Frequently Asked Questions
1. Signup Questions (10)
Teams of 2-5 kids generally make up a Lemonade Alley team. You should name two key team members: a President to be the main spokesperson and point of contact and a Treasurer who will be responsible for counting and turning in scrip and cash. You can have as many adult and friends as helpers and mentors as your like.
Lemonade Alley is generally run in three age divisions by grade: K-4, 5-8 and 9-12. In cases where charities or companies do booths, divisions may not be used.
At most Lemonade Alley’s space is limited. Teams may be subject to an application process where only the best entries are taken, first-come basis or by invitation. Consult event organizers in your area for details.
Mixed-age teams are fine however if age divisions are used by your local event, mixed-age teams will be required to enter in the oldest team member’s category.
Yes. It’s a really smart habit of entrepreneurs to get as many mentors and advisors behind them to make their businesses better. As many as 30-40 people have support single booths in the past. This is good community-building opportunity and a good to raise more money for your charity. We do however ask that parents do not take over. For example, our official Rules state that Team 1-Minute Sales Pitches must feature actual Team Members. For events that feature booths run by charities and/or companies, adults may factor in more heavily. Our rule of thumb is to keep in mind that this is a contest for kids to learn how to do business. Please use your discretion.
Yes. Graduating seniors are welcome to participate on teams if your local event occurs before official graduation day. After graduation, students are encouraged to participate as a mentor or to join your local event “Lemon Crew” as a volunteer.
You will receive a notification confirming admission to your local event.
As long as there are only 5 team members maximum at the time of competition, you can update team members up to Main Event Day. Contact your local event organizers.
Yes. Real businesses perfect their formulas over time so you’re welcome to continue your business over multiple years. You are however required to re-submit for admission each year.
2. 1-Page Business Plan (2)
No. But big ideas that really sizzle take time and thought to perfect. For younger teams, we suggest that parents and/or teachers help kids through the process. StoryTree may look simple, but it’s a very grownup process that will give you a huge amount of business perspective and knowledge. StoryTree is donated by BizGym.com, the entrepreneur’s growth system, so be sure to thank any BizGym folks you may encounter along your lemony path.
You must display a printed version of your StoryTree on the front of your lemonade stand so that visitors and Judges (if your event is judged) can evaluate your business concept.
3. Recipe & Products (6)
You must include lemons but can add other exotic stuff as long as it’s legal and not alcoholic. Note also that any cooked items including drinks must be prepared and packaged in a commercially certified kitchen such as a restaurant or hotel. You also may not cook or have heating elements in your booth at the event.
Judges will sample your product on show day. They might swirl, sip, spit and roll their eyeballs, but rest assured they will consider your recipe carefully under the judging criteria. Key judging criteria include: Lemoniness, sweet to sour ratio, mount feel and presentation. For more, see Rules.
We recommend that you very small (1-3 ounce vessels) for both judges and customers. Most people will want to taste a lot of lemonades, so smaller servings suits them better than large servings. It’ll also save you a lot of materials. Bigger isn’t always better.
This depends upon how good your recipe is, the selling area and how many patrons your team brings to the event. We suggest that you hook up with your charity early to both learn their story (you should tell their story as part of your booth design) and get them to promote their people to attend the Main Event to support your team. Heck, the more you make, the more they do too!
Yes. Games and craft products are common items used to increase income. Cooked items are only allowed if served in compliance with health laws. This generally means that a certified food service operator oversees all food production, packaging and distribution, secures permits and complies with health and safety laws. Baked items are allowed if baked and packaged in a commercially certified kitchen.
At the Main Event you will be provided with a 10’w x 10’d space. There is also a 15′ height limit. All items like tents must be secured with weights to protect against wind. You’re allowed to bring in whatever you need to make a great environment. Some teams build walk-in booths, others make walk-up stands. Lemonade Alley is a blank canvas waiting for the your creative ideas!
4. Booth Design (5)
NO PETS: Lemonade Alley is a food and beverage event so pets are not allowed by health and safety standards. This rule applies to both booth areas and common public areas. Pets may not be on-site mascots or at the event in any way.
Yes, so long as you’re respectful to neighbor competitors and provide your own equipment.
No. However, you are permitted to use battery powered equipment or quiet generators.
You can wear anything you like so long as it’s legal… No nudists please! Heck, if you want to dress up as giant lemons, go for it! Team uniforms and mascots welcome!
Absolutely! Since you’ve determined your charity to be a good cause, you should want to tell their story to the world! Your reward for promoting them is that they will likely promote your team too. What goes around, comes around ~ especially in business.
Sales Pitching (3)
You’ll have 1-minute to get your team onstage to tell the world why they should support you and your charity. You can do a skit, tell a story, sing a song, rap, dance, use a sign or do any performance that gets your idea across in a big way.
Expert judges will listen to your pitches and rate your performance on the criteria: Presentation Skills, Timing & Improv (keeping to the 1-min and smartly winging it if something goes wrong), Message Quality and Entertainment Value.
We’ll have a couple microphones on stands and a guy with a timer and gong who WILL gong you of stage if you exceed the allotted 1-minute!
6. Marketing & Social Media (3)
Yes. We encourage you to tell all your friends, family and anyone else who will listen about your booth so they will mark their calendars to come out and support your booth.
Yes but get your parent’s consent first. Many of our past teams have contacted the press before and after the competition with great success at getting on TV, radio shows and in newspapers. Some have even gotten commendations from elected officials. It’s fun to be cool and popular!
Yes provided you’re of legal age. If you’re under legal age, we suggest you get a legal guardian to promote for you. Past Lemonade Alley winners have promoted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on YouTube with video commercials just for their lemonade stands.
7. Judging (4)
Your entry will be judged five key criteria categories, each an equal 20%: Business Plan, Recipe, Booth, Stage Pitch, Income Performance. Each judging category in turn has a number of sub-criteria associated, see Rules
Business Plan and Booth Judges will visit your booth, clip boards in hand. If you see a clip board, be on your toes! Recipe and Pitch judges will be at Center Stage waiting for you to be ushered in. For recipe judging, you will serve small cups (1-3 ounces recommended) and NOT perform. Your chance to perform will happen when you take the stage later for the Pitch segment. Finally, Income Performance will be judged in the Tabulation Room by official Lemonade Alley Auditors.
20% of the overall judging is based on your team’s Net Income. This judging criteria accounts for 20% of the overall judging criteria.
No. Income Performance is limited to only 20% of the overall judging rubric. Further, Income Performance is judged on a curve that is derived from an average of all teams in a category, so no single team can have a runaway success in the Income Performance category.
8. Financial Stuff (3)
You can set your own recommended donation “price” and terms. Be creative! Be Smart! Figure out the best way to make the most money for your charity. In past years, many teams have found that giving away their products, then asking for a donation nets more proceeds than trying to directly charge customers.
Most teams at the main event distribute anywhere from 100-500 servings. At some larger food events like “Eat the Street” some teams have moved as many as 1,000 servings.
Teams are offered the chance to sell Scrip before the event. Pre-event Scrip sales must be turned in prior to the start of the Main Event. Pre-Event Scrip sales will be credited toward Teams’ Sales Performance Judging Criteria. NOTE: PRE-EVENT SCRIP SALES ARE ONLY CREDITED TO A TEAM CHARITY IF REDEEMED AT A BOOTH AS PART OF MAIN DAY BOOTH INCOME.
9. Reimbursements & Charity Donations (5)
Yes, as long as you submit your reimbursement costs before the Ending Deadline. Reimbursements cannot exceed your team’s Gross Income. Reimbursements will not count toward your Performance Criteria or Charitable Donation.
The Lemonade Tax is a 20% tax levy on your team’s Gross Income that is retained by Lemonade Alley to help defray costs of he event. For more, see Rules.
Yes. Donation checks will be made in your team’s name to your designated charity. Donation checks will be mailed to you after the competition so that you can make the presentation yourself. We suggest that when you do, you contact the charity and the press so the newspapers can come take a picture of you doing good deeds.
Not directly. Pre-Event Scrip sales will be credited toward Teams’ Sales Performance Judging Criteria but ARE NOT donated directly to Team Charities. Such funds go into the general pool of money that is paid out to team charities based on amount of scrip collected on show day. Thus, if a team sells two scrip before the event and one is collected by that team on show day, only funds from that one scrip will go to the team’s charity. If the second scrip is redeemed at another booth, the booth #2 charity will receive that amount. If the scrip is not redeemed at all, it stays in the pot to be retained by Lemonade Alley. If a donor wishes scrip be credited toward a specific team’s charity, such scrip should redeemed or donated on the day of show at the desired team’s booth.
Sponsors can do one of two things: 1. Donate as a 2X Booth Bonus Sponsor, (by check to BizGym Foundation ~ turn in day of show) or; 2. Buy Scrip or Contribute Cash to Team’s Tip Jar on day of show. The first method results in the team getting twice the Sales Performance points toward competition judging and donated proceeds go to Lemonade Alley to support the event. The second path of donating to the booth on show day results in funds being first available for team reimbursement costs, the Lemonade Tax (20%) and the balance going the team’s charity. In both versions, tax deduction receipts will be available at Scrip Tents. Sponsors don’t have to donate at published corporate sponsor levels thus can donate any amount they wish.