When buying a used food cart, business owners should make sure that it fits the proper class for the type of ice cream being sold, is still in working condition and is easy to move or secure in place. Food carts can be found with the bare minimum of features or decked out with lots of extras.
An ice cream vendor has a few options for food carts when shopping around. The cart class is the first item to consider. There are four classes of food carts, with a Class I only being allowed to sell prepackaged food items and a Class IV having no menu restrictions. A Class I cart allows vendors to sell prepackaged ice cream and novelties, while a Class II allows vendors to display ice cream in cold storage to scoop up and place it in cones. A Class III cart offers more freedom in cooking and assembling food items, excepting raw meat.
A Class II cart and higher should also feature a working sink and water storage for washing hands. Ice cream carts should also be light enough to move easily, as they do not have motorized wheels. Vendors should check that the carts have locking wheels to keep their carts from rolling away.
As with any used vehicle, vendors should check that every part of the cart is working, including the cold storage and water pump. Also avoid carts with large amounts of rust.