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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 08-25-2009, 05:25 PM   #1
SlowJoes
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Default Soda fountains

For all you food vendors that use a soda fountain instead of carrying cans, what are your most popular sodas? This is going in a BBQ vending trailer. I am looking toward buying a fountain instead of going through Coke or Pepsi so as to vend what I want.
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Unread 08-25-2009, 06:00 PM   #2
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Hate to sound like a broken record, but ask the HD before going the fountain soda route. Additional ice storage/Ice maker, and possibly needing additional counter top space may be an issue in your area. Also, the ROI on the additional equipment vs the savings/margin of fountain drinks (lids and straws). Don't forget about the time/labor to scoop ice, fill soda, put lid on and get to the window.

That being said, in some parts of town, Pepsi, Sprite and Orange are big. In others, it's a Coke, Dr Pepper, 7 Up deal. We've gone the route of selling what we sell - Cans of Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite and Water from either Sam's or Costco depending on price. We consolidate our inventory, and can always get product, and never worry about being out of CO2.
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Unread 08-25-2009, 08:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C Rocke View Post
Hate to sound like a broken record, but ask the HD before going the fountain soda route. Additional ice storage/Ice maker, and possibly needing additional counter top space may be an issue in your area. Also, the ROI on the additional equipment vs the savings/margin of fountain drinks (lids and straws). Don't forget about the time/labor to scoop ice, fill soda, put lid on and get to the window.

That being said, in some parts of town, Pepsi, Sprite and Orange are big. In others, it's a Coke, Dr Pepper, 7 Up deal. We've gone the route of selling what we sell - Cans of Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite and Water from either Sam's or Costco depending on price. We consolidate our inventory, and can always get product, and never worry about being out of CO2.
I will totally agree!
Alot of overhead and a long time to pay it back.
I go with Pepsi, diet Pepsi, Sprite and Lemonade and water...covers about everybody!
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Unread 08-25-2009, 08:29 PM   #4
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Now if Leonard chimes in you'll have some of the top three guys on the list for this type of information...
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Unread 08-25-2009, 08:55 PM   #5
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Thanks C Rocke, We have only been vending for a year and even though it hasn't been a tough learning curve, it's been a curve none the less. I am now just looking into the fountains. Not totally sold on them, but the D's I got in basic math From North Pole High School are pointing me in the direction of the fountain. Long run seems like a better deal, up front cost, not so much. We still have time to research and crunch #'s before things fire up again next May. Your advice is appreciated and should you have more...I'm happy to hear it.
Thanks,
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Unread 08-25-2009, 09:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Now if Leonard chimes in you'll have some of the top three guys on the list for this type of information...
And Larry's no slouch either...
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Unread 08-26-2009, 06:51 AM   #7
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don't forget about the additional weight of the fountain cans & spare cans in your mobile vending unit and the gas used to pull it.
you almost have to go through coke or pepsi to get the product,co2,repair service,etc.
the last time i had one coca cola provided us w/ free banners for any & every occassion,cups & lids,free repair service & maintenance,etc etc.

say you buy your own fountain & only have 1,if it malfunctions or you run out of anything w/out backup you forfeit the drink sales for that day.
just food for thought.
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Unread 08-26-2009, 03:17 PM   #8
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Keep it simple and it will be more fun. If it ain't fun you won't make it.
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Unread 08-27-2009, 04:35 PM   #9
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I don't vend, so I don't know if I should time in, but I will. Take my advice or ignore it :) I have lived in several different areas of the country and have noticed that certain areas have their own favorites. Dr. Pepper is a must have in TX, for example. If you know where you will be vending primarily, I'd go to a 7-11 (or some place like it) and ask the manager what they sell the most of.
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Unread 08-27-2009, 05:38 PM   #10
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We had a gun system at the bar. My concern in a vend trailer would be that bag-in-box syrups will go bad over time and the bags will clog. So depending on your frequency of use, you may lose bags to spoilage, and the bags ain't cheap.
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Unread 08-27-2009, 06:04 PM   #11
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Well, did we talk you out of it?
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Unread 08-28-2009, 03:23 PM   #12
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Don't do it!!!
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Unread 08-28-2009, 03:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slamdunkpro View Post
We had a gun system at the bar. My concern in a vend trailer would be that bag-in-box syrups will go bad over time and the bags will clog. So depending on your frequency of use, you may lose bags to spoilage, and the bags ain't cheap.
Yep. The Pepsi vendor talked me out of going post mix (fountain). We had a small town cafe and he told us we wouldn't do enough volume to keep the stock fresh.
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Unread 08-28-2009, 06:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowJoes View Post
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...but the D's I got in basic math From North Pole High School are pointing me in the direction of the fountain. Long run seems like a better deal, up front cost, not so much. We still have time to research and crunch #'s before things fire up again next May.....Joe
I'm very curious. Let's here what kind on numbers you've worked up.

Chris
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Unread 08-29-2009, 05:56 PM   #15
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Fountain type soda requires high volumn sales to keep from going bad. Fountain machines must be constantly cleaned --they attract ants. Fountain soda cannisters and boxes are a storage problem. Pepsi supplies only Pepsi products---Coca Cola does the same----so you usually are stuck between using one of them for a supplier.
Ice supply becomes a Health Dept issue if it is being put into drinks. In some states -sales tax is figured not on the amount of mix that you use-----but by how many cups that you use--if an employee has a soda or uses a cup---you get to pay sales tax on it. If you have a fountain machine , and cups, and ice you will be constantly asked for cups of ice----and people get pissed if you charge them for it---it is sooo much easier to say "We have cans of soda or bottles of water" "Sorry no ice" Cans of soda are easy to inventory, easy to store, do not deteriorate while being stored, do not attract ants,do not require maintainence, do not require stocking cups, and you can buy what ever you want. Some states have "redemtion value" on cans that must be paid --however that is usually not much.

We have been using cans of soda, and bottles of water. If it doesn't sell today-it will sell next week. We also have been selling "energy drinks" ----the younger generation buys and buys the expensive energy drinks. We buy cases of "Red Bull"
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