Now that public spaces are starting to re-open, amusement and entertainment businesses will need to think outside the box and get creative to get back to pre-pandemic numbers.
Food is a great way to bring people together. Many amusement businesses like arcades and bowling alleys have successfully added food concessions and stands to help generate more traffic.
For cash-strapped amusement parks, developing and producing new food items costs much less than designing and building new rides. It’s part of the reason even the most prominent players in the theme park industry like Knott’s and SeaWorld have been leaning towards food events in recent years.
Even more than just special food events, amusement businesses need permanent new food attractions that win over fans every time they visit.
If you’re able to tie your food offerings to an entertainment franchise or recognizable theme, all the better. If not, working with an experienced chef and creating some new offerings aside from the same old burgers, pizza, and chicken strips can go a long way in getting your customer’s attention.
Adding food concessions? Where do you start?
As you can imagine, adding a food concession is not as simple as hiring a chef and building a kitchen. You’ll need to consider several variables and navigate as you incorporate food into your amusement business.
- Know the Rules: The first step when deciding to add food to your business is making sure you’re knowledgeable about health and safety guidelines.
- License and Permits: You’ll need to understand the steps and rules in your local area. Additionally, seeking legal counsel will ensure nothing is missed.
- Training: Everyone in the food concession stand needs proper training and credentials.
- Stand Out: Consider offering menu items not offered anywhere else to differentiate yourself from competitors. You can choose a theme or even seasonal foods. Making it memorable is key to getting people’s attention.
- Inclusive Options: Your customers have different tastes and dietary needs. Whether it’s vegetarian, gluten-free, or vegan, you need to have something for everyone.
- Insurance: Adding food brings additional risks that must be considered, like foodborne illness, fire hazards, etc. Your insurance needs to cover these items to keep guests and staff safe and mitigate your risk.
The COVID factor
If you decide to add food or expand on your current offerings, you’ll still need additional investments for new sanitation and safety measures. Running at a lower capacity and temperature checks at entry points are two practices adopted across the amusement and entertainment industry at the moment. Guests are asked to wear masks and to use sanitation on high-touch areas
A large part of virus safety will depend on guests. Ensure that anyone who feels sick, or lives in a household with someone who is sick, should not enter your park or entertainment venue.
McGowan Allied specializes in amusement and entertainment insurance coverage, with more than 35 years of risk management expertise in the amusement and entertainment industry. Contact us today to learn more.