The industry of food service provision in a distant area is called Catering. Catering may be in different forms provided that there is the essence of serving food to customers. One interesting type of catering is Mobile Catering where food is sold and served from inside a car or vehicle. It is also known that in some countries, Mobile catering is a part of their urban culture.
Different types of vehicles are used in providing Mobile Catering to consumers:
- A Street Cart is a trailer without motor or engine to aid in the sale and marketing of street foods to local pedestrians for its common locations are in sidewalk or parks. This cart is towed and hauled to the selling location either by an automobile, a motorcycle or simply by hand. It is a mobile kitchen which is typically built with on board heating and refrigeration features in order to cook foods instantly. A hotdog or sausage stand is one example of a street cart catering service. Other foods sold in street carts are coffee, bagels, donuts, sandwiches, tacos and burritos. Some street carts are affiliated with restaurants, thus the foods served in the cart are the same with the foods served in the restaurant.
- A Catering Truck is similar with that of a Street Cart in terms of service provided. The differences are that the former carries large volumes of food (as in an ice cream van) to be served and sold to customers and could be driven by itself. There are two notable types of Catering Trucks: * A Mobile Food Preparation Vehicle (MFPV) is usually staffed with a driver and a cook. In this catering truck, foods are cooked and prepared as customers order, therefore provisions which can easily be prepared are like various types of sandwiches are served. * An Industrial Catering Vehicle (ICV) is a catering truck that sells pre-packaged foods. A driver and a person to assist the customers are the usual staff in an ICV.
- A Food Truck is a mobile venue that sells food. There are some which ell frozen or prepackaged foods, others serve a variety of foodstuffs and termed as ‘restaurant-on-wheels, while others serve particular meals like breakfast, lunch or snacks. There is a flexibility in the menu since foods can be prepared as you order or can be ordered on advance. Food trucks are known to cater events like carnivals, construction sites or sporting events where potential buyers require regular meal chows.
- A Concession Trailer is built like a mobile kitchen with ready to use cooking and storage features, but cannot be moved or driven on its own. Thus concession trailers are often situated in lasting events such as funfairs or mobile carnivals or local feasts.
Mobile catering vehicles are not only restricted or limited to be used in profit-earning activities or by people who want to earn from cooking. Some vehicles are used to provide food to citizens of places affected by natural disasters and whose infrastructures are damaged as well.