Nacho Business: Concession Stand’s Spicy Staple

This week, we’re wrapping up our concession stand series with a look at nachos. These gooey cheese covered chips have become a concession stand classic over the past couple of decades. But how did they come to be and what do you need to make your nachos a success?

We can thank two men for the popularity of nachos in concessions stands. Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, a maître d’ at a restaurant in Piedras Negras, Mexico created the food in 1943. A group of American army wives came over the border from Texas, and not wanting to turn them away because the chef was gone, he made a version of canapes out of tortilla chips, cheese, and jalapeno peppers. About 33 years later, Frank Liberto created the pump-able cheese sauce and brought the popular Texas restaurant food to a Texas Rangers baseball game in Arlington, Texas. Nachos soon beat out popcorn as the most popular stadium food in Arlington, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Ricos Nachos

(Image via Rico’s Products Co. Part of a film trailer used during intermission to promote nachos in movie theaters.)

So what do you need to create your own nachos at your concession stand?
The most popular basic ingredients are still tortilla chips, cheese, and jalapenos, but you can add and subtract as you like. Other popular toppings include sour cream, guacamole, salsa, tomatoes, avocado, pork, etc.

Concession Stand Nachos

(Image on the left via Bayou City Bites. Image on right via Eater)

You’ll also need a nacho chip warmer/merchandiser and a nacho cheese dispenser or warmer.

Nacho chip warmers and merchandisers work to keep your chips warm and crispy and to display them. Most of our merchandisers feature bold, colorful graphics and a lighted interior display. All of our chip warmers feature an easy loading and unloading function to minimize chip breakage. We currently offer warmer and merchandisers from Star, Vulcan, Hatco, and Gold Medal in capacities ranging from 7 to 40 lbs. and 26 or 46 gallons.

Nacho Chip Merchandisers

(Star 12NCPW, Vulcan VCW26. & Hatco FST-1-MN pictured. See more below!)

While the chip warmers keep your chips crisp, you’ll need a nacho cheese dispenser or warmer to keep your cheese warm, gooey, and easy to access. Nacho cheese dispenser and warmers come in a couple different styles:

  • Nacho cheese/hot food dispensers
  • Nacho cheese warmer with pump
  • Nacho cheese warmer with ladle
    Nacho Cheese dispensers and warmers
    (Star HPDE2, Star 3WLA-HS, & Gold Medal 2191 pictured. See more below!)

Our cheese/hot food dispensers from Star and Gold Medal sit easily on a countertop and come in single and double styles. They use pre-packaged foods, like cheese or chili. The patented heating and pumping system is designed for safe, efficient, and consistent dispensing. The units are easy to use by you or your customers and easy to clean. The peristaltic pump design dispenses product straight from the plastic pouch to the plate. Once the pouch is empty, simply discard and load a new pouch. Peristaltic pumps are highly efficient with a 95% plus evacuation of the pouch. This reduces waste and saves money.

Star and Gold Medal also offer countertop nacho cheese warmers in two styles – with a pump or with a ladle. The latter style may also be referred to as “dipper style.” Pump-style units make serving easy with a press of the lever. Dipper style units come with a 1 oz. ladle. Both of these units keep your cheese sauce warm over an extended period of time.

Nacho cheese warmers are versatile and can be used for other products, like fudge, soup, chili, gravy, and butter. The Star warmers come with a variety pack of signs, so you can mix up your food offering throughout the year.

If you need suggestions or need to know more please contact us at 304-327-0149 or contact a sales person:

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