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4 Tips For Buying Concession Trailers

Buying a concession trailer for your business can be simple, but before you dive in, consider these top tips to get started.
concession trailers

By Barrett Baker

If you are a fan of food trucks, you can send your thanks to Oscar Mayer. The company is credited with creating the first modern food truck in 1936 when they introduced the Wienermobile, which toured the country selling hotdogs at schools, hospitals, parades, and more. About a decade and a half later, ice cream trucks jumped on the proverbial bandwagon, driving through neighborhoods to peddle frozen treats to an eager and enthusiastic crowd.

Today, concession trailers and trucks have evolved into mobile kitchens, providing a variety of drinks, snacks, appetizers, entrees, and desserts for hungry people at festivals and events. They are especially popular at brew pubs that don’t have their own kitchens to feed their adult-beverage-drinking customers. 

For our readers who are looking to join the growing trend of mobile concessions, Equipment Trader dove into some of the things you may want to consider before becoming an epicurean entrepreneur. Here are a few items to think about before purchasing your first trailer.

Shop today for new and used equipment trailers for sale online.

Why Go Mobile?

There are several advantages to buying a concession trailer versus opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant. For one, your initial investment in a trailer (and maybe tow vehicle if you don’t already have one) can be considerably less expensive than buying a building and outfitting the kitchen and dining area. Second, you don’t need to do a lot of market research to find the perfect location then wait for a space to open when you own a food truck. Being mobile means you can go where the customers are, assuming you can secure a spot where you want to park your trailer on any given day.

On the other side of the coin, you will need to acquire the right permits in order to operate your concession trailer, based on the regulations set by the municipality you’ll be operating in. Recognizing the economic benefit that food trucks and trailers provide, many cities and towns are currently trying to streamline this process to make things more efficient for concession trailer operators.

Considerations for Concession Trailers

If the food truck lifestyle is calling to you and you are committed to moving forward, you need to make a few decisions before you actually get cooking.

1. Buy a New Or Used Concession Trailer?

If money is no object to you, you’ll probably want to buy a new trailer that you can customize to meet the needs of what you’ll be offering. For those on a budget, you may want to consider buying a used trailer that already has many of the features you want for your business. 

2. Equipment for Concession Trailers

The trailer you buy and the design of the interior is going to rely a lot on what you plan to serve. Make sure you factor in the kind of equipment you’ll need to fulfill your plan. As an example, if you’re going to be offering sundaes, you’ll need a large refrigeration unit for the ice cream. Burgers and hotdogs? You’ll need a griddle and possibly a deep fryer if you plan to offer fries or onion rings. If you’re planning on a more complicated menu, you’ll need additional prep area and counter space for food assembly. Knowing what you need inside the trailer ahead of time will help you decide on the size and style of the trailer you’ll need.

3. Buying a Truck to Tow

If you already have a truck to tow your concession trailer, you will need to make sure that the total weight of the trailer is within the towing capacity of that truck. That’s not only the weight of the trailer itself, but any other equipment on board (refrigerator, cabinets, fryers, countertops, sinks, etc.), as well as all of the food and water you’ll be bringing with you, and the weight of propane tanks and/or a generator (and fuel) you’ll need to make the magic happen. If you don’t already have a tow vehicle, you’ll need to keep all of the above in mind when you go shopping to ensure that the vehicle you buy will be able to handle the weight of your trailer.

4. Storage

When you’re not at events, you need to consider where you’ll park the trailer. Some municipalities have ordinances about trailers being parked on streets or even on your own property. Make sure you check with the locality’s guidelines so you know if you need to make arrangements to park your trailer elsewhere and factor the storage into your budget.

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Let’s Get Cooking

When you’ve done your research and know exactly what you want in terms of a concession trailer, your next step is to visit Equipment Trader to procure the wagon that punches all the right buttons for you. We’re the largest resource of new and used equipment like food trucks, so whether you’re buying or selling, we’re here to help you succeed. Order up!


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Barrett Baker
Barrett Baker
Barrett Baker is a freelance writer with more than 40 years of writing experience. He has worked with the U.S. Department of Energy, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and a variety of advertising and marketing firms throughout his career. In his spare time, he enjoys photography, cooking, and working with animal rescues.

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