Quick Service Restaurant in a Shipping Container

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Joined Sep 17, 2019
Hello all,

I am looking at a lease option in a downtown area of the city (Fort Collins, CO) I live in. I wanted to get some expert advice from guys who have been there, done that. I am finally ready to open my first restaurant and something small in nature like a shipping container fits my concept very well!

The location I'm pursuing is an open-air central plaza surrounded by inspired cuisine, craft cocktails and beer served via Shipping Container Cars.

The landlord is only willing to rent out the core/empty shells and we have to do everything on our own. There are also other restaurants already in place to the left and right of the unit. (Boneless Wings and Italian Sandwiches) My concept includes serving only one item: Momos (South Asian Dumplings) & variation of sauces. If space allows, possibly some beer.

The container is approximately 8ft x 20ft, roughly 216 SF.

I was thinking the following construction work most likely will be needed.

Kitchen Hood
Grease Trap
Plumbing
Fire Suppression
Electricity
Floors & Walls
Air Conditioning

Please let me know if my estimation is about correct or if there is additional things I need to worry about construction wise. Thank you for reading my post and any answers will be greatly appreciated!
 
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Joined Sep 17, 2018
Where is all your storage going to be? Here we have to be mindful of how close we store food and chemicals together on top of rules about height off of the floor and height from the ceiling. Also are you going to have any seating outside the container?
 
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Joined Sep 17, 2019
Hello all, thank you all for your prompt response, I will add those to my list.

Where is all your storage going to be? Here we have to be mindful of how close we store food and chemicals together on top of rules about height off of the floor and height from the ceiling. Also are you going to have any seating outside the container?
Seoul Food, the container is pretty long so I was going to use a small portion of it to make it my storage area. And yes, I will have a designated 150 SF of outside seating area + the already huge open area with freely accessible bathrooms and a place where people can sit wherever they'd like.

Here's their website for more info: https://theexchangefortcollins.com/
 
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Joined Feb 8, 2009
It looks like your menu is real limited. I would try to figure out how I could accomplish with lest amount of cost and equipment. Check with the Health Dept and explain to them the process of prepping and cooking your food items. You may not need a Kitchen hood. Once you determine how your cooking the food you can then figure out what's needed.
 
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Joined Jan 31, 2012
8 x 20 sounds big but its not really. Especially the 8, thats pretty narrow. I used an 8 x 20 CC for years for storage.
youre gonna get a row of work tables and equipment on one side, then not much on the other wall, if you want to be able to walk thru it and work. If you keep everything to a depth of 24 " or less you might get an aisle of 28 to 30 inches, which is still a bit tight.
Personally with that space I"d rather set up a mobile trailer.
Which would be MINE. And eventually resaleable.
My take is, dont reinvent the wheel--establish a rapport with the other Cargo Vendors, take a look at their setups.
And look CAREFULLY, any tricks they came up with can be yours for the price of a good memory, a qiuck pic or a few notes.
 
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Joined Sep 17, 2019
Thank you all for the thoughtful responses.

frankie007: the water supply and drainage needs to be worked in but they should be there, there are two other restaurant containers right and left of the one I am looking at.

chefbillyb: thank you for that helpful tip. My original concept only has 4 entree options but if I pursue the container, it will be even more limited, only 1 entree with options ofcourse. All I will be doing is steaming dumplings, that's it.

meezenplaz: love you username btw! unfortunately, can't set this up as mobile trailer. Everything is already fixed and in place. I've been working on my kitchen layout, let me know what you think!


Update: I am working with construction companies now to get a construction bid, will keep yall updated!
 
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Joined Aug 21, 2004
Are you strictly steaming the momos? What is the equipment next to the 3 burners? Where is the service window? What is the equipment that is rectangular and next to the stainless table that is next to the sandwich/salad reach in? What is the equipment in front of the two door? Is the two door a fridge and the single a freezer? With the location of the hand sink, can you still easily access the single door refer?
 
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Joined Feb 8, 2009

Sorry about that, not sure what happened.
If you're only doing dumplings you would only need a steamer. They make commercial steamers that would work great. I had steamers in my kitchens and they didn't need hood fans. They make all different sizes.
 
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