Mobile Catering

The key to success in Mobile Catering - Selecting the right Van!

Buying the Perfect Mobile Catering Van For Your Startup

The Mobile Catering Van is practically the entire universe of the mobile catering business. Therefore, for a new entrepreneur who is in the process of establishing this business, the maximum time and attention must be invested in selecting the right kind of vehicle for the business. It is a major business decision that is a fixed investment, and it cannot be reversed easily without incurring serious losses. Therefore, this kind of decision has to be taken right the first time itself in order for the business to succeed in the long run.

There are all kinds of Mobile Catering Vans available in the market. Various manufacturers are offering latest models for such vehicles, and there is a plethora of options available nowadays, particularly in large mobile catering markets such as the UK. Since the mobile catering industry is in its high growth phase, many new entrepreneurs are making an entry into this trade. As a result, there is a consistently growing demand for the vehicles and trailers that are the backbone of this business.

The entrepreneur needs to look at the following basic attributes in any mobile catering van that he is planning to buy for his new business:

Adding To The Professional Image Of The Business

The mobile catering vehicle is the most visible face of the business. A well-maintained vehicle with attractive looks will create an instant image of a good eating joint in the mind of a potential customer. However, an old or decrepit vehicle is likely to create a dull image about the business, even if the food quality may be great. Especially with new customers, it can get difficult to attract their attention without a well presented catering unit. Customers feel good when the ambience of the place is appealing and cheerful. That draws them again and again to the same place, and creates repeat business which is very essential for survival in this trade.

Superior Hygiene With A Good Class Of Mobile Catering Van

Food catering is a sensitive business. Health and hygiene are the topmost priorities in this business, taking precedence over everything else. Therefore, the choice of the catering unit must reflect the commitment of the business towards health, hygiene and cleanliness. For instance, stainless steel is considered among the finest materials in terms of environmental health for a kitchen. It is easy to clean, easy to maintain, and does not cause quick wear and tear. All of this means that there are lesser chances of harmful bacteria thriving on the surface of stainless steel compared to many other materials. The customers will always feel more comfortable when they find the kitchen and other surroundings are impeccable in terms of hygiene and maintenance.

Equipped With Safety Systems And Designed For Better Security

The Mobile Catering Vans that are well designed, keeping in view the basic security of the vehicle and its occupants, ought to be preferred over other options. Safety and security are very prime concerns for this business, considering the nature of the business. Therefore, a mobile unit that is properly fitted with reliable safety and security systems and designed for good security makes a better option from an investment point of view. Equally importantly, such a vehicle is likely to attract a lower insurance premium because of the lesser risks of accidents. Therefore, in pure financial terms too, it makes a sound business sense to opt for a safer vehicle.   

Fuel Economy

The mobile catering vans are usually large and bulky. As a result, the fuel consumption of such a vehicle can be considerably high. Particularly, if the van is visiting multiple locations every day at different hours, or if the distance to the location is significantly high, it can add up to a substantial amount in the monthly overheads of the business. Therefore, it is preferable to go for a vehicle that promises more fuel efficiency and leads to savings for the business over a period of time.

Designed For Heat Resistance

The interiors of a mobile catering van can get really hot, particularly if the kitchen is included within the unit. The space is naturally limited, and there is not much scope for ventilation either. Therefore, if the vehicle is made of more heat resistant materials, both for the exterior as well as interior surface, it can create a cooler and more comfortable environment to work and serve the customers efficiently and cheerfully.

Equipment And Fittings

Many of the mobile catering vans come fully equipped and fitted with all the necessary equipment required for the business. The vans can also be custom fitted according to the needs of the business. Some of the common equipment and fittings offered with these vehicles and trailers include Griddles, Bain Maries, Fryers, Frying Range, Cooker, Oven, Hobs, Grill, Boiler, Refrigerating and Freezing equipment, Coffee maker, Kebab makers, Donut makers, Popcorn maker, Candy Floss maker, and Steamers for snacks such as burgers and hot dogs. The lighting and electrical fittings of the vehicle may include weatherproof fluorescent lighting, weatherproof electrical sockets, spot light, and illuminating sign boards.

Buy Back Option

Investing in a mobile catering van and equipment can involve a large amount of finance. For many entrepreneurs it can be the savings of a lifetime that they invest in this business. The business risk can be reduced considerably if the buyer opts for a buy back option with the manufacturer. Under this option, if the buyer wants to exit the business, or if the business is growing fast and the buyer wants a more sophisticated vehicle, the original vehicle can be sold back to the manufacturer.

All these factors need to be considered and evaluated carefully before going ahead with choosing the right kind of vehicle for the business. The future of the business will be largely governed by what kind of investment decisions have been taken at the establishment stage. Therefore, maximum amount of time, attention and planning must be devoted to this exercise while starting a mobile catering business.