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TOPIC: Concessions for seniors

Concessions for seniors 28 Jun 2007 18:53 #27215

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Have any of you tried alternative concessions targeted for seniors, particularly for a day/night showing targeting seniors specifically? What types of snacks DO they like? Anyone have experience in this area? They don't seem to care for popcorn due to the potential choking hazard and the kernels get stuck in dentures.
"In a place like this, the magic is all around you. The trick is to see it." -Martin Landau
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Re: Concessions for seniors 28 Jun 2007 20:33 #27216

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Having absolutely NO experience in this area, I'll nontheless offer my opinion!!!


We offer a senior discount at our boxoffice. Based on that, I can say that seniors represent a very low percentage of our regular patronage... maybe on the order of 2% or so. Our indoor was higher than that (especially at our first matinee), so I don't know how that applies to any national averages that might exist. I'd venture to guess that the neighborhood independent theatre might attract more seniors, mainly because the theatres might seem more inviting and less "complicated".

What would you offer that differs from your mainstream product line? How much space in your otherwise cramped concession would you dedicate to a "senior friendly" menu (whatever that might be)? Would you turn over your stock enough to avoid spoilage?

We tend to think ourselves open to input from our customers. As long as they agree that we're allowed the final choice, they can suggest anything they want, and we generally give their input fair consideration. Personally, I don't remember that we've ever been approached about the idea. Having been here for 20 years now, one could draw the conclusion our general fare is just fine. Either that, or so few of our seniors have feelings on the subject that it's too far below the radar to be an issue... out here, anyway.
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Re: Concessions for seniors 28 Jun 2007 21:09 #27217

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Jack, you're too funny! My intention wasn't to ask for personal experience AS a senior, but experience WITH seniors... but obviously you got that.


There is a theater for sale that I'm looking into that is in an area where the senior population is nearly 60%. The current theater owners are fighting to survive with the mainstream offerings of 1st run movies and normal concessions, but my thought was to offer something that would intice seniors during the day since they are the majority. Something along the lines of a B&W classic and lunch with normal 1st runs shown at night.

My wife works with seniors a lot as a nurse and her experience is that they prefer pure chocolate (melts easily- no choking hazard), hard candy (they can suck on it for awhile), and ice cream (again, melts easily and is cold). I'm not sure hard candy is the best option for seniors in a theater for fear of choking during those more "exhilerating" moments of a movie.

I know, I know, seniors make up a very small percentage of attendees and they tend not to spend a lot of money on concessions due to their upbringing during the depression (bless their hearts- we should all take note), but on the other side of the coin, they also love going out to special events. If a theater is just breaking even doing the "norm", then offering ways to bring in seniors in a senior community may just make it worth the effort. That's my thought anyway.
"In a place like this, the magic is all around you. The trick is to see it." -Martin Landau
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Re: Concessions for seniors 28 Jun 2007 21:18 #27218

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Many of my senior patrons buy nothing at all due to health concerns, diet restrictions, whatever. If they purchase anything, it is usually a bottle water or small diet. Coffee is something they will buy but only early in the day.

I've tried sugar-free candy and specially popped no-salt corn in tiny portions. Very little response. At this point, I really have no answers, I just sell them a ticket and am thankful when they drop a few bucks at the stand.

With the average age of the population increasing, this does pose somewhat of a challenge.
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Re: Concessions for seniors 28 Jun 2007 21:33 #27219

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Since so few seniors purchase concessions, maybe they would purchase more if they didn't have to stand in line? Maybe a policy of "seniors move to the front" would help? That shouldn't pose much of a problem if they only make up 2% of attendees.
"In a place like this, the magic is all around you. The trick is to see it." -Martin Landau
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Re: Concessions for seniors 28 Jun 2007 22:55 #27220

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Perhaps you might package something. A single price deal might appeal to some, though a higher boxoffice price might deter... tough problem.

Thinking of my own folks: They do like the ice cream. If I can get them out here before dinner, they'll have a Philly san, and they'll share a medium drink.

Coffee and hot chocolate are big items here. We also have a French Vanilla flavor, though it's not as popular. For coffee, we use the brewer that fills an airpot. Though the coffee doesn't last long, the airpot seems to keep it fresher than if it sat in one of those standard decanters.

Reelman makes a good point, though. Seniors didn't spend much at our concessions, at either place. At the drive-in, one problem might be the concessions lines, but that's another (long) topic.

This might be a good conversation starter with my folks. They used to go to a show every week or so. They might have some ideas, if they thought it over.
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Re: Concessions for seniors 29 Jun 2007 07:49 #27221

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We get a lot of seniors in during day sessions. We have found they like mints and jubes, but only small packets like lifesavers. They also like small chocolate bars such as kit kat and cherry ripe. We sometimes do a day time deal costing them $10. (I'm in Australia) and they get movie and lunch.A normal seniors ticket is $9. For the lunch they get 4 points of sandwiches, a piece of cake or a cookie depending on our mood and tea or coffee. We do the sandwiches ourselves and theres usually things like ham, tomato and cheese, cheese and gherkin, carrot, mayonaise and cheese, plain ham, french onion dip, chickenloaf and mayonaise..simple but filling. We make them book in by 8pm the night before so we know exactly how many we are catering for. They love it for the value. When we do them, we usually also have a raffle for movie tickets and pick out a few things from the candybar. We do the tickets at $1 each or 3 for $2. The raffle money goes towards the costs of the prizes and the food. The seniors have had a nice cheap day out and you have happy customers who return and don't cause problems due to bad behavior etc. We say its for seniors, but anyone who wants to book in can. We often get mothers groups and disabled groups in for it as well.
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