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8 Ways to improve your stadium concession sales

If you want to sell more food and drink and make more money at your athletic events, there are a few ways you can do this that can be done relatively easy. We're constantly looking for new ways to make money at schools and I have found that the concession stands are already set up but not being monetized to their fullest.

1.) Order in bulk - There's two ways to save and you can do it on the front end, back end, or both. This is one way to save money on the back end. If you can start a "collective" of sorts with all the schools in your district or, better yet, form a buying partnership with other school districts in your market you can do the same thing that large food services groups in school districts have been doing for years - leveraging their purchasing power to drive down prices.

2.) Sell name brands - It's a proven fact: Name brands sell more product.

3.) Kick out your outside vendors who aren't paying you a flat rate - I always hear that some "chicken sandwich" place or a pizza place wants to come in "to help our fundraising" - which is b.s. - it's a great way for them to brand their product to your audience, align their company with your community, and make a lot of money - traditional "cause" marketing. Don't take 3% of their sales. Tell them you want a flat rate up front since you will also be cannibalizing your own sales at your concession stands. Companies that come in to stadiums and athletic events and don't pay out aren't worth your time.

4.) Promote your concessions - Utilize signage, promotions, and your P.A. announcer to increase your sales.

5.) Take the food to the stands - If you're a mom with two kids on your arm and your at the game where there are no assigned seats, you might just wait out the game and just go sit down and eat afterwards. If your school is serious about selling more food at games, take the food and drink to the stands. It actually adds to the game experience since so many fans are used to seeing this at professional and college games.

6.) Create something unique - Get known for something. Can people get pit beef, cheese steaks, funnel cakes, barbeque, grilled wings, quesadillas, smoothies, fried twinkies, etc? Is there something unique you have. I love the barbeque pits because they send off smoke and a strong smell that send people running your way.

7.) Show pictures of food and drink that you really want to sell - Next time you are at your favorite restaurant, check out their menu - you'll notice that the items they sell the most of (or often make the most money off of) are the items that have their picture on the menu. People increase impulse purchases when there is visual stimulus.

8.) Give away samples - I know, nobody wants to give away anything for free but try this: Put a certain amount of product out for sampling and know how much it cost you (for example: sample $200 worth of new pit beef) and then, at the end of the night, compare your sales with other nights that you didn't sample (of course take into consideration like variables such as attendance, weather, time of day, etc) but I bet you'll see a significant increase in sales. Doesn't your grocery store do the same thing?

These are just a few ideas. If you want us to talk about your situation and what we recommend, contact us at or check out

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