Advantages of a Mobile Catering Trailer
Gas Safety, Electrical Safety and Health & Safety are of paramount importance when running your own food business. Carrying and setting up catering equipment can be a major hassle, and connecting to LPG and electricity can be troublesome and dangerous. A trailer has the advantage that all this is in place and ready to go as soon as you arrive.
Set up speed
When you get to your site, you often want to start operating quickly. A trailer allows you to prep away from site, and be able to open your hatch as soon as you arrive and start serving. Likewise you can close up, hitch up and get home, as opposed to a gazebo or cart which require more work.
Protection from the weather
Don’t underestimate how cold it can be in the winter. Being in a Trailer provides some shelter from the conditions meaning that you can be warmer than if you were operating from a cart or a gazebo, both of which are a lot more exposed to the elements. Therefore, you are more likely to see out the winter and continue with your new business.
You can buy second hand units relatively cheaply
There are a lot of second hand trailers out there, and you should be able to buy one relatively cheaply. This is obviously great news if you are thinking of starting a business for the first time and don’t have a lot of money to invest. However, you need to be aware of the perils of buying a second hand unit, as there are a lot of poor quality and illegal units out there. Make sure you know what you’re looking for.
Selling is relatively easy
There is an active market for second hand trailers, so if you decide this business is not for you, then you can sell your unit relatively easily and can do so for free on this site. This means that the risk of starting out using a trailer is lower than it may be with other units.
Potentially plenty of space
You can get catering trailers ranging in size from 8 feet to 24 feet, providing lots of space for you to operate. This means you can take on more staff, potentially serving more customers from your unit and increasing your profits. Your decisions should be based on where you intend to trade and what you intend to sell.
Disadvantages of a Mobile Catering Trailer
It’s All About the Look
Historically trailers were the only real option for mobile caterers in the UK. However, the evolution of the industry and the introduction of the ever growing Street Food trend has seen many more retro vans and alternative units being developed. Consequently, many Event Organisers and customers want a more dynamic and interesting unit than a mere white box on wheels. This can be achieved with some imagination and clever graphics, so don’t forget to allow for this in your budget.
Trailers need hitching onto and taking off from a tow-bar. This isn’t always easy work and is not great for those with any back problems!
Some Event Organisers don’t like them
Compared to other catering units, trailers often need more space. Some organisers therefore don’t like them as they can fit more gazebos or food carts into the space, earning them more money.
More expensive than…
Buying a trailer is more expensive than a cart or gazebo, but less expensive than a motorised van. Whilst you can buy a second hand unit, buying a new unit can be expensive, depending on the quality, size and specification of trailer that you want to buy. Remember running costs as well…tyres, bigger car for towing and storage costs!
Where are you going to keep your trailer during the night? Your neighbours might not be happy about you having it on your driveway blocking their light! Unless you have a lot of land, you might need to rent space somewhere which will increase your costs and set up time.
Needs to be towed
A trailer needs to be towed and requires both a vehicle suitable for towing and also the appropriate licence and insurance to tow a trailer.