Top sellers and survey questions

posted by popcornn on June 26, 2007 at 7:50 am

2 part question here….

First, what would you consider to be a concession stand top 10 (or so) best seller? Obviously popcorn and soda and water is up there….anything else and if so, any idea to what it would contribute to your percentage of sales? We find that the prepackaged jujubes/gummy candies are slow sellers and not worth stocking anymore…if we can even sell what we have left that is!

Second. Thinking of conducting a customer service survey to try and reposition our marketing, pricing, times and shows. In exchange for doing our mailout survey, people will get a free admission pass when they bring the survey to the ticket booth. What would some penetrating questions be for customers that would benefit the theatre and the people who work there? Start times? Prices? Decore? I have no idea what I would want/need to know, but one thing I do know is that we could be better than we are and the first place to go for that info is the people who use our theatre…

Comments (7)

James Fisher
James Fisher on June 26, 2007 at 10:45 pm

email me @ i probably can help in a way Conccession is always 100% profit box office no profit unless ya charging $8-$9 per person i would liek to know the location what you have around you and what your looking to gain, the power of the people is overwhelming and yeah if you do a survey they will look for improvments at all cost so beware . been there done that also dont give admission free try buy one get one of $1.00 of or i always did Popcorn or soda free for one completed survey per house hold

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on June 28, 2007 at 6:56 am

I’d ask if there are any movies people have wanted to see that were not shown at your theatre (or elsewhere in the neighborhood). Do people want more foreign films, old films, documentaries, or film festivals, for instance?

byrdone on June 28, 2007 at 6:00 pm

Our best seller is Reeses PeanutButter Cups second is Twizzlers. We started selling bottled water in April, should have done it years ago. We sell 6 cases a week of 22 oz. Deerpark in 24 bottle cases. All candy is $2.50 water is $2.00. This is in a single screen in town second run.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on June 29, 2007 at 11:57 am

Try non-carbonated soft drinks and frozen slurpys. Jumbo size Hot Dogs, pizza by the slice, nachos, ice cream, and premium coffees work well in most places. Bagged toffee popcorn and Pringles often sell well and do not canibalize your regular popcorn.

Avoid health foods, yogurts, juices and nuts. They are like art films in the suburbs, everyone asks for them but then never seem to buy them, so putting them on a questionnaire is also a waste of time.
As for the survey, you may want to know if they would welcome reserved seats on weekends. Reserved seat customers buy more at the stand.


popcornn on July 1, 2007 at 8:47 am

How about the cleaning of hot dog/nacho related spills on seats? Isn’t that a concern with those types of products?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 1, 2007 at 9:16 am

The nacho cheese can be a problem unless you use portion control containers. The hot dogs are not an issue as their shape makes them easy to eat in the dark. Burgers and fries are more prone to spills and smell up the area.

You will want to keep the health department happy and control your inventory as well. Hots dogs are pre-cooked and portion control dairy products are pre-dated so they are easier to manage.

Also, remember that speed of service and inventory that survives slow weekdays will help. Every penny profit you can squeeze out of the concession stand is a penny you do not have to share with a film distributor and it goes down to the bottom line. Keep an out for local tastes and ethnic preferences. Grape and Orange drinks and drinks such as Mountain Dew have loyal followings in some circles.

If you discount your box office prices, food sales go down instead of up. Bargain hunters bring their own food or refuse to pay theatre prices.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 1, 2007 at 10:36 am

I was in Mexico City on 1996 when we introduced Nachos and the Mexicans had never heard of them. It is apparently strictly a Tex-Mex invention that is now successfully sold in Shanghai, Glasgow, Tokyo, Warsaw and Moscow. Who knew oddly translucent cheese on a stale tasting chip would be an element of cultural unity?

By the way, it dries like candle wax on the seats but the portion control containers do help.

Warren, didn’t Loews fight the concept of concession stands when others were installing them? Cineplex Odeon had to put them into some Walter Reade and Rugoff locations in Manhattan in the 80’s and, say what you may, made many shakey single-screen theatres profitable once again.

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