Food truck owners need to find a commercial kitchen to prepare their food in. Depending on your location, finding an appropriate kitchen can be difficult. As food trucks become more popular, you may discover that all of the commercial kitchens are taken up or that the available ones don’t meet your requirements. Don’t get discouraged though, there are several other options available to food truck owners, which One Fat Frog Restaurant Equipment will explore here.
What designates a commercial kitchen? This is determined by the state and local health departments. Commercial kitchens encompass a number of venues, including local restaurants, churches, VFW halls, high schools, and more. These constitute commercial kitchens since they serve food to the public, so they have to go through the same permitting and inspection processes that shared-used kitchens do.
• RENTING FROM A RESTAURANT: some restaurants will rent out their kitchens during the hours they are closed. This type of agreement can cost a food truck owner less than a traditional commercial kitchen since the kitchen rental isn’t the core of the restaurant’s owner business – the owner will not be depending on your rental fees. Essentially, any money the restaurant owner gets from you is pure profit. It’s not like he would be making money during off-hours anyway, right? Since the restaurant has set-closed hours, there are no scheduling conflicts that come along with shared-kitchens.
• CHURCHES AND SYNAGOGUES: Several churches and synagogues have kitchens that are severely underutilized. Many of them are willing to rent out to food truck owners and other local entrepreneurs. If you’re food truck will be serving kosher foods, then check your local synagogues or other Jewish organizations and community centers for available kitchens for rent.
Speak with local church members, priests, ministers, etc. about taking on responsibility of overseeing utilities, pest control, and the other kitchen inspections required. This will benefit the church – taking care of these various burdens – and also give you the space of a licensed, commercial kitchen. If you’re local church doesn’t accept rent, consider volunteering to cater church events as a form of payment.
• SOCIAL CLUBS: Social clubs include local Moose Lodges, VFWs, Elks Lodge, or a similar organization that may have a health-inspected and certified commercial kitchen that can be rented. Just like with churches, you may be able to use these kitchens for free if you offer to cater events.
• SCHOOLS: Contacting a local school with a commercial kitchen is another option. Reach out to local culinary schools, high schools, or universities and inquire about their licensed, commercial kitchens (if they have on). Talk to the kitchen manager and ask about availability and rates.
And don’t forget to clean up after yourself!
One Fat Frog • 2416 Sand Lake Road • Orlando, FL 32809 • 407-480-3409