I apologize if this is posted elsewhere. I tried searching for it and didnt find much info in one place.
Ive been catering lunches for the last year, cooking at home and delivering to clients. I have had several problems, one being keeping food warm. Even in a warming bag, by the time I make it into the city, the food has substantially cooled down and two, Ive been working without a license since Im not in a commercial kitchen which terrifies me. Because of this, and to get more business legally, I am looking to open a food truck here in Bham Alabama serving gourmet lunch downtown. I have been searching for trucks online, but seeing prices upward of $20,000, they are all waaaaay out of my price range. Im thinking of building one myself. Ive seen several step vans for under $2000. I have 2 questions for you.
1. What are all the componets I would need to build a food truck? I know 3 sinks and 1 hand washing sink, Im guessing a generator or a way to power appliances. The health department says if I use noncommercial appliances they have to be 6 inches off the ground, how can I accomplish that? Wheels that lock? Other than the above, Im lost about what a food truck needs!
2. I only have about $6,000 to build the truck and obtain food licenses. Is this possible to make this happen with that amount of money, if I attempt to do everything myself or with free labor?
Thanks so much any input you can give. Im sooooo glad I found this site. Its great to know there is somewhere to go and get support for a community of like mind individuals.
Steph... Look at some of the posts by sheetseer and wild dog, they will cover some of the q's you may have on building a mobile rig.
I would be scared ****less to be cooking out of my home and be charging people for food. It's one thing to make something at home and take to a friends for a get together, whole different ball game when you start charging people for it.
What happens when you get someone sick?
It appears that you don't have a proper way to transport the food in a safe manor.
Hot food held hot at 140 or above and cold food below 40.
One of the first things you need to do is get your food handlers permit, so that you understand how to properly handle food, clean and sanitize.
You say you want to do gourmet lunches, what will that consist of?
Your mobile kitchen design will be dependant on your menu, volume of service, etc.
Mobile kitchens are not a poor mans game. I spent well above your budget just buying a few smallwares for my trailer...
A generator can cost you $2-10,000 alone, then you have stailness steel sinks, refrigeration, counters, work tables, cooking appliances, flooring, plumbing, hood, fire suppresion system, if required could be $3-4,000 alone, gas lines, electric, propane tanks,,,,the list goes on and on.
Is the truck you buy mechanically sound? How much money will you have to spend on that? Commercial truck insurance is very expensive, $2-4,000 a yr, then you need liability insurance for the business....You have health dept license, city/county licenses, you will most likley have to have a commissary to operate from, this all
Not trying to steer you away from one day having a mobile kitchen, but 6 grand ain't gonna do it.