Running a food concession business can be a very profitable way to make a living. There are many things to take into consideration when starting such a business. For example, knowing who your potential customers will be is a huge key to making several of the decisions you must make for your business. We already know that the type of customer you will have can help you choose what type of foods you will sell, but it also has a major effect on the location of your business, as well as the hours of operation of your business.

First and foremost, the type of person that your potential customer is becomes very important when you are choosing menu items to sell. Keeping up with the local favorites is often a very smart way to draw in customers and procure repeat local customers. For example, if you are located in a state that is very southern in both location and tradition, you will want to choose fare that will satisfy and comfort the people who are going to be your customers. This means that you will probably make more money if you sell something that the potential customers are familiar with. Knowing what type of customer you will have and what types of food that are local favorites in the area can help you build a customer loyalty to your business.

Another way that knowing your potential customer base well can help is the location you decide to place your business at. The existence of several businesses around the area means that you have the potential of attracting customers that are employees at these businesses. This is a great group of potential customers. They usually prove loyal if your food and customer service are good. Also, locating your business very close to businesses with many employees can prove useful because people are more likely to stay close to get food, since they usually only have a half hour to an hour for lunch. Beware: Do not make this group wait. They will avoid your establishment if they can not get their lunch in a timely manner. Respect their need for a quick meal.

Another group of targeted potential customers are senior citizens. Many areas have 55 + neighborhoods full of senior citizens. Over all, these are loyal and generous customers. Locating your business outside of such a neighborhood can prove to be very lucrative. They will remember a friendly face and a good sandwich, and will be quick to tell their friends. Beware: As quick as these folks are to spread the word about great food and service, they are just as quick to spread the word about bad food and service.
Another group of potential customers is from the college campus. Setting up near a University or community college is a great way to get customers that will be very regular to your establishment. Regular classes promote regular habits. This is almost a guarantee that if you can attract these customers, you will have a steady flow all year round. College kids know a bargain when they see one. Offering incentives such as discounts to college kids is a great way to bring back the thrifty student. Beware: In the same way that you want to entice them with low prices, DO NOT CHARGE UNREASONABLE PRICES! College kids will know what you are doing and will not be taken for a ride.

One final thing that knowing your potential customers can offer you is being able to set your hours of operation. For example, if you are serving a small town and the sidewalks roll up early, test the waters. There may be a reason that every other business closes early. Try a few later nights to see if the locals have a late night craving. If it doesn’t pan out, give it up. Also, if there are many early birds that are out and about, you might want to think about serving breakfast and coffee and opening early.

Knowing who you will be serving offers a leg up on how you run your business. The more you know about potential customers, the more likely you are to succeed in this business. Talk to the locals, and look at the way that the local establishments are run. This is a great way to get a head start on a business venture where you need whatever advantages you can get.