You’ve been dreaming about starting your very own food truck, and you finally saved enough to open one. The only problem is that while your dream food truck may have consisted of a huge kitchen space, the simple fact is that this is not realistic. Get used to the idea that your mobile food kitchen is going to be small and cramped. In most cases, it will be smaller than 150 square feet. On the positive side, these space limitations will make you use your creativity. Fitting all your equipment and tools in a food truck kitchen space is challenging, but if done right, you can make it work.
Your food truck’s kitchen is where the magic happens. Because of this, you must design it properly. There are a lot of ways you can use a cramped space to your advantage. All you need is a little imagination, know-how, and a few design tips.
Mobile Food Kitchen Design Tips
Are you ready to get your food truck kitchen design started? Use these mobile food kitchen tips and tricks to get your creative juices flowing.
If you want your food truck kitchen to run like a well-oiled machine, you have to start off with the basic principle of organization. Every item should have a purpose, and every person in the truck should have a space. Because of this, before you design the interior layout, be sure to envision how things will look during a busy shift so you can create an efficient workflow.
You probably have a list of tools that you have wanted for your food truck kitchen. They are all probably great, but the truth is that many of these tools aren’t always necessary. List your proposed tools and equipment, and consider the return on investment for each item. How often will you use an item, and what profitable menu items will it produce? Cut your list down whenever a single tool can serve multiple functions. Keep it simple, and choose high quality tools and equipment.
Here are a few examples of how you can cut down your equipment list to save yourself, time, money, and space.
- A good food processor would be a great addition to most kitchens, but there isn’t always space for bulky equipment. Instead, use an immersion blender. Not only are they is smaller but they can complete multiple tasks (ie. whipped cream, purees, dips, soups, salsas, smoothies).
- Eliminate the hassle of chopping, and forgo the expense and space for a garlic press. A quality zester can easily prep ginger, garlic, and carrots.
- A good cheese grater can do more than shred cheese; use it on vegetables and poultry for your sandwiches, salads and soups.
Well design food truck kitchens include the use of vertical storage. Use items like extended bar racks to hold sieves, pots, and any other items that can dangle from a hook. Similarly, pegboards are great because not only are they on the wall and out of the way, but they’re also great for organization and access. Trace the items stored directly on the board, so when you’re finished with that pot, just look for its shape on the peg board, and, voila: easily stored and easily found.
Magnetic knife strips aren’t just useful for holding your knives; they are also great for holding spices up and out of the way. Keep in mind, this will only work if the containers they are housed in are also magnetic. When it comes to adding space to your mobile food kitchen, going vertical is the only way it can happen; use empty walls and cabinet doors by refurbishing them to hold and store your kitchen equipment.
Please Note: Make sure anything that is stored on walls is secured. This is a lesson every vendor has learned the first time they move their truck.
Equipment Hacks For Your Mobile Food Kitchen
While going vertical helps your storage needs, there are some key items that are better on the ground, as long as the design is right. Instead of a swing open door refrigerator consider a sliding door refrigerator. By doing this, you’ll maximize your floor space as well as the flow of the kitchen. In food truck kitchens, having refrigerator doors that swing open, you limit your layout options to avoid making it hard for kitchen staff to maneuver.
Countertops provide essential space for prep work and are therefore sacred, so space-taking countertop equipment must prove themselves. Fryers, hot plates, and combi ovens are a few of the kitchen appliances that may demand space on your counters. Among the most versatile appliances is the stand mixer. These can mix up anything from mashed potatoes, cupcake batter to pizza dough in a snap, and in large quantities. This alone will cut your prep work in half and increase productivity.
Our last mobile food kitchen hack is the use of ingredient bins. Using these bins can help cut some storage cabinets and eliminate wasted countertop space for ingredients. When you can easily store your dry ingredients in bins that get pushed under the counter when not being used. Essential ingredients and dry products like flour, sugar, salt, rice, and so forth are better stored in bins. They slide out from under the counter, making them easy to access, but are also hidden when not in use to give you even more space.
RELATED: Gourmet Food Truck Design Basics
The Bottom Line
When it comes to designing the perfect mobile food kitchen, you need to start with organization and flow, and then it’s all about choosing the right tips, tricks, and hacks that benefit you most.