Unusual Options Gain Ground
Food Service Equipment For Party Rental Companies

April 5, 2012 No Comments

With the economy now in “recovery” mode, party rental companies are seeing steady interest in food service equipment rentals to accompany such staples as inflatables, tables, chairs and tents.
Popcorn machines and “standard” food preparation equipment, like coffee makers and chafing dishes, continue to rank at the top of consumers’ rental lists. However, for at least some operators, the fact that certain pieces of equipment allow party-givers to offer items that cannot be made at home puts them neck-in-neck with traditional options.
Cotton candy machines comprise one key example. Adrian De La Rosa, owner of Mega Party Events, and Ocmara Ortega, owner of Party Rental Depot, both in Miami, Fla., deemed cotton candy machines their most popular rentals. In addition to being special because it is, unlike popcorn and hot dogs, a food few if any consumers can prepare themselves, cotton candy is a top performer given its unusual appearance and bright color, both operators asserted. “Plus,” Ortega said “kids like that it’s sugary.”
Mike Griffin, owner of Mike’s Moonwalk Rentals & Party Supplies in Boylston, Mass., concurred. He added that cotton candy machines are also the most popular food service equipment rental option among his customers based on the fact that they can be used “year-round, inside and outside.” This is not true of some other non-traditional machines available through the company, like dough fryers.
At Air Castles & Slides in Edison, N.J., the “can’t-make-it-at-home” factor puts Sno-Cone makers on an equal popularity plane with popcorn and cotton candy machines. Debbie Henderson, owner, recently acquired a Polar Pete polar bear-shaped Sno-Cone machine from Gold Medal Products.  “When I first got it, I thought it would be a novelty that wouldn’t be rented as often as regular Sno-Cone machines, but people really love it, and it has become extremely popular,” Henderson stated. “It’s more attractive for backyard parties, and more fun for the kids.”
Henderson is also experiencing considerable success with food service equipment that enables customers to serve more novel items to party-goers. She cited as an example the Pucker Powder machine, from which children can dispense Pucker Powder powdered sour candy into tubes. Children are attracted by the flavor and color of the candy, and adults, by its resemblance to the Pixie Stix candy tubes of their youth.
The same trend has taken hold at PartyDelaware.com (also known as Margarita Matt’s Margarita Machine Rentals), a New Castle, Del.-based operator that rents all types of food service equipment as well as inflatables, tents and other party accoutrements. Owner Matthew Wolynetz recently added a complete tiki bar to his cadre of rental options. The popularity of tropical themed parties has kept a deluxe margarita machine at the head of Wolynetz’s list of top equipment rentals. Nonetheless, a desire among consumers to lend an element of food excitement to parties and make them stand out a bit from the crowd has also boded well for such items as chocolate fountains, grill carts and crab steamer pots.
Not surprisingly, event rental operators capitalize on the popularity and appeal of food service equipment through suggestive, and not so suggestive, upselling, as well as by offering a few “bonuses.”
For instance, customers of Air Castles & Slides are always asked whether they would like to incorporate fun food machines into their orders for inflatables and/or carnival games; those that have already requested one machine are urged to add another to give guests an even better party experience, Henderson noted. Such “extras” as a free table designed to make it more comfortable to dispense cotton candy from a cotton candy machine are also used to up the ante.
Toward the same end, Air Castles & Slides’ online rental-booking system has a built-in suggestive selling feature. “The system will automatically suggest food equipment as something other people ‘bought’ when booking an event” similar to the one for which a user is currently making a rental reservation with the company, Henderson explained.
At Mike’s Moonwalk Rentals & Party Supplies, Griffin and his staff point out to customers that renting a food service machine is less expensive than tacking on a second or third inflatable as a means of jazzing up their event. Individuals interested in renting tables, chairs and/or tents from the company are “reminded” about its cadre of food service equipment. Cotton candy machines are promoted as not only great for use during parties, but also as vehicles for creating an alternative or adjunct to traditional “goody bags” distributed at the conclusion of the festivities.
Special deals on food service equipment rentals further sweeten the pot, Griffin observed. One package, available for $280, offers a 50 percent discount on a popcorn or Sno Cone machine with the rental of any inflatable castle/slide or moonwalk. A $460 package includes a free cotton candy machine with any tent/chair/table combination.


Top Tips for Keeping Food Service Rental Equipment Clean

No event rental operator wants to develop a reputation for delivering less-than-pristine food service equipment to its customers. Following these tips should help to ensure that this does not happen.

  • Don’t delay. Thoroughly clean all units immediately after they have been returned. You may not be able to do as complete a job if you delay it entirely or make a cursory attempt to clean equipment with the promise of a more comprehensive cleaning just before the next delivery, causing possible problems down the road.
  • Follow manufacturers’ instructions. Only by disassembling equipment according to the vendors’ specifications and handling individual components as directed can you be certain that they are truly sanitary and, as such, “ready to go” when needed.
  • Wrap it up. Enclose clean units in plastic or shrink wrap, removing the protective covering only upon delivering them to the event site. This will prevent dust and other particulate matter from accumulating on and inside equipment during storage and in transit.

 

Back

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Sponsors

Jane Farrell Turf and Carpets, Inc.

Commercial carpet, printed and decorative patterns, loop and cut-pile construction. Wall coverings in fluorescents, Class A fire rated. Colored turf, both traditional and neon colors.

Wells Fargo

Commercial insurance for inflatables and event planners.

Namco

Namco America is a premier manufacturer of coin-op arcade attractions, ranging from the hottest titles like Crazy Typhoon and Jumpin’ Jackpot to classic game-room experiences such as the Pac-Man 25th Anniversary upright that features Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga. Specialized pieces such as Wonka Sweetland and Flamin Finger are favorites too! For arcade gaming fun, Namco America is your answer.

Art Attack

Theming, miniature golf, parade floats, 3D props, air-brushed murals, signage and art panels.

Aquaventronics

Research and development of interactive water games for use in the commercial amusement industry.

Martin Professionals

A lighting supplier of choice for the entertainment industry.

Nieco Corp

Nieco automatic broilers.

Tube Pro

Waterpark tubes.

Enchanted Castle Studios

Fiberglass statuary and figures for restaurants, mini-golf, theme parks and other attractions.

Klopp International, Inc. (Playmeter)

Quality coin counters and sorters.

Northeast Insurance (NIC)

Insurance programs.

Adventure Golf

Miniature golf courses, consultants, architecture and design.

Extreme Engineering

Industry leader in zip lines, climbing walls, jumper systems and adventure products.

Master Pitching Machine

Batting cages and pitching machines.

Playsmart

Patented soft play design, soft playgrounds.

Midway Concepts (Circus Tops)

Premier designers of stainless steel food service equipment.

Mahoning Valley Mfg.

A complete line of Imperial strollers, wagons and safari utility vehicles.

Family Fun Corp.

Waterpark walls for rivers, bumper boat and splash down pools.

Friedman Group Ins.

Insurance for amusement devices.

Davis & Davis, Inc.

Planning consultants for wet/dry attractions, mini-golf, go-kart tracks and laser arenas.

Harris Miniature Golf Course

Design and construction of miniature golf courses and water rides.

International Special Events (ISERA)

Risk purchasing group, a better way to purchase liability insurance, specializing in inflatables and much more.

Splashtacular

Manufacturer of waterslides

A'maze Ventures, Inc.

Mazes for every location, new and used.

Beckman Insurance Agency

Amusement attractions insurance.

R&R Creative Amusement Design

Designers of unique themed parks, attractions and environments for the entertainment business.

Omega Carpets

Printed carpeting for all your facility needs.

Richie's Italian Ice

Italian Ice Kiosks and Carts

Rio Syrup

Over 250 flavors, syrups and concentrates for shaved ice, sno cones, shushes, food colors. Now featuring Hawaiian Flower Cups.

Zebec Water Sports

Large variety of waterpark needs

Max Flight

Manufactures interactive virtual reality motion-platform game systems including networkable flight and roller coaster simulators.

S&S Worldwide

Large Park amusement rides.

Laser Star

Laser shooting galleries, laser tag, dark ride target systems, overhead target ranges.

Rides-4-U, INC.

New and used rides, kiddie, family, major and thrill.

Soft Play

Leader in designing, manufacturing and installing soft contained playground equipment.

Hoffman Mint

Tokens, medals, coins and key tags.

Perfect Fry

Innovative and simple-to-operate countertop deep fryer Perfect Fryers.

Birthday University

Concept development, training and birthday party touring seminars.

Spectrum Sports

Climbing walls, ropes courses, go-karts and more.

Poly Products

Tables, benches and related products. Green products for a green world.

Knight Equipment

Drive cables for ferris wheels, Tilt-A-Whirls, Rock-O-Planes and many others.

SnowMasters

Evaporative snow systems.

Lil Orbits Inc.

Food equipment, donut machines and vendor carts.

Fast Corp Vending

Frozen food vending machines

Quik N' Crispy (QNC)

Quik n’ Crispy greaseless fryer.

CFX Composite & Effects

Special effects make-up and prosthetics

Safari Ltd.

Leading manufacturer of innovative educational toys.

Stoelting
LMap Powered by Silvercrest
Premier Polysteel
Spectrum Sports
Cannonball Blaster
Funovation
Empex Water Toys