Selecting equipment for your mobile food business | Food Cart
After deciding what kind of food you are going to sell, picking the equipment becomes a little clearer. If you are going to sell hot dogs, a hot dog cart makes sense. Selling Ice-cream might mean an Ice Cream Truck, push cart, or even an Ice Cream Bicycle. Selling Funnel Cakes typically requires a trailer. You probably already have some sense of how you want to present your mobile food business so here are a few basics to keep in mind as you start researching your equipment:
Top 5 things to keep in mind when selecting equipment for your mobile food vending business:
1. What kind of food do you plan to offer?
If you understand the health codes in your area, you are better prepared to know if there are certain foods that would be more difficult to sell due to health restrictions.It is much more difficult to get a license for a food product that contains dairy, eggs, raw meat, etc. than it is for say a pre-cooked food like hot-dogs. If you’ve always wondered why there aren’t more vendors selling cheesecake, this is why…
2. What do you anticipate your daily sales volume to be?
If you are just starting out and trying to make some extra income or you are targeting a very specific audience or neighborhood, your anticipated daily sales probably warrant a smaller initial investment, such as a small cart. Even a small hot-dog cart can cost upwards of $2500 -3000.
3. You must select equipment that is safe, legal and will help you sell food efficiently.
The faster you can work, the more you can sell in peak times.
4. Your food vending equipment should be NSF approved. The NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) is a quality assurance agency that approves equipment to be safe because it meets basic standards of design, operation and materials of construction.
5. The design of your equipment should be compatible with the health regulations in the community and/or venues in which you wish to operate.
Some county health departments require you to have separate sinks for hand washing and dish washing. You don’t want to buy an expensive piece of equipment only to later find out it won’t pass a health inspection.