Catering Van for Your Mobile Food Business

If you’re planning on starting a food business but don’t have enough capital to put-up a diner or a restaurant, you may want to consider starting your food business through a mobile catering van.

There are a lot of mobile food businesses these days and they cater to a wide range of customers. From offering burgers, hotdogs and deli sandwiches to numerous beverages; these mobile food businesses thrive when exposed to the right market.

This being said, starting this type of business requires careful study in order to get it off the ground towards the right direction. If you are passionate about food and people, you’ve got two very important factors already under your belt.

START YOUR FOOD BUSINESS ON THE RIGHT TRACK

One of the first things you need to consider when starting this kind of business is the product that you would like to offer. Since a catering van, although well-equipped with cooking paraphernalia, still has its limitations, hence; food or beverage that is easy to prepare should be considered.

If you are jumping on the bandwagon and would want to sell burgers and other fast food items; consider your selling point. Do you have a special ingredient or recipe that would make your burgers or sandwiches more appealing to your prospective customers?

Perhaps you can offer your items at lower prices but still of superior quality. Thinking of a come-on to attract customers and keep them coming back for more is essential to stabilize your business and also to allow you to expand in the future.

Who is your target market and where do you plan to park your mobile business? Mobile of course means that you can transfer from one place to the next without trouble, but staying in one particular area at a time could increase your clientele before moving on to the next.

Costing and budgeting come next. This includes expenses for your ingredients and packaging, gasoline and other expenditures. You should also include here the amount you shelled-out for your catering van.

If getting a brand new van is not possible at this time, there are a lot of second-hand vans that you can purchase and you may find some great deals on the internet.

BUYING YOUR VAN

As mentioned, there are a lot of used vans for catering that you can find on the internet. These are full-equipped with essential cooking utilities such as oven, microwave oven, a sink, stovetop and even a small refrigerator.

You may also add other cooking equipment if there are other things you deem essential for your cooking. The prices may vary but you can get a pretty good deal on these and the prices are usually still negotiable, depending on the owner of the van.

You can arrange with the owner for an ocular inspection and even a test drive so you can see the exact condition of the van and decide on whether or not it is what you actually need.

Most used vans are specifically equipped for certain food products such as a burger van or a sandwich van; and even a beverage van; so you may also check these factors out when looking for your mobile food van.

Food Consultants and Food Product Design – A True Match

Food consultants, food scientists and food technologists are facing huge demands from the growing food industries that have to cope with pressures of bringing out new food products in a more seasoned style meeting the best needs of consumers of the food industry. Consumers have various tastes and eating styles that should be nurtured and dealt with meticulously. The food product design structure undergoes immense changes according to the taste of the product developers and food processors in order to serve a wider public with the best taste in a variety of food.

Students and academicians in the food product design perspective have many books authored by leading writers in the food industry, to read and understand the latest trends in the food industry which would enable them to become good food consultants and solve many R&D strategies and find methods to optimize and accelerate new product developments from time to time. These books are available as eBooks which could be easily acquired online or if preferred they can also be bought as hard copies from leading bookstores.

A food product design book should provide ideas and describe the important approaches and the tools that food developers and designers should use to make the recipe faster, tastier and much cheaper. It should create high end ideas and systems to be adopted by food consultants and designers in creating new products. It should also provide the best ideas based on efficiency, quality and speed in making new products get recognition among customers.

The most important point for food product design workers to consider is the shelf stability of a particular recipe. They are meant to create items, taste them for quality and then wrap samples and keep it for different lengths of time to check its shelf life. The flavor should remain the same even as it ages, this is important.

The costs of ingredients that go into a special recipe are then calculated and the whole sale and retail price of a specific food product design that is to be made available in the market should be decided upon. A good food consultant would make the right analysis in this respect.

Packaging and labeling are also part of the responsibility when doing a food product design job. Packets meant for respective food products should be designed with great care and concern using the best equipment and technology. This is what would attract the attention of consumers at large. The labeling should have attractive and catchy information which include guidelines and the ingredients that are used in the product.

With these requirements in mind food consultants should achieve their targets in satisfying their clients who are in the competitive food industry. Food is not just eating; it has to undergo a lot of processes before it is served by the waiter to the customers or before it is placed on the shelf for sale in any food store. The various food items packed in attractive packets using the best food product design skills are what consumers look for while shopping for food.

Tips for Food Product Development

A significant number of companies around the globe are not actively developing any new food products. Whereas, many companies those are engaged in new food product development, do not explicitly involve the consumers in their market research. This article lists out some innovations in the field of food product development which can be adopted by various companies to both enrich the food quality and thus increase their business.

The basic segment of manufacturing food products depends on how well you pack your product. Some of the innovations that can be adopted in food packaging are:

  • New packaging that can be used both in microwave and oven and thus increases versatility.
  • New packaging materials to be used to improve product shelf-life, quality and freshness.
  • Different packaging that helps in presenting the food product in different and new ways. This can be done by creating new graphic designs and packaging shapes for your product.
  • Packaging patterns that can increase the ease of use. For instance, milk cartons that are opened easily.

However, whatever be the packaging strategy, the major factor in food product development is the food stuff itself. The same is the case with beverage development. To create development in that area one needs to bring new ethnic concepts and has to start producing organic and health foods. Addition of vitamins, bacterial cultures and minerals, i.e. fortification, will also help. Some other innovations that could help in food product development include:

  • Merging – this refers to the merging of 2 complimentary or similar flavors, for instance, some chocolates where white chocolate and milk are brought together. This can also mean bringing complimentary products together, for instance some of the Lunchable products where, ham, crackers and cheese are brought together in the same packaging.
  • Segmentation – this is where the manufacturer finds simple ways to allow customers to customize products to their personal needs. For instance the ‘salt-n-shake’ potato chips where a separate sachet of salt in provided so that the consumer gets the chance to decide the quantity of salt they want to apply to the chips. Another form of segmentation is the ‘multi-packs’ offer wherein the customer gets to use only a part of the product at one time depending on the number of servings required.
  • Composite materials – this can be interpreted as the concept of combining foods that are different properties into a single structure. This strategy is usually present in cereal bars, multi-vitamins, filled pasta, ‘bubble-and-squeak’ and several other products, especially the ones where the consumers are looking for ease of use.
  • Preliminary action – this is a very commonly applied principle for food product development. Some examples in this case would be de-seeded vegetables and pre-cooked meals.

Almost similar strategies should be adopted in beverage development. For instance, recognizing consumer needs in the market which can be filled by a new innovative beverage brand is one of the first step in the beverage development. Similarly, in order to maximize taste and the functionality of the new beverage brand, beverage formulation, which is a very intricate process should be done thoroughly allow enough time to go through every possible ingredient options.