Deciding whether to enter the food service business with a vending cart or food concession trailer can be a difficult choice.
During the course of a week I receive one similar question time and time again; "Should I start my business with a concession trailer or a vending cart?"
The answer to the question is subject to a lot of things, but at the end of the day, if this is someone's first venture into the food service industry then I usually recommend a vending cart.
For the individual who has little or no experience in the food service industry, a vending cart is a much easier and much more economical entry point than a concession trailer. Used vending carts can be purchased for as little as $3K and depending on the food service that the person wants to offer, little if any food cooking or preparation experience is required. Many vending carts are little more than freezers on wheels, offering ice cream, Italian ices and popsicles. Others are food warmers, offering hotdogs, pretzels and other hot, pre-prepared foods. The more complex carts are barbeques on wheels, allowing the operator to cook items to order such as hamburgers, sausages, hotdogs, and spareribs.
In recent years, vending cart franchises have started, offering the budding entrepreneur a supposedly proven methodology to a specific product. Along with the methodology comes training in everything from the item(s) to be sold to an education on finding venues and bookkeeping skills.