You want your restaurant to sell iced tea but don't want to make your employees brew up a ton of hot tea only to not be able to cool it quickly enough — and you don't want to place a bunch of warm tea in your refrigerator in hopes of cooling it down. What's the solution? Wholesale iced tea, of course. You have two choices: powdered mix or ready-to-drink liquid. Depending on your setup and staffing levels, one may be more appropriate than the other.
No Prep Time for Liquid
Liquid iced tea needs no prep time other than pouring it into the iced tea dispenser (or, if you're getting individual-serving bottles, putting them into a refrigerator unit). The tea arrives either at room temperature if in shelf-stable sealed bottles or cold if sent in refrigerated trucks. It is the easiest to serve and the fastest to get ready for customers. This is invaluable if you live in a region with really hot summers.
But Transportation Time and Cost Are Issues
Sealed bottles of iced tea should be good for a while, but they can't languish in a warehouse for months. They do need to be delivered in a timely manner so that you have time to use them without them edging up against their best-by date. Even if the best-by date is just for quality, old tea that doesn't taste good won't sell — and your customers may not realize that the best-by date isn't a use-by date, which is bad for your image. The weight of the bottles, too, means more shipping costs for you. You would need to find a shipper and distributor who could keep to a tight schedule.
More Material Waste for Powder
Powdered iced tea might seem more ecologically friendly at first because the packet materials don't take up as much room in whatever container they end up in. However, the packet materials might not be as recyclable as plastic. Granted, plastic-bottle recycling is controversial in that a lot of what you think is going to recyclers actually isn't. But more often than not, plastic drink bottles do make it into the recycling stream.
But the Powder Might Last Longer
The powder might have more time before its best-by date. If you're worried about liquid tea bottles "expiring" within a short time, powdered mix will be better for you.
Storage Space Issues for Both
Both types have storage-space issues. Bottles require more physical space, but powdered mix requires more protected space. The mix packets are easy to crush, and that can lead to some splitting open, making your restaurant lose tea.
If you don't have a lot of storage space and need something that will last, powdered tea is better. If you need something that is ready to go from the moment it's delivered, and you have storage space, liquid tea is what you want. Ask tea companies about their options for wholesale accounts to see how they handle delivery and environmental concerns.
For more information on wholesale iced tea, contact a professional near you.