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Dance Planning - Any Food Besides Junk?

20 years 9 months ago #117502 by JHB
SueMac
Sorry, just saw your question. We have cafeteria with 3 tiered levels of floor and a stage in front. The first two levels are used for dancing, and the back level has a few tables out (for sitting/eating). The door to cafeteria hot food line is locked. But we are allowed to use the snack bar. The kids have to exit the cafeteria down a short back hallway where the restrooms are to the right and the snack bar to the left.

Teachers act as chaperones/security, and two are posted in that hallway. The kids can only go to the snackbar, restrooms - no further to the Gymn or Band area.

I've no idea how they got permission or how it started, but this is the norm for our dances. The host org can use the snack bar (counter, heat lamps, ice machine, sink, etc.) for concessions. Since it's designed for that with an Entrance and Exit, it flows very smoothly.
20 years 9 months ago #117501 by JHB
Well, we survived the first middle school dance. What an experience! There was absolutely no documented history. All we knew was to expect 300-350 kids, so everything was pure guesswork. I don't have an exact count, but it ended up being about 375.

We ended up offering:

Coke/Sprite/Gatorade 50¢
Assorted Candy Bars 50¢
Assorted Chips 50¢
Pretzels 50¢
Grapes 50¢
Pizza (Cheese or Pep.) $1.25

Pizza and soft drinks sold out. Since we had plenty of Gatorade, we elected not to make a store run for more soft drinks.

Pretzels didn't go at all. We sold 25 of the 40 servings of grapes we had prepared.

We only bought one box (30 bars) of candy, and it went almost instantly.

On the chips, we found it funny that the flavors seemed to sell first. The first thing to sell out was the sour creme and onion! (Yuk)

We bought about 10 times too much crepe paper for decorations, but I can take the extra back.

Glow Stickes ($1) were just a huge, huge hit.

I'm going to sort through everything today and document it for next year. (Funny how everything came home with ME!)

If anyone needs a spreadsheet to get you started on determning your servings and costs (and if you are comfortable in Excel), I'll be glad to share. Just email me.
20 years 9 months ago #117500 by alwaysbusymom
Replied by alwaysbusymom on topic RE: Dance Planning - Any Food Besides Junk?
I thought pizza is good for you??? (less the grease of course!!)

HOW ABOUT NACHOS?? CHURROS?
20 years 9 months ago #117499 by SueMac
Replied by SueMac on topic RE: Dance Planning - Any Food Besides Junk?
Our Middle School dances are major fundraisers for the school. Tickets are ONLY sold in advance at $7.00 each. Tickets must also be purchased by Thursday, 3pm (dance on Fri nt). Only students of the school are allowed to attend - no guests from other schools. (Handbook also reads that if you're absent that day you're ineligible to attend).
The only concession that is offered is a beverage - no food (too much of a mess!). Soda is served in 8 oz plastic cups at .50 each. Water, also served in cups, used to be free but now the small plastic bottles of spring water are sold also at .50 each. (Free water used to go like crazy! I thought it would be amusing to charge to use the bathrooms! HA - sick humor!). As we hold the dances in the cafeteria, hallway area isn't large. Beverages aren't allowed in the caf or down the halls towards the restrooms. No area for food. HOW DO YOU SERVE FOOD?
At each dance, we support different causes: Cans of food, personal hygiene products, money, etc.
We have over 800 kids and a large majority attend the first 2 dances and then it starts to dwindle a bit. The last of the 4-6 dances is for 8th graders, only (Breakaway dance). Dances are from 7-10pm. We have about 30 parent volunteers to keep the night well chaperoned...
20 years 9 months ago #117498 by JHB
Thanks for the responses. I've been working on this some more today, and have new insight to share. Our dance tickets costs $3 in advance, $5 at the door. There are 8-10 dances per year, and the school allows a different organization to co-sponsor each one as a fundraiser. Each org decides how elaborate to go on concessions, decorating, if there are pictures, novelties, etc.

This one is on Sept. 12, so we'll need to keep it pretty simple and have decided to forgo pictures.
Pricing (so far) will be Pizza/$1.25 Drinks/75¢, Candy/25¢-75¢, Chips/50¢, Glow Sticks/$1.

I've been running the costs today, and it's been an eye opener:

Serving generic soda in 12 oz cups is only about 7 cents per glass (Brand name would be 9¢). Buying Gatorade by the gallon would cost about 23¢, but if we get the powdered mix (PowerAid) it's only 11¢.

We're probably going to add packages of pretzels to go with the chips. Grapes are on a great sale right now, so we are gong to buy some and package them in snack baggies. The cost will end up being about 27¢ and we'll sell for 50¢.

It's really been interesting. Our school nurse is very involved in PTO (and all student activities) and is advocating healthy choices in eating on campus. I think I'm going to work with her to write a guide to give to all the campus organizations about including healthy choices in their concessions, some ideas, and some cost comparisons. So that should be a good project.

On this one, there's very limited time to seek donations, although we'll be doing some of that for doorprizes. Plus, even though I thought I was prepared - the onlslaught of fundraising and donation requests in middle school has already been overwhelming. We are in the 3rd week of school and parents have already been hit with school supplies, band supplies, extra supplies, school pictures, two fundraisers, plus costs of any extra activities. It's just very difficult to imagine sending home yet another note asking these poor parents for anything. (Yet they seem okay giving the kids money for the dance. They just don't want to fill out any more forms or send any more things to school.)

I'd love to hear more suggestions since it sounds like I'll be involved in other events this year.

Thanks!

[ 09-04-2003, 01:32 PM: Message edited by: JHB ]
20 years 9 months ago #117497 by C. Brooks
Replied by C. Brooks on topic RE: Dance Planning - Any Food Besides Junk?
Well I've never heard at buying anything besides tickets for a dance. At most of our functions we get bottled water donated to us and sell it for $1.00 and it goes pretty fast. The chaporones would probably appreciate that too.
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