Food Trucks: Designing a Small Footprint Operation
Food trucks inevitably pose issues that brick-and-mortar operations may not face. For instance, they’re tackling issues of portability as well as the prime for real estate. Their equipment must be able to tackle a multitude of tasks, and their footprint must be small enough to safely fit within the truck’s confines. While many of these tips regarding small footprint operations are specific to food trucks, anyone who is trying to squeeze the most out of their kitchen space can benefit.
The first step to any plan is to organize your method of attack. There are some key considerations when designing your small footprint operation:
How many customers do you plan to serve? This includes both the peak hours and lulls in time. Determine the minimum amount of customers that your business must serve to be successful, and build from there.
What equipment do you need? Break down each menu item to find out exactly what equipment you’ll need to complete the tasks. From here, you can see which pieces of equipment may handle more than one job. Panini Grills are always a fan favorite for multitasking, and refrigerated tables and counters are a must-have.
Are any items large or hard to clean? Equipment takes up a large amount of space in any kitchen, so pinpointing which ones are the largest or most difficult to clean can help you determine what you value most. If the largest or most difficult to clean units are not necessary, you may want to free that space up for more valuable units.
Is your menu complex? Complex ingredients and menu items means that you’ll likely need more items to maintain them. More equipment means less space, so keep your ingredients and menu simple.
Once you’ve settled these key points, then it’s time to delve a little deeper into your food truck details. Here are some additional points to keep in mind:
Leave room for growth. We know you’re trying to utilize all of your space efficiently, but if you’re simply utilizing the space to handle your current workload, you’ll run into some major issues should your business grow.
Understand your customers. Knowing what your ideal customer is can help you determine where to set up your food truck! It can also drive your menu selections, which, in turn, drives your equipment needs.
- Your equipment should meet certain criteria because of your small footprint needs.
- Rapid Recovery
- Small Utility Load
- Big Output
Keep your small footprint operation profitable by considering your needs, your menu, your customers, and your equipment.