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TOPIC: Leasing Concession Area in Off Hours

Leasing Concession Area in Off Hours 17 Mar 2009 15:46 #31214

  • lionheart
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Have any of you ever leased out your concession facilities in off hours?

We currently only have a 7:00pm show Mon-Fri. The rest of the time my facility is idle (unless there is a special showing for a party or group, which is rare so far). When I did the remodel on my theater, I included enough space and equipment that it would be possible to operate a small restaurant with a limited menu during off hours. It was my intent to do it myself to boost the bottom line. However, I have yet to get this idea going.

However, I have found a person who is considering leasing my space in off hours. I think this is a natural. The theater is in our downtown area, so traffic is good during the day. There are three other cafe's within a block, so plenty of people are used to going downtown for lunch. The person who I am talking with previously operated a little cafe' in the same area, but worked for someone else. He currently works as a manager for Subway. Now he has a chance to do it on his own.

He hasn't said yes, yet. But, I'm wondering how much to charge for rent, etc. I know that is purely dependent on local market forces. But, I told the man that I would charge him a base rent and a percentage of his sales. I am wondering if anyone here has the experience to suggest what that percentage should be. Any thoughts?
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Re:Leasing Concession Area in Off Hours 17 Mar 2009 16:40 #31215

  • revrobor
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I can't help but wonder if it wouldn't be more profitable to do it yourself. Most of the products normally sold at your concession stand are not sold in restaurants. You could expand your items to include things like hot dogs, ice cream, pretzels, nachos, pizza (most of which are nuked). You could have one of your staff run it. Maybe even put a table or two in the lobby during the off hours.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re:Leasing Concession Area in Off Hours 18 Mar 2009 10:13 #31218

  • rodeojack
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If you're serving your normal theatre fare, your prices will probably become an issue. If not, can you secure your inventory from the cafe operator's operation, and can you keep people from wandering the theatre? One other issue might be that customers could notice the cafe's transient pricing might be much lower than what you charge your "captive audience" for concessions in the same building. We've run into a little of that at our weekend swap meet here.
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Re:Leasing Concession Area in Off Hours 18 Mar 2009 11:43 #31222

  • lionheart
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Bob, Yes I have considered doing this myself. But, I don't want to work from morning til midnight, or anything similar. Yes, I can probably hire someone to do it for me, but the way I look at it, if I can get a percentage without all the headaches of having to take care of it myself, that is worth a lot. Besides, if the guy who I talked to will do it, he is much more experienced in restaurant management than me, and he actually has people who remember him and would be a bit of a built in following.

The cafe probably would not be serving my normal theater fare. I have a very limited selection at the concession stand currently. We only serve popcorn, soda, candy, and cookies. I could see how serving the same items for a lower price would be a problem. But my regular prices are actually competitive with area restaurants, except for the popcorn (which they don't serve anyway). I still have percaps over $2.00.

It would not be hard to secure the rest of the theater separate from the lobby and restrooms.
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