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What Is a Shipping Container Kitchen?

AUGUST 5, 2021 BY CAM BOB

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Shipping container kitchens are yet another exciting way that shipping containers, or conex boxes, can be repurposed for different uses. With just a few modifications, these portable units can become functional commercial kitchens. Shipping container kitchens can also be customized depending on your specific business needs. 

What Are Shipping Container Kitchens?

shipping container kitchens

Shipping container kitchens refer to shipping containers that have been repurposed, or upcycled, to fulfill a variety of commercial cooking applications such as opening a container bar or cafe. This transformation requires several modifications, such as adding insulation, electrical panels, and doors and windows. Kitchen appliances must also be installed inside, along with an HVAC system.

Business owners can choose from among a variety of sizes depending on the amount of space allotted for the unit and how much room they need in order to perform professional tasks. Containers are also stackable and can join together in different ways, making them ideal for those who need more space.

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What Are the Different Types of Shipping Container Kitchens?

A shipping container kitchen can undergo modifications to satisfy different needs, you can make modifications to your unit to fulfill a range of kitchen-related business ideas, such as distributing pre-made, packaged food items; providing a food-prep area; running a full kitchen with a complete menu; to serving cocktails.

Once you figure out what you'll prepare in your mobile kitchen, you'll need to decide how you want your customers to interact with the facility. You could, for instance, set up a prep kitchen with no direct customer service or create a delivery-only establishment, conducted either by staff only or third-party delivery service.

Pop-up restaurants are another possibility, with indoor and outdoor seating available for customers. Servers would take food prepared in the shipping container kitchen and deliver it directly to the table. You could also create a system by which customers pick up their orders from a delivery window.

Shipping container food trucks are another alternative to traditional service options. Drive-thru and walk-up windows are also options to consider.

What Are the Benefits of Turning Shipping Containers into Kitchens?

Used for transporting goods across the ocean, these large steel boxes are durable, sturdy, and built to last.

And because they are portable, you have the freedom to move your company wherever and whenever you like. If you are not getting the business you expected from a specific spot, you can easily move to a different location. You can also transport your shipping container kitchen to temporary events, such as festivals or concerts.

It also takes much less time to convert a shipping container into a commercial kitchen than to build one from scratch, allowing you to save a lot of money in upfront costs. Another cost-saving feature revolves around the plumbing and storage costs. This is because shipping container kitchens need to be kept at a local commissary (you can’t keep it at your house). But, the benefit to this is that you have a place to keep your container kitchen and have access to a water supply to fill up your tanks, all for less than half of what the typical rent costs for a restaurant.

Repurposing these used boxes is also an environmentally sound alternative to traditional construction. The process itself reduces the amount waste associated with new construction and prevents the boxes from ending up rusting in a landfill.

Work with Mobile Modular Portable Storage

Mobile Modular Portable Storage rents and sells commercial and construction-based portable storage containers and high-security offices. Headquartered in Livermore, California, we are one of the largest suppliers of portable containers in North America.

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FAQs

How much does a shipping container cost?

A shipping container can sell for anywhere from $3,400 to $8,600. The price depends on a number of factors, including whether it is new or used, if it has transported goods before, and how much wear and tear it has experienced.

How much does it cost to build a commercial kitchen?

The overall cost to build, open, and operate a traditional commercial kitchen ranges from $450,000 to $550,000. This high price tag makes going with shipping container kitchens a much more affordable alternative that you can build for a fraction of that price.

What is a mobile kitchen?

A mobile kitchen is a modified unit with built-in cooking equipment, such as in a food truck or trailer, so they can be easily moved from one location to another.

Can a human live in a shipping container?

Conex boxes are not meant for residential purposes, however, they can be converted into livable facilities with the addition of things such as insulation, plumbing, and electricity. Check with local authorities to learn about any regulations or requirements, permitting, zoning rules, etc.

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