Questions about canned/bottled beverages for delivery

Hi there, I’m new to these forums. I’ve read some great postings on here and am glad to have found a place for fellow pizza folk to congregate. I find it very aptly named as well!

As I stated in my first post, I’m a driver/jack-of-all-trades at a chain restaurant, but would at some point in the future like to start my own shop. Money is my main obstacle, so it will be a while. I’m on a big research kick for the time being.

Anyway, I have been reading old threads, and there are many on the topic of bottled beverages, but I have some unanswered questions. Perhaps I will show my ignorance here.

Some smaller places I’ve seen get around the gouging from Coke/Pepsi distributors by simply getting their product at the grocery store. Sam’s Club would be another option. What I’m wondering here is, can you get in trouble for reselling Coke/Pepsi products without using them as a distributor? Are you not allowed to advertise the fact that you serve their products? Would you get in trouble for having a Coke logo on your menu, etc?

Or do you simply just have the problem of not having an on-site cooler provided by them when you decide to purchase/resell their products through other means?

Another question I have is about bottled vs. canned for delivery. I hate the idea of charging $1.50 or near that for one drink, which seems necessary the way Coke charges around a dollar for 20 oz. bottles. Cans seem like you could get a better deal on, but will Coke deliver you cans? Or are you stuck again going to Sam’s Club to get a better deal? I’d like to have cans, so I could offer something like $1 each, and 6 for $5 etc. - Good profits for me AND the customer can get drinks for everyone and not spend $10 - Easy for a driver to transport as well. I’ve seen the argument, and I would agree with it, that cans are tacky and unprofessional for in-store, but they seem fit for delivery in my eyes.

I see right now that Sam’s Club has Coke cans at 24 for $6.63. Thats a cost of $0.28 per can, you could sell for way under $1.00 to customers at those rates, even factoring in the hassle/expense of supply runs to Sam’s & tax. Reasonable for a dozen plus store high volume operation? No. For an indy? Looks like a great option to me.

What do you value a Coke-provided on site cooler and delivery to your back door at? Our Coke people like to deliver them covered in syrup, looking like they were the survivors of a truck turnover accident.


I’ll add one more question (sorry I’m so long-winded): If I went the Sam’s Club route, would I get in trouble for offering both Coke and Pepsi products at my shop simultaneously?

It is my understanding and belief that one can sell any two product lines in one’s shop as long as one follows the general laws about selling those products . . . you want to sell both Coke and Pepsi in a legally licensed and operated restaurant, then no one can stop you. Pay your taxes and get your business license.

It truly is an inconvenience that grows and grows when you have to purchase and stock your own drinks from SAM’s or other warehouse club. we did it for a long, long time. After 4 years, we have dropped off the can line and buy 2-liters from the Dollar General Next Door to us . . . saves an hour plus 50 miles driving. Cans are just too much hassle for us right now, and they didn’t sell too well anyway. We may go to the 20oz bottles one day.

As for pricing and products, find out what the customer will buy and sell it to them for as much as they are willing to pay. That’s a very assertive model that will keep you ahead of most food cost increases. If they will buy more units of cans at a desirable margin, then sell them. If 20oz bottles will sell, regardless of my impression of the customer being inconvenienced somehow . . . then I will sell them. It is a balance of enlightened self-interest. Offer enough concern for the customer welfare that you can develop loyalty and get them to buy the high margin or profit contribution items.

I appreciate the input. Fortunately, if I started a shop, Sam’s would be 2 to 4 miles away depending on where I decided to operate. Like I said, I am asking these questions from an outsiders’ viewpoint. Could I use the Coke or Pepsi logo (Or both? hehe) in-store? I realize participating in their gouging distribution channels gets you the benefit of them offering coolers, perhaps Coke/Pepsi branded signage/advertising/whatever you can talk them into… And you generally get nothing (except higher prices) if they know you are using both?

For example, I get a Coke and Pepsi truck, I end up paying higher prices on both? I negotiate exclusively with one, they come down on price a bit (to a still ridiculous level mind you) and offer a cooler, branded menus, and store signage.

There just seems to be a lot of considerations to take into account here. I think it would differentiate me as a delivery store if I were to have both lines. I would say Pepsi seems more popular here, it gets you Mountain Dew, and they bottle Dr. Pepper here as well - But Coke enthusiasts are pretty die hard in their rejection of Pepsi.

Just wondering to myself which is more worthwhile. Getting on both of their distribution routes seems like a lose-lose deal, you pay top dollar for both, and get absolutely nothing in return - so it is clear why no big players even consider this option.

If you are not going to ever offer fountain sodas I don’t really see the downside of buying it from Sam’s if you have one just up the road. You would have to buy your own cooler.

Like Nick, we used to head to Sam’s weekly to save a couple hundred bucks. But what I found is I bought a bunch of stuff (personally) I didn’t need. It took almost an entire day to lug it all back and put away. I had to keep extra inventory on hand since I would only go once a week or twice a month. I could better use my time working on marketing etc. (Our sam’s was quite a distance)If we were short handed it was a pain to make it up there. The added purchases to my pepsi vendor gets me a rebate check every year.

As for the two brands of soda. I just don’t really see the benefit. You could use the much needed space for other inventory which will profit more $$$. Why tie up your cash in 15 different soda choices you will be stocking. Think about answering the phone… Would you like pepsi, diet pepsi, mountain dew, dr pepper, coke, diet coke. sprite, sierra mist. It seems ridiculous to me.

It may not seem like a benefit to pay “higher price” from the Vendor but in my opinion. They call then deliver every week. Problem solved. As for the dispensing machines/ coolers. May not seem like a big deal but again…they take care of it. If it breaks…I call, they come, fix or replace…problem solved.

Sure there are some die hard coke (pepsi) fans out there but I think it is the minority and a waste of time to focus on such a small area.

We have soda because people want something to drink with our fantastic food we make a couple of bucks but overall my food is the lifeline of our business and that is where I would focus.


They don’t necessarily gouge you. I get my pepsi bottles for cheaper than I can buy the at Sams, but my cans are more expensive than at Sams. Considering that 80% of my pepsi bill is 2liter expense, It’s worth it for me to not have to drive to Sams to pick up my cans. When a grocery store or convenance store has a great sale on cans, I’ll stock up and save a bit.

I somewhat recently switched from serving both Coke and Pepsi products, and can tell you that very few customers cared when I got rid of Coke. At least where I’m at, selling Dr Pepper and Mountain Dew are practically a requirement.

As long as you don’t have a exclusivity contract with Coke or Pepsi, you should be fine. If the volume is there you can also get them to give you cooler rental fees to promote their product or even negotiate your price a bit…If however you do sign on with them and you started buying the supermarket special or Sam’s you probably will get in some hot water.

another note if you buy from sams club you need to make sure its tax exempt…you dont have to pay for something you are reselling

Here in the great white frozen north Coke and Pepsi bend you over and then some. Small independant store, local wholesale store price is approx 43c a can. Can’t sell for more than $1?? Coke or Pepsi supplied cost would be approx 77c. Same story if you order from Sysco. I hate a 43% food cost, I refuse to accept a 77% food cost!!
We sell an avg of 20 cans a night. $6.40 difference per night times 30 is $192. Going to the store anyhow, sounds like a fine supper and bottle of wine a month for myself and wife!!!

I have to agree with boatnut both of the distributors here want $4 per 24 pack more than the regular Costco price for cans and the 2L I can get at any grocery store for 25 cents per bottler less that what they want and when they go on sale it is as much as 50% of their price. They also have a 20 case minimum order. I just quit ordering from Pepsi in Oct and it took them until May to figure out I had not ordered. The other thing that got my anger stoked was the idiot driver would always show up an noon on Fridays and demand to be looked after during the lunch rush. The last time he was here i came back from a big lunch delivery to find that he had been rude to the staff, brought the wrong product and came at lunch rush(even after his supervisor had agreed they would deliver after 1:00) I made him take the order back on his truck an phoned the rep to pick up the cooler. That is the best thing i have done in a long time.

As far as having both Coke and Pepsi I say what ever the customers want. I have stocked both for the last 2 months in my own cooler and found the sales to be 2 to 1 for Pepsi. The best selling drink here is bottled water followed by fruit juices.

i bought my own cooler stock what i want buy from sams club there bottles are only 16.9 oz. vs. 20 off the truck we save 14.00 dollars per 24 case of bottles. bottle water is another big saver getting it at sams the only thing i buy off the truck is sundrop only they have 20oz. stores only carry 12oz bottles it drives my dr pepper salesman nuts we he sees my cooler especially when i get the 24oz dr peppers and sell them cheaper than my competitors 20 oz because there locked in under contract . 2 liters get from sams also.

now the sams club deal we use to go there after certain stuff and end up with a bunch of cra? we didnt need {impulse buys} :x so we started using sams club service called click n pull we get on the internet order everything online at our local sams 70 miles away :smiley: go down to the big city have a nice lunch let the wife go to kohls ross etc. gives a little break in our hectic lives then go over to sams go to the back and wala our stuff is on flatcarts ready to go. they even have seperate register so no waiting in lines. :smiley: in and out bala-bing.i know this wont work for everyone but it might.

sams vs truck

we recentley sat down and went over our product list and we were amazed at how bad we were getting gouged on some items off the trucks. so the really great deals im getting on boston butts and babyback ribs im gettin it broke off in me on others. example #10 cans of chilli same exact brand make model etc. 12.98 truck price 5.98 sams price 2oz cups truck price 38.00 sams 19.00 lids truck 34.00 sams 19.00 some stuff i have to get off truck but only if i have to. i just look at food reps like all salesman there only liying when there lips our moving.

We used to buy direct from Coke at a total cost of $1.58 a 2 liter (maybe 1 1/2 years ago). Much of the time it is available at local store for $1 to $1.29 plus tax. If its at $1 I stock up big time. If you do any kind of volume at all, you will more than make up for the cost of a “free” cooler.

As others have said, their drivers are rude and inconsiderate - as was the repair man who came out once for their cooler.

I’ve considered going back and forth with Pepsi and Coke depending on which one was on sale for $1 each (never at the same time). Not sure if customers would like that.

Stocking both just does not make sense – bad use of floor space. Same thing with cans (we do have fountain drinks). Everyone knows buying drinks from a pizza place is going to be more expensive so I don’t ever see canned or bottled beverages as being a source of profits. I see it more as just a customer convenience.

What about energy drinks? Do any of you guys offer them? They run a hefty price premium, but I know from experience they are ADDICTIVE. That is important, especially with delivery, people just can’t seem to help themselves when they find something they like - they have to have it! The convenience stores here now have entire dedicated sections of energy drinks, so I know they are selling to more than just me.

Through Sam’s Club you can get Red Bull for $1.41 a can, Monster for $1.25 a can, and AMP for $1.12 a can. You would also have to have a strict no-employee discounts policy on this stuff, as your pizza makers and drivers would slam these down constantly.

I do see the benefit in not over-complicating things with a list of 25 different drinks, and I also understand the concerns of precious store/cooler space. If I had to pick between Coke and Pepsi, I’m leaning toward Pepsi for my market. Dr Pepper and Mountain Dew are definitely a requirement.