To create your own mobile food vehicle, create a layout and equipment list, find a vehicle, prepare the vehicle for use as a mobile kitchen, install all equipment and utilities, and finish the outside of the vehicle. For certain aspects, such as electrical wiring, plumbing, propane installation and ventilation, consider hiring a professional contractor.
When determining the layout and equipment required, begin by determining what type of food you will be offering. If your menu consists of sandwiches, salads and other cold foods, you may only need a refrigerator and simple prep area. If you wish to serve burgers, fries and shakes, on the other hand, you may need a grill, a deep fryer and a milkshake machine at the minimum. After deciding on a menu, create a layout on paper, or create a full-size layout with masking tape on the floor that you can walk around to get a feel of the space and flow.
Typical vehicles to retrofit for a food business are large delivery vehicles such as a bread truck, shipping vehicle, or large delivery van. School buses, mobile homes and trailers also lend themselves to catering.
Cut an opening in the side of the vehicle for serving customers, typically 3 by 4 feet. The interior walls of the kitchen space should be reinforced, insulated with polystyrene, and covered with stainless steel. Install all electrical wiring, kitchen equipment, propane lines, plumbing and generators. Finally, decorate the outside of the vehicle in a wrap that communicates your brand and grabs attention.