What Equipment Do You Need For A Food Truck?

Foodtruck

Don’t you wish you could open a famous restaurant? Do you want to share your food with the world? What’s stopping you? Afraid of the investment? Afraid of locking in a long-term lease and the cost build out? If so, consider… a food truck. Thousands have and many have succeeded. Sure it’s a trend, but it ain’t going anywhere soon!

If I wanted to open a food truck today, I’d have a lot of decisions to make. The old adage is the best designed kitchens are designed where everything is at most, one-step away. In a food truck, that’s not only a feature of good design, it’s also forced by space limitations.

You must make careful choices in your equipment selection. Your menu has to work hand-in-hand with your layout. Further, future menu alterations might be limited by the layout and equipment in your design. Analyze. Review. Second guess. Re-analyze and re-review. Wash, rinse, repeat.


What are the basic items you need to allow for maximum flexibility? Consider these mainstays:

  • Fryer (s) – 40# or larger
  • Pre-area – 24″ x 72″ Prep Table
  • Griddle – 24”
  • Salamander broiler – 24”
  • Refrigeration (refrigerated space and freezer space) – 1-2 door units
  • Steam table – 36″
  • 4 burner stove or larger – 24”
  • Hand sink – 12”
  • Dish sink – 3 compartment with drainboards
  • Sandwich Prep Table – 24″ – 36″
  • Grill – 12″ – 24”
  • Ventilation hood with fire suppression system
  • Space for consumable serving items like plates, cups, utensils and paper goods

Running short of space already? You also have to allocate space for:

  • Propane storage
  • Water storage
  • Water heater
  • Storage tanks
  • Generator space

How is it all going to fit? Maximizing your space is key!

  • Consider countertop equipment for the cooking side. These items can be placed on top of worktop refrigerated units to kill two birds with one stone. Utilizing the hood in those spaces can help with air circulation and dissipate heat build-up, allowing the refrigeration to function effectively.
  • On the service side, store disposable service goods above the service window. Utilizing wall shelving will be critical in a food truck set-up, just make sure you think it through. Your restaurant will be mobile. Making sure you can quickly deploy and close-down is critical. You have places to go! People to feed!
  • If possible, tow a trailer. This is great to free up some space in the truck. Paper goods, trash service and some canned / shelf stable back-ups can be located there.
  • Use wall shelving for dish drying as well. Consider green epoxy or even stainless shelving for longevity.

In order to make this work well, set-up and transportation has to be easy. After all, the potential is there to have to move multiples times a day. Serving your food might be your dream, but mobility will be your reality. Don’t be afraid to take the plunge! Many concepts have been born from the humble food truck. Why not yours?

Tags: equipment, food truck, kitchen, mobile

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