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 Coke machine in a food truck

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browe

  • Total Posts: 35
  • Joined: 11/14/2010
  • Location: Tallahassee, FL
Coke machine in a food truck Thu, 04/19/12 7:15 PM (permalink)
I am debating putting a 4 head unit in my truck. Currently my frig is full of coke, sprite, diet coke, and water. I could use the space in the frig for my fries and other food items. I also figure I could sell a 20oz cup for more than the cans plus I'd make more that way.

If you have a machine in your truck, do you also have an ice maker? If so, how much water does it use as well as power?

I have plenty of room in the truck for the bag-in-box for the flavors as well as the CO2.
 
#1
    jcheese

    • Total Posts: 741
    • Joined: 3/5/2011
    • Location: Fieldale, VA
    Re:Coke machine in a food truck Thu, 04/19/12 9:04 PM (permalink)
    I buy cans of soda for about .23-25 each, sell for a buck. Keep them on ice in a self-serve cooler. No stress, no machine clean-up, no "clean Ice", no waste.
    Let's me concentrate on the stuff I prepare.
     
    #2
      chefbuba

      • Total Posts: 1957
      • Joined: 6/22/2009
      • Location: Near You, WA
      Re:Coke machine in a food truck Thu, 04/19/12 10:47 PM (permalink)
      Unless you are selling LOTS of sodas.... I would stick with cans.
       
      #3
        Dr of BBQ

        • Total Posts: 3716
        • Joined: 10/11/2004
        • Location: Springfield, IL
        • Roadfood Insider
        Re:Coke machine in a food truck Thu, 04/19/12 11:34 PM (permalink)
        I'm doing cans as well. But I get $1.25 each.
        jack
         
        #4
          Vic Cardenas

          • Total Posts: 177
          • Joined: 2/9/2012
          • Location: Midvale, UT
          Re:Coke machine in a food truck Fri, 04/20/12 12:24 AM (permalink)
          Be prepared to spend tons of time filling up drinks for everyone. When I worked at a golf course that's pretty much all I had time for on a hot day. Forget about it if someone ordered a burger. I'd have to be careful to not burn it because I'm just standing in front of a tap waiting for the foam to dissolve on 5 diet pepsi's the whole time (diet pepsi is a foamer). And they will always expect free refills and spill their drinks all over your truck... . I can't even imagine how much energy those ice machines draw. I would imagine you'd need a big one, like 700lbs, for when you're busy. Can you spare the space, energy and handle the weight?
           
           
          #5
            daddywoofdawg

            • Total Posts: 299
            • Joined: 2/23/2011
            • Location: Starkweather, ND
            Re:Coke machine in a food truck Fri, 04/20/12 5:31 AM (permalink)
            Free refills?really never saw a truck do that.The ice can be a hassel but the mark-up is nice.
             
            #6
              Vic Cardenas

              • Total Posts: 177
              • Joined: 2/9/2012
              • Location: Midvale, UT
              Re:Coke machine in a food truck Fri, 04/20/12 10:42 AM (permalink)
              Key word expect
               
              #7
                CCinNJ

                • Total Posts: 7762
                • Joined: 7/24/2008
                • Location: Bayonne, NJ
                Re:Coke machine in a food truck Fri, 04/20/12 3:45 PM (permalink)
                There are winners that look at the cup like it is a time-share. They keep it until the next time (God help me) in the car and yes...expect a refill.
                 
                #8
                  Foodbme

                  • Total Posts: 9583
                  • Joined: 9/1/2006
                  • Location: Gilbert, AZ
                  Re:Coke machine in a food truck Fri, 04/20/12 5:19 PM (permalink)
                  Figure out an alternate way to handle cans and FORGET the fountain idea. Good margin but not worth the hastle as others have stated.
                   
                  #9
                    browe

                    • Total Posts: 35
                    • Joined: 11/14/2010
                    • Location: Tallahassee, FL
                    Re:Coke machine in a food truck Sat, 04/21/12 10:03 PM (permalink)
                    Dr of BBQ


                    I'm doing cans as well. But I get $1.25 each.
                    jack


                    I've been selling them for a $1 but considering going to 1.25.  Coke just went up on all their products.
                     
                    #10
                      Dr of BBQ

                      • Total Posts: 3716
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                      • Location: Springfield, IL
                      • Roadfood Insider
                      Re:Coke machine in a food truck Sun, 04/22/12 1:08 AM (permalink)
                      Buy cans and when they go on sale buy a truck load. If you don't do it that way you'll do a number on your profit margin when there is no soft drinks on sale.
                       
                      And never buy any soft drink straight from the distributor. They will charge you an arm and a leg because your not selling enough volume. Your not a grocery store and you can't compete with them so why try. Let them buy in volume and make a few cents per case and you make $18.00 per case.
                       
                      And one other thought: NO MATER HOW BIG YOU GET, and NO MATER HOW BIG YOUR SELECTION GETS you can't please everyone.
                       
                      So stick to the basics even if one of your best customers wants some  root beer or orange soda that they claim will sell like hell. LOL I promise you the more choices you give people the more they want. And all that does is slow down the process and suck up cooler space. Does any fast food company sell 15 different brands? No and there is a reason for them to make that choice.
                       
                      jack 
                       
                      #11
                        Buck & Vi's

                        • Total Posts: 822
                        • Joined: 4/19/2010
                        • Location: dodging,snakes,spiders,roaches, armadillos.opposso
                        Re:Coke machine in a food truck Sun, 04/22/12 8:05 AM (permalink)
                        and the h/d loves to REALY  inspect those fountain machines too.. each nozzle every micro inch ( is that a word?) ............... but ( sigh)... alas.I am also thinking of the fountain route.. where i am there is a huge ice machine at my disposal....water..plenty of elec, and I was thinking of the one with the ice bin in the bottom..my trouble is the space for the tanks, bags, etc.....
                         
                        #12
                          CCinNJ

                          • Total Posts: 7762
                          • Joined: 7/24/2008
                          • Location: Bayonne, NJ
                          Re:Coke machine in a food truck Sun, 04/22/12 8:50 AM (permalink)
                          This is the perfect time to shop soda sales. This is the time of the year you will find sales as low as 5/$10 (12 packs). I get a boatload of coupons...so keep your eyes open for the Coke man (Coca Cola man) or Pepsi guy at the local 7-11 type stores (that's where many of the coupon packs are hanging) and be as cute charming...or for you guys...cool as possible. Then you get soda for just about free. Can't beat that.

                          They usually have books with close to expired dates...that would otherwise be thrown out. Now they go to good use.
                          <message edited by CCinNJ on Sun, 04/22/12 9:20 AM>
                           
                          #13
                            browe

                            • Total Posts: 35
                            • Joined: 11/14/2010
                            • Location: Tallahassee, FL
                            Re:Coke machine in a food truck Sun, 04/22/12 9:28 AM (permalink)
                            Dr of BBQ


                            Buy cans and when they go on sale buy a truck load. If you don't do it that way you'll do a number on your profit margin when there is no soft drinks on sale.

                            And never buy any soft drink straight from the distributor. They will charge you an arm and a leg because your not selling enough volume. Your not a grocery store and you can't compete with them so why try. Let them buy in volume and make a few cents per case and you make $18.00 per case.

                            And one other thought: NO MATER HOW BIG YOU GET, and NO MATER HOW BIG YOUR SELECTION GETS you can't please everyone.

                            So stick to the basics even if one of your best customers wants some  root beer or orange soda that they claim will sell like hell. LOL I promise you the more choices you give people the more they want. And all that does is slow down the process and suck up cooler space. Does any fast food company sell 15 different brands? No and there is a reason for them to make that choice.

                            jack 


                            Jack...I only sell coke, diet coke, and sprite on my truck along with bottled water. I do get asked for sweet tea given we are a BBQ truck but so far I've left that back at the restarant. Sysco now has coke products in 24 packs. I've been buying from Sam's and apparently am not a good coupon cutter as I haven't seen coke products on sale lately.
                             
                            #14
                              CCinNJ

                              • Total Posts: 7762
                              • Joined: 7/24/2008
                              • Location: Bayonne, NJ
                              Re:Coke machine in a food truck Sun, 04/22/12 9:34 AM (permalink)
                              As the weather gets warmer the sales start to start. At least here in NJ for our type of "barbecue" which usually means hot dogs hamburgers and such on the grill in the yard.
                               
                              #15
                                Dr of BBQ

                                • Total Posts: 3716
                                • Joined: 10/11/2004
                                • Location: Springfield, IL
                                • Roadfood Insider
                                Re:Coke machine in a food truck Sun, 04/22/12 11:42 AM (permalink)
                                browe

                                Jack...I only sell coke, diet coke, and sprite on my truck along with bottled water. I do get asked for sweet tea given we are a BBQ truck but so far I've left that back at the restarant. Sysco now has coke products in 24 packs. I've been buying from Sam's and apparently am not a good coupon cutter as I haven't seen coke products on sale lately.

                                 
                                Sam's Club here and St Louis is not a good place to buy soda, coffee, or beer. They are always high and yet they promote it as a bargain.  Shop your local grocery stores. Locally Target will have coke on sale one weekend and Walmart would have Pepsi on sale the same weekend. Then they would switch the following week. And yes it's a pain in the ass to run from one to the other but at the end of the year it'll save/make you some good money. I try to set up my buying anything according to which end of town I'm going to be in. If I know I need pork shoulders from Sam's Club and that's close to Walmart then I buy both on the same trip. I just try not to drive all the way across town to save a few cents and waste the gas. Tea yes I get request for sweet tea as if some BBQ customers think it's a must carry. But with a truck or trailer you just don't have room to store everything and the less running to get this or that the happier I am. LOL I rarely use coupons but I will sit down and make a few calls to find soft drinks on sale. And I read the newspaper grocery store advertisements. Some times of year it may be hard to find a good price but when you do buy as much as you can afford and put it in your garage. Just be careful it doesn't freeze.
                                 
                                #16
                                  bartl

                                  • Total Posts: 1210
                                  • Joined: 7/6/2004
                                  • Location: New Milford, NJ
                                  Re:Coke machine in a food truck Sun, 04/22/12 2:39 PM (permalink)
                                  Dr of BBQ
                                  Buy cans and when they go on sale buy a truck load. If you don't do it that way you'll do a number on your profit margin when there is no soft drinks on sale.

                                  Exception: Do not buy more diet soda than you can sell in about 3-4  months. Sucralose doesn't go bad as quickly as Aspartame does, but it does go bad, and tastes terrible when it does. Many brands (Coke and Pepsi, in particular) have dates on their cans. Don't sell outdated soda; a can is not worth a customer.
                                   
                                  Bart
                                   
                                  #17
                                    Dr of BBQ

                                    • Total Posts: 3716
                                    • Joined: 10/11/2004
                                    • Location: Springfield, IL
                                    • Roadfood Insider
                                    Re:Coke machine in a food truck Sun, 04/22/12 4:07 PM (permalink)
                                    I didn't know that but it's a good point.
                                     
                                    #18
                                      Foodbme

                                      • Total Posts: 9583
                                      • Joined: 9/1/2006
                                      • Location: Gilbert, AZ
                                      Re:Coke machine in a food truck Sun, 04/22/12 10:59 PM (permalink)
                                      Watch for Coke & Pepsi sales around Holidays. That's usually when they put them on sale. Be aware of date codes as Bartl suggests. Sometimes the product on sale has a short shelf life. 
                                      Would suggest never selling off brand sodas. Customers perceive you're cheating them with an off brand product. Coke & Pepsi spend BILLIONS to create brand awareness for quality. Take advantage of it even though it costs more than off brands.
                                      <message edited by Foodbme on Sun, 04/22/12 11:01 PM>
                                       
                                      #19
                                        jcheese

                                        • Total Posts: 741
                                        • Joined: 3/5/2011
                                        • Location: Fieldale, VA
                                        Re:Coke machine in a food truck Mon, 04/23/12 12:19 PM (permalink)
                                        To me, canned sodas are like passive income. I let people serve themselves, I rarely, if ever even touch them. At $1.00, I rarely need to give change if that's all they are buying. I can be serving someone else and someone will sneak in and hand me a buck, .75 of which is profit. Was thinking of setting up a second cooler out of the way of the food line with a jar for money...."Express Soda..exact change only"
                                        Another thing is the litter factor. People who don't hesitate to throw a cup, lid, and straw out their window may hang on to a can.If they do toss it someone is bound to pick it up to recycle it.
                                         
                                        #20
                                          BR

                                          • Total Posts: 233
                                          • Joined: 4/16/2006
                                          • Location: Broken Arrow, OK
                                          Re:Coke machine in a food truck Wed, 04/25/12 9:29 PM (permalink)
                                          Does anyone buy the 2 liter bottles and serve with ice and cups? 
                                           
                                          #21
                                            Dr of BBQ

                                            • Total Posts: 3716
                                            • Joined: 10/11/2004
                                            • Location: Springfield, IL
                                            • Roadfood Insider
                                            Re:Coke machine in a food truck Wed, 04/25/12 9:55 PM (permalink)
                                            I don't. I think it looks El Cheapo and if your serving quality food it lessens the value of everything else, you sell.
                                             
                                            If I were at an event and saw a vendor doing that, I'd go home and eat before I'd buy food from them. I can't imagine anyone wasting their time doing that to try and save a few pennies per drink. Yuck bad bad bad idea.
                                             
                                            The only thing I think is worse is to buy junk knock off products in the can and selling it instead of name brand soft drinks. I never buy those so I can't think of a brand name to offer as an example. Not for me but maybe others think its ok?
                                             
                                             
                                            #22
                                              CCinNJ

                                              • Total Posts: 7762
                                              • Joined: 7/24/2008
                                              • Location: Bayonne, NJ
                                              Re:Coke machine in a food truck Wed, 04/25/12 10:23 PM (permalink)
                                              That seems a little bit bake sale. Or something broke and/or did not get delivered. Once you pour from a 2 liter bottle when you are busy...you'll stop.
                                              In the bar business that is one of the sure signs that a business is in big big trouble.
                                              <message edited by CCinNJ on Wed, 04/25/12 11:16 PM>
                                               
                                              #23
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