10 food truck equipment essentials every food truck needs for opening day

Editorial Team

3 min read
Customers placing orders outside food truck with Clover devices

Starting a food truck business can feel like a juggling act. One minute, you’re researching permits, and the next, you’re sourcing panini presses. To get your restaurant rolling, we created a checklist of essential food truck equipment.

Food truck equipment list

These are big-ticket items, so shop around for deals and compare prices.

1. Refrigerator

Keep your ingredients chilled in an under-counter refrigerator or freezer. These innovative designs will preserve valuable work surfaces despite the close quarters. Consider adding a glass door fridge featuring bottled and cold drinks at countertop level. No matter what your food truck offers, there are specialized cold storage options to optimize prepping and serving.

2. Cooking equipment

Griddles, broilers, grills, fryers, and more–your menu specialties will dictate the technique and type of cooking options required. Fortunately, the surge in food truck popularity empowers you to adapt almost any cooking style (sous vide, anyone?) for mobile service.

3. Payment processing system

Streamline your mobile transactions with versatile and powerful POS systems like Clover’s Mini, Flex, and Station Duo. These devices easily accept all major payment types, including PayPal and Venmo. Hungry customers will appreciate contactless options like payments by QR code, especially if Wi-Fi and mobile are unavailable.

    4. Food prep items

    In a confined space, your food truck equipment must enable you to prep menu items efficiently. You’ll need every square inch to secure cutting boards, skillets and saucepans, knives, and small appliances like a blender or food processor. Be sure to leave enough room for a stainless steel work surface or two.

    5. Grill/range/exhaust hood

      When cooking with grills and fryers in the truck, you’ll likely experience a build-up of hazardous grease vapors. Invest in a sturdy exhaust hood (and fire extinguishers) to prevent flare-ups and keep your mobile restaurant moving.

      6. Microwave and toaster

      For fast reheating, nothing beats a microwave. Make sure yours is roomy and capable of handling different types of food throughout the shift. In a pinch, use it to steam veggies. In addition, an industrial toaster adds the perfect crispy crunch that hot sandwiches demand.

      7. Holding equipment

        As an alternative to microwave reheating, a countertop warmer or fry dump station will keep food at the right temperature throughout service. If soup or chili is on the menu, consider adding a specialty soup warmer to your food truck equipment list to ensure safety and satisfaction.

        8. Serving containers and tools

        A line of hungry customers is ready to chow down, but your restaurant is on wheels. This means serving food in disposable containers that are easily carried away and tossed. The great news is that many suppliers offer sustainable and cost-effective options for disposable cutlery, cups, food trays, and other supplies. You’ll also need a station outside the truck if you offer self-serve condiments. Inside, you’ll need standard serving equipment like slotted spoons and squeeze bottles for straining, seasoning, and portioning menu items.

        9. Promotional signage

          Depending on your food truck concept, you may want a traditional sandwich board for announcing daily specials or promotions. With Clover payment processing, adding a PayPal or Venmo QR code to your signage is easy for customer convenience.

          10. Cleaning supplies

            Keep your food truck clean and safe with floor mats and floor care products, plus trash and recycling bins. Other permanent fixtures you might consider include compartments for storing cleaning supplies and a hand sink for efficient clean-up.

            Your location may change daily, but the quality of your menu should stay the same. Outfit your business with reliable and efficient food truck equipment for storing, preparing, and serving your food. You can grow a loyal customer base and boost business by providing consistently high-quality fare and service.

            Learn how Clover’s restaurant POS systems provide versatile tools for better inventory management and customer engagement for food trucks and restaurant businesses alike.

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