Why You Need to Right-Size Your Beverage Gas Supply

Authored by Beau Hoy:

The beverage gas industry continues to evolve in response to rapidly changing supply chain trends and challenges. Because of this, the food and beverage sector is constantly navigating endless questions of how best to optimize their gas supply and ensure the right amount of beverage-grade CO2 is always available when needed.

For businesses looking to optimize supply and ensure cost savings, it’s vital to right size based on your specific needs, operations, and usage. Let’s look at what questions to ask yourself about your current beverage gas supply and where opportunities may be to improve efficiencies and reduce costs via a more streamlined, proactive approach.

Does My Current Gas Supply Service Still Support My Needs?

We often see food and beverage businesses partner with a gas supplier and settle for higher costs due to limited supply options. While this partner may have been the best choice then, it’s essential to regularly evaluate their solutions and determine if it still meets your CO2 needs. Businesses can likely be guided into the wrong gas supply service because their supplier failed to understand these needs. The best partner is one who can provide a breadth of solutions to support your demands.

Some examples of support include optimizing supply based on your exact number of business locations, analyzing current demand to anticipate future needs, and/or adjusting the volume for better usage. This is where the idea of rightsizing comes into play.

How Can I Make Sure That My Gas Supply Is Right-Sized?

You discovered your business has too many unused gas cylinders on-site. This is causing rental costs to increase and can be addressed by reducing the number of cylinders delivered.

Or, in the case of a business with a microbulk tank, you learn that your tank is too large for the amount of gas needed. This increases your costs due to the amount of wasted gas and can be addressed by correcting your tank size.

What Should I Know About Microbulk Tanks and Gas Cylinders?

For many businesses, there will be times when microbulk tanks make sense and other situations where gas cylinders are a better fit. Both options have benefits and can be a fit depending on supply and demand chain trends.

Here’s more about the benefits of each:

Gas Cylinder Benefits

  • Easy to move throughout the building when needed.
  • Does not require installation, and no fill ports or vents are required outside the building.
  • Microbulk requires a five-year agreement).
  • No upfront costs for CO2 monitors (required for microbulk). 

Microbulk Tank Benefits

  • Easy to use, and no need to change over tanks.
  • Can be installed outside of a building in some cases, saving space inside backrooms.
  • Does not require a person on-site to manage gas delivery – the supplier can fill up the tank on its own.

Is Microbulk or Cylinder a Better Fit for Me?

It’s worth noting that microbulk can be expensive if your business does not have enough CO2 usage to support the larger tank size. In addition, it’s critical to have a deep understanding of microbulk and if it’s the right fit because these contracts are typically five-year agreements. If you choose this option without doing your due diligence, it could mean being stuck with out-sized gas for your supply needs. Of course, if you are ordering large volumes of CO2 and struggling with manually handling, transporting, and maintaining gas cylinders, it’s worth investigating microbulk further.

Here are some additional questions to determine if cylinders or microbulk are the best fit for you:

If you have beverage-grade CO2 purchase history:

  • How much CO2 are you currently purchasing? You are best suited for gas cylinders if it’s less than 100 lbs. per month or 1,200 lbs. per year. If greater, then microbulk could be an option for your business.
  • Do you have backroom restrictions? If you have a smaller space, cylinders are probably the best option, but microbulk tanks installed outside help save space.
  • Are there property restrictions? Microbulk tanks must be on an exterior wall, which some properties do not allow or support.
  • How far does the gas have to travel to reach the beverage fountain? We do not recommend having cylinder lines run longer than 150 ft. If the line would need to run further than this, we recommend microbulk.

If you don’t have beverage-grade COpurchase history:

  • Are you open for both lunch and dinner? If yes, this means greater usage, so microbulk could be a fit.
  • Are you serving fountain drinks and/or draft beer using CO2? If you have both with more than one fountain machine and five draft beers on tap, then you could qualify for microbulk. If you have less, then cylinders are most likely your best option.

What Does Success Look Like for My Business?

As mentioned above, both gas cylinders and microbulk tanks have their benefits. It’s important to determine your business goals and supply needs to identify which is the best fit for you. Having a strategic, trusted gas supply partner is a great way to navigate some of these questions and find the service that best fits your goals.

Recently, our team at EspriGas partnered with a small convenience store chain based in Tennessee. We evaluated their current beverage gas supply and realized they were overpaying for bulk CO2, as their usage was much less than 100 lbs. per month. Our team quickly converted all 24 of their locations to cylinders and on average, each site is now saving $1,000 per year on supply expenses.

Ready to Get Started With EspriGas?

Right-sizing gas supply is an excellent business strategy to optimize operations and streamline costs. By evaluating current supply and demand, as well as the needs of your organization, you can identify a beverage-grade CO2 service – and partner – that will support you today and tomorrow.

close up of cola beverage with ice

The EspriGas Way

Fulfilling your beverage gas needs should be simple and easy. Our streamlined ordering process will help you get the right amount of gas, on-time with minimal effort.