The Caterers Corner
5th Wheel Kitchen Trailer Caterers Corner: 5th Wheel Kitchen Trailer
By Haderle (Haderle) on Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 12:23 pm: Edit

Been in the biz for some time now and my headache du jour is facilities or lack there of. I've done the commerical kitchen co-op thing(costly and not convenient, for me). Been exploring the idea of a fully-equipped 5th wheel kitchen. Any experiences out there? Pros and cons please.

Don in California

By Foodpump (Foodpump) on Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 07:58 pm: Edit

No experiences, but at least once a month I get an e-mail from some out-of-business caterer, usually movie connected, wanting to sell his mobile kitchen. Once you fork out big bucks for a mobile kitchen, it's next to impossible to sell it for a price a year later that will cover your costs.

1) You need several "life lines", that is, power, water, and septic hook-ups. No guarantees that you will get these hook-ups where you decide to set up. Propane is expensive compared to natural gas, and a pain in the butt to change during a working shift.

2) Suppliers won't deliver to mobile kitchens unless you're part of a large, well known catering outfit.

Check with schoolboards for vacant kitchens to rent. Alot of schools have slashed their annual budgets and the first thing to go is the kitchen and staff.
I found my current place by reading the classified ads for a restaurant to lease. Dining room was a dump, but the kitchen was O.K. once it got cleaned up. Also the chronic "restaurants for sale", the ones that exchange hands 3 times a year are ideal for us caterers because parking, pedestrian traffic, and accesability aren't major issues.

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