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How To Optimize My Food Truck Space?

The food truck business in India has grown exponentially over the years, and it is estimated to rise at a rate of 8.4 per cent annually. In a market where restaurants demand colossal space and investment, food trucks have grown favourably as a low-investment and convenient model. However, given the limited available space inside a food truck, food truck management can be challenging

Food truck management includes designing a robust layout for the truck to optimize your space to get the best out of finite space and ensure profitability. Maximizing the space inside the food truck can be tricky, as you have to accommodate multiple things in a small structure.

Staff cooking food inside a food truck  - Food truck management.

Food Truck Layout for Better Food Truck Management

Designing your layout is one of the foremost steps in starting a food truck business. Your food truck layout is critical in successful food truck management; it needs to be such that it utilizes limited space efficiently, keeps things convenient for the staff and doesn’t compromise on customer experience either. It could be wise to have the design in place before you buy the fitting food truck for your business. 

If you have the design ready before buying the truck, you will know the amount of space you need for equipment, inventory, and staff. A giant food truck could provide room for more equipment, while a smaller one would be easy to move and park. Your food truck design needs to include the following areas: food preparation, meal cooking, refrigeration, sink, and storage. It should also have proper ventilation, room for staff to move around, non-slip mats, and emergency exits. 

Once you have your kitchen layout ready, you can adopt some food truck management techniques to make sure you utilize your food truck space to the best of its capacity.

Food truck interior with a well designed layout - food truck management.

Four Techniques to Optimize Your Space Well

1. Menu Management

Food truck management demands crisp menu management. It is crucial to plan your menu to suit your space. If you have limited space in a food truck, then any menu item that requires a lot of ingredients would not be recommendable. It would be wise to select food items for your menu that need limited ingredients and cross-utilize similar ingredients.

Food items that work best with food trucks’ menus are all kinds of beverages, tacos, burgers, hotdogs and ice cream. But this has become a very traditional menu lineup as these items are comparatively easy to prepare and use fewer ingredients.

Now, the current food truck enthusiast turned owners have levelled up and are serving everything from high-end Italian to authentic South Indian and pan Asian. They are planning their menu, inventory storage and cooking stations accordingly to optimise the space without compromising the quality. But at its base, having clarity of the menu is still essential.

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Unlike dine-in restaurants, taking off-menu requests or any special add-ons. And so, picking a niche for the menu is more cost ad space effective for food trucks. You can also use a POS system to help customize your menu flawlessly.

2. Right Kitchen Equipment

The most critical aspect of food truck management is managing the restrained space. Therefore, it is best to buy equipment that isn’t too large. It’s good to list the equipment you need for your kitchen and find appliances that fit your truck layout and kitchen size.

You can also look for instruments that may be used for multiple purposes, like an oven that bakes your food and grills and steams it. Multipurpose items can save space and cut down your kitchen clutter. Therefore, the right equipment can improve your operational efficiency and quality.

3. Proper Shelving

Proper shelving is essential to optimize storage space in your food truck kitchen fully. You can find shelves in all sorts of shapes, sizes and designs. Get the one that fits well with your layout. Installing pull-out shelves under cabinets is an excellent way to efficiently use your space, as it makes it easier to reach for items stored at the bottom.

Further, getting drawers instead of traditional cabinet shelves for corners is another good way to ensure people can access the space hassle-free.

4. Use Unused Spaces

There are many spaces inside a kitchen that go unused. Using these spaces efficiently becomes essential when running a food truck. For instance, the inside of a cabinet door is one of the most underutilized spaces; you can install hooks there to store your utensils.

It keeps them protected and convenient to reach. Another thing that works well is the backsplash rail to hand items. You can install these rails above your kitchen counter to keep spatulas, spoons, and hang pans at arm’s length. You can also create extra shelving at the top and have sliding bins on countertops. 

Furthermore, if you feel your food truck space is not enough to accommodate everything, you can consider preparing and cooking the food at home and selling them in the food truck. 

Customers buying food from a food truck - food truck management.

Food truck management is as fun as it is challenging. Other tips for managing your food truck include labelling the food items, finding more storage spaces and taking inspiration from other similar businesses. 

The above tips can help you maximize your food truck space, work at peak efficiency and increase your profits. Follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our newsletter for more helpful tips and restaurant-related updates. 

Abeera Dubey
Abeera Dubey
Abeera is a freelance content writer at Petpooja.

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