Everything You’ll Need to Start a Mobile Kitchen | A mobile kitchen is often referred to as a food truck. They’re usually found in high-foot traffic areas where customers can freely walk up to and place their orders. The good thing about mobile kitchens is that you can set up shop anywhere. More so, you get to choose your preferred menu, vendors, and crew. Additionally, mobile kitchens can serve as a marketing billboard on wheels to reach many potential customers.
Don’t know how to go about outfitting your food truck setup? Here’s everything you’ll need to start a mobile kitchen.
- Water delivery service.
A mobile kitchen will require clean, fresh water for all your catering needs. What’s more, you’ll need water for handwashing, dishwashing, and general cleaning. To ensure you get a fresh supply of water, you can connect a garden hose to an outside water inlet. Better still, there are many reliable water companies that can supply fresh water services. This can come in the form of bottled water, also suitable for cooking. Alternatively, you can recycle your greywater (which is wastewater from wash hand basins and showers) on-site.
- Restaurant equipment and supplies.
When purchasing mobile kitchen restaurant equipment, you can’t compromise on quality. Furthermore, you have to make the most of the compact space of your food truck while ensuring you have everything you need. Regardless of the type of kitchen, you’ll need essential kitchen cooking equipment. This includes a pizza oven, flat top grill, range, toaster, microwave, and fryer.
Additionally, food prep equipment is also vital. This includes stainless steel work tables, cutting boards, knives, frying pans, saucepans, thermometers, and blenders. It would also help if you made provision for serving equipment, refrigeration equipment, and warming and holding equipment.
- Competent hands.
Your new mobile kitchen will need the skill set of a competent crew to run optimally and maximize productivity. You should never hire out of sentiment or bias, as the future of your food truck business depends on it. Furthermore, hire a crew that believes in your dream and shares your vision of the business. Your crew must include a kitchen manager, chefs, prep cooks, kitchen porters, and servers. Also, make sure you operate a flexible staff schedule and provide your staff benefits and incentives regularly.
- A sizable truck.
The parking area and type of food you would be vending will determine the size of the truck you would get. Mobile kitchens are usually seven feet wide and 10-26 feet long and are found at fairs, parks, block parties, and street corners. Moreover, you would need to factor in the size of the crew and kitchen equipment in determining the size of the interior kitchen space. What this entails is that you have to be thoughtful with space-saving solutions. You may need to get countertop kitchen equipment and reduce the size of your staff to make room in your kitchen.
- Payment system.
There’s no gainsaying that mobile kitchen customers are accustomed to paying for their order with cash. Notwithstanding, you can still add credit, mobile payments, and bank transfers. Furthermore, there are various methods of processing sales. Some mobile kitchen owners prefer cash-only transactions and keep the money in a lock-box. The downside to this method is that you won’t keep track of sales and food inventory. What’s more, if a customer comes with a credit card, you won’t be able to process the payment.
You can decide to accept cash payments and use a point-of-sale (POS) system. That way, you’ll be able to receive all forms of payments and track sales and inventory. However, this payment option will require recurrent POS maintenance fees, mobile data charges, and card processing fees.