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TOPIC: Equipment for food beyond popcorn

Equipment for food beyond popcorn 22 Mar 2001 13:55 #26598

  • mini3
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We are an indy triplex.Concession space is limited, so we need to be strategic about adding new items as many require their own special equipment-(ie. freezer, ovens, warmers, display cases, dispensers)Right now we offer a large selection of candies & beverages; 2 to 3 doz. of each, as well as the "popped staple". Our questions are to other theatre owners or operators; What are the next best three things to add? -please list in priority order- and why? What percentage snack sales increase should we expect with the item? How much staff training is needed to properly make/serve the item?
Thanks!
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Re: Equipment for food beyond popcorn 22 Mar 2001 14:31 #26599

  • Large
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We have Begal Dogs, Ice Cream, Cookies, Ice Tea, Hot Tea, Coffee, Espresso/Cappuccino et al, and bottled water.

Coffee is important, Espresso/Cappuccino is not.

If you aren't serving Real Butter, then you are decieving the public.

But our number one revalation is Bottled Water. We have a display fridge and we serve Calistoga spring water, soda water, flavored soda water, Juice Squeeze, and upscale root beer. But our number one seller is bottled water. We pay 35 cents per bottle and it sells for $1.75 on the weekends we go through a case a day. Go figure?

But the core remains, Popcorn and Soda.

Popcorn & Soda
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Re: Equipment for food beyond popcorn 23 Mar 2001 05:54 #26600

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I looked at adding specialty food items, and one thing you may want to consider is the margin on the newly added foods. I decided against adding food that might take away from the profit that is generated by the old standbys. As Large mentioned, water is an excellant profit generator, as is "Real Butter". Also consider what effects the other foods can have on handling times and cleaning. Nachos are real popular, but the cheese makes a reel mess in the auds. Speed in serving is a real consideration in even a three screen.
my two cents
lance
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Re: Equipment for food beyond popcorn 26 Mar 2001 08:03 #26601

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Good point about the margins on old standbys. And thanks for reinforcing my ideas that speed's of the essence-some staff feel that "they'll just come back if they want it"! New stuff would definitely slow us down.
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Re: Equipment for food beyond popcorn 26 Mar 2001 10:02 #26602

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I manage an 11 screen theatre, and have looked into owning my own. As a part-time business, I run a concession operation at flea markets and other big events,so I have always been interested in concessions. I have also managed single screens, triples etc,so I understand the space restrictions you may have. Some questions you may want to ask yourself before adding items:
1.What are people asking for?
2. Is your theatre busy enough to add these items and sell enough of them to justify it?
3.Is the item I am considering adding going to take away from a more profitable item?
That being said, I am a firm believer in the old standby's popcorn,soda,candy. There are items that are very popular and require little in the amount of work,or original start up costs.
In no particular order, these are some very profitable items I would suggest,(but you know your own market better than I).
1.Nachos with cheese-You can get a used cheese machine cheap at any restaurant supply store,you can buy chips at a local SAMS or warehouse club. Minimal prep time,and I haven't noticed any of those "mess" problems.
2.Pretzel with cheese-If you sell nachos, you may as well sell pretzels (you already have the cheese).You can buy pretzels locally at a SAMS or warehouse club.SUPER PRETZEL is the brand around here. All you need is a freezer to keep the SUPER PRETZELS in and a pizza oven to bake them. Minimal prep on a nice mark-up item.
3.Cotton Candy- You can buy a cotton candy machine for about $500-$800. Its messy to make (make it in a back room) bag it, and it sells for $2.00-$2.50 cost on item about 25 cents.
4.Sno-Cones/ A great item,If you sell fountain drinks, then you already have the ice. Buy a sno-cone machine for about $500. You only need the cones and the flavor-your cost on this item about a dime and $1.00-$1.50 retail.kids love em.
5.Those are some of my favorite high profit items-some others to take a look at would be pizza (or pizza by the slice) and hot dogs.
6. Some thing I would stay away from (at least in my markets) fresh brewed tea,cappuccino,hot chocolate,muffins,cookies,bulk candy,bottled juices-all have been losers here and lack the high profit we all like.
and finally... If you don't have a Gold Medal catalog, get one,(I wouldn't suggest ordering anything through them $$$-I like used equipment-but their catalog gives you lots of ideas of things to sell.

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Re: Equipment for food beyond popcorn 26 Mar 2001 21:45 #26603

Be carefull in adding a whole bunch of things. As stated previously your new fangled item may take away from sales of a higher profit item in turn you make less money. A good rule of thumb is to keep choices simple. I agree with the bottled water I have never seen anything sell quite like it. You run out and they moan. It sounds like you have quite a selection already Just look for ways to move more of it through promotions. It is better to reach 10% of the people 100% of the time than 100% of the people 10% of the time. K.I.S.S.
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Re: Equipment for food beyond popcorn 01 May 2004 09:49 #26604

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I just arranged for a small fridge from Pepsi to sell bottled water (and iced tea and lemonade). I have it priced at $1.50 and the bottles cost about 71 cents apiece. I worry that I'm eating into my more lucrative soda sales by doing this, but I just got through lent and everyone who had given up pop wasn't able to buy anything (perish the thought!). What do you think? Does bottled water and iced tea and lemonade hit your soda sales?
"What a crazy business"
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Re: Equipment for food beyond popcorn 01 May 2004 10:34 #26605

  • MovieGuy
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Bottled water will not take away from your soda sales. Customers that buy soda, don't usually purchase water. You will sell water to customers that don't like soda, or health nuts (right, h2o in a plastic bottle, very healthy). Shy away from carbonated flavored waters, stick to Aquafina, Ice Mountain or others like that.
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Re: Equipment for food beyond popcorn 01 May 2004 10:46 #26606

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I buy bottled water at Costco, display it up there with the soda cup sizes, keep it in my own refrigerator, and sell it for $1.50. Costs a whole lot less than $.71. I am going to be making my own sun tea and selling it for the same price as soda.

Why people buy bottled water here perplexes me. I just don't get it, but gladly take their $1.50. Our water has been pursued by the big guys hoping to bottle IT.
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Re: Equipment for food beyond popcorn 01 May 2004 11:42 #26607

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Lee-
You're paying too much for your water. As just stated, you can buy it for about 18 cents a bottle. My local Sams club sells their brand for 18 cents, and I think Ice Mountain is about 20 cents for the 16.9 oz bottle. You would be able to sell that size for $1.00-$1.50 in a theatre. Since you said you got the cooler from Pepsi, you're probably selling aquafina 20 oz bottles. You can buy the same size Ice Mountain at Sams for 35 cents I think.
Here's a deal for you. If you go to Sams Club.com do a search on glass-front coolers. They have a countertop glass front cooler for $576.00 THEN they give you 25 FREE cases of Gatorade. So, essentially, after you sell all that, your cooler would have been free. This way you can buy and sell any bottled item you want, instead of being locked into paying the Pepsi price and selling Pepsi only items.
Jeff
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Re: Equipment for food beyond popcorn 01 May 2004 16:14 #26608

I'm a lurker here and read the posts everyday. Now you have perked my intrest. I have only been in this business a short time but here is my two bits.

Nachos were a small seller here. Bought a bigger display and set out on the counter where everyone can see it. Contacted Gehl's and leased a cheese machine for $75 for three years. They have replaced it twice in two years at no cost to me. Got the wrong type of machine for the amount of nachos I was selling so they sent me a kit to change to a faster machine. Since I took over I have gone from 4 boxes of nachos a week to 12 boxes of nachos. Use a tray with cheese cup in it. Not chinzy on the nachos so they use all the cheese and don't leave any for the floor.

Water. We are supplied with a local brand of water. We get it for about $ .20 a bottle. We go through about 12 cases of 24 bottles at $1.75 each per week. We have installed a second glass front refrigerator to handle the volume at 4 stations. (25oz bottles delivered).

People who get Diet cola will order popcorn with butter. People who order water do not order popcorn with butter.

These two items which were just extra items when we started are now staples and high profit items. We are going to add ice tea because we have nothing but water for diabetics. We do a large older patron business.

I wnat to know what is the advantage/ disadvantage of ICEE drinks. Does it take a significant amaount of business away from soda sales.

We have an 8 screen sub-run in 500,000 population city.
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Re: Equipment for food beyond popcorn 21 May 2004 10:11 #26609

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We have a Soft Prezel stand because it takes up the least amount of space. Behind the counter against the wall is a small 3' x 5' freezer that we store our ice cream in which consists of sundae cups and nutty buddies. We would have hot dogs but we don't have the space.
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Re: Equipment for food beyond popcorn 30 May 2004 21:37 #26610

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A couple years ago, we got rid of our frozen drink machine and bought a bubbler. We use it for ice tea and lemonade. We make our own lemonade from scratch and sell it in clear cups rather than soda cups. It costs about 60 cents a serving but we sell it for $3.25 and $4.00. Not bad for lemons, sugar, water and some staff time we have to pay for anyway. The kids make it fresh a couple of times a day and now we have people come by just for lemonade and/or popcorn. Love those folks! Cost of the bubbler was about $750 and it really paid for itself.
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