This week’s blog will focus on everything you need to know about Commissaries for your Food Truck.
One of your first steps in becoming a food truck owner will be to reach out to your local health department to determine their requirements for food trucks. Not all municipalities’ health codes require Food Trucks have a commissary. However most do, and as food trucks are becoming increasingly popular more cities throughout the country are requiring food trucks have a commissary.
A Commissary is a commercial kitchen where food truck owners can prepare and store their food. These commercial kitchens should be fully equipped with refrigeration, cooking equipment, sinks, and waste disposal units. Your local health department will need to inspect these commissaries.
Since space on a food truck is limited, commissaries are very convenient for prep work and storage. Many commissaries also offer ingredients for your menu and supplies for your truck, selling anything from napkins to meat.
In some cases, your local health department may require you to park your food truck at your commissary. Many offer parking spots along with the right electrical outlet to plug your truck in. Having a parking spot at your commissary is very convenient not only for loading up your truck with supplies, but having a place at the end of the way where you can clean your truck. There you can also dispose of any waste you’ve accumulated throughout the day.
Types of Commissaries
So you may be wondering where can you find a commissary?
This really depends on where you live larger cities almost always have commissaries available for rent for food trucks. Most food truck owners start out with a shared space in a commercial kitchen. This is when a commercial kitchen allows multiple users to rent out kitchen space. The users will sign up to reserve cooking equipment for certain times, ensuring two users are fighting over using the oven! Using a shared space is usually the most cost efficient method and since everyone wants to spend less money it’s very popular.
If you are looking for your own private kitchen and don’t mind to pay extra you can look for a private commercial kitchen. Private commissaries are ideal if you have more than one truck and need as much space as you can get while preparing your menu items.
You may be located in an area that doesn’t have any commercial kitchens for rent yet your health department requires you to have a commissary- what do you do? Luckily there are a few other great options. You can rent kitchen space from a restaurant or catering company. Some smaller restaurants are thrilled to rent their kitchen as a commissary to food truck owners during their closed business hours. Many caterers are also willing to rent out kitchen space for extra cash, and since caterers hours vary you will usually have more flexibility on when you can use the kitchen space.
Restaurants and catering companies aren’t the only places to look for. Keep in mind you can also rent kitchen space from other certified kitchens such as: schools, churches, community centers, and even nursing homes!
When looking for your commissary here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Commissary’s location, this will be your commute to work so you may want it closer to home or closer to your serving locations.
- Parking, look for a commissary that offers parking in a well-lit area, preferably in a locked- gate.
- If you are using a shared kitchen, visit the kitchen during hours you plan to be there that way you can see how busy it will be and if you will have enough space.
- Make sure the commissary you chose has all the restaurant equipment you will need.
- Overall cleanliness: if you are renting space out of a kitchen keep in mind that if they fail to maintain their health inspection this could prevent you from selling your food.
- Thanks for tuning into our blog this week! We look forward to seeing you next Monday, and remember if you dream it, we build it. If you have any questions about this article please contact Stephanie Jarrell at [email protected]
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