Popcorn conjures up memories of movies and carnivals. Other venues, including casual eateries, gourmet coffee shops, ice cream parlors, bakeries, juice bars and nightclubs are capitalizing on the fun atmosphere and installing their own popcorn makers.
Proprietors are using several strategies to realize profit from popcorn. Popcorn poppers in plain view mounted on vintage carts are visually appealing and increase traffic. Salt and other seasonings cause thirsty patrons to purchase beverages, so some owners provide unlimited popcorn, gratis. Gourmet popcorn supplies allow owners to offer variety in kernels, seasonings and glazes. Customers, eager to try different flavors, buy multiple bags for each member of their party. Some owners offer sweet flavors like kettle corn with apple cinnamon seasoning, price it higher than candy, and market it as a healthier alternative. Before adding a popcorn business to your venue consider the following:
1. Query your customers to determine their reaction to the addition of popcorn to your cuisine.
2. Decide on a marketing strategy for the popcorn, including where to situate the popcorn equipment, whether to carry gourmet popcorn supplies and what price to charge.
3. Compare popcorn equipment and popcorn suppliers.
Purchase popcorn equipmentPick a company that carries a wide selection of popcorn popping equipment from high-quality manufacturers.
Locate popcorn distributors and suppliesSelect a company that carries nostalgic accoutrements like striped bags and old-fashioned popcorn cups. These supplies can add to the fun atmosphere and boost sales.
Get gourmet popcorn suppliesUse gourmet kernels and seasonings to make your popcorn unique. Select products that will add variety to the texture and taste of your popcorn.
- Popcorn poppers come in kettle sizes ranging from 4 oz to 16 oz. Kettle size refers to the number of 1 oz. popcorn servings made every 4 minutes, roughly equivalent to a standard 8-inch-high popcorn bag.
- Estimate the number of ounces your customers will consume during a peak hour. Divide this number by 16 to arrive at the size popcorn machine you will need.
- Hot air popcorn machines are more expensive than the hot oil variety, but you can market the less greasy popcorn as healthier.
- Store popcorn in airtight plastic or glass containers to prevent drying. Each kernel contains a small amount of moisture which is necessary for popping.