When people think of vending carts, they most likely think of hot dog carts. These pushcarts pop up wherever there are hungry people. There are many other types and styles of vending carts in use in today’s marketplace. If you name a product, in all likelihood there’s a vending cart for it--from popcorn and coffee to cigars and sunglasses.
Vending carts function as mobile shops. You can sell dry goods as well as hot foods from pushcarts. Some carts serve a single function such as an ice cream cart. Other carts can serve multiple functions such as a hot food vending cart with multiple grills for various hot foods and cold storage for sodas and ice cream. You can prepare the food as well as sell food from a cart like this. Some vending carts have a flexible design that allows them to serve a variety of functions depending on the location and the products sold.
Pushcarts fall into two basic types. There are vending carts that allow you to sell a variety of dry goods such as souvenirs, jewelry or sunglasses. Changing the product you sell is as easy as changing your signage and your dry goods. The other type is a food pushcart. Hot dog carts are in this group, as well as coffee carts, ice cream carts, and pretzel carts. This type of cart tends to be specialized and requires some effort to change products.
As you look at purchasing a vending cart, look for features that can make your life easier. Sanitation facilities such as sinks on food pushcarts make food preparation and cleanup much easier, but having water available can take up valuable storage space and increase the weight of the cart. Although storage is not an absolute must, it helps if you can have a supply of your inventory stored in the vending cart. Also look for vending carts that are easy to maneuver regardless of their size. Wheels should easily turn in all directions.
Vending carts come in a variety of sizes and weights. Hand-propelled carts are small and easy to maneuver. They can be set up anywhere that your vending license allows. You can set mid-sized carts by hand. They are usually still small enough that you can transport them to your location in a pickup or van. Larger carts, especially multifunction hot dog carts, can be towed behind a vehicle. The materials used in the construction of the pushcart can affect the overall weight of the cart.
If you are thinking about investing in a pushcart, think about what you want to sell and where you want to sell your product. It may be a good idea to start with a small cart to build your business. If money is tight, you might even consider one of the many used vending carts available. Used carts can sometimes be adapted from one function to another. As your business grows, you can always upgrade your cart or add more vending carts to your business.