On the Line / Operations / Essential Food Truck Supplies Guide for 2022

Essential Food Truck Supplies Guide for 2022

Outfit your food truck with all the right supplies using this guide.

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DISCLAIMER: This content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal, accounting, tax, HR, or other professional advice. You are responsible for your own compliance with laws and regulations. You should contact your attorney or other relevant advisor for advice specific to your circumstances.

Stock your truck with all the kitchen tools and take-out containers a mobile restaurant needs to succeed.

What’s the difference between food truck supplies and food truck equipment?

Food truck supplies are small, temporary, and fragile items that need regular replacing. Some supplies have to be replaced weekly, while others are ordered monthly or yearly.

Food truck equipment, on the other hand, refers to large, durable items like ovens, deep fryers, and other cooking equipment. Kitchen equipment like griddles and commercial refrigerators need to be cleaned and maintained often.

Things to consider before buying food truck supplies

When selecting supplies to buy and stock your food truck, try to strike a balance between quality and cost. This approach will save you (and your staff) time and money down the line.

Supplies are an essential investment in your food truck. So make the best choices for your business’s needs and budget. Shop around for fair prices on high-quality supplies. And make smart decisions about where you can cut costs to increase revenue.


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What are the necessities for a food truck?

Raw materials

The ingredients that you and your cooks need to run your food truck are first on the list. Food inventory can be tricky because of changes in supply chains and shipping routes.

So make a plan and a backup plan to acquire all the ingredients your food truck needs to stay in operation. If your regular supplier can’t deliver your order, how will you pivot to keep the business running?

Kitchen supplies

Cookware takes a lot of abuse in kitchens, and the tight spaces of a food truck leave a lot of room for mistakes. Even stainless steel supplies like mixing bowls and baking sheets get bent out of shape during production.

Keep your food truck stocked with cutting boards, thermometers, and food prep containers. And keep a careful inventory of all the gadgets and tools your cooks need to prepare the menu.

Storage supplies

Storing ingredients and supplies in the back of a truck presents a unique challenge. For that reason, many food trucks rent commercial kitchens or office spaces to store bulk quantities of supplies.

The storage containers that stay on your food truck will need to be emptied and cleaned regularly – be on the lookout for plastic containers that need replacing. Don’t forget that food storage containers must be labeled and dated for food safety standards. 

Packaging and serving supplies

Paper and plastic products like straws, napkins, takeout containers, plastic cups, and cutlery are primary components of a food truck’s budget. 

Because these supplies are necessary for sales, plan to have them on hand at all times. That might mean buying in bulk or making emergency trips to a local big box store before a shift.

Cleaning supplies

Stock your food truck with all the cleaning supplies you need to ensure that the space meets federal, state, and local food safety standards.

The sanitizing solution, disposable gloves, trash cans, red sani-buckets, and bar rags are just a few things that need to be on hand for food safety. Pass all of your food safety inspections by keeping supplies stocked, and training staff on their proper use.

Menus

Menus are high-traffic supplies and are especially vulnerable to wear and tear in a food truck. They change hands multiple times each shift and get spilled on and torn. Track how many menus your truck has on hand and budget for the costs of reprinting.

How to organize food truck supplies

Stay in control of your food truck’s inventory and budget with these organization practices. First, maintain a digital log of everything that comes into and leaves the business by making good use of your restaurant’s inventory management software.

Shelving also helps to maximize the limited space inside a food truck. Make a clearly labeled “home” for essential supplies so that you and your staff can find things easily. This approach will help to streamline inventory counts.

Food Truck Business Plan Template
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Food Truck Business Plan Template

Use this free food truck business plan template to easily create a great business plan that organizes your vision and helps you start, grow, or raise funding for your food truck.

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Where to buy food truck supplies

The best sources for supplies are often local restaurant supply stores and delivery services in your area. These businesses typically offer wholesale prices on everything you’ll need to operate. Plus, locally owned and operated companies tend to be more personable and reliable. They’ll take the extra steps needed to ensure your shop is stocked and ready for operations.

There are lots of websites with low prices on food truck supplies. Sometimes you can create reliable relationships with those companies. Just be aware that ordering supplies online can come with higher shipping costs than you’ll find from local warehouses.

Food truck supply essentials

Food truck supplies are necessary for sales and food safety, making them a priority for your truck’s operations and budget. Use this guide to build long-term plans to stock your food truck. And don’t forget to set reminders to check the inventory and condition of supplies!

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Restaurant Opening Calculator

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