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Catering, Vending and Cooking For The Masses. this forum is OnTopic. A resource to help with catering, vending and just cooking for large parties. Topics to include Getting Started, Ethics, Marketing, Catering resources, Formulas and recipes for cooking for large groups.


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Unread 06-13-2012, 05:21 AM   #1
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Smile Making my own Soda for catering-how much to charge?

Hi ,I am opening my own bbq catering business in September and have decided to make things even more appealing by serving custom soda drinks to my guests and charge for that.

I am going to use the Sodastream machine which I have been using to make soda at home since 2005 or 2003 my memory is shot from ptsd but-

1.The machine cost $170 each carbon dioxide canister makes 33 liters of soda.
2.The bottles of flavoring of soda ranges from a bottle for orange soda $4.99 to 6.99 for raspberry-cranberry. Each flavoring syrup makes 12 liters soda.

There is really no other cost except when you exchange the CO2 canisters and getting extra 1 liter bottles.

I am trying to figure out what to charge per liter of soda-if when I make my bbq menu of bbq ribs or butt to add a fixed cost for each bottle of soda 1liter-my cost will be around .50 cents per liter of soda- for the flavoring per 1 liter bottle. All i need to do is add cold water not even ice-everyone loves the flavors and I think it will make the customers happy to see their favorite flavor made right in front of them

http://www.thebarbecuemaster.net/sodastream.html


What do you recommend to charge per one liter bottle,i figure i will have to order an extra 25 bottles but should make it up in profits because these bottles are very strong plastic not the flimsy plastic bottles from the grocery. please give me your thoughts on price to charge ,how you would do it,are you doing something similar?
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Unread 06-13-2012, 11:10 AM   #2
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Honestly it sounds like a lot of trouble and I don't think people will be willing to pay more than the name brands. Many will only want a specific brand. I sell Pepsi but many Coke drinkers don't want it and visa versa. If your set on selling it I'd start out just below what the name brands sell for by the liter and see what happens. Or if catering sell it by the person and provide how ever much is needed for the even, say $1 per person.
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Unread 06-13-2012, 05:11 PM   #3
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I applaud your attempt to find a unique manner in providing carbonated beverages to your clients. I do prefer fountain drinks over bottles or cans when I do drink a soda.
But here is another thing to consider. If you are a legal operation, the Sodastream is not. It does not meet NSF guidelines in construction etc. Of course your health department may never comment on it, but I assure you that if mine came to my commissary and saw it on the shelf they would probably say something.
Just another thing to consider, other than just pricing.
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Unread 06-13-2012, 05:21 PM   #4
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Are you planning ona bespoke soda process, that is to say, custom-on-order soda? If so, you really have your costs wrong. By example and from a real business.

My friend owns a coffee shop. He sells espresso and drip from vacuum pumps. Naturally these are apples and oranges. But, he is looking to add bespoke coffee from drip, made at the time of ordering.

espresso-$4
12 ounces coffee-$1.75
bespoke coffee-$3.75

Why the cost difference, especially when 12 ounces of coffee from pump uses the same water and grinds as the bespoke coffee. Well, it takes time for the coffee to be made, each one costing time both in process and in getting the specific flavor from the shelf. There is more handling and cleaning of equipment and materials. Also, there is lost opportunity, each time you or someone on staff is making soda, you are not selling something else. The time to make a soda is a lot longer than the time to fill a cup or grab a bottle.

Finally, beverage is a money maker in the food service industry, anytime you can sell a bottle or can, instead of make a beverage, your profit goes up. Holds true for beer, wine, hard liquor or soda. That is where your margin is best, especially with fountain drinks.
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Unread 06-14-2012, 10:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HBMTN View Post
Honestly it sounds like a lot of trouble and I don't think people will be willing to pay more than the name brands. Many will only want a specific brand. I sell Pepsi but many Coke drinkers don't want it and visa versa. If your set on selling it I'd start out just below what the name brands sell for by the liter and see what happens. Or if catering sell it by the person and provide how ever much is needed for the even, say $1 per person.

thanks for getting back then do you buy your soft drinks at cosco or sams club?
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Unread 06-14-2012, 10:36 AM   #6
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With all the things you have to do catering a gig I think you're better off just offering cans of soda.
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Unread 06-14-2012, 10:37 AM   #7
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Default thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
Are you planning ona bespoke soda process, that is to say, custom-on-order soda? If so, you really have your costs wrong. By example and from a real business.

My friend owns a coffee shop. He sells espresso and drip from vacuum pumps. Naturally these are apples and oranges. But, he is looking to add bespoke coffee from drip, made at the time of ordering.

espresso-$4
12 ounces coffee-$1.75
bespoke coffee-$3.75

Why the cost difference, especially when 12 ounces of coffee from pump uses the same water and grinds as the bespoke coffee. Well, it takes time for the coffee to be made, each one costing time both in process and in getting the specific flavor from the shelf. There is more handling and cleaning of equipment and materials. Also, there is lost opportunity, each time you or someone on staff is making soda, you are not selling something else. The time to make a soda is a lot longer than the time to fill a cup or grab a bottle.

Finally, beverage is a money maker in the food service industry, anytime you can sell a bottle or can, instead of make a beverage, your profit goes up. Holds true for beer, wine, hard liquor or soda. That is where your margin is best, especially with fountain drinks.

thank you for your answer then where those your friend get his drinks from? i thought i would make whatever the customer liked their are so many flavors but if its a health department no no then ill just use soft drinks-the question is where to get them wholesale?
thanks
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Unread 06-14-2012, 10:43 AM   #8
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Smile sodastream question

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Originally Posted by Redheart View Post
I applaud your attempt to find a unique manner in providing carbonated beverages to your clients. I do prefer fountain drinks over bottles or cans when I do drink a soda.
But here is another thing to consider. If you are a legal operation, the Sodastream is not. It does not meet NSF guidelines in construction etc. Of course your health department may never comment on it, but I assure you that if mine came to my commissary and saw it on the shelf they would probably say something.
Just another thing to consider, other than just pricing.

thanks for answering
i will check with sodastream there headquaters are in New Jersey. I really like the soda they make,they have so many flavors and I thought it would be a great change then just drinking coke diet code 7 up and dr.pepper.
what is NSF

I am taking the food handlers course and food managers certicate course hear in arizona. i can probably ask them about it. you see how crazy new york city is trying to ban large sodas
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Unread 06-14-2012, 10:46 AM   #9
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Default getting the soda

Quote:
Originally Posted by HBMTN View Post
Honestly it sounds like a lot of trouble and I don't think people will be willing to pay more than the name brands. Many will only want a specific brand. I sell Pepsi but many Coke drinkers don't want it and visa versa. If your set on selling it I'd start out just below what the name brands sell for by the liter and see what happens. Or if catering sell it by the person and provide how ever much is needed for the even, say $1 per person.

do you get your soda from a distributor or s wholesale place like cosco? is there a formula to figure how much of a profit to make from your cost?
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Unread 06-14-2012, 10:49 AM   #10
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Default sodastream question

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Originally Posted by BBQ Grail View Post
With all the things you have to do catering a gig I think you're better off just offering cans of soda.

i am going to do this with my brother in law so i thought it would be a good idea. where do you get your soda from?
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Unread 06-14-2012, 11:13 AM   #11
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Depending on your volume you can get bottled or canned drinks through a distributor/manufacturer such as Coke or Pepsi, but a Costco, Sam's or Restaurant Depot may be better choices if you are doing events, since you have to sign no contract with a duration or minimum purchase clause.

NSF = National Sanitation Foundation ... you will learn about them in your ServSafe class
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Unread 06-14-2012, 12:15 PM   #12
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Smile sodastream

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redheart View Post
Depending on your volume you can get bottled or canned drinks through a distributor/manufacturer such as Coke or Pepsi, but a Costco, Sam's or Restaurant Depot may be better choices if you are doing events, since you have to sign no contract with a duration or minimum purchase clause.

NSF = National Sanitation Foundation ... you will learn about them in your ServSafe class

thank you for your quick answer
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Unread 06-14-2012, 01:18 PM   #13
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Also watch your local Target/Wal-Mart/Grocery Stores for water and pop deals. Many times you can get water and pop cheaper at those places then at Sam's or Costco's. I have even found that I can get some of my food items cheaper (milk, etc...) at Target than at Restaurant Depot.
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Unread 06-14-2012, 01:43 PM   #14
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You are better of in the beginning, looking to a Restaurant Depot or Costco/Sams type place. Going direct to a distributor forces you into both volume and contract terms that are onerous for a beginning company. My friend with the coffee shop buys all of his sodas and waters from Jetro/Rest. Depot or Cash and Carry (like RD). I have other friends in the business who buy from Distributors, but, it gets to be a pain. They want you to do things their way.
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Unread 06-15-2012, 08:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speers90 View Post
Also watch your local Target/Wal-Mart/Grocery Stores for water and pop deals. Many times you can get water and pop cheaper at those places then at Sam's or Costco's....
Watch for soda to go on sale before every major holiday. Before Memorial Day weekend where I live, Pepsi brands (Pepsi, diet Pepsi, Mtn. Dew, Sierra Mist, Tropicana Twister, Lipton canned Iced Teas) were available in two of the major grocery chains, as well as a major convenience store chain, for $2.50/12 pack cans. No limit. We have deposits on soda cans here, so add an extra nickel a can for deposit, that's still just under .26 cents per can.

It's common for Dr. Pepper brands (7UP/RC Cola/A&W Root Beer/Orange Crush) to sell for about $2.00/12 pack for these holiday sales. The Coca-Cola bottler here doesn't seem as aggressive; they'll usually run their brands for about $3.00/12 pack on sale.

Walk to the cooler in the convenience store and pull a single can out of the cooler, it'll set you back $1.09.

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