May 19, 2023
Lauren Platero

Movie Theater Menu: Best Snacks and Drinks At the Movies

A movie theater menu consists of some of the most popular food favorites. From sweet and sour candy to buttery popcorn, movie goers have quite the variety. 

Creating such a menu can be a time-consuming project. Not only do you need to select a balance of sweet and salty items, but also how you’ll go about purchasing ingredients. 

Are you going to create digital menus through a movie theater POS system? Or, will you offer customizable options, such as gourmet popcorn? These are the kinds of questions you need to ask yourself. 

Then, you must choose how you'll retrieve the items for the movie theater menu. Some might suggest sourcing items from candy and popcorn suppliers, while others may encourage you to use a more general wholesale directory

Regardless of which ordering method you choose, you must have a movie theater menu in place beforehand. If not, you won’t feel certain that you're purchasing from the right distributor(s). Now, continue on for all the inspiration needed to create a movie theater menu!

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Movie Theater Menu 

Ready to start selling popcorn, candy, drinks, and more? If you answered “yes,” you’re in the perfect place. Movie theater menu types can be super simple or super innovative. And if you're just figuring out how to open a movie theater, this should be a great starting point. See below for all the details:

Snacks for a Movie Theater Menu

Let’s get the obvious point out of the way - you can’t operate a movie theater without adding popcorn to the menu. A movie theater menu without popcorn would be as unusual as a bar without alcohol. 

With this in mind, we recommend investing in popcorn making accessories. You might be wondering whether a standard popcorn machine is the only thing you need. And even though it’s a necessity, it might be worth onboarding other tools. In doing so, you’ll be able to offer more custom popcorn snacks. 

If you choose to go this route for your movie theater menu, consider implementing popcorn marketing campaigns. It’s one of the most coveted parts of going to see a movie. So, you can promote flavors and styles. This is also a move that can showcase product differentiation within a niche market

But what if certain customers aren’t in the mood for movie theater popcorn but want something salty and savory? Offer a variety of snacks like soft pretzels, nachos, and chips. Don’t expect them to sell nearly as much as popcorn. So, don’t feel the need to stock up on them as much. 

So what’s there to stock the counters with for those with a sweet tooth? Candy, of course! Movie theaters can make purchases from bulk candy outlets to always have the most delicious variety. Generally speaking, a movie theater menu should have a nice mix of chocolate, gummy, and sour candies. 

Support a wholesale candy business by automating purchases depending on sales trends. Luckily, inventory apps allow you to update auto-shipments accordingly. Sourcing wholesale candy this way is also more efficient and cost-effective than purchasing from an online candy store.

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Drinks for a Movie Theater Menu

Every customer needs a refreshing drink to wash down their snack. Implement a variety of drinks to create the perfect combinations. 

Begin by offering customers a variety of soft drinks. This will include soda, water, iced tea, and juice. You can even get creative by offering custom drinks, like flavored teas and lemonades. Non-alcoholic beverages are best for the movie theater, as it's a family-friendly place. Plus, many people under the age of 21 frequent the movies. 

However, don't completely wipe the idea of alcohol off the table. Some movie theaters offer popular mixed drink recipes and other unique drink specials. This gives most adults a wider variety. Plus, it keeps the movie theater much more profitable. 

One thing that we do recommend is to not sell liquor by the shot. It might also be advantageous to limit the amount of alcoholic drinks per person. This is because the theater should be kept as quiet as possible. So even though it’s a good idea to an extent to serve alcohol, limiting these sales can keep the theater an enjoyable place for all. 

Did you know that alcohol has an extremely high markup within the food service industry? In fact, it has the highest markup of all the types of inventory you can sell. So not only will you give customers a delicious variety, but you'll be able to maximize profits

Another way that you can generate higher profits from drink sales is by offering multiple sizes. There will be a markup on each size, of course. But, by giving customers a variety, they'll be more likely to make a purchase. 

If you're worried about the turnover of so many types of drinks, create more combos. This way, you'll be sure that most customers walk away with a drink.

Frequently Asked Questions About a Movie Theater Menu

A movie theater menu is a simple yet delicious selection. From sweet candies to salty and crunchy choices, there are many options to offer customers. If you’d like additional insight before drafting the final version of your movie theater menu, read below!

What Is a Good Movie Theater Snack?

One of the best movie theater snacks is popcorn. It’s tasty, versatile, and takes a while to finish. It’s iconic within the movie theater industry for a reason. The amount of salt in this snack also helps to boost drink sales.

Can You Sneak Snacks Into a Movie Theater?

We strongly recommend that you do not sneak snacks and drinks into the movie theater. If doing so is against the theater’s policy, it can warrant you getting kicked out of the theater. It’s also difficult to sneak certain items into the movie theater, like large bags of salty snacks and drinks. 

Can I Pre-Order Food and Drinks at the Movie Theater?

Yes, many movie theaters use online ordering solutions. With the help of online ordering apps, customers are able to select and customize their purchases ahead of time. Then, they can arrive at the theater and quickly pick up their order. As you can imagine, this feature drastically reduces wait times in line. 

Do Movie Theaters Offer Combo Deals On Their Menu?

Yes, it’s very common for a movie theater menu to consist of various combo deals. A popular one might be a larger order of popcorn and a large soft drink for a discounted price. Or, they might offer a variety of deals where you get popcorn, candy, and a drink for a lower price. For those of you who operate a movie theater, combo deals should take up a large portion of your theatre marketing efforts.

Does a Movie Theater Menu Include Any Healthy Snacks?

Though a movie theater menu isn’t exactly home to the healthiest food options, there are some that are better for you. Some movie theaters offer veggie sticks with dip, fruit cups, and smoothies. Don’t forget that customers can always request that their popcorn have little to no butter.

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Would You Like a Drink With That?

There are so many snacks and drinks to add to a movie theater menu. If anything, it might even be hard to narrow down your choices! Hopefully, this blog post will help you create something complete and delicious. Don’t forget that if you offer online ordering or have an all-inclusive POS system, you’re able to retrieve sales data. Such information can be valuable in making updates to your menu. Want to learn more about these types of solutions? Book a demo with us - we can’t wait to innovate your movie theater!