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Common Pitfalls When Installing Ice-Cream Machines on a Food Truck

Posted by Slices Concession on

plain white food truck mobile food unit with Electro Freeze SL500 soft serve frozen yogurt machine and slices concession logo

Thinking about starting a mobile ice cream business? While the ice cream truck has become a fixture of American summertimes for decades there are important considerations frequently overlooked when it comes to installing equipment on a food truck. Common pitfalls can be lack of electrical power inside the vehicle, insufficient storage, or simply lack of space to operate comfortably inside the vehicle.

Q & A With Jeremy Adams (Prestige Food Trucks)

In an effort to help you avoid these common mistakes we reached out to Jeremy Adams, Founding Partner & Creator of Opportunities at Prestige Food Trucks. Adams has helped hundreds of food entrepreneurs take their business mobile and has some straight-forward advice to ensuring your frozen dessert food truck is road ready in today’s Q/A interview:

Question 1: Tell us a little about yourself and your company’s experience manufacturing mobile food units?

Answer: I started Prestige Food Trucks in 2012. Worked with some large clients, and could no longer keep up with manufacturing. In 2015, we partnered with Custom Concessions in a JV to be able to build more units and help more people. They had been building since 2001. Combined, we have probably built over 1,000, super high-quality total units. Custom Concessions used to pump out lower-cost trailers back in the day :)

Question 2: What considerations need to be made when installing an ice cream machine on a food truck?

Answer: It’s very important to know your electrical when it comes to soft service type units. Not only do they pull an insane amount of power, sometimes they can even be 3 phase units which require a completely custom generator and electrical set up! Definitely investment in a commercial diesel generator to handle these types of units as well.

Question 3: What are some complementary features or appliances that you recommend being installed on a mobile unit selling soft-serve or frozen yogurt?

Answer: To go with soft-serve machines, it's very important to try and have tons of storage and additional refrigeration and freezer space. In some cases, it’s also extremely important to have a few AC units on board inside the truck/trailer to help keep the machines cool.

Question 4: Does soft-serve, frozen yogurt, or gelato perform well as a mobile business versus brick-and-mortar?

Answer: The most successful soft-serve/froyo concepts I see are the ones that create special strategic partnerships. Partnering with schools, universities, etc. Get paid for the headcount up front, or charge a flat $10 for a large, “all you can fit” type concept. Remember, you normally are the only option out there. Charge a premium, but also deliver quality value!

Question 5: Can an ice cream truck still be profitable in locations with four seasons like New York?

Answer: There are many studies that show ice cream consumption can sometimes increase in colder climates! With that being said, it still can be difficult to have people go outside and go to a food truck. This is a great opportunity to maximize on the catering side of your business. Deliver ice cream for 100 people at a conference or school. Make it easy on them! Then, as soon as it’s a little warmer, back to business as usual.

 A Small Thank You... And Recommendation

We want to thank Jeremy Adams for taking the time to share his insights on the building a quality ice cream truck that lasts and Brett Lindenberg for providing us with this information & much more through Food Truck Empire.

If you’d like to learn more about starting your own food truck or mobile food business, is an excellent resource on how to start and operate this type of business.

On their website you can hope to find:

If you need an ice cream or frozen beverage machine for your food truck,

check out our frozen dessert machines

or call us: 352-262-9627


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