MOBILE CATERING: How To Start a Mobile Catering Business

insurance for a mobile catering van and pizza catering

Mobile catering is the business of selling prepared food from a vehicle. In many nations, it is a part of the urban culture. Food vans, trailers, carts, and food kiosks can all be used for mobile catering. It is possible to prepare a wide variety of dishes and serve it to people from a vehicle. In this article, we are going to be looking at insurance for a mobile catering van and pizza catering.

Advertisers can now target the working population and the broader public with mobile food vehicles. Lunch truck advertising has expanded into a lucrative marketing effort for numerous organizations, including Outdoor Ad Systems, LLC, and Roaming Hunger, thanks to a multitude of display possibilities. Mobile catering is popular in New York City, although it can be costly at times.

Mobile Catering Van

A catering van, sometimes known as a mobile kitchen, is a truck that has been adapted to include a barbeque grill, deep fryer, or other culinary equipment. It allows for additional menu versatility because the vendor can cook cuisine to order as well as fresh goods ahead of time. A vendor can choose to park the van in one area, as with a cart, or to drive the van to many customer locations to expand the business’s reach. Fish and chip vans in the UK and taco trucks on the west coast of the United States, particularly in Southern California, are examples of mobile kitchens.

A mobile catering van allows a vendor to sell more food and reach a larger market than a cart. The service is similar in that the van has a stock of ready-to-eat meals that customers can purchase. In Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, ice cream vans are a common type of catering truck.

Mobile Catering Van Business

There are a lot of opportunities to earn from a mobile catering van business by capitalizing on the popularity of street food. For starters, you are your own boss, your startup costs are modest, and you have the flexibility to relocate. Not only that, but street food is becoming increasingly popular, with pop-up markets springing up in places around the UK.

Although starting a mobile catering van business could be more expensive than starting one based on a food trailer. However, it is an excellent alternative if manoeuvrability is a must.

Mobile Catering Unit

Food trucks are perfect for working along the side of the road, in a layby, at a market, or at a car boot sale. Standard vans that have been converted are the cheapest alternative, but they have one big drawback: the counter height, which is usually quite high. A lowered chassis unit is appropriate for this type of work since it raises the counter height to a standard rather than chin level, but it comes at a cost.

Take special care with the unit’s weight, as well as the tachograph and operators. For London traders, it’s also critical not to buy a vehicle that violates the ‘Low Emission Zone,’ as you’ll be fined £100 per day or £500 if you drive it within the M25. Furthermore, leaving the van in London overnight and driving out the next day will cost you £200.

Catering Vans

The Citroen H and HV Vans have become the vehicle of choice for many on London’s street food scene in numerous ways. Large trucks, similar to UPS vans, are popular in the United States.

Smaller units, which are better suited to street markets and private work, have been chosen by London street food vendors.

These odd small vans were quite inexpensive a few years ago, but as their popularity grew, so did their scarcity, driving up prices. It can be costly to get one of these setups up and running, and they can also be costly to maintain. Rather than relying on their H Vans to make it to events, many event caterers now employ trailers to transport them.

Read Also: CATERING VAN INSURANCE: Food Truck Insurance Policies And Coverages

The more common H Vans become on the streets, the less unusual they will appear to the general public, reducing their apparent distinctiveness. It’s also worth examining the vehicle’s height; if you’re tall, you might find them difficult to work in. Despite their flaws, they’re nevertheless attractive units that will attract attention and help you land pitches and consumers.

While H Vans are now hot, keep an eye out for other sorts of historic vehicles that may not have the same price tag as an H Van but could be the next big thing. The fake grass-covered bowling-converted ice cream truck is a great example of a non-H van that is quirky, amusing, and functional.

Food Truck

Many merchants, particularly those who have been influenced by the American Food Truck movement, have expressed interest in American Food Trucks.

While they are attractive vehicles that are almost certainly better suited to street food than what we have here, they can be dangerous. All catering equipment used in the UK must be CE certified and accredited; in the US, each state has its own accreditation scheme, so EU catering equipment cannot be used in the US, and most American equipment cannot be used in the UK – even if it is perfectly suited to the job and beautifully manufactured.

When it comes to miles per gallon, American automobiles, vehicles, and trucks are notoriously inefficient, and this is no different for food trucks; it might cost you substantially more to drive to markets, exhibitions, or events in an American vehicle than one built to EU standards. An American food truck is unlikely to pass the low emission zone criteria, making it highly expensive to operate within the M25/London.

Because replacement parts for American equipment are significantly less likely to be carried in the UK, you may have to wait weeks for replacements, affecting your capacity to trade.

Finally, American trucks are built for American highways, which are large and straight, as opposed to the UK’s network of one-way networks, rat runs, and cobblestones, which street food vendors must contend with. While they appear to be well-designed for usage in the United States, they are likely to cause too many complications for dealers in the United Kingdom to make them sustainable. However, there is undoubtedly a market need for the standardized UK or European food truck design, but none that we are aware of at this time.

Mobile Pizza Catering

If you’ve ever worked in the catering industry, you’re well aware of the long hours and physically demanding work. You’ll also understand the thrill of being your own boss, the excitement of a big event, and the satisfaction of watching your company grow.

If you’re new to the mobile pizza catering business, seek advice from others in similar fields. But make sure to avoid approaching direct competitors, who may perceive you as a threat! Here are some of the things to note before going into a mobile pizza catering business.

Make a business plan

There’s a lot of prep work to do in mobile pizza catering before you can start making a crust. Begin by determining whether the concept is appropriate for your lifestyle and goals. Are you someone who enjoys interacting with people at large gatherings?

Make a business plan based on your research. If you need a loan for startup costs, such as purchasing a catering van, this is a must. Even if you don’t, it’s a good way to get your thoughts straight about what you want to accomplish and how you’ll get there.

A competitive study, a marketing plan, and a deadline are all parts of a solid business plan. There is a wealth of information, templates, and help available on the internet.

It will also include a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Is there any training you could get to help you overcome any of your identified flaws? Do you need to hire more help, such as bookkeeping? This is also an excellent time to look into mobile catering van insurance.

Investigating current events

Pizza is a terrific method to fill up your tummy before going out to the bar and dancing the night away. Its adaptability is one of its most appealing features. Is it a country fair? A wood-fired pizza is sure to be a hit. A wedding that isn’t formal? Guests of all ages will enjoy tucking in. Is there a music festival? As a result, there are a plethora of places and events that might pick interest in hosting your van.

If you want to sell pizza at festivals, think about the type and size of the event, as well as the placement of your pitch. For large-scale events, you’ll need to apply at least a year ahead of time. There will be a lot of people, but there will also be a lot of competition. A smaller gathering could be a great place to start.

Be mindful of various price structures: you may be charged a flat fee, a portion of your profits, or a combination of the two. Make sure you understand whether your pitch price includes services like electricity, water, and waste disposal.

Regardless of the type of pizza event, you’ll require mobile catering van insurance with public liability coverage. Event organisers may request a copy of your insurance coverage to ensure you’re protected.

Hygiene and food safety

To establish a food business, you must adhere to strict cleanliness and safety regulations. From training and credentials to allergies and refrigeration, the Food Standards Agency is the best source of information.

All food enterprises must register with their local government at least 28 days before they open for business. Your application will not be denied, but you must allow food inspectors to enter your premises without warning. They can order you to close if they have hygiene or safety concerns.

These inspectors will give your business a one to five-star grade. It is compulsory to show this in Wales and Northern Ireland; it is not required in England but strongly encouraged. A five-star rating is also a terrific advertisement for your mobile catering business since it shows your clients that your pizza is not only tasty but also of high quality.

Selecting a Pizza Oven

There are almost as many types of pizza as there are ovens in which to create them. The sort of fuel you use is one factor to consider. Wood-fired ovens provide pizzas with a gorgeous artisan look and flavour that will go over well at high-end events – and command a higher price. However, they take up more room and require longer to heat up. Albeit they will eventually reach temperatures greater than many gas ovens.

Gas ovens are more efficient, easier to regulate, and capable of swiftly reaching high temperatures and cooking pizzas, which is ideal if you need a quick turnaround. They also take up less space, making them an excellent choice for smaller trailers or catering trucks.

Electric ovens are comparable, but be sure you have access to electricity at all of the events you’ll be attending. Otherwise, you’ll need to buy a generator as well.

There are many different types of ovens available, so do your research, compare specs and prices, and ask around to find the one that’s right for you. Many retailers provide excellent after-sales service, which is especially useful if you’re new to the game. Alternatively, you could purchase a mobile catering vehicle that already has a pizza oven installed. Whatever choice you choose, be sure it’s covered by appropriate mobile catering van insurance.

Choosing your menu

This has to be the most enjoyable part! What kind of pizza will you be serving? To mention a few options for the base, there’s a sourdough, thin or deep crust, flatbread, and cheese-stuffed. This is a significant decision because it will decide the type of oven you purchase.

You may have a lot of fun with the toppings. It’s a good idea to include old favourites. Like mushroom is reportedly the most popular pizza topping in the UK. There are six others that are appreciated by more than half of the population: onions, ham, peppers, chicken, pepperoni, and tomato.

What about mobile catering a signature pizza that you created yourself? You might even ask the customers to help you design one for their special occasion if the event is a personal one, such as a wedding.

Vegan pizza, made without cheese or with dairy-free substitutes, is also a terrific addition to the menu, especially if you’re catering at festivals or other events where there will be a large number of children. You can even serve cauliflower-crust pizzas to the low-carb audience!

Will you be selling any of the sides? This allows you to give entire meals and increase profitability, but storage and serving space are also factors to consider. Garlic bread is a requirement, but other popular additions include dough balls, salads, corn on the cob, and cakes.

What about a few drinks? You’ll need a licence to sell alcohol, but on a hot summer day, a fridge full of chilled soft drinks will be a huge lure.

So start planning, preparing, tasting, and experimenting. Your buddies will be pleased to assist you with this aspect of your blossoming business!

Supplies and inventory

Whether you want cheap and cheerful Margheritas or gourmet versions made with only the best organic ingredients, you’ll need to build strong relationships with dependable vendors.

Depending on the size of your van, you may want to do a lot of the prep work in a commercial kitchen before loading it up. Mixing the dough, grating the cheese, and preparing the toppings can all be done ahead of time, leaving you with the relatively simple task of putting the finished product together.

Make sure you think about where you’ll put things. How will you keep your stock fresh if you’re going to a four-day festival? Is it possible to get extra supplies if you run out?

Remember that your mobile catering van insurance policy can include stock coverage.

Promote Your Business

Choosing a popular food like pizza in your mobile catering business ensures that your service will be in great demand – but also that you will face fierce competition.

So, how can you make sure your company gets a fair share of the pie? You must establish and market your brand. A simple yet memorable name is a fantastic place to start! Print menus and staff T-shirts or aprons, and invest in some graphic design for a nice logo. Signwriting can help your van stand out from the crowd.

After that, you must market your new brand. Setting up a presence for your business on social media and uploading some photographs and videos is a low-cost method to get started. Your smartphone is your best tool here. Candid photos of you trying out new pizza toppings, for example, are a great way to engage your audience. You may print some flyers and create a website to send to potential businesses. It’s all designed to make you appear professional and personable.

Finally, how about some promos to increase business? It’s a method of letting customers know they’re getting a good bargain, whether it’s 10% off all purchases, extra toppings, or a free can of soda.

Mobile Catering Insurance

There are a lot of dreadful things that can bankrupt a catering business that isn’t properly insured. When you’re self-employed, your company is everything to you: it’s how you make a living. As a result, it’s critical that you get a cover with the proper insurance for your mobile catering business. You must understand that if things are tough, your catering business is not doomed.

Insurance products and coverage that are specifically designed to safeguard your mobile catering business from the risks of day-to-day operations. Food trucks, catering trailers, gazebos, and more are available.

What Insurance is Available for a Mobile Caterer?

There is a lot of insurance coverage available for mobile caterers. So, make sure you pick the right coverage for your business.

Insurance against crime

Fraud can strike any company, and the threat can come from a variety of places. Economic crime can affect you in a variety of ways. An employee may embezzle funds, or an unknown third party may engage you in telephone fraud. You can protect your catering business from a variety of risks by including crime insurance in your catering business insurance, whether you’re a mobile caterer or work from a fixed location.

After firing a chef, you might find yourself in front of an employment tribunal, fighting for unpaid services, or even in a contract dispute. All of these circumstances can be time and financially draining; this is where commercial legal protection can help your business. This product covers your legal expenses. Which allows you to keep your business afloat if you need to pursue a case or defend against a claim.

Insurance against cybercrime

Cyber threats can affect catering businesses that take online bookings, email clients, or simply use the internet to double-check a recipe. Whether an employee inadvertently shares client information when sending sample menus or your emails are hacked while making a booking, cyber and data coverage can help. Dealing with a cyber incident can be difficult, but Hiscox cover can help. We can hire experts to restore systems, pay ransom demands, and even work to recover data.


Once you make your decision to go into the mobile catering business, Be sure to have a well-thought-out business plan and then get mobile catering insurance coverage. This is going to help your business strive for success.


What are the roles of mobile catering?

A mobile caterer prepares and serves food from a specially equipped van or cart. Outdoor events (like concerts), businesses, and downtown commercial districts are all places where mobile catering is common.

Is mobile catering profitable?

In the mobile catering market, a normal gross profit margin ranges from 65 to 85 per cent, with some companies reaching as high as 95 per cent! Few firms offer such high-profit margins, so you have a lot of room to grow.

What is a mobile catering unit?

The business of selling prepared food from a vehicle is known as mobile catering. In many nations, it is a part of the urban culture. Food trucks, trailers, carts, and food stands can all be used for mobile catering. During times of emergency, mobile catering is also employed to offer meals to people.

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