Five Ways to Increase Concession Profits

Jul 29, 2016 6:21:25 AM by Bess Couture

It’s no secret that concession sales are crucial to a movie theater to survive and remain profitable. Considering that, on average, concessions profits account for 40% of a theater's profits, it’s imperative to have a solid concessions strategy to ensure long term business success. But unlike happy endings, a concessions sales strategy is not it’s not always easy to come by, and sometimes we need to edit and even consider a reboot to find the right strategy for today’s customer. So today we break down that fourth wall and focus on five solid ways to increase concession profits at your theater.

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Increase Product Offerings

Tip 1 for Increasing Concession ProfitsSo you want to increase concession profits? One sure fire way to do so is to expand what you’re offering. Now, this doesn’t mean you should offer everything under the sun, but consider the growing trend for customers to have dinner at the movies rather than before the movies. If you can capitalize on the customer looking for the total experience when they go for a night out, than you can guarantee to increase your concession profits.

Expanding you offerings can be as small as new popcorn toppings and additional boxed candy options or as big as an entire new prepared food menu. Ventless cooking options like AutoFry and MultiChef make it easy to expand your menu into fresh prepared foods and can increase profits ten-fold. Plus, think about how great the popcorn smell does for driving people to the concessions counter, now think about what the smell of fresh made French fries could do for you.

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Increase Prices

Tip 2 for Increasing Concession ProfitsThis might seem like an obvious choice to increase concession profits, but we list it second because it must be done with great caution. Price too high and no one will buy, instead consider an increase of just a quarter. $0.25 doesn’t seem like a whole lot extra to any customer, especially if you move from $5.00 to $5.25. Also, do try and avoid changing any dollar amounts, if possible, for example the shift from $3.75 to $4 seems a lot larger than $3.50 to $3.75.

You also want to make sure you don’t increase prices too often, as people will notice the increases. Don’t forget to take advantage of the psychology of pricing, tactics like the $0.99 principal, where $4 is less enticing than $3.99, can have huge impacts on customers purchase decision.

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Do the Combo Mambo

Tip 3 for Increasing Concession ProfitsCombo deals are the key to driving sales you wouldn’t have had otherwise. When you pair popcorn, a drink and a box of goobers all into one slightly lower price, you’ve instantly got a captive market of customers who like to save. Sometimes these savings can be really minimal, but to drive concession profits WAY up, you want to offer a real savings of at least $1, preferably $2, to make a solid impact on your concessions.

Make sure your combos are simple and clear, you certainly don’t want to confuse people at the concession stand. Also train your employees to know when a good opportunity to up-sell has presented itself. For example, a customer is buying a coke and a popcorn, it’s an easy sale to ask them if they’d like to add a box of candy for just a dollar more.

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Solid Signage

Tip 4 for Increasing Concession ProfitsWe all know a picture says a thousand words, so make sure your signage reflects that mantra. High quality photos of all your offerings can be a huge sales tactic when coupled with some of our other strategies. Studies have shown by listing prices without the $ sign can also increase sales, so make yourself aware of all the psychological ways you can enhance your signage as well.

If you have digital menus, take it a step further and create short video clips for your items. Seeing popcorn being popped on a screen, or a slush puppy being effortlessly poured into a cup can go a long way towards increasing a consumers craving for specific products. Don’t forget to spread the signage around the theatre and not just at the stand. Any high traffic areas like bathrooms, arcades, ticket lines, etc – these are all valuable signage spots!

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Offer Something Free

Tip 5 for Increasing Concession ProfitsThis may sound counter-intuitive, but stay with me. Let’s say you offer a small popcorn to kids under the age of seven. What parent wouldn’t take advantage of such an awesome freebie? But now that they’ve stood in the concession stand line to get their free popcorn, you’ve had a chance to expose them to a slew of other options and add ons. Surly they can’t have popcorn without at least a drink to go with it. And beyond just a drink for the child, now, mom or dad is also craving that delicious smelling popcorn.

Consider offering reduced popcorn pricing to upgrade the free small popcorn to a large size for sharing. Better yet, work on up selling them on other products now that they’re at your counter. Half the battle of concessions is getting your patrons to stop at the counter. By offering something that costs almost nothing to you, to your customer for free, you have a unique competitive advantage against competitor theaters and you also add value to the cost of a movie ticket within your theater.

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Check out our full infographic on the five foolproof methods to increase concession profits at your movie theater.

Tips for Increasing Concession Profits

 

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