All About Mobile Catering Trucks: What You Should Know Before Buying One

This truck was manufactured by

By: June Langley |

This truck was manufactured by

Mobile catering trucks are the all-in-one alternative to a car and trailer for the mobile food business. They are the food version of a home on wheels. Instead of having the separate trailer that you hitch up to your car and tow to a site, you have one single unit comprising of the driving cabin and working area.

These are maybe preferable for some people, as it means you dont have to be constantly hitching and unhitching the trailer. If you are thinking of working by the roadside or in different areas during the day, a truck is a better idea, as it is more mobile than a trailer, and easier and quicker to move. 

The standard size for mobile catering trucks is usually around 16 to 18 feet of kitchen length, although of course they can be bought bigger or smaller. You have to decide what size you need and take it from there. A lot of companies have trucks ready to buy with standard equipment already installed. They will usually offer you additional extras or alternatives to the standard (for example, you may want a grill instead of an open flame burner).

Some companies will offer you the opportunity to design your own truck layout choosing the equipment you want to go in it, and they will then build this for you. In some trucks the kitchen area is accessed through an outside door, and in some it is accessed through the drivers cabin. If you have a truck with the latter access, make sure that there is a door between the two areas that closes properly, as in some states this is a health and safety requirement.

As mobile catering trucks come in all sizes, you need to make sure you choose the right size and equipment. There is no point having a large truck with grills, ovens and all sorts of equipment if you are only going to sell sandwiches, deli or cold food and drinks. On the other hand, if you are going to offer full menus or cooked fast food such as burgers, tacos, kebabs, and such, you must make sure that as well as the correct cooking equipment you also have enough cold storage space for your ingredients.

If you are new to the food vending business and are buying your first truck, the best idea is to go to a respected seller and let them advise you on the equipment you will need in your truck, as they have the experience and may be able to suggest items that you wouldnt think of.

Mobile catering trucks can vary a great deal in price, depending of course on what you buy and who from. Secondhand ones can be bought for around as little as $20,000, but you need to make sure that all the safety requirements are met, otherwise you may end up paying more to bring the truck up to the required standard.

New trucks can be purchased from as little as $50,000 up to $120,000 or more if you add lots of extras, such as awnings and air conditioning.