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Finding a commercial kitchen that works for you is an integral part of bringing your gourmet mobile food business to life. The location, cost, type, and size of your commercial kitchen determine many aspects of your business, including the types of dishes you can make, the capacity of events you can handle, and where your service and events can be located.

When looking for a commercial kitchen, you can direct your search by the type of food you want to make and the scale of your food truck operation.

To maximize the usefulness of a kitchen, you must first consider your equipment requirements. You can use your menu as a guide for making a list of the equipment your kitchen must have.

Commercial kitchen options for your food truck

For most new food truck owners, a shared-use commercial kitchen is the most viable option. A shared-use kitchen (also referred to as a kitchen incubator or a cooperative kitchen) provides a fully equipped, commercially licensed facility that’s available for rent by the hour and leased out to multiple food trucks or chefs.

Because you share this kind of space with other businesses and the rent you pay is usually based on a time-per-use basis, you’re able to save money instead of racking up overhead costs by building or owning a commercial kitchen of your own.

The problem that some food truck owners run into is finding that they need to use the facility at the same time other local food trucks are attempting to use the kitchen. This scenario can cause backups if more than one business needs to use the same equipment.

Although a shared-use kitchen is a great resource for food truck owners, a number of other options — such as restaurants, schools, social clubs, and churches —can be used as your commercial kitchen.

Locate commercial kitchens

After you have an idea about the kind of kitchen you want, you can start shopping around to find the best pricing and amenities for your commercial kitchen. Start your search by using your local white pages or speaking with other food truck owners to find out which commercial kitchen they use.

They may — or may not — suggest using their current kitchen, but talking with active operators is a good way to assess the going rates in your area. Your local health department can also provide you with a list of registered commercial kitchens in your area. Some municipalities even provide these lists on their websites.

Due to the growth of the mobile food industry, you may find a lack of commercial kitchens in your area that suit your needs. If this is the case for you, the following websites may help you locate a kitchen that may be a bit farther away but still feasible.

These websites can locate commercial kitchens throughout the country, and they provide maps along with links and contact information for each kitchen in their registries.

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