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Your School Store & Concession Stand During the Winter Season

by Dean Bernick on January 13


For most schools, Booster clubs or parent-led volunteer organizations run concession sales to raise money for student organizations and sports teams. Just as quickly as the school year began, it’s time to consider the needs of your school stores and concession stand for winter to ensure you’re doing all you can to support the cause.
 

Consumer Concession Habits

For some people, concession food may be a snacking indulgence, but for many others it’s their evening meal as they spectate. Think of a crowded, warm gym on a Friday night during the winter sports season. What scents do you associate with that event? Popcorn. It always smells like popcorn. That’s a classic combination sure to never go out of style. Other warm offerings to stock include: 

  • Hotdogs
  • Burgers
  • Soft pretzels and nacho cheese
  • Nachos
  • Pizza
  • Chicken breast sandwiches 

We created a school event and concession-planning guide as a resource for individuals in charge of the efforts of school stores and concession stands in schools everywhere. In our recommendations we outline the following guidelines regarding beverages:

concession_stand_planning

Popular items for soft drinks across varying territories include all Pepsi products, 7-Up, A&W, Crush, and Dr. Pepper; energy drinks like Rockstar, AMP Energy, Kickstart, and Starbucks Doubleshots and Refreshers are all good sellers, too.
 

Winter Sports and Concession Stands 

Perhaps this is the only season all sporting events are held indoors, with the exception of skiing. There’s an advantage to this season over all others when it comes to your school’s concessions stand. Unlike those blustery fall or early spring sports that are faced with wind, rain, and snow, people are able to enjoy the concession stand at events for what they are: a convenience factor. Imagine being able to enjoy your concession items without wearing a parka and gloves. People plan to enjoy the convenience – and they only have four quarters, three periods, or one meet to do so. 

The lesson to be learned here is preparation. Work with your dedicated Bernick’s rep to determine average crowd attendance and inventory needs. Consider what hot foods you’ll have to prep or cook to order and make sure you have enough volunteers to handle the operation. Do a supply check to confirm you have enough paper plates, napkins, plastic cups, and plastic silverware for home games. And, don’t overlook the healthier-for-you options of concession that people are beginning to expect be stocked. Research shows trail mix and granola bars are popular during indoor sporting events. 
 

Using a Distributor to Your Benefit 

There are several benefits to working with a distributor when it comes to your school concession stand. Most school concession stands rely on volunteers to manage inventory, stocking, supply runs, and staffing the booth. Choosing to partner with a distributor like Bernick’s eliminates many of those stressors. Were you in charge or part of a committee that hauled all the leftover concession fare from the football field to the hockey arena? Did some of your inventory freeze or get damaged before you could successfully transport it? Yeah, we hear you. Bernick’s partners with schools to help with the heavy lifting (literally) so you can focus on your primary concern: fundraising. Our team of school concession specialists has been involved in this realm for years. We’ve developed systems for inventory management, event promotion, and successful fundraising efforts.

Our Flexible Fund Program rewards our school partners with sales-based incentives on every product you order directly from Bernick’s to feature in your concession stand or school store. As 2016 kicks off, schools are already preparing for the events that make up the last half of the school year. Think of the areas and events you can sell snacks that are unconventional. Plays, dances, recitals, senior recognition night, and awards banquets … the list goes on. Where there are people, there is a need for food and beverages!

Download our free school event & concession planning guide!

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