In this economy many people are having a hard time finding work. What about making your own job?  The food concession business might be the way to go.  The basic are pretty simple to follow.  I am not talking about some get rich quick scheme, or attending an expensive school with big promises of success.  As a matter of fact it might be considered trial by fire all based on hard work by you.

The biggest challenges to starting a food concession business is following the rules of the health department and finding events where you can operate.  Really the rules part is pretty simple, and since I have been researching event I can tell you there are events in the DFW constantly.  Just check the printed media as well as the radio and television where you will see events announced almost daily.   Sometime you may have travel a little distance to participate in an event.

Obviously, the startup cost can be an obstacle, but many of the items bought at startup are not things that you would repeat.  For example, your tent, pales for hand- wash, portable refrigeration, cooking utensils, grills etc, are reusable items that you will use time after time.  Some items like chlorine test strips, plastic forks and spoons, and cups, that are not used, can be stored and used at the next event.  If you are fortunate enough to be able to purchase a concession trailer or hot dog pushcart, that’s even better.

However, there is the repeated cost of getting the health permit for each event.  With each city having its on fee structure that might be of some concern in the beginning, but once you get that down you will be able to adjust accordingly.  Of course your menu will affect your cost, but you will learn how to control that too.

When I last check the City of Dallas temporary fee structure is $190.00 for the permit, and $5 dollars per day, per booth.  So for an event that’s three days long, that would pay $190.00 plus $15.00 dollars for a total of $205.00. If there are two booths, then add $5.00 per day which would be an additional $15.00 for a total of $220.00 .There are ways that may help you control you permit fee cost.  Work with a partner and share the cost.

For example if your tent is big enough to share, you might sell your items at one end of the tent, and your partner would sell their items at the other end.  Let just say you are selling drinks and have your own cash register or till, then your partner may sell hot dogs at the other end.  But the cost of the permit and operating fees would be split however you and your partner wish.  If it is half, then the cost would be $102.50 each.  If the event is large enough for you to have two booths, remember in Dallas, the cost is $5.00 per day, per booth.  So if your partner is operating in another tent a few feet away, but sharing a permit with you, then it would still only be $102.50 each for the three days, but each partner would have their own tent.  Separate tents like good fences make good neighbors.  It is important to remember the formula to accurately calculate your permit cost per event.

The above example is based on the fee schedule in the City of Dallas; remember each city will have its own permit fee schedule.

The point is to make your own job.  Since most events are held on weekends, that leave the rest of week to search for employment.  One upside is that you may find yourself so busy making money, you might like it. Picture it, being your own boss.

With all of the sports activity taking place this week and weekend this should be a great time to be in the food vending business.  Arlington is the place to be this week.  With the Texas Rangers in the American League Division Series, Texas A & M vs. Arkansas at the Cowboy Stadium, not to mention that the Dallas Cowboys are playing at home this weekend.  With all this foot traffic going from parking to the stadiums, this seem like it would be an excellent opportunity for concessions around the area.  I am talking about tens if not hundreds of thousands of people aka customers.

Since these events are in Arlington, Tx the first step is to visit the City of Arlington’s Website and read the rules for operating a temporary event.   There you will be able to learn the rules and the cost of obtaining a temporary health permit.  Although all my permitting experience is in Dallas, I am finding out through visiting other health department sites that the rules are pretty much the same.

It bear repeating, the concession stand business is probably an easy way to make your own job.  Remember to check daily events calendars of as many cities as possible to better your chances of becoming and successful vendor.

Since I have been working on ideas about the concession stand business, I have been paying more attention to events.  Believe it when I tell you that there are events weekly somewhere.  Another thing to be aware of is sometimes, established vendors might get control of an event, which mean you may have to work through them to participate in an event.  When one vendor is in charge, sometimes they will have control over what can be sold.  Sometime you may have to sub-contract with the vendor in charge

One example I have seen is that if an event is held in the heat of summer, the controlling vendor may make sure that their booths are the sellers of bottle water, which would naturally be a hot selling item.

As with any venture it may take some time to get the hang of the concession business.   So stay abreast of the happenings in the DFW

How To Make Your Own Job with Concession Stands
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