14 Jan 2014

Tips when starting a Mobile Kitchen Trailer Business

Tips when starting a Mobile Kitchen Trailer Business



If you are considering starting a kitchen trailer selling burgers, hotdogs and fried chicken by the truck load, the first thing to seriously consider is not your budget, not the trailer and not the hours you will be working.

The first thing to consider is the food you will be selling from the Kitchen Trailer.

Everything else flows from the food, so make sure you “feel the food” before making a business or emotional decision on everything else.

The major investment is obviously in the kitchen trailer, but the type of food you will be selling will influence the type of food trailer you are going to need.  The first thing to do is to research which types of trailer are most used for selling the food you will be dealing in – this will serve to narrow down the list of mobile catering trailers to something that is manageable for you to realistically research in depth and contrast and compare.

The type of food you will be offering will also lead you to consider your storage and refrigeration requirements.  If you are selling ice cream or frozen yogurts, you are going to need a lot of refrigeration capacity, but a lot less will be needed if you are selling burgers all day.

How much actual cooking will be required in the food trailer – if you are grilling hotdogs there and then, you may want extra grill space, but if you are making up sandwiches, do you really need any grilling space at all?  You may want extra food preparation space instead.

One question is how the food will be served; it’s a simple deal to hand over a burger in a roll, take the money, give change and smile at the next customer in the line, but do you want to offer something more for your customers, such as a place to sit down and take some time while they eat?  Just because this is a mobile trailer operation does not mean you have to ditch adding value for customers, or employing strategies to help differentiate you from the rest of the competition.

You also need to consider the volume of food sales you are going to be moving from the trailer; this will affect how many people you are going to need inside the food trailer to assist with food preparation and sales, and this in turn will affect the actual total storage, preparation and selling space you are going to need in the trailer itself.  Too small – you will lose sales and valuable business; too large and you waste a valuable investment.

Consider how you will prepare the food and the time needed, between acquiring the basic ingredients for your food offering, and time to selling it. Particularly, will you be able to prepare and store food off-site, or do you need to do this in the food trailer? The more reliance you place on the kitchen trailer, the greater the need for a good layout, more storage, more preparation space and more refrigeration.

It doesn’t matter what the food offering is – the very first step in choosing the right kitchen trailer for your business is to think about the food you are dealing with and then speak to the team at www.customtrailer.co.za to help design the layout and manufacture the ultimate food trailer for you.

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