Food is an essential substance to every living thing be it human, animal, or even plants. They all simply cannot survive without eating as it is part of the most fundamental things needed for life and living. As a result, the food industry is a big and lucrative one worldwide. The value of the industry is in trillions of euros and this includes food retail and services. These services include restaurants, canteens, cafeterias, open spaces, and also mobile catering. An emerging way of food retailing and services is the utilization of food trucks.
What Are Food Trucks?
These are large vehicles that have inbuilt kitchens that are used to make as well as serve food. They are affordable and can be driven from one place to another while food is sold out of the window. Selling food out of trucks is a form of mobile catering. Some people might refer to it as street food and it is a common phenomenon in most cities.
When you think of food trucks, one thing that readily comes to mind is their mobility. This is because the truck does not necessarily have to be stationed at a particular location. Based on different factors and the city where they operate, the owners can decide to locate it somewhere or move around the city.
Another advantage to this kind of food retailing is that the owners do not have to rent space like in a brick and mortar restaurant or canteen. They also do not have to pay bills associated with having a rented space; an example of such bills is utility bills. This makes the overhead costs significantly lower. Note that every city is different and as a vendor or truck operator, your city may require that you obtain permits before you operate around the city. Even at this, the costs are usually less than renting a space.
Furthermore, they are useful for catering to events or in times of emergencies. They can be rented and used to cater to hundreds of people in a fast and effective way. Some other benefits of these trucks include:
- Lower cost of startup
- Free advertising
- Easy access to a large number of customers
- It allows you to be more creative.
- You have more room to make mistakes and quickly make necessary corrections.
Considerations for Choosing a Food Truck
While different trucks can be converted into food trucks, some are specifically designed to be so with all the necessary kitchen gadgets and equipment installed. Often food entrepreneurs who are interested in operating it may choose to buy the ready-made ones or partner with a company such as Reward Catering to customize theirs.
A lot of mobile catering owners choose food trucks due to the room and flexibility it affords them although they may still need to prepare or store meals elsewhere. Typically, the size of the truck can range from 14 to 34 feet. Below are some things that you may need to put into consideration before shopping for one:
What You Will Be Serving
You should think of the menu you intend to serve before getting a truck. Think about all the processes that this will include prepping and cooking. Think of the kind of tools, equipment and space that you will need. You most likely will need a fridge, a cooker, a microwave oven and also need space for storage.
Furthermore, will you be changing the menu in the future and do you have any expansion plans? You need to factor in all of these as well as the equipment that you will need. All these can help you to determine the kind and size of the truck that you need to buy.
Where Will You Be preparing Your Meals?
When buying a truck, you need to determine if you will be preparing meals somewhere else or on the truck. Cities differ in their health codes and laws and some may frown at preparing or storing food on the truck. If your city requires that you cook elsewhere, then you need an external kitchen to prepare meals and later sell from the truck. For this, you will not need a lot of space or equipment. All you may require is storage and a place for washing. If your city permits cooking on board, then you need to ensure that you are properly equipped and that you follow all the necessary health codes.
The Number of People to Work on the Truck
A truck can only take so many people. This may be one or two people which is great. If you will be having more people on board per time, then you need to consider buying one with enough space. When buying, consider the space layout and how the different people who have to work there can do so without getting in each other’s way. Moreover, every worker needs to have a seat that is equipped with a seatbelt so be sure to factor this in your decision.
The Number of People You Will Serve Daily
If you are going to be serving lots of people in a single day, it probably translates to needing more equipment and more storage space. This means that you will need a large truck. Another factor that may affect this though is the kind of menu you will be serving. For a simple menu, you will not need a lot of equipment but it is better to have a lot of storage space. This will prevent you from having to go for restocking every now and then.
There are other factors you can put into consideration when buying a food truck. You can find some more in this article.
When choosing a food truck, ensure to take your time and consider all the above factors and more before purchasing. This is especially true if you will be expanding later. Not only will you be saving yourself the trouble of having to dispose of the one you have, but you will also save time and money.