Find the Right Concession Solution

If you're considering revamping the food options available to your guests, consider adding a branded quick service concept. A branded concept offers snack and meal options from recognized sources your visitors know and trust. With so many concepts available, it is important that you determine exactly what will work best. How much time and effort you are willing to devote toward running a foodservice program? Are you looking to increase the bottom line while also increasing the coolness factor? Are patrons asking for higher quality offerings? Are they demanding healthier options? If you answered yes to any of those questions, a branded fast food concept may be exactly what is needed.

Q: What should we look for when considering a branded concept?

A: The brands on anyone's short list should be ones that are trusted and are able to show a proven track record. Do your homework. Make sure you speak with representatives from the brands that you are considering, but also meet with the individuals who have brand locations. Find out if they are happy with their decision to be part of that brand. Is the corporate office responsive to their needs, and how much say do the franchisees have regarding operations and product mix? What types of support, training and communications systems do the brands have in place? Also, does one always have to deal with the head office or is there a local representative available to help when needed or to speed things along?

Also, give extra points to any brand that is able to successfully balance nutritious offerings with great tasting products—your guests should not have to choose between healthy considerations and flavor—they should be able to have both.

Q: Why do consumers seem to flock to branded fast food?

A: Customers have become especially sensitive to the value they are getting for the dollar and expect to receive exceptional service as well. It should be relatively easy to tell which brands are excelling in those areas. Nutrition is another aspect of branded fast food that is increasingly important to consumers. Choose one that has a reputation for providing wholesome options.

Q: I understand that branded fast food is popular, but what are some of the business and operational advantages?

A: The appeal of a branded concept is that it comes with built-in name and product recognition, customer base, consumer loyalty, existing menus, recipes, operational systems, suppliers and advertising programs. You don't have to reinvent the wheel.

Not all brands were created equally. However, many brands have quite reasonable startup costs and are very good at what they do. Look for a solution with minimal space and equipment requirements that can be run by your existing staff or leased out to an established local franchisee.

There are many other reasons why branded fast food is a natural fit for park and recreational facilities—keeping ahead of the competition, uniqueness, value for your patrons, convenience, healthy options, increased traffic; plus the brand's advertising campaigns and positive reputation can be a beacon to your venue.



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