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Innovation in motion: Equipping your food truck business
Great recipes aren't the only things you need to create an amazing food truck business. From napkins and plates to cooking equipment and cleaning supplies, you need to stay on top of it all to make sure you have everything you need to prepare and serve your specialties. We have you covered with a range of food truck supplies and equipment at our Every Day Low Prices.
A quick primer on getting started
Just getting started? To get a food truck up and running, you need to take several key steps, including:
- Research your market: Experts estimate that roughly 60 percent of food trucks end up closing up shop within their first 3 years. Don't fall into that statistic. Understand the space available for you to park, get a feel for the demand in your area and research competition before becoming the fifth taco truck in your area.
- Get a license: You can't just have an idea and a truck and expect to start a business. Research what your local government requires, which may include a business license, parking permit and certificates from the health department. You'll want to have most of these elements settled before you start decking out your truck.
- Get your truck: Food trucks can be expensive to purchase outright and to deck out yourself with all the necessary kitchen equipment. Check online sites for used trucks for sale, and you could spend a fraction of the cost. If you need a piece of specialty equipment installed, be prepared to renovate part of the truck to meet your needs.
- Find your own niche: If you want to be successful, you need a unique spin and flavors that your customers won't find at the truck down the street.
- Make a plan: Before you try getting financing, you should have a solid business plan. In addition to your concept, you should have a good estimate of your operating costs, which includes everything from permits to ingredients to janitorial supplies.
Food truck cooking equipment essentials
In an ideal world, you'll find a food truck stocked with all the equipment you need at a great price. However, if you're renovating it or starting from scratch, you can stock your truck with the essentials necessary for you particular concept. Some common cooking equipment essentials include:
- Flat top grill/griddle: This equipment is ideal for cooks in need of a versatile cooktop. It sears up everything from eggs and potatoes to burgers and veggies.
- Fryers: Whether you opt for a traditional oil-based deep fryer or an air fryer, this is a must for anyone who wants to serves crispy fries, tater tots and other fried nibbles.
- Prep tables: Make sure you give yourself plenty of room to chop ingredients and prepare your fare.
- Warmers: Commercial warmers are great for keeping hot foods like soups and stews at safe temperatures
Must-have serving supplies
The right serving supplies offer convenience for you and your customers. For example, disposable utensils, cups, plates and containers are ideal for people who are eating on the go. Some of the serving essentials to stock up on include:
- Plates and bowls
- To-go containers
- Portion cups with lids
In addition to the items you'll use for serving, consider stocking up on some helpful serving supplies like a chalkboard marquis that lets you prominently display your daily specials. Squeezable condiment bottles, storage organizers and caddies can help you keep everything neat and tidy even during the daily rush.
Cleaning essentials 101
Keeping your rig organized, clean and sanitary is essential to make sure no one gets sick and you always pass inspection by your local health department. Stay on top of your cleaning needs by always having cleaning essentials on hand, including:
- Dish-cleaning detergent
- Dish towels, rags, scrubbers and sponges
- Degreasers and descalers
- Grill cleaner
- Dustpan and broom
- Mop and bucket Heavy-duty cleaning gloves and latex gloves for serving
- Trash bags and cans
- Labels for staying organized
Other helpful items to consider
When you're outfitting your food truck, it helps to think of all the items that can make your customers happy and make your job easier. For example, in addition to a great coffee brewer, you might consider some thermal carafes or airpots that keep your beverages hot for hours so that you'll always have hot drinks on hand for the loyal followers that visit in autumn and winter. Likewise, large beverage coolers let you mix up big batches of your signature cold drinks and keep them chilled in warmer weather. Other helpful items to stock your truck with include:
- Aluminum foil and cling wrap for wrapping food
- Fire extinguishers to quickly douse any flames
- First aid kits for you, your crew or your customers