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Mobile Kitchen

Updated on September 12, 2013

For some people, a mobile kitchen is a dream come true. One of these kitchens on wheels is your opportunity to take your love of food and serving it to other people out on the road. A mobile kitchen allows you to have all the pleasure of operating a restaurant without the costs involved in owning and maintaining a brick and mortar building. This can make your dream of opening a food service business much more practical. What’s more, with a mobile kitchen you have the luxury of freedom, being able to move your restaurant business just about anywhere you want. What could be better than taking your delicious food to the people who will most enjoy it!

But before you buy or lease a mobile kitchen and before you begin your portable food service business, you should ask yourself some important questions. As in any business, you should plan ahead and consider your options when starting a mobile kitchen food service. A bit of planning now will save you time and money down the road, and in this case, literally down the road!

People have gotta eat, and with a mobile kitchen, you're sure to bring the food right to them.
People have gotta eat, and with a mobile kitchen, you're sure to bring the food right to them.

Tips on Mobile Kitchen Purchases and Businesses

Before you buy or lease a mobile kitchen, the first thing you will want to ask yourself is, What is it that you would like to serve from your mobile kitchen? These days, almost anything can be prepared and sold in a mobile kitchen, from the simplest sandwiches, tacos, or desserts, to more gourmet items or specialty foods. The thing to remember though is that a mobile kitchen has only so much room for food preparation and storage. This means that you are probably going to want to focus on a few key food items. Although it might be great to have a mobile kitchen that serves ice cream, burritos, and crepes, this just might not be practical.

Of course, you will want to consider the needs and appetites of your potential customers. If you are planning on taking your mobile kitchen to places where people work, then you will want to have food items that can be made quickly and likely inexpensively for your diners. If you are traveling around to gourmet food expos and fairs, however, you might have a customer base that will pay a bit more, and wait a little longer, for specialty foods.

Whichever type of food you wish to serve, your mobile kitchen might need to be equipped with certain types of stoves, fryers, refrigerators and freezers, and other related appliances. If you are buying a mobile kitchen, you will want to work with your manufacturer to build a kitchen that will best serve your and your customer’s needs. Those who lease mobile kitchens may need to lease this equipment separately depending on your requirements.

Two things that any mobile kitchen will require, however, is power and water. In many instances, you will be taking your mobile kitchen to a place that has hookups for power and water, but this probably will not always be the case. Thus, you will want a mobile kitchen equipped with a generator that will adequately power whatever stoves, griddles, and refrigerators your particular food service requires. A water source will not always be available either, so you will need some sort of water storage capacity. At the same time, you will need some way to store waste water that is generated during your mobile kitchen operations.

Cleanliness and food safety will be a number one priority in your mobile kitchen, just as in any restaurant. This will mean you will need adequate refrigeration, and the power to run your refrigerators, under any circumstances. Food spoilage not only costs you money but raises the dangers of food bourn illnesses. The same is true of having enough potable water for cleaning and maintenance.

Along with these types of concerns, it is likely that your mobile kitchen will have to conform to the health codes of whatever community you will be operating the kitchen in. This means that you will need to make sure when buying or purchasing a mobile kitchen that it will meet any health regulations in your area. This can be especially important to consider if you are buying a mobile kitchen from a company in another state or region of the country. Of course, you should be able to work with your mobile kitchen manufacturer to ensure that it is up to code.

Once you have thought about these important issues, you will be ready to put your mobile kitchen into action.Getting customers is going to depend on location and local ordinances on where you can park your kitchen, but you want to make sure that once you found a customer, they know how to find you wherever you are! Brands are incredibly important in today's age, and owning your brand's name is all too important to be sure your customers can find you. Generic names can mean that once you go to find your website name, it's already taken. Rather, you should choose a brandable business name before setting up shop, so that you can be sure to own that business website, Facebook, and image. Being recognizable is the key. Using social media will help you keep in touch with your customers by tweeting your current locations or letting them know on Facebook about an event you will be covering.

Getting followers can help your business thrive, as they will be well informed on your locations and specials. A good way to get followers on your website and other online marketing is to learn SEO - search engine optimization. There is a lot of information online to help you get started, or you can enlist the help of a SEO company service.

Whether you buy or lease, a mobile kitchen is surely an exciting and profitable enterprise for any restaurateur and business person. Equip your mobile kitchen soon and get your dreams rolling!


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    • profile image

      RGMArmyof1 7 years ago

      @Kitchenguy: You know, I have been a restaurant manager for 15 years,and working hard simply comes with the teritory, but we as RGM's don't even notice it sometinmes, so at least now, I will be working hard for myself and not someone else.

    • profile image

      kitchenguy 7 years ago

      You're so correct, I regularly travel down the A1 and see the mobile caterers out working at all hours, in all weathers, weekends and holidays.

    • Sehnonimo profile image

      Sehnonimo 7 years ago from San Bruno, CA

      Heh, for most businesses, that goes without saying, but I guess restaurants are a monster of their own, let alone a a mobile one.

    • profile image

      kitchenguy 7 years ago

      PS be prepared to work hard - very very hard.