Club Catering: Recipe for Success


Mark Caress

At Herts Baseball Club we run an very successful concession stand that not only provides great food and drink for game days but also contributes a healthy source of additional funds to the club.

Other clubs could do this too.  Here are some thoughts on what has made this successful for Herts:

1)  Don't overcharge and offer good value for money.  Be open and honest with people about why you're doing it (the money goes to the club to reinvest for everyone's benefit).

2)  Encourage parents to volunteer to run the concession stand for you, and make it fun.  Parents will often be there all day anyway, so it's a chance for them to get involved and to give something back.  We have a superb 'staff' at Herts who actually look forward to running the stand and having a laugh doing it – it's a great social event on game days!

3)  Keep your offer simple.  Less is more!  Do five things really well rather than 10 things poorly.

4)  Make sure you don't poison anyone – a detail easily forgotten in the rush to feed people! Whatever you produce, make sure it's properly cooked and correctly stored and that you follow proper food safety procedures (make sure food area is clean and hygienic, wash your hands, use utensils, use alcohol hand wash after handling cash etc).

5)  Choose foods that are quick and easy to prepare (hot dogs) and avoid foods that take longer to cook (burgers and sausages).  If you get a queue, the temptation will be to give out the food before it's fully cooked (burgers and sausages are the biggest cause of summer food poisonings!).  Don't serve high-risk foods, and don't do ice cream unless you have very good freezers.

6)  Use camping stoves to cook with.  It's amazing what you can do without electricity!

7)  Get to know what your team like and want.  Don't think you can please everyone, but go with the flow.

8)  Lots of people like healthier food options – especially in an athletic environment.  If you can pre-prepare different kinds of salads (including fruit salad), you'll find lots of takers.

9)  Be realistic with prices and cater for all budgets.  You'll sell more if the prices are cheaper and you'll make more money by volume sales.  Start simple and build up as you get more experienced – and get more customers!

10)  Buy in bulk where you can but get good quality products.  If you wouldn't eat it, don't expect anyone else to.  If the food is poor they'll only buy once.  If the food is good, you'll have a queue every game day.

11)  Have fun, offer great service and be nice!

The Headline:  Catering at games and doing it well can make your club £2-4k per year.

Did You Know?  Public liability insurance offered through BBF or BSF includes cover for the sale of prepared foods.

Top Tip:  Recruit a volunteer Catering Manager to oversee the arrangements.  But do the catering yourself as a club; don't outsource it to professional caterers, because they will take most of the profits.

Another Top Tip:  Hot dogs are easy to prepare (especially on an open field) and have a high margin.  BBQs are great too.

tagged under: baseball, softball, events, club development, catering

Back to blogs


Advertise with us 468px
Baseball Outlet - Official Equipment Supplier (Banner)
Follow Us