Kitchens On The Road

Story By
Aditya Purwanto

With the rise of creative food industry and everything that tags along with it, food business owners nowadays decide that they are the ones who should come to where the market is.

Street food is not a fresh case, in fact in many countries street food business is the main livelihood of the people and how the economy is mobilized, the new trait however is how it is revolutionized by the upsurge of food trucks. What was dominated by middle to lower class business owner is now open to fresh and bigger players who once probably chose to base their trade in a fixed location. Instead of opening a restaurant and worry about losing the market eventually, putting your professional kitchen onto the road have its own upside because when the dealings starts to get wobbly, you can always steer to a new location and visit the new and more promising market.

Starting a food truck joint however proved to be tricky for it may benefit from the movable factor, there are many things that make installing a professional kitchen in your vehicle a tedious job.  Getting the numbers correct is a basic and what you must do correctly. From the financing to insurance and eventually production cost. It’s a proper business after all, not some kids spending their holidays selling lemonade in front of their parents’ yard.

Next you need to choose a proper vehicle. Bigger is not always better, depends on what you will be focusing on and the size of the market. Precise retrofitting will be vital because the content of your mobile kitchen will include more than just a stove. Ventilation system, burner system, plumbing, electric wiring, refrigeration including fire extinguishing features and a decent serving station is few to name among many. There are also licensing and official permit matters to keep in check because often food truck business owners don’t pay too much attention to such subject which tend to be a stumbling block in the future and put your business at risk.

After you’ve done tending those issues, it’s high time to think about positioning and marketing. Following happening trends might be the safest bet but every great discoveries in the world isn’t made just by following others. Now go out there, pick a spot and start peddling.

Piaggio Ape
Piaggio Ape (aa-pay, lit. bee) is the compact option for food truck retrofitting. The minimal size limits how you wish to be creative with the food but it also means that its easy to move about.

Alternatives: Tata Penguin, Mitsubishi Minicab

Ford Transit Full-Size Van
The Transit is the first thing that came to (most of) our minds if the word van is involved. The massive cargo capacity makes it versatile for any prep station that comes to mind and wide door opening angle allows easy access. Two different wheelbase options, three available body lengths and three types of roof height also add the versatility.

Alternatives: Mercedes Benz Sprinter, Nissan NV2500

Alexander Dennis Enviro400H
Ever heard of ‘bustaurant’? It means exactly what it sounds, a restaurant on a bus. The size and build of the bus means that a bigger station can be fitted inside and the excess space allows you to establish a dining area. Enviro400H’s utilizes Alexander Dennis’ own Hybrid engine technology, resulting in 30% reduction of greenhouse gas coming from the exhaust and fuel consumption. The double decker setting will make people turn heads even when it’s simply being a bus.

Alternatives: Scania Citywide, New Routemaster