Food trucks sell some of the most delicious and hard to resist foods out there. Even if you compare them to Michelin star restaurants in terms of taste, some food trucks really give restaurants a run for their money.
The fact is, the quality of the food really boils down to the quality of the ingredients used and the skills of the chef, together with passion and love for the job. Some of the best food trucks in the country have queues that wind around the block like a hungry snake well before the truck has even arrived.
Not to mention that it is a great business to be a part of. It is a tough job but it is a profitable industry. If you are considering setting up a food truck, the following are the most important things you need to consider.
Chances are you will be cooking on-site, and you will need a fridge to keep supplies cool. You need a good fridge to keep beverages, ingredients, and other temperature-sensitive items cool. You can get a 12-volt fridge or a fridge freezer combo and use that for your truck.
A lot of food trucks actually use the lid of the fridge freezer as a countertop. This gives them plenty of space and gives them easy access to the things they need right away.
2. Food Prep Machines
When you are cooking in a food truck you need things to be done quickly; every second counts. So investing in kitchen equipment that makes the process easier is worth considering.
If you are serving fries, for example, having a potato cutting machine will help. Electric juicers, dishwashers, automatic rice cookers, and all other kinds of machinery will help optimize the cooking process.
3. Cooking Appliances
While a lot of kitchen chefs prepare some of their meals beforehand, there is still a lot of cooking that happens in the truck itself. For instance, you might bake the buns and even slice them at home, but you can't make fries in advance. To make the cooking step as simple as possible, installing 12-volt cooking appliances rather than using gas-powered alternatives will make all the difference.
These appliances will charge from the trucks' batteries and will work just like your home appliances. Also, you can install additional batteries if you want to increase the cooking time of the appliance or if you want to run more appliances simultaneously.
4. Sales Equipment
A food truck is a business, and like any good business, you need a good point of sale solution. Usually, a food truck doesn't have room for a cashier, so the chefs handle all the cash and payment transactions. For the cooks, it's a lot easier to have a POS for food trucks rather than having to manage cash, change, receipts, and everything else that comes with that on the spot.
Especially when you are already juggling hot food that needs to be served to hungry clients, the last thing you want is to be doing mental calculations. A point of sale system makes everything a lot easier to handle and also helps you account for everything after the rush hour and at the end of each day.
5. Food Warmers
With all your food prepped and ready to go you will need something to keep it warm. While you can get a 12-volt microwave to reheat food, it often ruins the texture of the food in the process. It is a much more effective solution to get a food warmer in which you can place ready burgers, fries, wings, and all kinds of food while it waits for customers.
Storing food correctly is essential for maintaining its quality This works particularly well for side dishes that are usually generic and are made in large quantities. It can be used for anything that needs to be kept warm. Also, for things that don't run the risk of going soggy you can use thermal containers.
6. Serving Solutions
Ideally, you should have a small pantry in your food truck. This is going to be used to store everything like paper plates, to-go bags, plastic utensils, and all other packaging items that you give your customer.
You can also stock up on condiment sachets and anything else that you might need. This is a must for any kind of food truck.
7. Janitorial Equipment
Hygiene is critical when you are dealing with food. Make sure you have cleaning items on deck so you can clean up as you go. Alcohol-based wipes, glass cleaners, degreasers, and plenty of tissues and wipes will come in handy. It will make your job a whole lot easier to wipe and clean as you go rather than when it has all dried out.
One thing that will help with cleaning your truck is a hydraulic lift. Especially if you have a lot of large electronics in the truck you can use this lift to safely remove the appliances when you want to service the entire truck. Not having the lift means you probably won’t go in for a deep clean regularly but this is a critical part of maintaining a food truck.
There is always spillage and kinds of problems, you want to have the option to remove everything from the truck and wash it all down really well at least once a month.
A food truck is a business like any other. Learning how to make your cooking processes more efficient, quick, and easy will help you in maintaining your food quality, keeping your customers happy, and ensuring you make a profit at the end of the day.