When purchasing a cotton candy machine, you first need to know what questions to ask. This guide can help! By answering these 12 key questions, you’ll be able to determine which cotton candy machine is right for you.
What is your venue type?
Where and how you are selling is an important factor. A stadium’s needs are far different than a mobile concession stand. Is it a permanent location or is portability important? Define your specific needs.
Are you making cotton candy in a back room or in front of the customer?
There are a lot of variables to consider, including volume and customer interaction. If you produce in a facility, you can potentially do a lot of volume. However, it creates an engaging environment when you make cotton candy in front of customers. There are pros and cons to each setup. Also consider other necessities, like will you need a cart or merchandising?
How many servings per hour will you need?
If you don’t know this number, start by calculating some of the other factors. At a high school football game for example, determine your average attendance numbers. Then look at overall sales. Do you have time to prep in advance? Your concession specialist can help you as they have experience with all types of venues.
What is your serving size?
The most popular serving size is about 3 oz. That is a large bag. With the low costs, you can afford to make a big impression. It gives more value to your customer. However, there may be cases where you’d want to consider alternatives, like elementary school events where most of the guests are small children.
Who is operating the cotton candy machine?
Having a staff of professionals means that you’ll be able to train personnel to run the equipment. It gives you more options. If you are relying on volunteers or teens, a better choice would be an easy-to-operate machine.
How many colors/flavors do you want to produce?
By far, the most popular cotton candy colors are the traditional pink and blue. It is fairly simple to manage that with one machine. If color and flavor variety appeal to you, you’ll find a lot of variety with Flossugar. (See our complete line of cotton candy supplies.) You can still do multiple colors with one machine, but you’ll need a faster machine that’s easy to clean to be more efficient.
Are you making it in advance?
Most high-volume locations must make cotton candy in advance. If so, there are accessories that can make the process easier. Bag blowers save you time by making sure the bags are open and ready, saving you time and hassle.
Do you plan on same-day sales?
One of the benefits of the low costs of cotton candy is that you can produce large amounts in preparation for same-day sales. For example, you will be selling cotton candy at a price point of $2 or more, while your cost for the product is only cents. Even if there is waste, it will be a minimal cut of your revenue. It is far better to produce too much than to not have enough and miss out on sales.
Do you need to consider shelf life?
If you need to store cotton candy, not only does production matter, but so does your packaging. Bags are the most common and low-cost option. However, it will not last as long as a plastic container. Most importantly, you need a cool, dry space with limited humidity to maximize shelf life.
Is theatre important for your customer experience?
Making it fresh is an appeal to the customers because it is a sensory experience. It gets the attention of kids and adults alike. This applies in venues like carnivals, but also in other locations like grocery stores. There is an added benefit to making fresh cotton candy live. See if it makes sense for you.
What are your electrical requirements?
Keep in mind, bigger machines will require more than a normal plug. Gold Medal manufactures cotton candy machines for both 15 amp and 20 amp. This is especially important for operators who will be moving locations.
What is your budget?
You may be surprised by what this means. Don’t just center on a price point. Think about the big picture. What is the amount of sales you want to make? What factors are important to making your cotton candy business a success? Remember that there are lots of options to choose from and your supplier can help you determine what will best meet your needs.
Curious about how to make cotton candy? We’ve got a quick guide that will walk you through the steps.