Acquired a Mobile Catering Trailer - My First Event a Week on Sunday

by anne


Hi David,

Can’t thank you enough for all the information you have given me. I have just acquired a mobile catering trailer and have my first event a week on Sunday. I have taken your advice and kept my menu simple.

I do not have a fat fryer or freezer so will not be doing chips initially. The only other thing I need to purchase now is a generator and could use some advise as I need one powerful enough to operate 2 large fluorescent strip lights, drinks fridge, meat fridge and a Bain Marie?

Also sausages, this might sound like a stupid question but it worries me that they might not cook well on griddles and am thinking of just doing frankfurters at the moment and keeping them in my Bain Marie, what do you think?

Thanks again for all your help so far,

I have always wanted a burger business and have experience in catering. i have a full time job at present but when I found the trailer within a mile of my home I saw this as a sign to go for it.

I just going to do weekends at the moment and have permission to do this at a local car boot, so I guess I’m just playing at this for a moment, will see how it goes..thanks again.

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Aug 28, 2012
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Which Generator Size for Catering Trailer
by: David

Hi Anne,

It’s great to hear from you and I’m really excited for you in your new business.

Sometimes part time is the best way to start.

Anyway, back to your question, I would try and get an LPG generator if possible, that way you can hook it up to your existing LPG gas bottles, rather than having to carry either diesel or petrol fuel.

LPG generators are more expensive to buy, but cheaper to run – so it will depend on your budget.

You can also get an LPG conversion kit which will convert a petrol generator to run on LPG. This is something I did when I first got my generator.

Failing that a diesel generator is the next best option especially if you intend on using it all day.

It will still work out cheaper than using a petrol run generator. You should also be able to use red diesel in a diesel generator which is cheaper than normal white diesel, but do make enquires beforehand.

I would opt for a 3.5 - 5KV generator, this will give you enough power to run all those appliances. If you need to make doubly sure then the other way would be to calculate the output of all your appliances (normally displayed on stickers on all the appliances) and work out the exact size generator you will need.

I’ve provided a link below as this company has some good resources that will help you work out which generator size you will need, since it can be a little confusing.

Contact them if you get stuck or need further advice. I got my LPG gas conversion kit from here.

Generator Calculator

Important: Make sure to chain up your generator so that no one can steal it. I’ve heard stories of people cooking/serving food around the front of their trailer - only to discover that someone has unplugged the generator, chucked it in the back of their van and just driven off. Don’t let this be you!

Finally, we get to the important question of sausages! All you need to do is make sure that the sausage is defrosted and simply sprinkle a little oil onto the griddle and cook through thoroughly.

I had no problem cooking 6-9 inch sausages,(big hot dogs) just fork them through the middle to make sure they are cooked or, better still cut them down the middle and cook the inside as well.

It’s also advisable to get a digital food temperature probe to check the temperatures often. It good for you to get into the habit of using it often to make sure everything is cooked through, and is the right temperature.

Okay Anne, that’s your lot!

Wishing you my best, well done and keep going!
David



PS. Get my free guide on Starting a Mobile Catering Business Guide

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