The Food Truck Kitchen Equipment List: What Do You Need to Get Started?
Having a food truck can be a great way to make money and travel around a little bit while you're doing it. But it can also be problematic when it comes to getting it set up if you're not sure what all you need. Fortunately, there's information available about how to get a food truck going. It starts with getting reliable power sources and moves into a focus on kitchen equipment needs and types. Then you have to look at the layout you're considering, along with how much everything is going to cost you.
There are a lot of variables, even once you've already purchased a truck that you want to use, but you can find options to choose from that won't break the bank and that will keep your customers happy. Food truck equipment is available for purchase, and when you're prepared for everything through good research you'll be able to get that equipment with confidence. Then you'll be happy, your employees will have what they need, and your customers will feel good about buying their food from your truck.
It All Starts With Power
The first thing you need to focus on is a power source. You can't just start up your truck and let it run all day, using the battery and gasoline to run griddles and refrigerators and more. You need something very different than that. Some food trucks are more stationary and they plug into power sources in the location they choose. But the vast majority of them run off of generators. These can power a food truck all day, and help ensure that hot food stays hot and cold food stays cold. It can also power ventilation systems and heating or air conditioning options to keep the employees comfortable.
The Necessary Mobile Kitchen Equipment
To work in a food truck, you'll need a place to cook and a place to prep. You'll also need a way to keep things hot, and a way to keep things cold. Ventilation equipment is required, and so is sanitation equipment. You can't have a food truck with no water, for example, because employees need a sink to be able to wash their hands and keep utensils and surfaces clean. These kinds of rolling restaurants are subject to health inspections just like other food service establishments, so you have to take everything from temperatures to sanitation rituals seriously if you're going to be successful and avoid fines and problems from the health department.
What Types of Kitchen Equipment & Appliances Do You Need?
The kinds of appliances and pieces of equipment you choose all matter. They will work together to make sure employees are able to give customers what they need, and that the food comes out fresh and delicious every time. That keeps customers coming back to your food truck, and helps your business grow. That's important, so you want to get started the right way. Here are the basic kinds of equipment you need to consider:
Fryers, Ranges, and Griddles
Depending on the kinds of food options you're going to be serving, you may need fryers, ranges, griddles, or all three. You may also want a microwave, or some type of combination oven where you can cook and heat a number of different foods. These can all be important options for your food truck, and knowing the kind of menu you're going to have will make choosing which of these you need easier.
Sanitation and Sink Options
You can't operate a food truck without a working sink. It's not safe or sanitary, and the health department won't be happy with you. Instead of risking those kinds of problems, make sure you have a good sink where you can prep things and also wash your hands and an utensils you use. The cleaner you keep things the easier it is to do your job well and the less chance you have of potentially making any of your customers ill.
Service Window Choices
You need a service window that you can have open for customers to place orders and get their food. You also need to be able to close it if the weather is very bad or when you're not open for the day. Getting a good service window is something a lot of food truck owners overlook when they're planning their equipment budget. Make sure you have it as one of your considerations.
Refrigeration and Cooling Equipment
Food has to stay at the right temperature, and that often means keeping it cold or cool until you're ready to either use it or serve it. Depending on what it is, you may be serving it cold. You may also be heating it up or cooking it, but if it doesn't stay at a safe temperature until then you risk illness for your customers. That's why proper refrigeration techniques and equipment are both so important for food truck owners and employees to be aware of.
Preparation and Work Areas
Being able to prep food matters, and you'll want tables or counter spaces where you can do that. There are a number of great worktable options to be aware of, so you can choose the one that gives you the right level of space for your food truck. Also be aware of where you install that table, because ventilation issues as well as heating and cooling considerations can all affect the location of equipment and how comfortable employees are in the space.
How Much Does Food Truck Kitchen Equipment Cost?
The cost for food truck equipment can really vary. With standard layouts, you could be looking at around $10,000 or a little more to get all the equipment you need. Of course, where you buy it from, the size of your food truck, and the kind of menu you serve all makes a difference. Carefully considering those things beforehand can help you choose the food truck equipment that's right for you. Luckily, our team is here to make the process as painless as possible for you. For orders over $10,000 we provide a custom quote concierge service.
There are Limited Configuration Options for Layout and Size
Because of the size and style of a food truck, there are only a few layouts that can be considered. Generally, both sides of the truck are lined with items, and there may be something across the back, as well. But there needs to be room for the employees to move around, so the equipment has to fit the space very well and be efficient, too. Depending on the menu, there are relatively standard setups that a food truck owner can choose from. That can help you get the equipment that fits your menu and your truck, so you can keep your employees working and your customers happy.