Shipping Container Kitchens
BMarko Structures is a leading shipping container kitchen manufacturer with vast experience in producing high-quality modular structures. We pride ourselves in our ability to produce custom modules quickly and within set timelines while paying an incredible amount of attention to detail to get your store up and running in a fraction of the time.
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Shipping Container Commercial Kitchens
Shipping containers (aka cargo containers) are very versatile structures and can be repurposed for many different uses. Kitchens are one of the many ways they can be customized for a new life. If you’re wondering what kinds of kitchen shipping containers can be used for — and what the benefits are — you’ve come to the right place.
Here, we will look at:
- The different kinds of kitchens that can be created from cargo containers
- The benefits of using a repurposed shipping container for a kitchen
- Manufacturing and delivery of a containerized kitchen
What are Shipping Container Kitchens?
Shipping containers are large, sturdy, steel boxes used to transport goods around the world. They can be turned into functional kitchens by adding insulation, cutting doors and windows, and installing equipment such as kitchen appliances and an HVAC system.
Just as in a traditional brick-and-mortar building, shipping container kitchens vary in size, purpose, and layout. A small kitchen may consist of a single container (which are available in a few different sizes). A large kitchen may consist of multiple containers joined together, in various configurations.
It’s important to start with a container that’s still in fairly good shape. A more beat-up container will be cheaper to buy, but will require more work — and expense — to get into usable condition. New containers are pristine, but unsurprisingly are also the most expensive
What are the Different Types of Shipping Container Kitchens?
Shipping container kitchen conversions are very flexible, allowing for many different types of kitchen. First, you need to decide what you’re going to be doing in the kitchen and how you’re going to be serving customers. These decisions will determine the design — and cost — of your containerized kitchen. All kitchens need water supply and refrigeration. But not all need fryers or ovens, for example.
- Concessions — No food or drink preparation at all, serving only pre-made, pre-packaged items.
- Drinks — Preparing drinks only (e.g. coffee or cocktails), perhaps some pre-packaged snacks such as chips and candy bars.
- Reheating food — Reheating pre-made soup and chili is a lot simpler than cooking from scratch.
- Simple food prep — Preparing only a very small number of different types of item (e.g. just mini doughnuts, or various crepes, or burgers and fries).
- Full menu cooking — Offering a variety of items that are prepared from scratch.
As well as the type of food that will be prepared and stored in your mobile kitchen, there’s also the question of how customers will be served from your converted shipping container.
- Prep kitchen with no direct customer service — Staff take the food to a nearby sit-down location or they deliver orders to customers’ own locations.
- Ghost kitchen — Delivery only, either by your own staff or via a third-party delivery service.
- Pop-up restaurant — Includes temporary (typically outdoor) seating for customers. Servers bring food to customers from a shipping container with a kitchen or, alternatively, customers are served from a window and take their own food to the tables.
- Shipping container food truck — A cargo container can be converted into a wheeled food truck, so it can be moved easily and frequently.
- Drive thru — Food is served from a window at the height of a car window.
- Walk-up window — Food is served from a window at the height of a standing customer (Be sure to consider accessibility, though!)
Finally, you’ll need to think about how often you anticipate moving your kitchen. A portable shipping container kitchen typically isn’t as mobile as a food truck, which can obviously move every day, or even more frequently. (Some jurisdictions require food trucks to move frequently — including in one instance, after 10 minutes!)
Although you won’t be moving a shipping container kitchen every day, it is feasible to move it seasonally or to follow large festivals or other events that might take place over a few weeks.
What Are the Benefits of Cargo Container Kitchens?
Putting a kitchen in a container is much faster than building from scratch on-site. This means you get a return on your investment sooner.
Did you know that a 40’ shipping container is made of over 8000lbs of steel? Instead of a used container going to waste, you’ll be putting it to good use, reducing the amount of new construction materials needed.
Your mobile kitchen container can be customized to meet your requirements, based on what you intend to do with your kitchen.
Because your prefab kitchen isn’t fixed to a permanent location, it’s a low commitment way to test out a new market. You can also cater to seasonal markets, such as near a beach in the summer and near an outdoor skating rink in the winter.
Strong & Weather Proof
Cargo containers are tough! They have to withstand rough seas in all weather and being stacked under other full containers. Once they’re adapted, they make comfortable, sturdy buildings.
Food Safety Requirements
Your prefab commercial kitchen can meet all the same food safety requirements as any other kitchen.
A mobile kitchen can be moved out of harm’s way, if a disaster such as a flood occurs. Alternatively, if people have been relocated after a disaster, you can move your kitchen to serve them.
You may choose a self-contained shipping container kitchen with its own water supply and wastewater tank. Alternatively, depending on local regulations, a shipping container kitchen also has the option to hook up to the local water supply and sewage system.
What Is the Manufacturing Process for Shipping Container Mobile Kitchens?
Shipping container kitchen conversions must start with a careful, detailed plan. Space is at a premium in a container kitchen, so mobile kitchen manufacturers have no room for error! To produce your architectural drawings, you’ll need a designer. We can help you find one to work with. The plan will be customized, based on your needs and your budget.
When we have the drawings in hand, we’ll get to work building your kitchen in our factory. Because all our construction happens indoors, there’s no need to worry about weather delays!
Once it leaves our factory, your kitchen will already have all the appliances, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems installed, ready to hook up on-site.
What Delivery Options are Available for Containerized Kitchens?
While we’re manufacturing your kitchen, you’ll need to make sure any necessary site preparation is taken care of. Having your building manufactured at the same time that site preparation is going on greatly reduces the overall construction time.
Your shipping container kitchen can be transported from our factory to your site by road, ship, or rail — depending on your location. On the last leg, a truck will need to access your site, and placement will require a crane — so you’ll need to ensure there’s space for that.
Who to Contact for a Containerized Kitchen?
If you’re considering building a customizable container kitchen, the experts at BMarko can answer all your questions. Give us a shout and we’ll help you out!
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