How to Make More Money with Your Popcorn Machine
You bought a shiny new popcorn machine, fired it up for the first time... Everything looks and tastes great but now your ready for the next step - increasing popcorn sales!
The first step is to selling more popcorn is to make sure that you have great tasting popcorn! There are many way to get great tasting results… there’s lots of recipes that you can try on your own but the fastest way to get there is to follow our method of cooking great tasting popcorn. Once you start cooking with the right oil, salt, topping, etc you'll be making popcorn that both tastes and smells great.
Boxes, Bags & CupsIf the first step is to have popcorn that smells and tastes great, the second step is to appeal to your customer’s visual sense.
The way your popcorn is displayed is going to be determined by the container that you use so be sure to pick the best container for the job. The standard popcorn container options are popcorn boxes, bags and cups
- Bags - When you need to make the popcorn ahead of time popcorn bags are the way to go. Pre-bagging allows you to have the popcorn ready on demand. The best use of popcorn bags is have your machine popping fresh buttered popcorn but to still be able to offer flavored popcorn such as cheese, carmel, etc. This allows you to expand your popcorn offering beyond a single type of popcorn while still offering fresh popcorn.
- Boxes & Cups - These are what you’ll be using to sell your fresh popcorn. Boxes and cups are very similar so it really comes down to personal preference. The benefit to using these is that you can still have pre packed bags but offer cups/boxes of freshly made popcorn.
Light it up
When purchasing a popcorn machine be sure to remember that a little lighting goes a long way. It’s always a good idea to spend the little extra upfront to purchase a machine that offers both an illuminated top and inside of the machine. This extra lighting really helps attract customers and gets more attention to your machines.
More attention = More sales
What if you already have a machine but it is not well lit? - There is actually an easy fix to this, you can place an illuminated popcorn sign near your machine. These signs produce a similar glow that helps in attract some much wanted attention to your popcorn machine.
Keep it Clean
Having a clean machine is critical to selling popcorn. On top of cleaning the machine daily (or more often if needed) the machine must always appear clean, otherwise customers are not going to make purchases.
The kettle is the part of the machine that requires the most cleaning. Use a product such as the Gold Medal Kettle Cleaner to clean your kettle on a daily basis. This is the easiest and safest way to keep your kettle clean each day.
When the glass is cooled down simply wipe it down with paper towel as often as possible.
Many machines offer an “Old Maid Tray”. This is a tray under the machine that the unpoped kernels will fall into. Once the kernels are in the tray, you can just remove the tray and disregard all of the unpopped kernels.
Keep it Full
During working hours always be should to keep popcorn in the machine, it may sound obvious but you would be surprised how often this is overlooked. People want to have the popcorn ready when they want it, if the machine is not full most people will not be willing to wait for their popcorn.
Although it sounds obvious, people can’t buy popcorn from an empty machine.
Keep it Fresh
This goes against the previous tip of keeping your machine full… Although you need to keep the popcorn machine full, you do not want to buy a huge machine, pop a day’s worth of popcorn and then let it sit in the machine all day. There is a balance between keeping the machine full while still making fresh popcorn as often as possible.
The smell of the fresh popcorn is what is going to attract customers to your machine. That’s a very important reason to keep your popcorn fresh.
If needed, don’t be afraid to throw out popcorn when it’s no longer fresh but a great money making tip is to bag the popcorn during the day.That way you can build up a stockpile of bags to sell during your peak hours. Also, this gives you an opportunity to switch over your machine to a different flavor of popcorn.
Where your machine is located is a large factor in a how well your popcorn sells. The machines are build to look good and attract attention so putting them in a high traffic area will help you sell more. Popcorn is a food that most people don’t seek out but when they see or smell it they just have to have it. Placing the machine where customers will see it when they step in the the door or walk by will greatly help to boost sales.
Not only is it important where in your business the machine is located but also what is located next to your machine. Pairing your machine is locating your machine next to other similar priced, quick buying decision snacks. It’s proven that when customers are buying one of these snacks they are much more likely to purchase a second piece of snack food. Increasing your gross sales is the fastest way to increase your bottom line.