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Fun Biz Concessions Credits Staff for Successful Year
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Nate Janousek, owner of Fun Biz Concessions, credits the success of his company to the strength of his team. “What do I want people to know about my company? I want to talk about the people who make my company great. They are what makes us stand apart from other concessionaires,” says Janousek.

With a core group of about 35 people fluctuating up to 55-60 employees at the biggest events, Janousek relies heavily on his staff to keep his operation running smoothly. “The people I have around me are like family and oftentimes they don't get the recognition they deserve. We have many people who have been with us for a decade or more and very few employees who are first-timers this season,” says Janousek. Most of the Fun Biz labor force comes from the H2B Visa program and Janousek finds his staff asking to return year after year and often bringing their family members along.

In an effort to keep morale strong, Janousek spends considerable time and money to create a comfortable living and working environment for his team. “We recently invested in two nice employee vans. They're Ford transit vans and the staff are really enjoying the new equipment,” he says. Janousek is also constantly updating housing units for his staff. “Recently, for a few of our managers who are traveling with kids, we've purchased brand new trailers for them to show our appreciation,” he says.

Keeping support equipment as new as possible both boosts morale and gives Fun Biz Concessions a leg up in the eyes of event committees. “Having clean, new equipment makes us look better, too. We don't have questionable units and that helps us stay away from the negative carnival stereotypes,” says Janousek.

While most of his route is independently booked, Janousek finds himself around Ray Cammack Shows (RCS) frequently. This allows one of his staff members, Tatiana, to send her daughter to the RCS traveling school. “It's been such a fulfilling experience,” says Janousek. “The school is accredited and the teacher is amazing and attentive. Tatiana's daughter is able to attend classes when we're around RCS and then complete her studies virtually otherwise.”

In addition to providing comfortable accommodations and amenities to his employees, Janousek has introduced reward systems at each of his events so that staff members are invested in the success of the company. “I am of the belief that if everyone around me is prosperous then we can create a culture of prosperity in the company,” he says. Bonuses for employees are based on increased sales and customer service reports. When he has a great spot or season, Janousek spreads the wealth rather than keeping it to himself. “We also raffle off fun prizes like gaming systems, TVs and electric scooters. Our team members get raffle tickets for getting to work on time, taking on extra duties, and just going above and beyond,” says Janousek. He also offers rewards for “Employee of the Week” and “Employee of the Month”.

Janousek makes a concerted effort to keep celebratory traditions for his staff going year after year. “After the Minnesota State Fair I take everyone out for dinner at the original Buca Di Beppo. This year I had to rent a party bus for 55 people. After dinner they rode around just listening to music and having fun,” says Janousek. Many of the H2B employees get the opportunity to go home to Mexico for a week or two during the season. “We rotate through so people have the opportunity to go see their families and not miss out on every big event.”  

Fun Biz welcomed two new employees to the team this year: Juan and Jennifer. They each previously worked at the Del Mar Racetrack and have now taken on leadership roles in the company. Another key member of the managerial staff is Josephina, Tatiana's sister. “Josephina is a core member of our team. All of the staff at the events we play know Josephina and know she can answer questions they may have or solve any problems. It's so nice to have someone like that I can rely on,” says Janousek.

Supporting the new staff are a few of Janousek's key personnel: John, Amanda, and Summer. “John and Amanda came us to us during Covid and John previously served in the United States Marine Corps,” says Janousek. John is a big part of Fun Biz's logistics operation and deals with a lot of the day to day maintenance and repair duties as well as addressing staff issues. “Amanda is a huge asset as well. She helps do a lot of hiring and human resources duties as well as public relations by conducting interviews with the media and social media groups,” he says. “My niece, Summer, sets up all of our internet and cloud based point of sale systems. She sets up anywhere from 40-150 cash registers a week as well as helps with cash handling, employee training and troubleshooting technical issues.”

Generally, Fun Biz operates about 5-10 locations at a time throughout the season. “We offer everything between the locations like funnel cakes, cotton candy, corn dogs, popcorn, and barbecue. We're probably best known for our barbecue,” says Janousek. “We make our own rubs and trim our own meats. Our food is pretty special and really fresh. We use the best ingredients.” Fun Biz has a full time prep operation to support the use of the best ingredients.

New this year, Fun Biz debuted the Little Olivia's corn dog trailer built by Hitch-Hiker and featuring hand-dipped corn dogs and fresh cut fries. Janousek's $5 Million shipping container food court had good use this year as well. “The shipping container piece has VIP suites and is typically used for high-end catering events and alcohol sales,” he says. Fun Biz has a license to sell alcohol in Wyoming, Minnesota, and Texas. “Every stand of mine sells food that I would be comfortable having my own friends and family eating. There's no gimmicks here and my employees understand the level of quality I require,” says Janousek.

Continually investing in his company, Janousek finds that his most precious resource is his staff of dedicated employees.

“We're looking forward to another great year on the road and I just can't reiterate enough that I work with the best people in the world. I'm very lucky.”
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