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1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 250 (230)

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition
1950-51 Theatre Catalog
1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 250
Page 250

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 250

A COUNTER WIARMER for the storage of prepared popcorn, hot dogs or fried ioods is available in sizes from 30 to 90 inches and can generate and hold a heat of 150 degrees in as short as 15 seconds.

tres and, during the hot months, a small selling item compared to others) by means of machines or at the checkout counter in much the same way a super-market sells it. The cashier may be used to sell the candy or keep an eye on it as the customers come down to pay their way out, if it is on the counter.

In View of rising candy prices, drivein operators who have machines may shortly find it difficult to maintain profit volume. If candy goes to 12c and 6c, as

8-FLAVOR DRINK UNITS with a large capacity for carbonated and non-carbonated drinks .are available with bolh ice and mechanical cooling.


it seems well on the way to doing, candy machines may well have to be put in the back room and candy sold at the checkout counter. In any case, the writer has always advised selling at the check-out counter to save valuable money for candy machines which are not deemed necessary. A decent display at the check-out counter costs about $20 to construct, whereas a good candy machine costs approximately $200.


Cigarettes are the most highly pilfered item that can be sold in any location. Many refreshment stand attendants are strongly tempted to take packages of c1garettes for their own use. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that cigarettes be sold exclusively through machines and almost completely on a concession basis, whereby the concessionw aire pays the theatre operator a percentage of his income. Cigarettes will never be a high-profit item; as a matter of fact, they are always an ftzinnoyzinceli item. If more than the ttgoing'i price is charged, patrons think there is profiteering on other items. It is best to take a small profit and get rid of the headaches.

Hot Dogs

Virtually every drive-in theatre sells hot dogs. The method of preparation (steaming or grilling) is a matter which depends on the particular area in which they are sold. People in some parts of the country wonlt buy anything but the steamed type, while others wonlt buy anything but the grilled, and some will buy either. However, more dogs and rolls can be prepared by steaming than by grilling, and there is generally less loss through the former method. Whichever side of this controversial question the drive-in operator takes, he should make sure that the equipment used is large enough to accommodate demand.

Under the cafeteria system, either the hot dog holding unit is set into the counter, and the patron takes his hot dog, which has been placed in a roll and napkin (or a roll in a paper flboat"), directly from the serving unit, or the steamer itself is placed directly into the counter with service made from that point by assistance from the food preparer. The writer prefers the former system to the latter because of a firm belief that food preparation, wherever possible, should be divorced from food service. Of course, food preparation should not be completely hidden from the customers, lest they get the mistaken impression that hot dogs made the day before are being sold. This can be effected by continual small transfers from the preparation point to the serving point by the unskilled personnel along the serving line.

Fried Foods and Hamburgers

Under the cafeteria style system, fried foods can be prepared in advance and held in warming units which have been designed for that purpose. An adequate period of time should be allowed to prepare a sufficient quantity of fried foods in advance of the peak periods to satisfy patron requirements. Fried foods, including french fried potatoes, onion rings, fried clams, and fried chicken, are highly profitable and should definitely be given consideration in achieving maximum gross. It has been the writers experience that where fried foods have been introduced, and can be sold sufficiently in volume, they raise the overall percentage of sales in a drive-in by 10% of the total.

At the risk of incurring some adverse comment and possibly the disfavor of the beef industry, the writer ventures to say that, in his opinion, hamburgers should only be sold by those who are the most skilled of restaurant people. They are one product which is very liable to spoilage, if not properly refrigerated, and can cause a lot of trouble, if not sold fresh daily. Furthermore, the correct preparation of hamburgers involves making them to order, but selling hamburgers to order during the peak periods of drive-in refreshment stand operation is highly impractical; the best that can be hoped for is a 25-30% customer satisfaction.

Finally, hamburgers are not necessarily a high-profit item, and the cafeteria system offers no advantage in their sale.

If a driveein operator wants to sell hamburgers in a cafeteria system, he should divorce his hamburger preparations and sale completely from his cafeteria lanes by means of a special white kitchen attached to the general area (see diagram and layouts for this type of operation).

Other Items

Other items which lend themselves nicely to preparation and sale under the cafeteria system are pizza, tamales, fruit juices, snow cones, etc. Each part of the country has its own sectional favorite.

As a general rule, a cafeteria system lends itself to the introduction of new items better with less confusion and more profit than any other type. A station system, whether it be complete

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 250