May 2, 2023
Lauren Platero

A Deep Dive Into Popular Food Favorites At the Movies

Are you learning how to open a movie theater? If so, creating a menu of food favorites is a must. As the business owner, it's your duty to furnish all areas of the establishment. Included in this is a wide variety of food favorites that customers can enjoy during each show. 

If you don't offer food favorites at the movies, you won't be able to maximize profits nearly as much as if you did. The snack and drink menu will contribute to large profits, as there is often a high markup. Plus, they'll help inspire many movie theatre marketing tactics. 

Creating menu types to drive revenue at the movies doesn't have to be a stressful experience. Simply research consumer data trends in this niche market, and select a variety you believe customers will enjoy. Keep on reading to learn all about it! 

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Serve Food Favorites With Online Ordering 

Food and drink ordering via online ordering apps can be profitable solutions at movie theaters. They can deliver quick service to patrons and streamlined operations for the staff. We bet you didn't think that restaurant tech could elevate a movie theater! Fortunately, it can do wonders for sales and efficiency. 

Here are four tactics that movie theater owners can accomplish when implementing online ordering:

1. Ordering Snacks and Drinks Ahead of Time

Similar to pre-ordering menu items at fast food restaurants, customers can do the same before their movie. With the help of a mobile app, allow customers to place orders for pickup. All you’ll have to do is create a station at the end of your counter for such orders. 

This feature allows customers to multitask. They can arrive at the theater at a certain time knowing that their snacks and drinks are ready. Then, there's no fear of missing the movie. 

2. Self Ordering Kiosks Can Boost Sales

Integrated kiosks that connect to the POS system is a way to serve customers quickly. Plus, using a movie theater POS should have all the right features to simplify operations. Customers will be able to place their orders independent of a staff member. In turn, this can reduce the risk of them rushing and not getting exactly what they want. It's also a way to offer contactless payments, as many consumers prefer such methods. 

This solution is also ideal if customers don't have a smartphone or the proper app. By making the theater inclusive to all, you'll be able to easily secure as many sales as possible. 

3. Mobile Apps Can Reduce Lines 

The ability to order online, pick up items at a designated time, and pre-order items can help reduce wait times. One of the worst factors that can hinder the customer experience is long wait times. By having a solution that combats this risk from all angles, serving happy customers will become the norm.  

4. In-Theater Dining Is a Luxurious Feature 

Customers can order snacks and drinks via a mobile app once they find their seat. This is a luxurious feature you'd be more likely to find in sporting arenas or a high tech cruise ship. It's an innovative and favorable feature, as they can enjoy the movie without missing a single scene. 

Online ordering can help movie theaters provide a convenient guest experience. Once you leverage innovative solutions, you'll be on your way to a profitable and enjoyable business. Now that you know how to serve snacks and drinks online, let's discuss food favorites to build a menu! 

Movie Theatre Food Favorites: Examples 

There are many food favorites to serve at the movies. In fact, it might even be challenging to narrow down your list! Want some inspiration? Read on to discover some of the best options your theater can offer! 

Sweet Treats 

Creating the sweet section of your movie theater menu will be different from creating the dessert menu for a restaurant. Instead of sweet treats like cakes and ice cream, the menu will consist of various candy options. 

Some of the most popular types of candy include:

  •  Sour candy, such as Sour Patch Kids
  • Licorice, such as Good & Plenty or Twizzlers
  • Chocolate coated candy, like M&Ms
  • Fruit-flavored candy, such as Swedish Fish 

We recommend purchasing wholesale candy from a wholesale candy business. By buying bulk candy directly from an online candy store, you can save a lot of money. 

Salty Snacks

For those who don't have a sweet tooth, a salty side of the menu will be a popular go-to. As you can imagine, selling popcorn will be one of the biggest revenue sources at your theater. In fact, there are popcorn marketing tactics that don't even involve the films!

If you want to expand your menu beyond popcorn, that's ideal. Here are some other salty snacks that are great when watching movies:

  • Chips, plain and flavored options 
  • Cheese-flavored snacks, like Cheese-Its
  • Soft pretzels, alongside mustard and cheese dips
  • Nachos, where customers can choose toppings

If there's only one salty snack on your menu of movie theater food favorites, let it be popcorn. Theaters can even get creative by serving gourmet popcorn in unique flavors. To make the most of this menu item, use popcorn making accessories to streamline the process. 

It's also a good decision to purchase goods from popcorn suppliers. That way, you can get the best prices and always have sufficient inventory levels.


With all the snacks customers have to choose from, you also need to offer refreshments. From water to soda, some of the most popular options include:

  • Water, sparkling or plain 
  • Flavored water
  • Soda varieties 
  • Iced tea 

In some areas, it's also popular to sell different types of alcohol in movie theaters, too. If you choose to get a liquor license for your movie theater, we suggest the following options: 

If you choose to serve alcoholic beverages, use a bar inventory app to simplify processes and control inventory levels. Plus, it'll help you better manage expenses, demand planning, and payments. 

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Frequently Asked Questions About Food Favorites At the Movies 

Creating a menu of food favorites for a movie theater isn't too different from what's done in the restaurant industry. However, there is quite a bit to learn about the whole scene. Want to discover more about the topic? See below:

Are There Any Healthy Options for Snacks at the Movies?

Yes, there are more health-conscious food favorites at the movies. Some of the best options include fresh fruit, mixed nuts, trail mix, and popcorn without salt or butter. The healthiest drink options for the movies are sugar-free iced tea and water. 

Why Is Popcorn So Popular at the Movies?

Popcorn is one of the most famous food favorites at the movies, as it's easy to eat and lasts a long time. One bag of popcorn can take a person much longer to consume than a box of candy. 

How Much Does Movie Theater Popcorn Cost?

Movie theater popcorn can range anywhere from $5 to $8 for a small bag and $7 to $12 for a large bag. However, it's important to keep in mind that popcorn prices will vary depending on the theater and location. 

Can You Get Refills On Movie Theater Snacks?

The policy regarding refills depends on the movie theater. For some, customers can get unlimited refills on popcorn and soft drinks. At others, the popcorn or drink must be a large size. 

What Is the Most Popular Candy at Movie Theaters?

Some of the most popular candy options at movie theaters include M&Ms, Reese's peanut butter cups, Skittles, and Twizzlers. However, food favorites at the movies may vary depending on location and culture. While one group of people might enjoy chocolate, another might opt for sour candy.

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Sweet or Salty?

Showing never before seen films and old-time classics is the foundation of a very lucrative business. Once you create a deliciously mouthwatering menu full of food favorites, profits are bound to soar. Plus, a variety of sweet and salty snacks will complete the movie theater experience. Want to learn how the online ordering tools we mentioned can help streamline operations? Book a demo with us today!