mobile kitchen

Mobile catering

Mobile catering is the business of selling prepared food from some sort of vehicle. It is a feature of urban culture in many countries.

Types of vehicles

Street cart

A food cart is a motorless trailer that can be hauled (by automobile, bicycle, or hand) to the point of sale, often a public sidewalk or park. Carts typically have an onboard heating or refrigeration system to keep the food ready for consumption. Foods and beverages often served from carts include

Food truck

A catering truck enables a vendor to sell a larger volume than a cart and to reach a larger market. The service is similar; the truck carries a stock of prepared foods that customers can buy. Ice cream vans are a familiar example of a catering truck in Canada, the United States and United Kingdom.

Mobile kitchen

A mobile kitchen is a modified van with a built-in grill, deep fryer, or other cooking equipment. It offers more flexibility in the menu since the vendor can prepare food to order as well as fresh foods in advance. A vendor can choose to park the van in one place, as with a cart, or to broaden the business's reach by driving the van to several customer locations. Examples of mobile kitchens include taco trucks on the west coast of the United States, especially Southern California, and fish and chips vans in the United Kingdom.

Concession trailer

A concession trailer has preparation equipment like a mobile kitchen, but it cannot move on its own. As such it is suited for events lasting several days, such as funfairs.

Non-commercial uses

In addition to being operated as private businesses, mobile catering vehicles are also used after natural disasters to feed people in areas with damaged infrastructure. The Salvation Army has several mobile kitchens that it uses for this purpose.

See also

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