Get Smart About Food Carts

by Paul Schlossberg
Posted On: 3/2/2019

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  Paul Schlossberg
Food carts? By now, you're probably wondering why he would be suggesting that we use food carts. There are two levels to this discussion - big carts and small carts. You might discover that there are some opportunities here.

A recent posting at NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) Media Daily got my attention. The title was "Franchisees Go Portable with Sustainable Mobile Carts." Among the new developments is a cart from Move Systems. Their "MVR101, is a portable cart that uses solar energy and rechargeable battery-power that enables the cart to move freely or plug into an existing power grid. In one cart, you can use a mobile, point-of-sale system and cloud-enabled remote fleet management." Among the QSR brands working with Move Systems are Dunkin' and Nathan's Famous.

There was a link that took me Restaurant Dive. The title was "Are mobile units a new growth opportunity for QSRs?" It's worth your time to read both of these postings.

Before you invest in food trucks, you might want to think about food carts. Here are some ideas for your consideration:

1.  Big carts could be deployed as an added service point if you were catering an event. Depending on the weather, it could be deployed outside to help disperse the crowd.

2.  Smaller carts might be placed at a micromarket location to merchandise some new and different SKUs. You could use it as a pop-up store. We will get into more details about how pop-up stores could fit into our industry on another day.

If the big QSR brands are looking at carts, you should begin to gather information and facts about carts. Maybe there will be a fit with your business. Maybe carts will not work for you.

You must always be innovating, investing and trying new things. Be careful and experiment on a limited scale. Manage the risk and maximize the learning process. Find ways to partner with potential OEM suppliers on beta-test deployments. Be willing to share data with them. Capitalize on their expertise as it relates to your expertise – what you know about the locations you serve and the people who shop at your sites.

Get smart about carts. It might be another step in the right direction on the path to selling more stuff.

» Paul Schlossberg is president of D/FW Consulting, working with clients to merchandise and market products in impulse-intense selling environments, such as vending, onsite foodservice and convenience stores. Based in the Austin, TX, area, he can be reached at or (972) 877-2972 or