I was in the construction industry for more than 25 years. When construction took a down turn, I was left with no other option than to reinvent myself. Many people have considered me to be an excellent cook, so, just like you I wanted to sell what I prepared. I built my own first trailer to sell packaged foods, because I wanted to be a part of the food industry business. It went well but I still wasn’t able to prepare food. So I took the liberty to build myself a larger cold food trailer for sandwiches and salads. When I went to get an inspection at the county health department, the inspector was impressed with what I had made and complimented me on the build. At the venues we had at the time, I received a lot of attention from people interested in the trailer and its uniqueness.
Wanting to expand my menu even further, I built a larger full kitchen trailer. Because I was going to be working this trailer, I wanted the interior to be lively, colorful and interesting for the customers to see when they saw inside. Once again, another one of my trailers was complimented by the inspector and other people in the industry. I worked the full-kitchen trailer at multiple locations and had a great deal of success doing so. However, having too many trailers for one guy to run, I ended up renting the others out. Now, with so much interest in my builds, I have taken my experience in running mobile food facilities (MFF’s) and put it into designs that functioned and looked better. I discovered a lot of short-comings in the industry because they just built the MMFs but never ran them. Here are a few examples of some of the issues that other manufacturer’s never thought of dealing with because they only built them and never had to run them:
- Problem: Diamond plate floors – they are expensive to put in the build, uncomfortable to stand on, difficult to clean, and looks like a Tool box.
- Alternative: Linoleum floors- ¼ the cost of diamond plate to install or repair, cleaning takes 5 minutes, better to stand on, way more attractive.
- Problem: Fryers in the corner are difficult to reach when there are 2 people working the kitchen.
- Alternative: Put the fryers more towards the center of the vehicle.
- Problem: Stainless cabinet fronts, tough to keep clean, expensive in original build or to repair
- Alternative: Shelving without fronts or powder coated metals for fronts.
- Problem: Overhead storage is usually stainless with doors.
- Alternative: No need for doors. It is wasted money. Shelving is more accessible, less expensive.
- Problem: Ice bins. You always get wet handling the drinks and it needs an additional tank for drainage. Also, people (usually not customers) wanting ice and a free cup and if you charge them they bad mouth you.
- Alternative: Use refrigeration instead. It costs about the same. There are no wet hands or counters when handling drinks, and you can’t give away ice you don’t have.
- Problem: Plexiglass windows – cleaning plexi easily scratches, looks old in a year.
- Alternative: Use glass windows. They are more attractive and stays good looking for years.
- Problem: They always push the truck and not the trailer.
- Alternative: Get a trailer ITS LESS EXPENSIVE BY HALF
- Problem: Sinks in trucks and trailers are difficult to clean larger items.
- Alternative: Install sprayer head like restaurants have.
Why do we build to Los Angeles County health department standards?
- L.A. county is one of the toughest to pass in the area. That means it lessens the chances of not being passed in other counties.
- Easily sold or leased to anyone.
- Higher resale value.