Match Your Food Truck Menu to Your Equipment

Match Your Food Truck Menu to Your Equipment

The size and types of equipment in your commercial and food truck kitchens will play major roles in determining the items you can include on your menu. The larger the kitchen and the wider the range of equipment, the more menu items you can offer.

Food truck kitchen

However, if you try to offer too large or complex a menu out of a tiny food truck kitchen (which can be done, though it isn’t easy) you may run into serious problems during busy times. Having proper stations set up in your kitchen will also help you and your staff from cross-contaminating menu items.

For example: If you choose not to install a fryer due to space limitations, then you shouldn’t add items like French fries, onion rings, and other fried foods to your menu, even if your customers continually ask for them. If you expect sandwiches or salads to play a prominent role on your menu, be sure you have enough room for a sandwich or salad station in one or both of your kitchens.

If you’re planning to use a concept that will have you making styles of food that require specialty kitchen equipment, be sure your truck or commercial kitchen has the space or ability to have it installed. Here are some of the styles of cuisine (and typical related equipment) that may require more than a flat-top grill, convection oven, or deep fat fryer in your equipment list.

For Chinese/Thai food:

  • Bamboo steamer
  • Rice cooker
  • Wok

For Greek/Middle Eastern food:

  • Gyro machine
  • Juice machine
  • For Hispanic food:
  • Cheese melter
  • Chip warmer
  • Salamander broiler

For Indian food:

  • Rice cooker
  • Tandoori oven

For Italian food:

  • Meat slicer
  • Pasta rollers
  • Pasta cookers
  • Pizza oven
  • Pizza prep table
  • Sandwich grill/press

You can find most of the preceding list of equipment online or at a local kitchen equipment supplier. If the equipment will be located on your truck, you’ll have to come up with the means to mount it to the truck for safety. In addition, if you’re retrofitting a truck that already has a generator installed in it, be sure it’ll be able to supply ample power for your additional equipment.

 

Richard is an architect by degree (Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, Michigan) who began his career in real estate development and architectural planning. In September of 2010 he created Mobile Cuisine Magazine to fill an information void he found when he began researching how to start a mobile hotdog cart in Chicago. Richard found that there was no central repository of mobile street food information anywhere on the internet, and with that, the idea for MCM was born.

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