The History of the Food Concession Business
This article contains information on the history of food concessions. The
influence of the past on food concessions of today is very noticeable and
older than most people think. Food concessions have changed, but the
principle is definitely still the same.
concession business, food service, history of business
The history of food concessions may seem to be short but if you look at
street vending through the ages you may find that it is older than you
think. Street vending, now sometimes called food concessions begin with
early entrepreneurs. These venders profited from those milling around in
the public markets purchasing other things. It was very popular and began
to become quite common. Venders in current times have much the same
philosophy as those from ancient times: take advantage of large
gatherings of hungry people. Three major early influences on food
concessions are from Ancient Rome, Medieval times, and.
One of the most influential times of history on the concession business
is that of Ancient Rome. During the times of Ancient Rome, there were
many ways people had become aware of public entertainment. One of the
ways that people entertained each other and themselves was during popular
gatherings of the Roman Coliseum. Spectators would come to see different
contests and competitions such as chariot races, sports, and circuses.
While some visitors managed to bring their own goodies to eat, others
didn’t. This was noticed and before long, tables were set up during
competitions to feed and refresh those who were willing to pay. Breads
and wines were often offered to those with an empty belly and plenty of
money in their pockets. This became quite popular and many were becoming
quite wealthy off of these spectators.
Another really popular segment of the past of concession trailers is
medieval fairs. During medieval times, very much like Roman times, people
often gathered in flocks in search of entertainment. The medieval society
often put together fairs that brought people from miles around to see
contests and other spectacles. When these fairs would gather, part of the
entertainment was the food that was offered. As is similar with modern
fairs, different types of foods were available that weren’t necessarily
available when fairs weren’t in town. Looking at modern fairs today you
can see the influences early fairs may have had on them.
One final thing that affected the way we view food concessions today is
the sports arena. For years and years, baseball, football, and other
sports complexes have offered goodies such as hotdogs and cold beer.
Boxing specifically had a big effect on concessions when Harry Stevens
began providing refreshments ringside. These sporting events are well
known for their great classic American foods and other offerings they
No matter how you look at it or where or when the first concessions, the
past has effected the way current vendors do business. These early
entrepreneurs made major leaps in the way money was made and the way
events were enjoyed. We, as concession trailer owners, have taken a page
from the book of those who came before and perfected their already great
ways of mobile food vending. Though they may not have worked exactly the
way today’s venders work, the principal is definitely the same: provide
food to hungry patrons, preferably gathered in a confined area. The rest
is definitely history.