Recipe: The Perfect Lemonade Stand
For generations, kids have been turning to lemonade stands as a rescue from summer boredom and a way to earn a little spending cash. (And moms love lemonade stands because it means a few hours of peace and quiet in the house.)
You already know the basics. You’ve got your lemonade, cups, and hand-made posters ready to go, but here are a few more helpful tips to make your next lemonade stand outstanding!
- Cleanliness is key: A good soap-and-water scrub of hands and faces is top priority for the kids. Nobody wants smudgy finger prints on their cup!
- Location, location, location: Look for a spot near a semi-busy road, preferably near a stop sign, where the stand can be seen well in advance. This is good for safety reasons and also gives customers some time to check the change in their pockets. If the kids need adult supervision, bring a chair and a book to read, but keep a little distance to let them feel grownup.
- The price is right: Lemonade is inexpensive to make, so you don’t have to charge much to turn a profit. I recommend 25-50 cents per cup. Most people can scramble up that much change, plus it keeps the money part simple for the cashier. (Funny side note: I approached a lemonade stand recently and was shocked to see the kids were charging $1.50 per cup. Whoa! I didn’t have enough cash with me, so I avoided turning down the street!)
- Ice, ice, baby: Nobody wants a cup of warm lemonade, no matter how cute your kids are. Make your lemonade extra concentrated, then supplement it with lots of ice. The flavor will balance almost immediately, and your cold lemonade will keep your customers happy and refreshed.
- Change is good: Use a large jar to keep the money in. Empty the coins from your wallet into the jar to give the kids a head start on earnings and a way to make change for customers.
- Customer service: Let the lemonade stand be a chance to practice good manners and good business. Remind the kids to say thank you (by name when possible) and be accommodating if a customer doesn’t have exact or enough change.
- Keep it clean: Have a trash can or garbage bag nearby for used cups and napkins.
- Extra, extra: For older kids, think about offering some extras at the stand, such as homemade cookies or sweetened berries to add into the lemonade for an extra charge, of course.
- Give back: Before they begin, talk to the kids about donating some of their earnings to a good cause, such as Alex’s Lemonade Stand, an organization that raises money for childhood cancer research. It can add a level of excitement and meaning to the afternoon. You can learn more about donating here. (And remember, if you decide to donate some proceeds, be sure to include that on your posters to inspire generous tips!)
- This calls for an encore: After a successful afternoon, do yourself a favor by cleaning your equipment and then keeping it stored together for another hot afternoon.
Any other lemonade stand tips to share? Leave it in a comment!