Mobile Caterers – Get Ready for the Festival Season

Many of today’s festival goers are food and drink connoisseurs, and – as a result – festival catering has transformed beyond recognition over the years. Dry noodles, warm beer, and sausage rolls are no longer festival staples, as they have come to rely on the varied food available at these summer events; after all it’s all part of the experience.

The final result is a higher quality of food, a more varied choice and easy ordering and payment facilities for customers. And, this all presents an excellent opportunity for you, the mobile caterer.

Here, we offer our tips for mobile catering start ups and how to make sure you get it right every time and at every festival. Here’s the checklist for ‘sourcing a food van and trading at events’:

  • What to trade from – first you need to decide what you’re going to trade from.  Are you thinking about a market stall, a truck or van, a cart or trailer?  Do you want to buy or lease it?
  • Size – next think about size, is it big enough for you to prepare all your food on-site or will you have to do that somewhere else?
  • Maintenance – have you considered the maintenance of what you chose, do you know a mechanic should you breakdown?
  • Equipment – the equipment you keep on board will be determined by the space you have and what you’ll be cooking.  As minimum you’ll need to think about:

– A safe food preparation area

– Good lighting

– Storage for food, ingredients and utensils

– Fridge / freezer

– A grill / fryer / stove or other cooking equipment

– Electrical outlets

– Water heaters and tanks

– A hand washing sink and a dish-washing sink (yes you need two)

  • Licences – You’ll need a trading licence if you plan to operate on public streets or roadsides.  You don’t need a license, however, to operate on private land or at organised events.
  • Insurances –You need public liability insurance to cover you for any injury that you may cause to the general public and you’ll need employers liability insurance for the health and safety of the people who work with you.
  • Driver licensing – this can include tachograph requirements, drivers’ hours regulations, vehicle weights and length restrictions

And when it comes to the actual event, BE INFORMED. Make sure that you know everything about the event, what’s there, what power supplies will you have, where will you be located etc. That way there will be no surprises when you get there, which could potentially put you out of business before the opening band performs!

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