Amusement facilities and attractions come in all shapes and sizes, from large scale amusement parks, to small mom and pop bowling lanes, to zoos and state parks. And while size may be a varience among them, they all share a common goal of providing interactive entertainment to the masses and bringing joy to each person who walks through their entrance. One method to bringing consumer happiness that is often overlooked by businesses is quality attraction foodservice.
Adding food and beverage can often seem like a big undertaking due to the complexities of installation and implementation. But with a well thought out action plan, any size operation can be outfitted for attraction foodservice. When done right, food and beverage can supply the second largest stream of revenue for an attraction.
Of course there are some factors to consider before implementing a food service strategy and promoting your new food menu. Today we will look at those factors and discuss the benefits versus the costs. Read on for a free download of our guide to attraction foodservice success.
Considerations to an Attraction Foodservice Program
One of the first things you will have to determine is what to offer for food. For some attractions it makes more sense to strictly serve to-go items like corn dogs and pretzels, things that can be eaten without sitting down. Other locations may be more compatible to serving a full menu of prepared foods, or even more complex, serving a full menu for each day part. To determine the best menu for your operation you’ll need to consider your budget, customer demographics, kitchen layout and staffing.
This is a crucial element in the success or failure of any food service operation. You’ll need to consider each cost associated in the implementation of your new program as well as the costs to keep it running successfully. Don’t just think about cost of food… think cost of equipment, cost of additional food prep labor, cost of waste removal. All these things add up and while the additional profit of adding food should work to offset those costs, you want to make sure your menu will be strong enough to produce those sales. If you are working with a limited budget, think about ways you can reduce startup costs: leasing or buying used equipment, cross training current staff on food service rather than hiring new staff, starting a limited day-part program rather than offering food all day, etc.
Do your research and do it well! This is KEY before making the leap into food service. Know your customer. Know what your customer wants. If you don’t know these things right away, start surveying patrons. Offer small rewards for quick surveys when people are paying for entry into your attraction. A customer is much more likely to be willing to take a three question survey if you offer them even the tiniest of incentive. Be sure to find out what people want to eat and how much they’d be willing to pay for it. These are two items that will be incredibly helpful when building your menu.
Kitchen Layout and Staffing
You already have an outfitted business, perhaps there is currently a kitchen area, but maybe not. Depending on the type of menu you’d like to prepare you’ll need to consider your kitchen space or space available to create a kitchen. If it’s limited you can still serve food but you’ll need to be strategic about the menu and being able to prep food with restricted space. You also already have a staff, are they equipped with the skills to serve and prepare food? If you have limited time for training, consider easy to operate equipment or hiring additional staff.
We'll highlight the benefits and challenges to implementing a food service program to an existing attraction, give strategies to make the program a success and ideas for promotion of your new program. By the end of our guide you will be well informed on your options and equipped to make the leap into the attraction foodservice arena.