When you are considering starting out in mobile catering one of the biggest decisions you are going to have to make is whether you choose a vehicle or trailer? Both trailers and vehicles come in sizes big and small meaning some will have a similar footprint for the space you will have available. With this in mind we have compiled a list of pros and cons to help you make an informed decision on which is right for you.
When thinking about which option is right for you, our advice would be to start by thinking about what you want to serve. What equipment will you need and how much space you to practically prepare what you are offering, will help you get a good idea of the space you will need to work with.
Typically trailers offer a better use of space, as they make use of the floor and vertical sides. Vehicles generally require a bit more creative thinking to get everything you want inside but both work really well with a well planned layout. It will require some thought as to which is the right one for you!
Vintage vehicles have appeal and can be crowd pleasers, setting you apart from other traders. Don’t always think a vehicle conversion will necessarily limit the size of your kitchen - we are ready to convert any vehicle up to a double decker bus!
- In most cases, anyone is able to drive a vehicle (however, we would recommend you check your driving license to drive larger vehicles).
- Parking and mobility - you are able to fit into a smaller space than a trailer.
- Unhitching and hitching up is not required.
- Reversing - you are able to manoeuvre more easily.
- If you do experience any problems with your vehicle, you can go to any local garage for it to be fixed.
- If you break down, it would stop you trading.
- A trip to the garage for a service, MOTs etc, will also stop you trading.
- If you buy a second hand vehicle, it could be faulty, causing you to have a lot of work done to it which might cost you a lot of money. (You could save yourself money in the long run by getting a mechanic to look over a vehicle before you commit to buy it).
- With some vehicles, especially if they are small, the size within the vehicle might be restrictive to what you can have in it as well as less room for you to work in when catering.
- If you run out of stock, you are not able to drive and get more without taking your vehicle with you and stop trading.
Trailers offer a practical solution for a catering business with good floor and wall space that can be utilised to make use of the maximum amount of space available. They come ready for conversion are easy to add menu boards and to customise to your own design in sizes big and small.
- It has a large space inside the trailers for lots of equipment and lots of workspace for staff to work when trading.
- As the walls are vertical, you are able to put equipment flush against the wall so you are able to optimise the space as best as possible.
- You are able to drop it off at the desired location (where you are wanting to trade) and then able to drive away, leaving the staff of the catering trailer to trade.
- If you run out of stock, you are able to drive your car to get more supplies whilst the trailer can still be trading.
- You will need to have a trailer license to tow your trailer. If you don't have one then you will need to do a test (although smaller trailers such as horseboxes are exempt on some licences, making them a popular choice).
- It may be hard to tow in certain areas, especially if you are needing to go through a small space.
- Reversing will take practice.
- In order for you to tow a Trailer, you will need to have a large vehicle with a tow bar.
- If your not local it could be hard to find a company to help if anything was needed to be fixed on/in your Trailer.