Equipment Checklist for a Concession Trailer

by Debbie Mcrill; Updated September 26, 2017
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Concession trailers are food vendors that are mobile. The trailer can be moved to different locations and events. Food carts and concession stands are similar ways to sell food and often have the same requirements as a concession trailer. For the consumer's health protection, there are certain equipment needs that a concession trailer must have. Research the concession trailer requirements. Even if you purchase an "outfitted" trailer, there could be additional equipment you need for licensing and permits.

General Equipment

Each state has different requirements for the equipment necessary to run a concession trailer. Counties and cities might also have additional requirements. For specifics for the area you intend to run a concession trailer, research the laws as the concession trailer will need to be inspected and obtain state, county and maybe even city approval. In general, equipment necessary to run a concession trailer is similar. A hand washing station is important. Typically, the minimum size is five gallons of warm water. Soap and paper towels need to be available. A type of sanitation chemical such as bleach is necessary. Exact concentration may vary. A sanitizer kit to test concentration may also be a necessity. A container for waste water must be in the trailer as water cannot be dumped on the ground. If the trailer is serving certain types of food that must be hot or cold, a food thermometer that can be calibrated must be used. When serving food, gloves (typically disposable) are important for sanitation. A covered trash can is needed. Storage facilities for both hot and cold food must be on the trailer and adhere to temperature setting rules.

Trailer Equipment

The trailer itself must also meet state, county and city laws. For example, the floor, ceilings and walls have to be made from an easily cleanable material. This could include Formica, stainless steel or other approved material. Openings on the trailer such as windows may need to be screened. Shielded lighting might be necessary and many trailers require a hand-sink with hot and cold running water.

Other Requirements

Several other requirements may need to be met, although they are not necessarily equipment related, they are important to proper licensing. A commissary location is often needed for trailers. The role of the commissary is an approved place to bring the trailer, usually daily, to have it cleaned and waste water removed in an approved manner. The commissary also is a storage place for hot or cold food that can be restocked onto the trailer. All of these requirements and others deemed by the state may be necessary to operate a legal concession trailer. Requirements may also be different for special events like local fairs. The equipment needs may not be as stringent based on the type of permit you obtain.

About the Author

Debbie McRill went from managing a Texas Department of Criminal Justice office to working for Compaq and Hewlett-Packard as a technical writer and project manager in 1997. Debbie has also owned her own businesses and understands both corporate and small business challenges. Her background includes Six Sigma training, and an Information Development career with journalism and creative writing as her passion.

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