In our on-going series about food truck equipment, we’ve come to one of the more basic build-out topics: concession doors. As you might imagine this is a more straight-forward consideration compared to other areas like plumbing, electrical, or the kitchen layout. Still there are some common-sense guidelines we can offer on the topic if you plan to install a door in the future to ensure the project is done right the first time.
As we’ve mentioned in previous posts in this series, we’ve been manufacturing food trucks and concession trailers for over 15 years. In our decade and a half of experience we’ve learned a thing or two about what works and doesn’t work when it comes to mobile food units. The series your ready right now is designed to help pass on some of those hard-won pieces of knowledge.

clam chowder van

Tony’s Clam Chowder – Concession Doors installed on a Van.

What’s the best size for a concession door?

When it comes to concession doors you want something that’s large enough so customers can peer into the inside of the mobile kitchen. Customers want to be able to see the cleanliness of your kitchen and food being prepared. It’s incredible how a wide concession window can make a unit appear infinitely more inviting.
It benefits you as the vendor to have an adequately sized door too. It can be difficult to pass food through a window that’s too small. It can also be hard to work through a line and communicate if you’re speaking through a small hole. Overall, larger sized concession doors make for a more friendly, appealing and functional food truck too!
Different sized food trucks and trailers will require different sized concession doors to be installed. With that being said two separate windows, one 3’ x 5’ and the second 3’ x 6’ are a good size for most food units.
The first windows you will take orders from. The second window you will serve food out of. This helps a lot with the flow of the line as well since customers won’t be heading to the same door to place and order and pickup. We also recommend adding clear instructions to your customers like “Order Here” and “Pickup Food Here” to keep your operations moving in an orderly fashion.
When installing concession doors, we also recommend having the doors lift-up instead of opening to the left or right. By lifting the doors up you can create an awning and bit of shade for customers. This is the way you’ll find 95%+ of the operating food trucks have their doors installed.
Finally, we always install locks on concession doors. If someone were to break into your mobile kitchen overnight they could cost your business a lot of money due to vandalism or theft. By building in a locking system you add an extra layer of protection.

Other Tidbits of Advice

Although not directly related to concession windows, another feature we always install is a fold-down counter top directly below the concession windows. This is the ideal area to place condiments like ketchup and mustard or plastic knives and forks. We’ve also seen some vendors place signage with their daily specials or menu items here. We make it so that you can quickly fold-down these counters when you’re commuting.
Our motto is if you can dream it, we can build it. With that in mind we can accomplish the installation of concession doors that are far outside the standard build out as well. Case and point would be a build out for a pizza truck above for Triple Jay’s Pizzeria.
One this unit installed a clear cab so customers can see their pizza being made from start to finish. This creates a truly unique customer experience that can help your business gain attention and traction.