Sitting at Home Being a Little House Wife - Start Mobile Catering

by sarah


My partner and I have bought our own burger van. The thing is the old owner who we bought it off didn’t really declare it to the authorities?

So he therefore didn’t need any licence or certificates.

He basically went to the horse show every month and brought home a healthy £500.

Now the van looks to us like it’s in lovely condition and he has just recently put new roof in there and it’s lovely. He has got 2 water things you heat up and store boiling water, 2 fridges (I’m assuming one for meats and others for cans) he got a griddle.

But I’m worried as when we first looked at the van he lit a candle that was fragranced.
I didn’t question him on this just thought it was odd.

When we went back next time the candle wasn’t lit but the van smelt like he had been cooking in it all day! ( I know this wasn’t the case as his generator has gone bust ) . So I’m thinking could this be from the griddle. Will I need to get a new one and how do I tell?

Maybe he has just not cleaned it good, leading on to that, how do I clean it without ripping it all apart by scratching it and poisoning people. I know this allot and I feel very cheeky but u did say ask to know anything.

Right my main questions is “hot water supply “He has none..
He has 2 sinks, water containers but no "hot running water”.

We have been told this is a legal requirement, how on earth do we do that? He says we can’t run something from his engine? As its too much, and his generator is not powerful enough. Maybe that makes more sense to you than me.

Another thing I am mainly worried about it any tips on cooking the food in a special way. Like how to flip the burgers and how to NOT break the eggs (do you have to turn them over) or can they look like they hardly cooked.

Also what type of gravy is the best; we have been told that if you cut little slits into the bacon fat while it cooks it will stop it from rolling up. Have no idea if that is true. I am set to go on the van later just to try some stuff out. Ahh well free burgers for my neighbours.

I’m so sorry I have gone on a bit but it’s just so much to take in.
Hope u can help in some sort of way xx and I think you’re very brave the way you went at it on your own. I may just have to do that now in two weeks when we said we will start it all up, as my partner still has a job at the moment but I don’t.

Instead of sitting at home being a little house wife I would much rather be out there bring us money in. So he said I may just need to do it myself.

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Apr 26, 2011
Mobile Catering Certificates and Insurance
by: David

Hi Sarah,

You certainly have a lot of questions; before we start I THINK you should really consider registering you food business with the local authorities and have all the equipment tested by an LPG certified technician.

You say that you don’t have 2 sinks yet this is a food and hygiene requirement, it means buying an extra sink and then having someone install it for you.

The same goes for the hot water system, you will have to buy a hot water boiler unless you intend to use the hot water from the tea earn.

Again you will have to have someone install this for you. You could also have a simple water container with a pump and tap attached to your sink which will solve your running water problem.

As for cooking burgers, eggs and sausages it pretty much the same as cooking on a frying pan, it just you will be using a griddle which is easier to cook on. Just make sure to heat up the griddle sufficiently before placing any food on it.

If the griddle smells as you say, it could be due to lack of cleaning and if it’s covered in black carbon then it definitely needs cleaning see here for how to do this.

How to clean a LPG griddle

The best bacon to buy is probably from the wholesalers that sell commercial grade bacon; this does not curl up or shrink as much as the stuff you buy from the supermarket.

The supermarket bacon shrinks and curls up to more or less half the size, so there is a big difference in quality. It’s also a good idea to buy a food temperature probe, so that you can regularly check the temperature of food that you cook and pre heat.

I know that the old owner did not have any certificates for his business, but I WOULD advise you not to go down the same route.

Especially if you are serious about having this business for the long-term, and if you intend to branch out into trading into other venues.

As most event organisers/councils will want to see that you have all the necessary certificates and catering liability insurance.

I know that it’s really all very daunting, but I really just want you to succeed and prosper from your mobile catering business. Sort out these few issues to ensure that you don’t face any unwanted future problems

Best of luck

p.s Get my free guide on Starting a Mobile Catering Business

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