Finding A Commissary Or Commercial Kitchen

One of the first steps that many food truck owners need to follow through with once they have a started researching for their future rolling business is to find a commissary or commercial kitchen for their truck to call home.

Most municipalities throughout the country require that a mobile food unit be parked at as well as their food storage to be handled by a state licensed commercial kitchen. In addition to this, in the few cities where cooking is not allowed on the truck, the cooking and packaging of the food must also take place at your commissary.

Just as your vehicle is required to maintain local health standards, these commercial kitchens must also follow these rules. Please note that if a commercial kitchen loses its certification from the city or state, your truck will be grounded until the kitchen makes the needed corrections, or you find a new home for your truck.

Finding a commercial kitchen that works for you is an integral part of bringing your gourmet mobile food to life. The location, type and size of your commercial kitchen will determine a lot of aspects of your business, including the type of dishes you can make, the capacity of events you can handle and where they can be located. When looking for a commissary or commercial kitchen, you can direct your search by the type of food you want to make and the scale of your operation.

Here are some commercial kitchen options:

Shared Commercial Kitchen

For most new food truck owners, a shared commercial kitchen is the most viable option. A shared-use kitchen is leased out to multiple caterers or chefs at once. It is a group kitchen for foodservice professionals. Because you share the lease with other businesses, you will save a lot of money like this, but if you and a co-renter want to schedule the space at the same time, you can have problems.

Private Commercial Kitchen

Leasing out your own private commercial kitchen space is the best option for a food truck business with large-scale aspirations. The benefits to having your own kitchen are endless. You do not have to worry about kitchen availability, and you can purchase or lease your own equipment to ensure that you have everything you need to execute your menu on a large scale. If your space has a front of the house, you can also offer followers a tasting straight from your kitchen. Even better, if things go well you can expand your carry-out and pick-up services, or start selling some of your signature items retail.

Restaurant Kitchen

Many food truck owners have found that renting out a restaurant kitchen during hours when the restaurant is closed is the most viable option for them. You will save money by leasing a space that would otherwise go unused during those hours. Furthermore, you will know exactly when you can use the kitchen and when you cannot, avoiding the scheduling issues that can occur with a shared-lease kitchen.

Other Options

Schools, churches, and even the local VFW or Elk’s Club may have health inspected and certified commercial kitchen which can be rented, or even in some cases used as long as you sign an agreement to cater events for these organization as a means of payment or donation.

Once you know what kind of kitchen you want, you can start shopping around to find the best pricing and amenities for your commercial kitchen. One great tip to follow is to speak with other local food truck operators to find out which commissary or commercial kitchen they use. Some may, or may not suggest using their current kitchen, but at least you can find out the current rates in your area. Your local health department can provide you with a list of the registered commercial kitchens in your area as well, some municipalities have even started providing these lists from their websites.

Food Truck Supplier Directory: Find or place an ad for a commissary.

If you have any additional tips or suggestions to finding a commissary or commercial kitchen, please feel free to add them in the comment section below, Tweet us or share it on our Facebook page.

2015-12-23T09:58:20+00:00 By |Business|

About the Author:

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.

81 Comments

  1. Lauren Sep 10, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Thanks for the article. Does anyone know of which foods are allowed and not allowed to be cooked on premise in truck in DC/Northern VA?

  2. Kristina Oct 18, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    If you share a kitchen, where do you store your produce and supplies?

  3. Administrator Oct 18, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    In shared kitchens there are usually rental areas within their storage, pantry, refrigeration and freezer sections, or some will include storage in your monthly rent. This allows a food truck owner to have deliveries made to their kitchen so they can get some bulk discounts.

  4. maria Nov 4, 2011 at 4:02 am

    In Norwalk,CT Ringside Grill food Truck on Eversley avenue near cityhall off of exit 16 I-95 they have an all American menu sabbrett hotdog, hamburger,buffalo wings, Philly cheese steak, fries, onion rings, and R.I. ‘s hot weiners with coffee milk.

  5. mike Nov 27, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    in nyc , it,s required by new york city , but never enforced ,most food in food truck are prepared home , and most trucks are washed in the street or never washed at all.
    in fact , studied has been conducted to compared visitors of food trucks to approved commissary , and it was shocking, only 1300 vendors out of 4000 visited commissary daily..

  6. Ronald D Reeves Feb 28, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    I am starting a mobile Hot Dog Cart Business. I am looking for a commissary to work out of.Please contact me Ronald D Reeves at rdreeves2@att.net Thank You

  7. Lilly May 5, 2012 at 7:46 am

    I’ve compiled a small but growing list of websites for finding commissaries. On some you can search by state, and others are local sites. To see this list, please visit my site (it’s for Italian ice vendors, but anyone can use the commissary search info.):

  8. alfredo Jun 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    so if the local vfw has a commercial kitchen is that where i could store the truck people tell me it has to be at a commisary is that the same?

  9. Mobile Cuisine Jun 19, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Every municipality is different. Check with your local license group to find out your options. The biggest restriction in most cities is that you cannot park in a residential area.

  10. robert cronin Aug 21, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Please help i am looking for a commissary in dover delaware is there one?

  11. […] Finding A Commissary Or Commercial Kitchen For Your Food Truck […]

  12. […] Finding A Commissary Or Commercial Kitchen For Your Food Truck […]

  13. Esser's Commissary Sep 4, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    We have a commissary out in Durham, NC… feel free to contact us if you have questions about starting your own commissary or if you know someone who needs one! Also, any sites out there that list commissaries, feel free to add us! Thanks!

  14. Tom Sam Sep 4, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    http://KingCaterersinc.com is a commissary in Suffolk County, NY.
    http://FoodTruckLaws.com is a good site to check mobile food laws in your area.
    Viva FoodTrucks!

  15. robert cronin Sep 16, 2012 at 7:42 am

    Found commissary in delaware called delaware shared kitchen great place to start. Now i can start up my new food trailer be in southern delaware

  16. philipp Nov 29, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    See, thats what worries me. Unless you prepare all ingredients from scratch, why would a Hot Dog cart need a commissary? Hotdog? no! Sauerkraut? No! Ketchup, Mustard, Relish? No! Buns? No!
    Some of the rules are good, but others just make it harder for people to be in business.

  17. Kenneth Abrams Mar 6, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Need a commissary to get my food cart up + running. Having a hard time finding commissary if u can help wit a commissary I would appreciate that.

  18. nancyhuang May 1, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Does anyone knows any of commissary in philadelphia ..Pls let me know

  19. Gwendolyn Pharr May 10, 2013 at 2:55 am

    I live in NY and looking for a commissary in Brooklyn; does anyone know one that is certified and can store, prepare and park.

  20. Yana Mel Jun 30, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Hello,

    I have a small hot dog cart and a commissary, but does anybody know if I can get a certificate to store the cart at my own house? Anybody had that thought or experience?

  21. Laura Jul 15, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    I am looking for a commissary in NJ/Bucks county PA to store an Icey cart…anyone??

  22. farreece Jul 31, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    How much rent should you pay a commissary?? and how does this work i have a hot dog cart in Detroit, and im trying to find one, also do you leave your cart over night????

  23. farreece Aug 1, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    How much should they charge you for rent and, do you leave your cart there overnight??

  24. Mobile Cuisine Aug 2, 2013 at 7:02 am

    The rent usually varies based on the services provided. Those that offer commercial kitchen usually charge an hour rate. In regards to whether a cart needs to stay over night is determined by local laws or regulations.

  25. Mobile Cuisine Aug 2, 2013 at 7:03 am

    Most of the trucks in Detroit store their trucks outside of the city.

  26. Expanding Your Mobile Food Business to Festivals & Fairs « Street Food Locator Aug 22, 2013 at 4:52 am

    […] Finding a Commissary or Commercial Kitchen for your Food Truck […]

  27. Angel from the Bay Oct 25, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Lilly what is your website address. I am in the Bay Area. I am looking for a commissary so I can get my papers signed and have my cart inspected by the Health Dept.

  28. patricia Jan 16, 2014 at 9:24 am

    I´m looking for a Commissary in Royal Palm Beach, Florida, Can anyone recommend one ? rates ?

    Thanks

  29. CMHG Feb 3, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    This is for Green Carts. I am not sure if it applies to other types of carts.
    http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/cdp/licensed-commissaries-depots.pdf

  30. Shelly Feb 18, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    Need commisary (affordable) for hotdog cart in Denver.

  31. Kathy Feb 25, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Need a commissary for beverage mobile business in Dupage county Illinois. Any suggestions are much appreciated.

  32. Chaunda Feb 27, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    I am in need of a commissary in Lake Charles, Louisiana. This is the hold up for me to receive my certification from the Health Department, but there are none that I can find…PLEASE HELP!

  33. Chad Weizer Mar 4, 2014 at 10:34 am

    I have a state of the art commissary in Philadelphia, we have some of the best food trucks in the city prepping here.

    Google “Bridesburg Commissary” for more info
    or simply email me ChadWeizer@yahoo.com

  34. Michael young Mar 6, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Did you find a commissary in Dover del?

  35. Michael young Mar 6, 2014 at 11:16 am

    I’m looking to get into the food truck business in the Dover de area any suggestions on where to buy a truck and equipment? Thanks.

  36. Brad Casey Mar 6, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Hi! I am have a hot dog cart and need a commissary in Fort Lauderdale! Can anyone help me. Thanks for your help!

  37. Brad Casey Mar 7, 2014 at 7:33 am

    I am looking for a commissary in Fort Lauderdale, Fl. Any help would be appreciated!

  38. Chris Mar 13, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    Have you found a commisary in dover de I am opening a business and health dept said call schools. I called schools they said they can’t do it. Don’t know which way to go.

  39. Hicks Restaurant Solutions Mar 15, 2014 at 2:37 am

    That is very kind of you to offer info about the Commisary issue. I have a business fabricating food trucks, buying and selling used equipment, and equipment installation. We have a real need for a Commisary and it would go right along with our business. Any info you can give us on opening one would be so helpful. Maybe any major hurdles or unforseen problems. Idea of how your operation works. I am possibly starting a food truck for a gentleman in Durham soon. Any help would be greatly appreciated,and anything we can do to return the favor just let me know. Thanks

  40. meghan Mar 17, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    If you google it or talk to your local licensing agency/ health department you should be able to find out

  41. Camero*n Mar 22, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Need a link, Lilly…..

  42. CHAZ POWERS Mar 26, 2014 at 11:51 am

    I’m thinking of starting a commercially shared kitchen in maryland right outside washington dc, would like to see if there’s any mobile/food truck/caterers interested in using such a kitchen…thanks!

  43. Ross Mar 28, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Hi Lilly – I’m looking for kitchen space to rent for my business. Can you help? I am in Sacrament, CA.
    Thanks
    Ross

  44. Bill Mar 31, 2014 at 9:04 am

    You are right. I have been operating a successful hotdog cart for seven years without a commissary with no problems. I run a very clean cart and have two refrigerators and a freezer all backed up by a generator in case of a power outage. I steam my dogs, heat precooked Italian sausage and pastrami and now the town I work in hired their fourth health inspector that has decided to enforce the commissary thing which only adds to my day . I think they can carry this whole thing too far. I have a great reputation.

  45. Carmelita Apr 2, 2014 at 7:55 am

    I am interested but depending on where your kitchen is located

  46. Jeff Apr 2, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Why is a commissary required if all food service is done on the truck and the truck has to meet all food service requirements including potable water, waste water, and three-compartment sinks? What is the purpose of a sink if I have to use a commissary which will have a three-compartment sink in which to wash my utensils? I planned to design my vehicle of meet all my needs but now I find out that I have to rent a commissary facility.

  47. Doug Apr 3, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    I have a commissary kitchen in Vancouver, WA. that I rent by the hour. We have space for food carts, cooks, & caterers.

  48. Antoinette Stanley Apr 16, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    We’re not in Dover, but maybe you’d like to consider us. Check out our website for rates and pricing. Give us a call or send us an email with any questions or to schedule a tour.

  49. Kaye Apr 23, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Chaz Powers..i’m a food truck vendor interested in a commercially shared kitchen in maryland. I am in the waldorf area. Where would your kitchen be located?

  50. Richard May 3, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Iam starting a food truck in the washington area and I am looking for a commissary facility can
    anyone give me some information on some locations.

  51. franklin ashley May 9, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Be aware your own “personal” opinions of heath safety are good for you but not the public, cross contamination and lack of through steam cleaning can harbor vectors for issues no one needs. be considerate of the folks that don’t deserve food poisoning etc. The reputation of us all is affected as the “roach coach” image is still here. It’s better to be claener than needed than a problem I’m sure you have a good rep now but it only takes one incident to spoil it. And we all suffer. Thanks and good luck!

  52. franklin ashley May 9, 2014 at 11:46 am

    Trucks need a through steam cleaning daily, recharege batteries, supplies, get repairs”if needed” your crew or self is often very tired after a long day and may miss or skip areas or duties needed to prevent food bourne illnesses, better to be safe than … Also be aware that some folks just don’t clean and would let their unit get very very nasty. this evens the playing field and keeps all our reputations intact.

  53. Lisa Dozier May 14, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    looking for a commissary to work out of.
    Kansas City, Mo. 64109
    Barbecue

  54. Butch Fowler May 17, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Looking for a commissary in Orlando, FL. to start a shaved ice truck. Any contacts would be greatly appreciated.

  55. Shannon May 28, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Doug,

    Where is your commissary kitchen in Vancouver, WA? I’m looking for one for my bakery biz.

  56. xkbykim Jun 16, 2014 at 11:41 am

    The state of Alabama requires you to store your products and supplies in the same (certified) location you are renting/borrowing to prepare your food.

  57. Julie Jul 22, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Check us out in Greenville, SC!!! We are a new shared kitchen space for rent…Naked Kitchen. The goal of Naked Kitchen is to provide a quality commercial kitchen for rent to culinary entrepreneurs. The Naked Kitchen is an affordable, ideal solution for its members as compared to the complexities, time, and expense of owning or renting a kitchen of their own full time.

    The Naked Kitchen is commercially equipped and properly permitted by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC), South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SC DOA), and City of Greenville.

    The kitchen is open 24 hours a day and may be reserved by the hour, day, or week on a first-come first-serve basis. Contact us, if you’d like to get your business operating from our kitchen, and we’ll provide guidance to help your start-up go as smoothly as possible.

  58. Kathy Oct 15, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    We are wanting to start a concession trailer in Concord, North Carolina. Can't find a commissary kitchen no matter where I search. Please help

  59. Melanie Nov 1, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    We are an approved commissary for food trucks, wholesale manufacturing, catering in the Salt Lake City, Utah area, approved by the Utah Health Department, the Agriculture Department, and the city of Salt Lake. Please give us a call and we can discuss options for your food truck business!
    clearsummitfoods@gmail.com

  60. Kelly Nov 9, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Hi
    I'm located in South Florida and started a "The Coffee Girls" Mobile trailer I've searched everywhere for a commissary with no luck can anyone help ?

  61. Emily Dec 11, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    Another commissary idea is a grocery store with a deli or food service counter. These commercial kitchens are an option, and mom and pop groceries would probably like a little extra income, they have huge walking for fridge and freezer space, etc.

    Talk to your local (city and/or county) health dept and business development office for mobile food requirements.

  62. Tamisha Jan 17, 2016 at 10:52 am

    I am looking for a commissary kitchen or commercial kitchen in Memphis, TN.

  63. Brigitte Lang Jan 22, 2016 at 10:01 am

    I have a VEGAN Commissary Kitchen in Boca Raton, Florida. Call 561-394-7466 or www.HealthyFoodFactory.com or www.healthyfoodfactory.com/#!commercial-kitchen-/csbx

    Brigitte Lang
    BrLang@aol.com
    www.HealthyFoodFactory.com

  64. Anthony Jan 27, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Hi all! I am looking for a commissary kitchen in Charleston, SC. Please email me at anthonyc.gulotta@gmail.com with any helpful information! I appreciate it!

  65. Donna Feb 2, 2016 at 9:54 am

    I have been having problems finding a commissary and it gets very frustrated. I shave ice my mobile is very new and I keep it clean. I have the 3 divided sink all I do is shave ice can't use my sinks still have to get a commissary. Looking for areas in San Diego and Coronado area want to set mobile on beach not able to or at even go to swim meets in area. Please help me to find a commissary again it gets very frustrating when I paid extra to have have everything in my mobile for the cleaning. I love my trailer and love shaving ice and being with the public. Please if anyone out there can help me with a commissary in the area I would really appreciate it.

  66. Tamara Reagan Feb 10, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Looking for commissary kitchen for a hot dog cart Myrtle Beach SC 29588 please let me know if you know of any places near me

  67. Ury Feb 23, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    We are a new Ice Cream Truck in the area of Homestead, Florida, just like everyone we are also having issues finding a
    commissary. We will be serving scooped, pre packaged, hot dogs, nachos, ect. Can anyone give us an idea on how to fix this. We cannot get approved until we have a commisary!!!

  68. Paddy Apr 5, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    Looking for a commissary, shared kitchen near South Baltimore, Glen Burnie, Annapolis MD area for lunch truck. Have parking already just need: food preparation, storage if possible?
    Otherwise lets connect and go get one!
    Twitter me @paddysfoodtruck
    And thanks

  69. Bill Finn Apr 6, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    Hi, still searching for a commissary or commercial kitchen near South Baltimore, Glen Burnie or Annapolis Maryland.
    Lunch truck operators with ideas or suggestions please contact Paddy at paddysfoodtruck@gmail.com

  70. Bill Finn Apr 6, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Paddys email is paddysfoodtruck@gmail.com

  71. Erv May 1, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    In search of commissary in Chicago, IL. Please let me know, new to this just have an idea and the drive, any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  72. Carmen Rondon-Velez May 26, 2016 at 7:15 am

    Hi my name is Carmen, I was wondering if anyone knows where I can find a commercial kitchen for rental in orange county ny. I am a home baker/cake decorator looking to start a catering business. Thank you in advance for any feedback.

  73. Lisa brown Jul 17, 2016 at 5:08 am

    I live in Atlanta ga and have a shaved ice food truck. I just purchased the truck and I'm having a hard time finding a commissary. If anyone out there knows of one please let me know..aandw32@aol.com

  74. Eric hart Sep 10, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    Any updated list for commissary kitchen for lease or rent in california

  75. Diana Thomas Sep 26, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    I live in Philadelphia and is looking for a commissary please help me.

  76. Shanta Oct 14, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Hi, I am looking for a commissary with truck storage in Raleigh, NC

  77. "BOLD FLAVORS" Nov 15, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    Looking for a affordable commercial kitchen in Fayetteville NC. My wife and I just used up all our savings to start up a food truck, it's been diffulcult and very frustrating trying to find a commissary. If anyone can help please let us know.

  78. Eric Jackson Dec 26, 2016 at 7:15 am

    Great article. Worth reading. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas.

  79. Angela Quesada Jan 31, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    Looking for a place to park our non-opereating food truck in Bay area. And then somewhere thay is opporating after we get it finished. Any advice where? Thank you

  80. Mobile Cuisine Feb 1, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    You can park your truck while it's not operating in any commercial parking location. Look into RV storage areas first. Once you get it operating you'll probably want to park it at your commissary if that is an option.

  81. Grace Mar 28, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Operating the food truck in NYC and wanna looking for a food truck monthly overnight parking location in or near hudson county with a charging option for the truck generator. Any suggestions where to find a space? Thank you.

Leave A Comment