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Sarah Ward

Food and Beverage Trucks: 9 Facets of Inventory Management

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Food and beverage trucks have all the fun, focus-driven tasks of any restaurant or bar business. Those include customer experience and customer satisfaction requirements. There are tasks around growth opportunities, ways to maximize revenue, and the use of restaurant tech. On top of all those and more, there’s the ongoing task of inventory management. 

For food and beverage trucks, inventory management covers everything from kitchen appliances to beverage liquors and cocktail ingredients. It’s part of your process of how to start a food truck business, the cost to start a food truck, and the types of food trucks and menu types

You’ll find ideas about food and beverage trucks inventory management as you look into the best places to start a food truck business, and the best food trucks all around. In this BinWise blog, we’ll cover a range of the basics of food and beverage trucks and their inventory needs.

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Inventory for Food and Beverage Trucks

Inventory for food and beverage trucks covers everything the business needs to work smoothly day in and day out. We’ve broken down the basics of your inventory list into three categories. They are kitchen appliances, beverage mixing inventory, and needs for general daily tasks. These upcoming nine nuances of inventory for food and beverage trucks will build up your truck.

Kitchen Appliances Inventory

When it comes to kitchen appliances inventory, the key for a food and beverage truck is to get equipment that is efficient in usage and size. You have limited room for all your essentials. Plan for your space whenever you’re ordering something new. These three areas of kitchen appliances are some you’ll find yourself planning for. 

3. Fridge and Freezer Space

Fridge and freezer space should take up a good amount of space in your food and beverage truck. It’s best kept as below the counters storage space, so you can get in and out with ease. 

2. Drink Mixing Appliances

Drink mixing appliances are a major part of your regular use inventory items for a beverage truck. From blenders to frothers to an ice machine, you need a number of items to keep you mixing up the best drinks all through your open hours.

1. Cooking Appliances  

Cooking appliances are for any food and beverage trucks out there. From an oven to a microwave to pots and pans, there’s plenty you’ll need on hand. Overhead cupboard space is the best option for all cooking appliances that can be tucked away when they’re not actively in use.

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Beverage Mixing Inventory

As a beverage truck, a great deal of your inventory that rotates out regularly will be a mix of drink components. From liquor to mixers to beer and wine if you offer it, there’s plenty of stock you’ll need on hand. On average, you should have a week’s worth of ingredients, including these three categories, in the truck at any given time. 

3. Liquor Inventory

Your liquor inventory is a major part of your rotating inventory for a beverage truck. You’ll want a mix of liquor, from gin to rum to whiskey to tequila to vodka to absinthe. 

2. Keg Supplies

Keg supplies will be a big part of your inventory list if you’re serving up beer. If you do serve beer, you have the option of cans or a keg in your food truck. A keg can be more cost effective overall, depending on your pricing model.

1. Cocktail Mixers

Cocktail mixers go hand-in-hand with your liquor inventory. As a food and beverage truck, you’ll have a set list of cocktails you can make in order to make your menu unique and save space. Your mixers can be pared down to fit that exact list, so you always have exactly what you need.

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Daily Tasks Inventory

The category of daily tasks inventory is all-encompassing. It covers all the daily parts of keeping your truck operating with inventory that isn’t appliances or food and drink supplies. These three areas of daily tasks inventory are things you’ll order at different rates, but they’re all important for the overall flow of your business. 

3. Disposable Bar Glassware

You won’t want to serve up drinks in actual bar glassware, but disposable cups and even commemorative cups will set you up for drink-serving success. A few classic styles will work perfectly. 

2. Serving Supplies

Serving supplies for a food and beverage truck include everything from napkins to paper serving trays to disposable utensils. You should always have enough on hand for as many customers as you can accommodate in a day.

1. Truck Decorations

Truck decorations come into play as a part of your inventory that’s there for customers as an aesthetic appeal. You won’t have to replace this inventory as often, but having enough lights and signs on hand as you might need is a good plan.

"Key Takeaway: For food and beverage trucks, inventory management covers everything from kitchen appliances to beverage liquors and cocktail ingredients."

Frequently Asked Questions About Food and Beverage Truck Inventory

The inventory management system of food and beverage trucks is a major part of the work of being a truck owner. It’s something you should dive into from all angles, to prepare you for the future success and growth of your food and beverage truck business. Our answers to these frequently asked questions will help you along in that regard.

Are Beverage Trucks Profitable?

Yes, beverage trucks are profitable. The average profit on drinks, especially alcoholic beverages, rests in the 70% range. This is because of the relatively low cost of the base ingredients. Beverage trucks are among the best options for food and beverage trucks when it comes to turning a tidy profit. 

What are Some Desserts for Food Trucks?

Some great desserts for food trucks and beverage trucks include:

  • Rolled ice cream
  • Whiskey floats
  • Tropical drinks
  • White Russians
  • Shaved ice (tequila optional)

Food and beverage trucks can get creative with desserts. They’re perfect for after dinner, but truly, there’s never a bad time for dessert on the go.

What are the Most Popular Beverage Truck Items?

Some of the most popular beverage truck items include:

  • Wine coolers
  • Canned cocktails
  • Mocktails
  • Coffee
  • Beer brands
  • Lemonade (with liquor options)
  • Floats
  • Smoothies
  • Boba tea

Overall, the most popular beverage truck items are things people can easily enjoy as they continue on their way. If you’re parked in an established food and beverage truck court, you can branch out. If not, making your drinks mobile-friendly is the way to go. These can even work for types of catering events.

How Do You Organize Food and Beverage Truck Inventory?

The most important factor of food and beverage truck inventory organization is space management. You’ll likely want to have a storage area of some sort for larger inventory pieces. For your regular inventory, however, you’ll need a fair amount of it to be in your truck during your open hours. Getting creative with food and beverage storage will help you maintain your workspace. 

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Food and Beverage Truck Inventory: Stock Your Storage Spaces with Care 

The inventory management system of food and beverage trucks is all about making use of the space and resources you have. It’s a fine balance between having the right amount of inventory and enough room to work with it and serve up delicious food and drinks. BinWise and BlueCart can help you to find that balance.

The BinWise Pro beverage inventory program, paired with the BinScan mobile app, simplifies your inventory system with perpetual inventory in the palm of your hand. BlueCart’s order management software takes the guesswork out of your order management system.

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