For the most part unless one of your offerings is something you do all year round the profit is slim. It requires routine performance to get good wholesale prices on things and you are limited in a seasonal venture to being able to only charge perhaps double the cost. So it really does come down to paying for the booth, the merchandise and how much it costs to man such a thing. Plus, there is more to running a succefull side business than just standing there feilding requests for consumerism.
It requires subtle pushing of items to turn a 50 cent sale into another $1.0purchased while sitting on a thousand dollars worth of stuff. Generally $500 in T-shirts will be a several year supply even at a 25,000 customer attraction. It might be such a thing as the T-shirts lose money but if anyone ever gets in their closet you have another customer.
$500 in glow sticks might sell in one night but the mark up is slim. Food is an entirely different affair as it might require health inspection compliance for equipment and processes. Small vendors that do face painting, sell masks, various toys tend to bail after one year and even during the season as other venues are so much more predictable.
Most attractions that do well with gift shops have the haunt exit dump right into the gift shop and some one telling them to look around and pick something out. Oh, it isn't part of the tour? It costs how much? Kind of a hard sell situation.
The only one I know of that has their own restaurant sees 60,000 and has a liquor liscence on a 56 acre park. At this same place all the gift stores are outside vendors in permanent looking facilities.
Everyone else from 800 to 30,000 customers has vendors paying $40 to $100 per spot per weekend or has things like the local PTA selling hot dogs and hot chocolate and cokes as a fund raiser for their own purposes.
The hearsay is that it brings in at best 1% of the total gross when attatched to a haunt and the big capital required to do these thing right would better be put into haunt detailing. The source someone over 1 million is ticket sales.
Certainly to some extent these activities are expected behavior at an event but I would not anticipate a profit.
In fact, Having all of these things even at a loss is part of the experience that bring fond memories and return customers from year to year. Some people buy something at a place just to use the bathroom.
It generally takes a customer base of 2,000 people per day to meet expenses. If only 1 in 10 actually patronize that is not enough. Or so I have been told by the big boys. So you can't have competing vendors either.
I would like to hear more about this too.
Another fabulous post from the U.S.Department of Wild Imaginings, now in spectaclar stereo, sponsored by the Adhesives and Sealants Council, suggesting ways to stick things together since the 1800s. Not fabulous in a gay way. Your results may vary. Illinois residents add 8% sales tax. These posts have been made by professional post makers, do not try this type of posting on your own without extensive training, lovely assistants and a trusty clown horn.