Pricing: Mobile Bars vs. Food Trucks

Everyone is familiar with food trucks. From delicious tacos to amazing barbecue, and everything in between, we have been enjoying their fare at our homes, businesses, and festivals for many years. Mobile bars, however, are a fairly new trend sweeping the country. They go hand in hand, both helping to take all the fuss and stress out of planning and executing your event, as well as bringing charm and style. Although they are quite similar, there is a key difference that people should be aware of when looking to get a quote.

Let me first tell you how they are the same. When you hire a food truck you are getting personalized catering on location, with the kitchen, equipment, chef, and staff all brought to you, with the skills and experience necessary to prepare fabulously styled freshly cooked fare for you and your guests. When you hire a mobile bar, you are getting personalized cocktails, made on location, with the whole bar, equipment, bartender/mixologist, and staff all brought to you, with the skills and experience necessary to prepare fabulously styled freshly made cocktails for you and your guests.

Both bring the charm and style of their mobile units. Both are extremely convenient. Both set up and break down and leave you with very little clean up. Both add to the atmosphere of your celebration, impress guests and help create lasting memories.

When planning with a food truck caterer, you decide which foods you would like prepared and let them know how many guests you will be having, as well as the location and times of service for your event. They then calculate how much supply will be needed to properly serve your guests. Yep, you guessed it, replace food with cocktails, and it is the exact same when planning a mobile bar service.

Now to understand the key difference.

When hiring a food truck, one does not expect to pay at cost for the food. Just as in a brick and mortar restaurant, the food is upcharged, so that all actual business costs are covered, as well as creating a reasonable profit for the business owner. I mean, people aren’t in business to make money…said no one…ever. The business costs include the food, supplies, staff, time, skills, insurance, licensing, upkeep and equipment maintenance, rent/storage and more, that are all involved in running a business. Mobile business costs differ from brick and mortar, but they do have them. ALL businesses have this in common. But, back to my point, to put it simply, food trucks sell food.

On the contrary, most mobile bars DO NOT sell alcohol at private events. There is no profit made from it. Unless they have acquired a liquor license for the event, they are not allowed, under Louisiana law, to do so. So how do they stay in business you may ask? How do they cover their business costs and make a profit? They RENT the mobile trailer. This is the MAIN difference between a food truck and a mobile bar. Food trucks do not rent their trucks out, but within their price, as part of their business costs, is the convenience of coming to your location. Mobile bars do not sell alcohol, but price in the convenience and fabulousness of having one at your event by charging you to have it. And make no mistake, it saves you money.

Allow me to break it down for you. On average a 1L bottle of a popular call brand vodka is $26. A regular pour would serve 22 cocktails from this bottle. Adding in only a few dollars to cover the extra costs to make the cocktails, i.e. the mixer, ice, cup, straw, napkin, garnish, etc., that comes out to only $1.27 per drink. That is ACTUAL COST.

Now, for comparison purposes, let’s say that a mobile bar let’s you have the bar for FREE, but is allowed to sell you the alcohol. We will bring you our fabulous bar, NO CHARGE. You only pay for the drinks. The average retail price of a call brand cocktail is, say, $7. Of course, this varies greatly depending on where you live, and where you purchase it. Is it a local dive bar, the airport, or a five star hotel bar? That will make a BIG difference in price. One does pay for convenience, style, sophistication, and atmosphere! However, for our purposes, $7 it is. Now let’s do math. The extra costs are built into the drink price. Multiply $7 ( a pretty good price) by 22 drinks made from the same bottle. Your cost is now $154 per 1L bottle for the same 22 cocktails!

We can put this into a scenario. A party of 50 people for approximately 3 hours would, by standard industry calculations, require about 200 cocktails. This would use 9 1L bottles of alcohol. So, with the above pricing, it would cost you $1,386. This is the cost you would pay for the mobile bar, and the cocktails with call brand alcohol and basic mixers. On top of this, just as with a food truck, delivery, taxes, and staffing charges will be added.

Now, let’s go back to the idea that you don’t get the bar for “free” anymore. We will charge you to rent our bar, $499 for up to 4 hours, but you will pay “actual cost” for your alcohol. Taking into consideration the above, 50 people, 3 hours, with 200 cocktails, your cost would be $751! That is a $635 dollar savings!

So when you see that rental cost on your Geaux Mobile Bar quote, understand , not only are you getting an amazingly unique, cute, and stylish bar for your event, you are being smart with your money!

Click the link below for your quote today!