Opening a food truck business is not as easy as it sounds. Your food truck business will only be as successful depending on the food that you serve. Be prepared as stocking your food truck kitchen is usually the highest expenses that you will run into. In order to maximize your return on investment, you need to identify where you should initially pour your funds.
Planning the menu for your food truck
If you plan your menu initially in the process, this will help you figure out the commercial kitchen equipment you need for your food truck. Building a concept for your food truck business will help you identify the primary equipment you need for your business.
Remember that the menu you are offering your customers don’t need to be reliant on your truck’s overall concept – you also have to consider the size of your food truck kitchen. Consider the size of your mobile kitchen as this will be essential in selecting the kitchen space for your food preparation. If your food truck is too small, it will largely limit your kitchen’s storage size.
Choosing the right kitchen equipment
Once you have identified your menu items, it will be a lot easier for you to figure out the right food truck kitchen equipment to start your business. Chances are, no matter what items you put on your menu, you will likely need commercial refrigeration, a commercial oven, cooking range or even a fryer.
Work tables are also essential as these are used to set up food stations that usually helps in the food preparation. Most truck designs include a pre-installed counter space where you can set up cutting boards but these are usually too tight to install additional kitchen equipment. Those with enough room space however has the option to have additional food equipment or work space. It is advisable that you add stainless steel work tables as these are easier to maintain and clean.
Here are a few general dimensions that usually help when selecting the perfect work table for your food truck:
- 48” x 30” – this is the standard dimension for preparation tables that can fit perfectly if the space is available in your food truck.
- 12” x 30” – this can be a great little addition that is perfect in an end space for stacking food equipment.
- 24” x 24” – this 2 feet square table is undoubtedly the best choice to fit most extra space needs in a food truck.
Every food business needs to clean its own kitchen equipment – and food trucks are no exception. Even if you don’t use plates, pans, pots, you will still need to set up your own sink for cleaning. There’s always hand washing during food preparation so this equipment needs no further explanation.
Hand sink with splashguards – the side splashguards will usually convince business inspectors of a “no contamination” area in your food truck.
Single-rack reach in dishwasher – when you are choosing a dishwasher for a food truck, it is advisable that you ignore any temptation to purchase an industrial dishwasher as this usually take up space in your food truck. In addition, industrial dishwashers usually take up a lot of water which is not advisable for food truck businesses.
3-Tier Compartment Sink – this as stated above, will be used for every rinsing, washing and sanitation need for your food truck business.
For obvious reasons, it will be impossible for your to successfully install a walk-in cooler on a food truck; though there are still quite a few options that you can take into consideration.
2-Door Reach-in Refrigerator – prepped and pre-prepped food can be stored in a single area with this fridge.
1-Door Reach-in Refrigerator – this is more space friendly and economical and has a lot of varieties
Single Glass Door Refrigerator – This fridge is usually used to store cold drinks and sodas and are usually placed behind the truck’s order window for customers to choose from.
Reach-in Freezer – this is basically your average fridge but just a little bit cooler. Ignore 2-doors when you are in the food truck business as this will again eat up space in your mobile kitchen.
Undercounter Freezer – this can be inserted on empty table spaces or in one corner of your food truck kitchen. You can also opt for multi-door options such as 2-door and 3-door freezers.
Undercounter Ice Machine – this is one basic kitchen equipment you should have when putting up a food truck business.
Worktop Refrigerator – this is the best option if you want a prep table and a freezer in one purchase.
Like most food truck businesses, gas-based cooking ranges are mainly used in the mobile kitchen.
6-Burner Stove – this is the standard stove + oven combination that usually fits every kitchen needs.
4-Burner + Oven – a smaller version and is more economically spaced for your food truck
Griddle + Oven Range – this is one favorite cooking equipment for most food trucks as you can cook your food in just one single hot plate instead of using separate pans.
4-Burner + Griddle with 2 Ovens – this is one of the best combo you can add to your mobile kitchen.
Wok Range – this portable kitchen equipment is best suitable for Asian / Chinese cooking needs.
Most of the time, the stovetop + oven equipment is enough to fullfil the needs of food trucks. Many baking menu styles like pastry food trucks however will always look for more heavy duty kitchen equipment options.
Combi Oven – this are usually used well for specialty uses and reheating
Brick Pizza Oven – this option can either be attached at the back of your food truck or can be made of stainless steel and assembled inside. You can also use the hot surface for cooking.
When you feel that you don’t need the oven, you can purchase grills and griddles to set up in your mobile kitchen. You can choose from 4-6 burner gas plate to kitchen char broilers, classic griddles and heavy-duty flat ranges.
Fryers are not an option when you are putting up your food truck business. Even for frying small items, you need to buy an industrial fryer. There are several options you can choose from including a standard single fryer with baskets, double unit fryer, donut fryer or a countertop fryer.
Smokers are non-exclusive to barbecue lovers – there are plenty of food truck owners that adds savory flavors to their menus and you should too! Most food trucks with a barbecue business usually focus on getting customized smokers to fit their mobile kitchen.
Countertop, Wall Shelving and other additional equipment
If you still have the space in your food truck mobile kitchen, you can always have the option to add one or two more kitchen equipment. Salamanders, Panini Grills and even microwaves and oven toasters are small additions you can still have to aid you in various food servings.
Making a successful food truck mobile kitchen purchase
Now that you have identified everything you need to put up for your food truck business, it’s high time you find the best commercial kitchen equipment supplier. In order to save time and resources, choose a kitchen equipment supplier who offers the whole package – from food truck kitchen design to commercial kitchen equipment. Make sure that after sales service and maintenance contracts are part of the deal so you don’t have to worry about anything. Also, find a supplier who can work around your budget and give you the best deals and services that will help you grow your food truck business!