The Caterers Corner
Establishing a Mobile Catering Location/Route Caterers Corner: Establishing a Mobile Catering Location/Route
By Bill Christopher on Thursday, July 19, 2001 - 11:37 am: Edit

How is a mobile catering location or route formally established?

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Thursday, July 19, 2001 - 12:20 pm: Edit

Bill, unfortunately this is one of those sectors of the business that unfortunately has little regulation and/or standards. Most catering trucks (roach coaches) get their food from a commissary that makes a number of items to sell on these trucks. The route you basically have to make yourself unless you buy an established route. The persons that have these trucks are sometimes very territorial and agressive. Most carry handguns due to the cash only transaction and to scare off would be competition if need be. It can be lucrative, and dangerous.
Good Luck

By Battlecook (Battlecook) on Thursday, July 19, 2001 - 03:44 pm: Edit

In my area Taco trucks seem to rule the road, I suggest checking with your operating city chamber of commerce for route regulations or guidence. Or carry a bigger and bilingual firearm.

By Peachcreek (Peachcreek) on Thursday, July 19, 2001 - 05:31 pm: Edit

My favorite local taco wagon leases space in a commercial parking lot. I believe he runs an extension for electricity too. He gets garbage service provided. Parking isn't a problem. In what few discussions I have had with the owner, leasing seems to be a good way to go. I know as far as the consumers side goes, I like knowing where they are going to be and when. Its easier than tracking them down. And then there is the cost of moving. Taco wagons aren't known for great gas mileage. Staying put may be cheaper in the long run.
Since he operates on private property, the competition issue is moot.

By FAST FRED on Sunday, September 09, 2001 - 03:36 pm: Edit

IF anyone should want to enter a real nice ALL CASH business,,

1983 Ford Skoolie converted to a fully equipped self-contained food wagon, 6 head soda dispenser, coffee maker, iced tea maker, 2' low boy, 3' coffee stand, 3' double stainless sink, 20 gallon GE water heater, 4-burner 30" Magic Chef range, 2' barbecue, 3' stainless steel grill, 6' steam table, 6' Bay Marie, 8' stainless steel exhaust hood, new Honda 8 kw genset. This restaurant coach is located in Brooklyn, NY. Delivery is available. $24,500. US, Contact: Vito. Phone: (718) 968-7328.

You might call and find out about a very fine setup, good for remote ops , has genset and propane.

Makes Real money , only working on weakends.

Fellow is retiring after a stroke , and has no E -mail.


By Yeschwartz (Yeschwartz) on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 07:24 pm: Edit

A Mobile Catering route is established just like any other reputable business starts a route. First all mobile catering is very regulated and standardized. Do not be mislead by the above post by someone I doubt has ever owned or operated a mobile catering busines. If they had the comments and information would not have been so misleading. The regulations start with USDA,
US Health Department, Your State Health Department and your local health department.Other regulations that come into play are. Zoning boards, local laws, county laws. There are also building codes for the establishment that produces the food. After you have paid all your dues:misc. permits , leases, purchases, etc. you then would establish your products to produce and products to purchase.
When actully establishing your route you would have literature available for your prospective customer along with free food samples. Then you start cold calling and phoning for appointments to discuss your services and products to the prospect.

"Most carry hand guns "is the most ridiculous thing I have heard. Of course, most mobile caterers are territorial and aggressive, so are all busineeses who want to make a living. Sitting on your hind end never made anyone succesful. You want to make money and make your time worthwhile, work agressively at any business you establish and you will succeed. The most dangerous thing about mobile catering is the traffic and possible bad accidents. We have had trucks totaled at a stop sign. The driver was just sitting there when a car blew the stop sign, hit one car that was in the intersection and then slammed into our truck. She was cut out of the truck but missed only 2 days of work.
As far as staying put in our area that would not be smart at all. The factories we serve are about 100 to 160 people, every ten minutes. This is a captive customer base. Don't sit and hope they come to you. Get an established route, be dependable, go by the laws and let the others envy you. Their income will never come anywhere near yours.

Contact Mobile Industrial Caterers Association-International

304 West Liberty Street, Suite 201

Louisville, KY 40202

(502) 583-3783 Voice
(502) 589-3602 Fax

There are Conventions twice a year. The fall convention also includes a trade show.

Don't let anyone think this is a rinky dink type of business.

By Tgrant (Tgrant) on Friday, November 08, 2002 - 09:47 pm: Edit

Commercial Kitchen for Rent in Bellevue,
I'm trying to get the word out about
our large, shared kitchen that can be
rented monthly or hourly by caterers,
bakers and wholesale food producers.
We are completely approved by the Health
Dept. and Dept. of Agriculture.
All equipment is provided.
Any suggestions?

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