Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The More You Know...

I came across these interesting tidbits of knowledge about cotton candy today and thought I would share them here.

* The USA celebrates National Cotton Candy Day on December 7th.
* In Greece and India cotton candy is known as "old woman's hair" albeit in their respective languages.
* In French, it is called Barbe à papa, which means "Papa's beard"

Cotton candy along with shaved ice and snow cones is one of those tasty treats known all around the world. While this information isn't critical to the operation of any concessions business, it's just "good stuff to know." You never know, you might be having a conversation with a customer sometime and be able to work this information into the discussion. The more you know about your products and business, the better off you will be in the long run. Even if it is quirky information related to your business, it might come in handy sometime!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Creating a Logo for your Concessions Business

Brand recognition is critical to the success of any business. While your business may be small, creating an image for your business is still incredibly important.

Logo creation should be considered a necessary step for any concessions company. While it is an added expense, in the long run it will give your business credibility and a great marketing tool. It will also serve as a great visual reminder of high quality, tasty treats for your customers!

There is a lot of great information on the Internet about logo design. One great resource is a series of articles at Web Design Ideas. The articles are based on advertising principles laid out by David Ogilvy who is widely considered the "father of modern advertising." The articles are designed to help both business owners and designers in the creation of good, appealing logos.

Look for future articles regarding marketing and branding soon!

Fairs and Festivals

If you are a mobile concessionaire, you know the importance of finding good, well attended special events to fill up your calendar for the season. In the past, we have featured several other good web resources for locating special events. Well, we have found one more good one that we'd like to pass on to you.

is a nationwide special events locator. While their site is not free, it's not expensive either. For $29.95 you get access to their website which has quite an extensive list of special events located throughout the US.

When you get a moment, go check out their site for yourself. I'd encourage you to do a quick search of your area and see what comes up. If there are things of interest that you see there, then I'd suggest you go ahead and join so that you can get the contact information for those events.

If you have other good Internet resources for special events, please feel free to leave a comment here. I'd enjoy taking a look at it and possibly reviewing it here in the blog.

Friday, April 25, 2008

What's in a Name, Part 2

A while back we posted an article about various types of shaved ice found worldwide. Recently, we found some more interesting types and thought we’d share them with you. Enjoy!

• Halo halo: Filipino shaved ice topped with sweetened beans, nata de coco and ice-cream. "Halo-Halo" literally means "mix-mix" in the Tagalog language. Some shops in Japan also sell these sweets.

• Bingsu: Korean shaved ice. The most popular kind is patbingsu. It is topped with sweetened red beans, canned fruits, and soybean powder. Many other varieties can be found throughout the country.

• Bàobīng in Mandarin Pinyin or Chhoah-peng in Taiwanese POJ: Taiwanese shaved ice. There are many varieties in Taiwan. Some of them are topped with fresh fruits, fruits syrup and condensed milk. Some of them are topped with sweetened beans, glutinous rice balls and brown sugar syrup, while others will even use seafood. Some vendors use milk ice to make finer shaved ice, and some vendors may sometimes use a hand blade to shave block ice in order to produce rough crushed ice.

• Ice kachang: Malaysia and Singapore Shaved ice topped with sweetened syrup of various colours and flavours, condensed and evaporated milk, and sometimes also durian pulp or vanilla ice cream. Beneath the ice sweetened red beans, canned fruit, attap seeds and grass jelly are usually added. Electric ice shavers are often used; though some vendors may use a hand blade to shave the ice in order to produce a rough texture. A variation of this would be Cendol which is shaved ice with sweet green coloured glutinous rice noodles drizzled with palm sugar it is usually accompanied with kidney beans and canned sweetcorn.

• Nam Kang Sai: Thai Shaved Ice. In Thailand, this kind of cold dessert is very popular as well. The differences from other countries' shaved ice is that in the Thai version the toppings (mixings) are in the bottom and the shaved ice is on top. There are between 20-30 varieties of mixings that can be mixed in. Among them are young coconut that have been soaked in coconut milk, black sticky rice, chestnuts,sweetened taro, red beans, sarim (thin strands of cooked flour that is very chewy and slippery) and many more.

Source: Wikipedia

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Spring Cleaning! Get your Stand Ready for Business!

It's that time of year...TIME TO MAKE SOME MONEY!!

But, before you roll out your cart or open the service windows on your stand...make sure it looks good. Clean it up! Wash it, wipe it down, scrub it, polish it, paint it, fix it, replace it, etc. Remember all of the Andre Aggasi advertisements for Canon? "Image is Everything" Well, it's true to a certain degree. The image you project with your business has a great deal to do with the type of and amount of customers you attract and retain.

Not only is cleanliness an image issue, it's also a liability issue for your business too. Customers talk to other potential customers. It's important to keep that in mind. If your business is dirty, sticky and looks run down, it reduces your chances of receiving positive customer referrals. If you are shut down by the health department for failing to meet their standards, well, that's pretty much the death of your business. Keep it clean!

Here's another guy's take on maintaining a clean business. Check out 'The Idea Guy's' blog article here...and then go clean up!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Paper Cups or Styrofoam?

Over the years we have seen shaved ice served in a variety of containers. Some of these containers include wax paper cups, foam cups, Chinese take-out-containers (cool idea), and novelty plastic containers (such as our witch hats). These novelty containers are best used for special events (fairs, concerts, tournaments, etc.). They draw attention to the product and can create additional customers simply based on their use.

However, for regular daily use, we have always used the colored, insulated foam cups at our stands. We feel that the cups keep the shaved ice colder for longer periods of time. They are also easier to wipe clean if syrup happens to run down the sides of the cup. In addition, the insulated cups are usually the cheapest alternative. Other alternatives include plain or white foam cups and waxed paper cups. Wax paper cups generally have a shorter 'life span' for the customer, especially when it is hot outside. The paper can become saturated and create a potential disaster for your customer!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Looking for a Shaved Ice Machine to Use at Home?

Are you looking for a great shaved ice or snow cone machine to use at home? If so, look no further than the excellent home packages that can be found at HawaiianShavedIce.com! With six different packages ranging from $75 to $400, we know you'll find one that's perfect for your home. Here's one of our great selling packages:

Big Kahuna Package:

S-660 Shaved Ice Machine
10 quart bottles of Hawaiian Shaved Ice.com Premium Flavor (your choice)
200 Spoon Straws
200 Snow Cone Cups
4 Sets of Ice Molds
10 Bottle Pourers
12 Hawaiian Flower Leis (artificial)

Currently, this package is on sale for $144.95 at HawaiianShavedIce.com. This is a fantastic setup for entertaining at home. It is also a great tool for making refreshing summer time snacks and treats at home.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Good Resource Article

I found this article today that is a good read for new concessionaires as well as seasoned veterans. "7 Reasons to Start a Food Concession Business" has some good insights into how the concessions industry operates. The author also refers readers to FoodBooth.net for more indepth information (we have covered Food Booth in a previous article here at ConcessionCentral.com too). So, when you have a chance, read through the article. It's just another good resource for insight and information about the concessions industry!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Slush/Granita Mix

It's that time of year again. Warm weather is on the way and customers will be looking for something cool and refreshing to drink. Did you know that 1-800-Shaved-Ice.com has slush and granita mixes? We do! In addition to selling slush machines and supplies, we have also created over 75 flavors of the best granita and slush mixes available! If you're looking to "WOW" your customers with a great tasting product that will make them return day after day, look no further than our high quality, unrivaled granita and slush mixes. Check out all the tasty flavors today!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

New Syrup Flavors at 1-800-Shaved-Ice.com!

1-800-Shaved-Ice.com has added 3 new flavors to its award winning Ready-to-Use syrup line!


All 3 of these flavors are sure to be a hit with your customers. You can be sure that every flavor that 1-800-Shaved-Ice.com creates will taste great! Made with the finest ingredients, no expense is spared in bringing you the best syrup concentrates and ready-to-use syrups that we can offer. Our Shaved Ice and Snow Cone concentrates and flavors are used in hundreds of shaved ice and snow cone businesses all over the world...so you know they have to taste great!

You can still order these new flavors at the Pre-Season Pricing! Order today! We know your customers will love them and come back for more!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Shaved Ice or Snow Cone Cart with Sink

These are by far some of the nicest shaved ice or snow cone carts available on the market today. These great looking carts have plenty of workspace while incorporating an on-demand, hot and cold water system. They are easy to move and a breeze to set up. Once you have one of these carts, all you have to do is add a shaved ice machine, a few syrups and you are in business!

1-800-Shaved-Ice.com has two different models of this cart. The six foot model has a single sink on it while the seven foot model has 4 sinks. These carts are ideal for locations that require you to have a hand washing sink. In addition, some places require you to have access to a triple sink too. These carts are ideal! Check out all of the cart's specifications at 1-800-Shaved-Ice.com.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Floss Trees for your Cotton Candy Stand

Product display is a critical component for any concessions business. For cotton candy concessionaires, floss trees are one of the best tools for effectively displaying your product. CottonCandyExpress.com carries two different models of floss trees:

Counter Model Floss Tree
It is designed to hold 32 bags of cotton candy and is 40”H (102H cm). May hold bags of the same color or may hold a variety of colors.

Floor Model Floss Tree

This model is a larger tree that can hold 64 bags and is 66”H (168H cm). This tree can also hold the same kind or an assorted variety of cotton candy. Use your imagination and design something attractive so it will catch the average customer’s eye.

Both of these floss trees do an excellent job of displaying your product in an attractive manner. When you have a slow spot in your day during a special event, use that time wisely and make up new bags of floss to restock your floss tree. By doing this, you'll be ready for the next busy period! Order yours today while they are still on sale!