If you're starting out in the food business the one thing that will make the biggest difference to your work is a well thought out layout for your trailer. This blog highlights what you should be considering at the design stage to make the most of your conversion. Once you have an idea of what you want, we will be more than happy to discuss your ideas and designs and offer our expertise to make sure they work for you.
The layout you choose is going to have a huge impact on your business, getting the design right means you will be able to prepare your offering with the minimum effort. This will save you money in the long run, as making alterations once you’re trading mean your trailer is out of action.
Here are some tips to think about to get you started:
What are you cooking?
With a limited amount of space to work in, you need to be thinking about how to make it work for you. The layout will very much depend on what you are serving, you need to be thinking about what equipment you will be using, what order you will be using it in, as well as how easy it will be to tidy it away at the end of the day.
Make sure you incorporate enough worktop to prepare your food. Think about how the space will be used and what will be covered with equipment and how much free space you will have to work with.
If you are going to be working alone consider a working triangle, a popular concept in all kitchens where the aim is to keep everything you most use in a triangle position so you can effectively work on the space around you.
Make sure you have adequate storing space and the things you need to use are available in the right place.
Health and Safety
For you, this means asking how many people will be working in the trailer? If it’s more than one, you need to look at all work areas and limit where they cross over so people don't bump into each other and so each person has what they need within reach. We find as a general rule keeping cooking equipment and drink equipment separate reduces risk.
For your customers this means, making sure they are safe. Look at where the customer will be standing to be served and making sure that area is safe, you don't want to put anything too close to that area. For example, having fryers to either side where hot fat could spray is a no.
Weight of equipment
Another thing that is often missed at the planning stage is paying attention to the weight of the equipment itself. You cannot as a general rule layout all the equipment to one side of a trailer because the weight wouldn't be balanced.
Where to put the till?
Another question to ask is where to put the till do you want it on view or out of sight? If there are others working with you make sure it’s cut into their workspace to minimise bumping each other.
How does it look to the customer?
Once you have had a good think about how your layout will work, one final question to ask is how it's going to look to your customer? What can they see looking in? If you were choosing where to eat would anything put you off? Will you have enough storage to keep it looking tidy?
If you need help with ideas to getting started on your design why not draw inspiration from what others have already done? Have a look at our gallery or our Pinterest page.