How to Get the Best Concession Stand
Romtec designs, manufactures, and supplies many types of public use buildings like restrooms and maintenance buildings. Concession buildings are a very popular Romtec product for use at parks, campgrounds, community centers, and athletic fields. Concession buildings might seem like any other building, but there are actually some simple characteristics that can reduce the building cost by a substantial amount. What if I told you that the different between a soda and a candy bar and a soda and nachos was hundreds of dollars? What if I told you the difference between serving nachos and a hamburgers was thousands of dollars? Well, it’s not as crazy as it might sound.
Romtec typically describes concession buildings as having three “levels” of design. These levels each require a different degree of sophistication in the design and different supply options. In the simplest terms, the levels of design are determined by what food options will be sold in the concessions. Prepackaged food items and drinks constitute level 1 for things like candy bars, bags of chips, or cans/bottles of soda. Level 2 includes all level 1 items while also selling food items that require minimal preparation. Examples of level 2 items are popcorn from a machine, rotisserie hot dogs, and sandwiches prepared onsite with precooked lunch meat. Level 3 includes all previous levels as well as any foods that will be cooked and prepared onsite, including fried, grilled, or baked foods.
In terms of design, level 1 concessions have the least amount of requirements because there is no food preparation in the building. In these concession buildings, the only requirements are typically hand-washing sinks, and stainless counter and roll-up door, and counters and space for displays/ storage. This allows for the bare minimum in terms of available concessions and the cost of the building design and supply.
Level 2 concessions have additional requirements since food is being processed. These requirements vary from state to state, but most often, the building requirements are the same when food is being processed. The additions for a level 2 concession building are an additional sink (one for hand washing and on for utensils), floor drains for spills, and air curtains or service windows if necessary. The requirements are included to improve the cleanliness of the building to prevent contamination of any food products.
Level 3 concessions meet the strictest requirements to deal with both hygiene and safety for personnel when cooking food. In addition to all level 1 and 2 requirements, level 3 concessions typically also include grease traps, exhaust hoods, fire suppression, additional space and outlets (for refrigerators, fryers, etc.), air curtains, and service windows if applicable. In addition to the requirements, level 3 concessions can benefit from storage rooms, additional concession windows, exterior outlets (for vending machines), and other service considerations.
The “levels” of concessions are essentially determined by the code requirements for food preparation in each state. The levels described above are simply typical guidelines for designs. The differences in cost between these levels can vary substantially. It is important to determine up front what type of food you want to have available at your concession stand. Obviously, concessions can bring in a lot of money, so weighing the cost versus the return is also a good practice. A level 3 concession may cost more up front, but it can earn back its cost the quickest in most places. Contact Romtec today to learn more about our concession buildings.