Designing your own food truck

Kitchen Food Trailers: Designing your own food truck

In this day and age where the mobile food business is continuously growing in the industry, having a food truck of your own sounds like a good idea. Of course, if you want to create your dream truck, you need to find a design that would work for you. After all, a good design is the foundation of a food truck’s success. 

In this article by Kitchen Food Trailers, we will tell you everything you need to know before you start with your food truck business. Follow these expert tips to turn your little mobile resto into a success!

License and permits for food trucks

We know it’s quite boring to begin this article with bureaucracy, but it is something that we should all go through so let’s get done with it and discuss the permits and licenses you need for your food truck. 

First of all, the local guidelines in your area can affect your choice of design. If you ask a local food truck owner what they wished they knew when they started a business, they would tell you about permits because honestly, these things would cost you a lot of money if you are not aware of them. Take a look at the crucial permits that you have to know below:

  • Emission guidelines
  • Proximity restrictions
  • Parking permits
  • Staffing regulations 

Once you have all of these permits and licenses, you are free to start with your design and continue to the fun part of the food truck business. 

Preparing your truck

As we’ve mentioned before, designing your food truck is one of the best parts of this business. However, it does come with its own challenges. Let us guide you through the process of designing your food truck below: 

  1. Choosing the right vehicle for your food truck

Experts think that the first thing you need to consider in your food truck is your truck itself. Once you already have your truck, it would be easier to plan out your design and what you would want your truck to look like. 

As with every design, things don’t always go into plan when it comes to food trucks. You need to be ready to tweak some of your designs and prepare for contingencies. Take a look at the following things that you need to consider when it comes to picking the perfect truck: 

  • Size – Size matters when it comes to food trucks. Of course, bigger trucks mean that there is more space for you to place your equipment and even move around. However, it is also considerably harder to manoeuvre. Not to mention that it would be hard to find a parking area. 
  • Look – The look of the truck should match the general vibe of your business venture. If you are going for a vintage look, it would be best to settle for a truck from Volkswagen or something that resembles the beetle vans and cars. 
  • New vs retrofitted – This is another consideration for you. Think about what would work for your business image. Just as we mentioned before, if you are going for a vintage vibe, you should pick a retrofitted truck.
  • Fuel – If there are charging stations around you, we recommend choosing electric cars since these vehicles are sustainable and cost-effective, especially if you don’t plan on covering long distances. However, if you plan on travelling to wider areas, you should favour the use of fuel and biodiesel. 

Once you have all of these planned out, you can finally start planning on what you would put inside the trucks. Having the actual measurements of the truck to work with can help you create better plans for your food cart. 

  1. Running your food truck 

Food trucks might seem like a dream come true, but it doesn’t run on hopes and dreams. It can be challenging to maintain and run. Of course, through sustainable means, you can save a few bucks on operating your truck. Take time to consider the following before you start planning on what power source you should use to run your truck: 

  • Generators – Generators are versatile machines that come in different styles, sizes and even shapes. To keep your refrigerators, drink fountains, ovens, freezers and lights working, you need to invest in a good generator for your business. The only disadvantage that this device has is that it produces a lot of carbon monoxide and heat. To prevent the heat from spilling out, you need to have your generators professionally installed and away from anything flammable. 
  • Solar panels – This one is a little more expensive, but it can help you save more in the long run. Solar panels generally pay for themselves even though they seem like a hefty investment upfront. Moreover, it is sustainable and customers love a business that cares about the environment! 
  • Fuel – Your powered generators might provide you with a steady supply of energy, but they can be costly to run. Not to mention that it causes a lot of carbon emissions. Meanwhile, fuel-powered generators can run on biodiesel like vegetable oils. This is helpful if you are running a food fryer! 
  1. Your food truck layout 

Here is where your food truck planning gets real. The interior of your food truck can have a major impact on your business. Moreover, it can affect your and your staff’s mood. Having a kitchen that looks aesthetically pleasing can make working seem fun. 

If you don’t know what to do with your design, you might want to check in with your menu since what you plan to serve can affect the layout you would be having for your kitchen. If you plan on serving coffee and wish to incorporate a calm Parisian vibe, you can pick utensils with a tinge of bronze and sepia. Moreover, you can decorate your truck with plants to emulate the calm, relaxing atmosphere of a Parisian coffee shop. 

Aside from the one on top, you should also consider the following points when creating your truck blueprint: 

  • Durable, non-slip and inflammable floors – It can’t be helped that accidents can sometimes happen on a food truck. However, there are a couple of ways to prevent major accidents in your truck and that is installing non-slip and inflammable floors. It might be expensive, but it can surely save you from the trouble of cleaning up after a nasty slip. 
  • Proper ventilation – Cooking in a small space like food trucks can cause the carbon to get encased in a small space. This wouldn’t be good for your health. Moreover, it would feel uncomfortable. You need to have a roof vent, hood fan or a window that you can open in your food truck to let the fresh air in. 
  • Room for staff to move – There should be enough room for your select number of staff to work on. They shouldn’t bump on each other otherwise, that would look messy and disorganized in the eyes of the customers they are saving.
  • Easy access to inventory – As the business owner, it should be easy for you to access your kitchen and workstation. After all, you wouldn’t want to go too far from your kitchen just to record your inventory for the day. 
  • Emergency exit – As we have mentioned before, accidents are unavoidable. If a fire starts from your food truck, you should have an emergency exit in your vehicle to save you and your staff. 
  1. Food truck mobility 

Despite mobility being the selling point of most food trucks, they don’t actually move around places all the time. The reason for this is because you need to set up a stable place for customers to find you. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t move around if you want to. In fact, it is important to ensure that you can move your truck around easily in case you need to change spots. 

  1. Branding your food truck 

The marketing of food trucks is a whole new business venture on its own. A good and aesthetically pleasing truck exterior would allow your business to market itself to the public without you doing much of anything. 

  1. Food truck bathrooms 

This is one of the things that most people tend to forget about food trucks. You need to have a restroom inside your truck for obvious reasons. You would be there all day so you need somewhere to do your business while working in your truck. 

There are several options for this. First, you can keep the restroom in your truck through a small space and a tank. The next option is to find a place with an easily accessible restroom around and resume business there.

Come visit us now at Kitchen Food Trailer and allow us to turn your dream truck into reality with our clever designs and planning. Allow our experts to guide you on your food truck journey.

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