Use this checklist of what to ask your food truck manufacturer to help you make a calculated purchasing decision.
Time and again customers are being let down by players within our industry offering non-compliant, cheap and poor quality mobile food units. As a leader within the industry we provide you with the resources to help you make a calculated decision before locking down thousands of dollars on your dream project. Even if you don’t choose to work with Bella Manufacturing, make sure you ask your food truck manufacturer these 10 questions:
- Are your units designed and made in Australia with Australian materials?
To run a mobile food unit there are many codes and regulations that the unit must meet in order to pass local council inspection and receive a trade permit. Ensuring the unit is designed to suit Australian code is crucial (these codes are outlined in the checklist below). There are many units on the market that are imported from overseas and do not suit Australian code. Make sure your manufacturer uses materials built to suit Australian roads, and assures quality and durability. See the latest changes in trailer standards here. BEWARE: some manufacturers claim their units are Australian made, yet they are imported as a flat pack and then built here.
2. Can I come and inspect your factory and work in progress?
This is a great way to inspect the tradesman ship, quality of materials and the service you will receive. If your manufacturer won’t make time to take you on a factory tour, show you their current products, explain to you the materials they use and sit down to map out your ideas, then how can you expect to receive the best customer service before, during and after your build? After all, you are spending thousands of dollars, you should expect that they invest time into speaking with you.
3. Are your units professionally engineered and designed to suit Australian specifications, equipment specifications and weight specifications?
Professional engineer designs have to take into account specific codes and regulations. For example, the equipment that will be on board, the weight distribution and the roads that it will be driving on. Just like any other vehicle on the road, there are stringent rules the manufacturer must follow. This is to ensure the safety, durability and stability of the unit.
4. Do you provide professional CAD designs and plans for approval by local council?
Having your local council on side before commencing your project is an advantage to your business. After all, the council are the ones that give you final approval once the build is complete. Getting the tick of approval on pre-build CAD designs ensures the manufacturer builds your unit right, the first time. These CAD plans will also act as a pre-build approval for yourself, to ensure you are happy with the layout of the unit. If you decide to build another one later down the track, you already have the CAD plans ready for build.
5. Do you offer a turnkey unit that includes all the equipment, services, fittings and a suitable generator?
If a manufacturer is offering a ridiculously low price, consider what actually comes with that price. Does it include everything you need for your specific set-up? Consider the equipment you need and the power it will run on. Are they offering a unit that is ready to serve food from the day you pick it up or will you get a unit that you will need to spend more money on afterwards? A turnkey solution is your best option.
6. Are you a financially secure, long-term manufacturer?
This is not an easy question to ask, however with some of the industry’s history, this is a valid question. In the past few years, several manufacturers have closed, taking their customers’ deposits and half-built units. This is a situation you do not want to get yourself into! You need to ensure your chosen manufacturer is a financially stable and reliable business.
7. Are your designers experienced within the hospitality and food service industry?
You’re designing a commercial kitchen, so you want to ensure the team helping you actually has experience in kitchen designing or food service. This will ensure the food production line and available space are optimised. These units are very limited in space, so every inch needs to be considered.
8. Do you provide an Australia wide warranty?
This is self-explanatory – ensure your chosen manufacturer provides an Australia-wide warranty so you will never get stuck or left without a working unit.
9. Do you specialise in mobile food and beverage units?
Some manufacturers just dabble in the mobile food industry and in between they supply horse trailers, shipping containers or camper trailers. With an investment this large, you want to ensure your unit is being made by professionals who know exactly how these units work, how they are built and all the codes that need to be met.
10. Are your units customisable or are they just a stock standard design?
Each mobile food business has a different menu, specification and equipment. Thus, if the units aren’t customisable you won’t be investing in a product that will be most efficient for your specific business. Think about a restaurant, no two restaurants are the same, which means they require a different layout and equipment.
Use this checklist of questions to ask your food truck manufacturer to make sure you’re getting the best unit for your business needs.
Have questions? Contact us today!