Probably the most essential piece of concession equipment for a snow cone operation is a snow cone machine. This machine is essentially just a more portable version of a flake / shaved style ice machine with built in merchandising potential, such as signage and glass panels showcasing the ice. These machines range in price from about $ 400 to $ 2000, with capacity and ice production being the main influencers of cost. Keep in mind that the very inexpensive ones are not able to keep up with very much traffic so consider how much business you expect to do when purchasing. The other piece of concession equipment that is paramount to making a snow cone is a syrup dispenser.
The dispensers are made to accept and dispense syrup from a jug. A one-gallon syrup dispenser will run between $ 40 and $ 50 and you will probably need multiple of these in order to have more than one flavor offering. A special rack made for holding syrup dispensers is also a wise investment and gives a much cleaner appearance to your concession stand. One of these will cost about $ 130. You will need something to hold your equipment and to be a mobile operation, a cart will come in handy.
Now that you have your main pieces of equipment, you will have to purchase or build a concessions cart. You have the option of building your own or adapting a cart to your needs, or buying a cart specifically designed for snow cone concessions. Building a cart allows you to really customize the design and also make something that can be insulated for use in winter. Buying a ready-made cart has the advantage of being professionally designed and purpose built. They also have storage cabinets built in, which will be very helpful for your operation.
Two wheel and four wheel carts are available and the two wheel variety tend to be much less expensive but also lacking in storage and carrying capacity. A two wheel model can cost as little as $ 425 while a four wheel model is going to start much higher than that. The extra two wheels are going to jump the starting price up to closer to $ 800. Depending on size and capacity, these carts can cost as much as a few grand. In addition to the equipment discussed here, there are other supplies that are going to factored into your operating costs. These include snow cone cups, spoons, syrup, and ice shapers. Consider all these costs when planning your concessions business.