Wholesale Cups for the Food Service and Amusement Industries

Nick Mirev
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    The beverage industry is changing constantly. However, people will always need containers to enjoy their drinks. Businesses often buy in bulk in order to benefit from the wholesale price of the products. That’s also true for cups. In the following blog post, we’ll dive a little deeper into the topic of wholesale cups. We’ll examine what businesses buy cups in large quantities and what types of cups are common on the market. We’ll also discuss how companies can use restaurant supplies in a more sustainable way and switch to more eco-friendly alternatives.

    What Businesses Buy Wholesale Cups

    Food and Beverage Service Businesses

    Restaurants, fast-food places, and bars buy a variety of wholesale products. From wholesale linens to wholesale cleaning supplies, food establishments need a lot of supplies to run their business. That’s why they often partner with distributors of wholesale cups. Most suppliers of cups also offer other plastic or paper goods that are needed for day-to-day operations like tableware or cutlery.

    Even restaurants that don’t work with single-use cups might partner with distributors of glassware and mugs. As these items might get damaged or worn out from use, venues often buy new ones.

    Cafes and coffee shops make most of their orders in cardboard cups. They use various sizes as customers prefer different drinks. The same goes for cafeterias and mobile vendors such as food trucks.

    Event and Catering Companies

    A catering business that serves special occasions and outdoor events stocks wholesale cups, plates, and utensils. They might also require special cups for some occasions. Event planners and party rental companies also have a lot of items in their storage. They buy not only cups and tableware in large quantities, but they also offer rentals like furniture, linens, and party equipment.

    Entertainment Parks and Venues

    Stadiums and concert venues need a lot of cups for visitors to events. The same goes for amusement parks and other entertainment venues. Since they serve a lot of beverages, they also partner with manufacturers or wholesalers of soft drinks as well.

    Institutions and Offices

    Institutions and offices often have vending machines for hot drinks, water, or soda. Some of them might offer bottled or canned drinks but others need single-use cups. That’s why both public and private institutions stock wholesale cups for coffee or water.

    Key takeaway: Disposable plastic and paper cups are the main types that businesses buy in bulk. One of the main trends in recent years is switching to eco-friendly materials and practices. That’s why companies might opt to buy more expensive wholesale cups if they are compostable or biodegradable.
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    Types of Cups Used by Businesses

    There are dozens of different types of cups, mugs, and glasses. Businesses in the food service industry have a lot of options when stocking wholesale cups. Let’s dive a little deeper into the main types.

    Disposable Cups

    There are two major categories of disposable cups - paper and plastic ones. Plastic cups are usually used for cold drinks as the heat of hot ones will damage their structure. The plastic cups that are used for hot drinks are made of foam. As paper cups are often used for hot drinks, they are often double-walled. That way the person can enjoy their beverage without feeling the burning sensation on their hand. Both paper and plastic cups can be recyclable.

    Both plastic and paper cups come in different sizes and colors. They might have additional accessories like lids or straws. The main advantages of plastic cups are their lower price and the fact that customers can see the amount of beverage in the cup.

    Ceramic Cups and Mugs

    You will rarely see these cups in fast food places. They are used mostly by casual and fine-dining restaurants. Ceramic cups are used for a variety of hot drinks. The larger size of mugs makes them suitable not only for beverages but also for some desserts like mug cakes. Traditionally, tea cups are paired with saucers. 


    Bars and restaurants often serve cold beverages and alcohol in glasses. There are different types of glasses for all wine varieties. Most spirits also have a designated glass type. Soft drinks and water can be served in glassware that corresponds to the style of the restaurant.

    Compostable and Biodegradable Cups

    Cups made from bioplastic material or biodegradable paper are becoming one of the main restaurant industry trends. As guests are becoming more conscious regarding their plastic and paper footprint, they might pick a restaurant that offers biodegradable or compostable options.

    Other Cup Varieties

    There are many more types of cups on the market. For example, some venues might serve cocktails in stainless steel cups. Tiki cups might also be found at beach bars or other establishments that serve exotic cocktails.

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    How Businesses Can Switch to Eco-Friendly Cups

    There are many ways a business can introduce more eco-friendly practices in their day-to-day operations. For example, buying supplies in bulk like wholesale janitorial supplies or wholesale soap means you’re getting a lower cost per unit and have a lower plastic footprint. Let’s see the main ways to implement more sustainable practices in the context of cups.

    1. Evaluate the current cup usage and look for ways to reduce it;
    2. Set realistic goals and try to gradually switch to eco-friendly alternatives;
    3. Research eco-friendly alternatives when buying wholesale cups. They can be more expensive but if they are reusable, it can cut your business’s costs;
    4. Produce content related to eco-friendly practices in your restaurant’s marketing efforts;
    5. Update the menu to reflect your sustainability goals;
    6. Educate both customers and staff on the transition to eco-friendly cups and tableware;
    7. Manage waste properly. Integrate appropriate recycling and composting systems and processes into the business.
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    Frequently Asked Questions about Wholesale Cups

    Still having a lot of questions on the topic? Well, look no further as we’ll try to answer some of the most common questions about wholesale cups in the next paragraphs.

    What Are the Benefits of Buying Wholesale Cups?

    The lower price per item is the main reason why businesses buy cups in large quantities instead of retail. Most distributors of wholesale restaurant supplies have minimum order quantities. That’s why businesses need to have adequate storage space to keep bulk quantities of wholesale sanitizer, paper, or other supplies.

    Another reason why companies buy wholesale cups is the fact that suppliers usually can offer various customizations. For example, they can sell branded cups with a specific logo or cups with unique designs.

    Wholesale businesses usually offer a wide range of products in large quantities. That’s why companies might strive to find suppliers who can deliver not only wholesale cups but also wholesale plastic containers or wholesale paper goods.

    What Are the Most Popular Cup Sizes?

    The size of the cups used depends a lot on the establishment and the beverages it serves. Some of the most popular cup sizes are 8 oz, 12 oz, and 16 oz. The 8-oz cup is common for children’s beverages or small servings of coffee drinks. The 12-oz cup is the standard for coffee and soft drinks. You’ll often find it used for beverages by popular fast-food chains. 16 oz and bigger sizes are used for extra-large coffee drinks or large and jumbo-sized soft drinks.

    What Is the Difference Between a Tumbler and a Cup?

    Even though tumbler and cup are often used as synonyms, they mean different things. A tumbler is a type of cup that has no handle and is cylindrical in shape. It’s rarely used for takeaway and online orders by businesses in the restaurant industry as it is more expensive than paper single-use cups. Tumblers are typically made from plastic or stainless steel. They are used by hikers or for on-the-go purposes like gym workouts. Tumblers frequently have straws or lids to prevent spills.

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