Do you want to open a food truck and you are about designing your dream food truck? If YES, here is what the inside of a typical food truck looks like.
First, you have to understand that no two food truck businesses are the same. It simply means that no food truck interior is expected to be the same too. However, the inside of the truck, which is the kitchen, is where all the magic happens.
The kitchen and the layout of the inside which largely depend on the trucks menu, is given so much attention as it is where truck building gets real. The inside of a food truck will have the biggest impact on employees and customers alike, which will have the biggest impact on the business overall.
What Does the Inside of a Food Truck Looks Like?
Table of Content
Walls & Ceilings
The inside of a food truck, especially the cooking lines are mostly made with non – flammable materials. They are also insulated using Styrofoam panels and then installed with interior panelling on the walls and ceilings. Experts recommend 100% stainless steel sheets for the walls.
Some trucks also have non – skid floors and interior exhaust hoods. The non – skid floor prevents workers or chefs from sliding and the exhaust hoods help to ventilate the vehicle. Due to the size and style of a food truck, there are only a few layouts that can be considered. Nonetheless, both sides of a truck are usually lined with items, and there may be something across the back, as well.
Since there need to be room for employees, all equipment and supplies need to be fitted very well. Depending on the kind of food options offered, most trucks carry fryers, ranges, griddles and a combination of ovens.
Some foods also have to stay at the right temperature, and can often mean keeping it cold and cool until they are needed for use or service. Fortunately, refrigeration equipment comes in a variety of types, so most chefs choose to customize their units to align with their layout and offerings.
To optimize a food truck kitchen, owners often choose a mixture of countertop and full – size models. Some truck owners also choose stainless steel work tables and adjustable cutting boards for dicing and chopping, or slicing.
Knife racks are used to store knives, and serving and disposable equipment like utensils, condiment dispensers, squeeze bottles, sugar, spice, paper food trays, dinnerware, cups, take-out containers, napkins, and food wraps are stored within reachable range and enough to serve customers.
Tables & Counter Space
Being able to prepare food matters to food truck owners, and they always have tables and counter space to use to that effect. Although there are a number of workable options available, depending on the owners’ preference, there are most times mounted close to the service windows, especially due to ventilation issues as well as heating.
Sink & Water System
Food trucks also have working sinks where foods can be washed and prepared. For some trucks with enough room, a three – compartment sink is used for washing, rinsing and sanitizing of dishes and wares. A good hand sink also encourages employees to practice good personal hygiene.
Additionally, depending on concept and menu, almost every food truck comes with a service window to let customers place orders and get their food. This window(s) can be closed when the weather gets bad or if the business is closed for the day.
An anti-fatigue or wet area mat is also used to cushion the floors to avoid slipping. Sanitizing chemicals are kept close for sanitizing surfaces and dishware, scrubbers and sponges for washing utensils and wares, trash cans and liners to keep the area tidy, and a broom and dustpan for keeping the floors tidy.
Steps to Properly Design the Inside of Your Food Truck
For food truck owners, as you are concerned about the satisfaction of your patrons, you should equally be concerned about the safety of your cooks and servers. It is a must to have a well – designed food truck if you want your mobile food truck to be safe, functional and competent.
The inside of your truck, which will also serve as your kitchen food, will primarily be dictated by the minimal space you have as well as your required equipment and budget. When designing your food truck’s kitchen, below are crucial steps to take to achieve your desired goal.
- Analyze Your Menu Items
Start first by putting together a detailed list or menu of all foods you plan to prepare in the truck. Explain in details the required method of food storage and preparation. Note that this is one of the most crucial steps in planning any type of kitchen and should be done before you purchase any equipment.
You do not know what kind of equipment you will need until you have decided on the foods you will prepare. Ensure to include all menu items you may wish to add in the future. Have it in mind that adequate planning will avoid costly changes.
- Know Your Food Truck Equipment
After deciding on your menu and concepts, create a complete list (including detailed measurements) of all equipment you will require. Ensure to include on-board food prep, refrigeration, and storage. Note that every single item of equipment must meet commercial health code requirements.
The size and amount of equipment, plus food preparation counter surface, will dictate the amount of space your food truck kitchen must have. However, if you are using a used truck, ensure to take exact measurements of the size of the space set aside for the kitchen. Take your time to make note of existing service windows, doorways, and electrical outlets.
Create a sketch of the existing space, making note of the present flooring material, wall and ceiling surface and all heating, exhaust or air – conditioning vents. For a new truck, draw out a rough sketch of the dimensions and special features of the proposed construction of your mobile kitchen.
- Plan Your Design
At this point, plan how you intend to use the space with your plan of the food truck equipment inside your mobile kitchen. Note that Ergonomics is the number one consideration in the design of kitchen space. Your kitchen should be designed for maximum labour efficiency, safety and functionality.
Also ensure that there is plenty of room to move about freely when carrying hot pots and bulky supplies. If employees do not have to waste time and extra movement completing a task, efficiency is increased. Fatigue and workplace injuries will also be reduced.
- Review Your Food Truck Design
It’s important you contact your local city or state department in charge of reviewing all mobile kitchens. Make an appointment to review your preliminary plans. Health and fire codes must be met. The kitchen area may need to be remodelled to meet requirements even if the truck had been licensed in the past.
Note that diverse regulations govern how far a food preparation area must be away from any sinks or electrical outlets, the installation of vents, and the size and temperature capacity of instant – hot water units. It’s advisable you receive a printed copy of all rules and regulations prior to designing the trucks kitchen space. Regulations vary from state to state.
City or county ordinances may also apply. If you don’t have the skills to layout or build your kitchen yourself employ a mobile kitchen builder to design the kitchen. They will be able to incorporate all building and health department rules that apply.
The cost of designing the inside of a truck and getting equipment can really vary. With standard layouts, you could be looking at $100,000 or a little more. To efficiently serve your customers, ensure that your food truck has an excellent layout that suits you and your employees as you all work, and is customized to reflect your brand. Use this article as a guide to create an interior that boosts your brand and help you achieve success.