a more wellness-minded group of patrons might want to have these choices on hand:

  • Air-popped popcorn
  • Veggie burgers or meatless snacks
  • Fresh made beverages
  • Fresh fruit
  • Nuts

Many of these options represent whole foods that doctors are likely to promote as having more nutritional value, and less of the sodium fats and sugars that many of us are supposed to cut down on.

For example, air-popped popcorn doesn’t have the same oils and extra ingredients as other kinds of similar to-go snacks.

Other concession stand ideas, like fresh fruit, might be harder to keep on hand but healthier for your dining audience. Some of these top fruits are:

  • Pineapple wedges
  • Candy apples
  • Orange slices
  • Mango slices
  • Berries or grapes

Then there are the roasted nuts that bring their own delicious flavors and aromas to a food stand:

  •  Cashews
  •  Peanuts
  •  Walnuts
  •  Almonds
  •  Hazelnuts

Consider any of these healthy options as additions to your menu.

Cooked-to-Order Concession Stand Ideas

You can really stand apart from other concession stand ideas with cooked-to-order concessions. You’ll want to think about purchasing a multi-function countertop oven for some of these popular & best-selling concession stand items: 

  • Tacos
  • Hotdogs
  • Sandwiches 
  • Pizza
  • Wings
  • Fries
  • Nachos

Not only are these best-sellers for a concession stand, but they’re also easy to customize for individual orders and differences in tastes. We also suggest trying a countertop oven or rapid cook oven as they have similar features.

Concession Food Stand Equipment

So what do you need to run a good concession stand?

First, a flat-top grill is often central to the operations of a concession stand or food truck.

This is where you will fry your meats, toast bread, or melt cheese, or generally create those hot and ready foods for diners. The flat-top grill is very versatile, and doesn’t need to take up a lot of space, but it can serve as a kind of multi-tasker to give you what you need to present those hot and cold options to visitors. If you’re unsure of what type of griddle to purchase for your concession stand or food truck, we can guide you!

There are various types of ways to keep food hot and ready to go but food warmers are an all-purpose way to keep hot ingredients transported and stored safely. Whether it’s larger items like hot dogs, hot chili or sauces, a proper set of well-sized food warming trays, bain maries, or soup tureens is a must. Many concessions operators will also need a commercial refrigerator or freezer, either to keep ingredients that aren’t yet needed in inventory or to provide the ice for shaved ice or snow cones.

Along with the big items like the flat top grill, roller, and food warmers, you may want specialty machines. For example, snow cone machines, cotton candy machines, and popcorn machines are all often made with neat presentations and attractive designs for ‘front of the house’ demonstrations.

Then, along with these larger big-ticket items, you’ll want everything else to support serving your concessions, for example, the paper cones and trays on which you will serve your offerings, and specialty items like a chocolate melter, butter drizzler, nacho topper, or another specialized food setup. Some also use crockpots to keep food at proper temperatures or ingredient isolators.

Off-Site Concession Stand or Food Truck Items

Some of the most popular items you can sell at a concession stand can be made off-site and brought to the retail point when it’s open.

Cookies, for example, can be wrapped and carted off to a concession stand for sale. This is your reminder to clearly label the expiration date of your pre-wrapped concession stand ideas to follow proper safety guidelines. 

The above shows some of the most popular choices in all of these categories of concession stand food. Get everything you need (and more!) for your concession stand from Chefs’ Toys, a top restaurant supplier with an accessible e-commerce web catalog that will help you to boost your business model toward success.