Everything You Need to Know About Mobile Coffee Catering
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Everything You Need to Know About Mobile Coffee Catering
Mobile catering is what’s happening now in Singapore – it’s easy, fast, and best of all, you don’t need to rent space for it and can change areas whenever you want. But what exactly is it?
Simply put, mobile catering is essentially a fancier term for operating out of a concession stand on wheels. Food carts are motor-less trailers that can be hauled by most vehicles, such as motorcycles and automobiles, often at a sidewalk or a park.
Depending on what you want to serve, you can also opt for an actual food truck for your mobile coffee cart and serve more than just mocha and latte.
The best part about serving in a mobile cart is that you can serve anything basically anywhere. A coffee cart, for example, can serve mocha, latte, or cappuccino in different places depending on the foot traffic. This mobile coffee cart can be a godsend to workers who need that much-needed cup of energy for the day.
However, before you go ahead and set up your coffee cart, here’s everything and more that you need to know about mobile catering to get you started:
But Why A Cart?
In the first place, what’s so special about a food cart? Why not just rent your own space and sell coffee from there?
There are a number of advantages that having a coffee cart can afford you that a fixed space wouldn’t, the biggest advantage of all being mobility.
Having a coffee cart in Singapore that can go from place to place depending on the foot traffic (or events, if any) allows you to set up anywhere you want and follow the traffic to reach the most customers. When you can set up your business pretty much anywhere, you don’t have to worry about meeting a particular income quota for utilities such as electricity or water.
A cart also allows you to be versatile. You can choose to either be constantly on the move or rent a space and set up an al fresco café of your own – the possibilities are as many as your imagination allows you.
Product of Choice
What else could be so versatile a beverage as coffee? Not only is it great for the working man and woman on their way to work, but also as a way to unwind after a long day. And when there’s good foot traffic, you can bust out your coffee cart and start selling lattes.
You could say that mobile coffee is a godsend for when you’re hobbling to work, school, or home half-awake. But these half-awakes, professionals, students – the list goes on – also need something to munch on because they haven’t had anything to eat, and this is also something you’re happy and willing to provide.
Coffee also works with pretty much any snack – feel free to cook something up on your own and see what works! You can also partner up with different businesses that sell different kinds of foodstuffs, such as baked goods (i.e. cookies, cake, or biscuits) or pasta.
Before deciding to push out your coffee push cart on the nearest sidewalk or renting out the nearest space to convert into your own al fresco café, you of course need to develop a concrete business plan with all the specifics included to make sure that you have all the equipment and appliances that you need.
Market research here is crucial. Though a lot of factors may be favorable for a mobile catering operator, you still need to look at current market trends and see how it affects businesses, and how it could potentially affect your mobile business.
Mobile catering businesses can be classified as restaurants on the go, equipped with the appliances and gadgets needed to cook and prepare the products to sell food. They’re good news if you’re tight on a budget – a coffee cart is much easier to start, as less start-up capital is required compared to usual businesses operating in a fixed location.
However, if you’re looking to see all your returns as quickly as possible, you might want to hold that thought. Mobile catering businesses generally sell at cheaper rates compared to their fixed counterparts, and that means your coffee cart will offer coffee much cheaper than the local Starbucks, even though it’s better.
Customer Base and Location
Coffee catering has never been made easier with just one word: anywhere.
This is perhaps the key determining factor in any mobile catering business, especially with a mobile coffee cart. You get to broaden your horizons and reach out to different customer bases as long as you operate within legal boundaries. Here are a few examples of places where you can reach out to customers from your mobile coffee cart:
• Industrial parks
• University campuses
• Tourism locations
• Blue Collar work locations (i.e. construction sites)
• Office complexes
• Open-air shows and programs
• Outdoor events
• Sports centers
Types of Mobile Carts
Which type of coffee catering vehicle is the best way for you to sell your signature home brew to your customers? There are three kinds of vehicles that you can use: carts, trucks, and trailers.
Carts are the lightest, cheapest, and the easiest to manage, but their small space doesn’t allow you the same room as a trailer or a truck, and you may not be as noticeable on the street or in the park. Trailers work the same way as carts, but are much larger in size and allow you to serve a larger crowd.
Trucks, meanwhile, are a good option if you specialize in cooking something to go along with your coffee. Trucks offer the most space and flexibility, but depending on local health codes, you may be required to prepare and store your food at a commissary.
NEO Food Web is a project of the Northeast Ohio Local Food System Assessment and Plan.