Mobile kitchen: Top 5 usage situations

December 7, 2021
Shipping container kitchen interior

The need to offer food service to workers or patrons brings with it some big challenges that go way beyond deciding what it is on the menu. Your kitchen facilities must be code-compliant and contain the right equipment, a workable layout and a consistent, adequate energy source.

There are many situations when a brick and mortar kitchen simply isn’t an option. In that case, you should consider a modular option such as a mobile kitchen.

1-Short lead time or emergency situation

Your business might find itself facing a short lead time to deal with catering issues. If you’re organizing a festival or an event, having your catering service up and running is crucial in order to offer the best experience to visitors and patrons. Many of them will pay a premium to attend and expect the availability of high-quality services in exchange. Brick and mortar kitchens simply aren’t an option for many of these events because they take extensive site preparation and can take a few months to build.

Mobile kitchens are a brilliant solution. They are constructed off-site and take 40 to 50% less time to build than traditional brick & mortar kitchens. The faster your modular kitchen is launched, the sooner it will be cooking and serving high quality food for customers or workers.

Mobile kitchen containers are turn-key and can be delivered relatively quickly, usually within a few weeks. Once they are on site, installing takes only a few hours, with a single utility connection point to gas, electrical, fresh water and sewage. You can even use a mobile kitchen as a temporary or permanent catering solution in replacement of an initial kitchen.

2-Remote locations

shipping container kitchen interior

There are many other uses for a containerized kitchen. They are particularly useful at a remote job site, such as a mining camp or construction project, or even on an oil rig. Brick and mortar construction is rarely the solution for a remote location because of the difficulty in transporting the building materials and the kitchen equipment.

Mobile kitchens are made out of ISO shipping containers or Conex box, so they can be transported by truck, rail, ship, helicopter or cargo plane. Once on site, they can be lifted by forklift or crane, meaning they can be placed almost anywhere. Also, a containerized kitchen can be relocated at will. When one job is finished, it can be moved to the next.

3-Harsh work conditions

There is no better alternative for a portable kitchen for remote locations or extreme weather/work conditions than a mobile kitchen. They are extremely practical when a company needs to feed hungry workers at a remote site or when a relief organization needs to feed people after a natural disaster or other disruption to daily life.

Our mobile kitchens are rugged and durable because they are made of Corten steel, making them rated for high wind and snow loads. The walls are insulated and they are equipped with air conditioning, making them a viable option for any location.

shipping container kitchen

4-To avoid operational disruption or interruption

Containerized kitchens can be used to avoid costly and disruptive interruptions to operations. There are instances when a hospitality business such as a hotel, resort or winery can’t afford to have its kitchens closed for several weeks for a renovation or construction. In those situations, a kitchen made of an ISO shipping container allows for smooth operations to continue. The same goes for hospitals, where the nutritional needs of its patients and staff can continue to be served uninterrupted by using a containerized kitchen when there is some kind of disruption to a regular kitchen.

5-Traditional construction is expensive

While modular kitchen containers are usually a cost-efficient alternative to a brick and mortar building, that’s not always true. Costs vary according to size, types of finishes and equipment specifications. Based on our experience, containerized kitchens are financially interesting for restaurant owners who want to go into the fast or street food, dark kitchens, food-delivery or pickup-only business. These types of food businesses do not require a dining room to serve patrons.

Opening a traditional restaurant represents a high startup cost that could go as high as $700,000. By going for a Conex box as a kitchen, you save the money that would go into the dining room, decorations, point of service, and other features.  You can save up to 30% on the kitchen container compared to a regular kitchen. For these businesses, this could mean saving hundreds of thousands of dollars.

This solution is also financially interesting for companies who need to deploy a catering service in a remote location such as a mining camp, an oil rig or an outdoor music festival. Building a brick and mortar kitchen requires the high costs of logistics, storage and accommodation for construction workers. That’s what makes a container kitchen built off-site a far better, cost-efficient alternative.

Turning to a mobile kitchen is best when you have no time to build, you want to avoid operational disruption or interruption, you operate in a remote location with harsh work and climate conditions, or you have a limited budget.

Our Product Team has developed a modular kitchen product line consisting of three series that each address a specific catering application. Our mobile kitchens are code-compliant, commercial grade, turn-key, mobile and fast-deployed

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