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    Are Soda Fountains Profitable or a Hassle?

    Sodas fountains can be essential if your business is trying to grow its dispensed beverage category. With 67% of operators noted an increase in fountain drink sales last year, owners should take a look at their soda fountain and see how they can make it even better. When you invest your time into getting creative with the beverages you offer, your business may see an increase in profit. More technology and options have emerged allowing c-stores to offer more variety than ever before. Spending time revamping your beverage offering can bring in more customers and keep them coming back for more!

    How can I beat the competition?

    With nearly every convenience store selling dispensed beverages, owners have to get creative to stand out from their competition. Some easy ways to help you stand out are:

    1. Upgrading your machine  
      Keeping your soda machine up to date with the times is important for setting your store apart from the competition. There are a lot of new soda machines with interesting technology that can do things like allow customers to mix flavors. One machine to consider is the Coca-Cola freestyle machine.
    2. Offering a variety of flavors

    There are restaurants, soda shops, and some fast food chains who are well-known for offering flavor add-ins to increase variety. Offering syrup flavors like blue coconut or raspberry can take regular carbonated drinks to a whole new level. Adults and children enjoy the variety and experimenting with new flavor options.

    1. Upgrade your cups and promotions

    An excellent way to get customers hooked on your beverages is to offer incentives and high-quality reusable cups. C-stores like QuikTrip and 7-Eleven allow their customer to purchase a reusable cup and receive refills at a discounted price. This is a great way to generate repeat customers, as they will come to you for the best price.


    What do my customers want?

    1. Customization
    2. Out-of-the-box Flavor Variety
    3. Frozen Options
    4. Brand Variety


    How can I work with suppliers to get better deals?

    Increasing your margin by getting the best possible deal from your suppliers is a great way to improve sales for your dispensed beverage category. The ability to negotiate and get the price you want for products in your store is an essential part of being an owner. Here are some tips from C-store Decisions to help set you up for a successful negotiation with your soda fountain suppliers…

    • Research and know the actual cost of the beverages you want to purchase
    • Make sure the suppliers know that you are informed and know the national prices
    • Get quotes from multiple suppliers so they know that there is competition for your business
    • Be patient and do not get frustrated if suppliers will not immediately meet your standards
    • Encourage suppliers by letting them know you are looking for a long-term partner and not just a one-time sale


    With a little effort and creativity, soda fountains can boost sales for your store and bring in more repeat customers. Don’t let your soda fountain be a hassle for your business, think outside of the box with your flavor options, cups, and promotions and be sure to negotiate the best deal with your supplier to boost your margins. Soda fountains can be great for business if you spend some time improving them!


    Read more c-store owner tips