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Attention all foodies! Whether you’re dining in or taking out – a unique, outdoor culinary experience is best served from a shipping container.
In basic terms, shipping containers are compact, as well as being simplistic in structure and design, which makes for an open-ended building block. On one hand, the feeling of a large traditional restaurant space can make patrons feel like they need to spend hours and that they can only visit on certain occasions with a reservation. On the other hand, when your restaurant is a smaller, creative use of space, patrons may be more likely to stop by, grab a bite, hang out, or come and go as they please. Container restaurants, pop-up food stands, and tasting stations feel more independent and time-sensitive, which piques consumer interest, encourages action, and may increases sales.
If you have always dreamt of opening up your own micro restaurant or distillery, here are seven creative ways to serve up container restaurants and distilleries:
Pictured: The Shed
An innovative and cost-effective way to serve up gourmet eats with a side of panoramic views is through an open-side pizza kitchen like this one. This custom 40’ open-side unit comes with an earthy vibe thanks to its wood paneling and a wood-fired pizza oven that is sure to entice indulgent diners. This beachside eatery provides that familiar, cozy, outdoor “apres-ski” atmosphere even in the off-season!
Pictured: Taco stand in Vancouver
Kiosks are versatile, easily convertible, movable, all-season, and designed to be moved from place-to-place. Whether you’re grabbing a bite to-go from a pop-up taco stand in the summer time, or a hot cocoa to warm up at a local winter market, kiosks are a functional option if you’re looking to create a vibrant dining hub catering to a lunch or dinner rush, or a large crowd during an event.
Pictured: Laneway Canteen
This custom 20’ bistro-style taco stand is a beautiful example of introducing a pop of colour to a quaint laneway in a bustling downtown area. The fire truck red taco stand comes packed with a full kitchen, provides ample client-facing counter space to offer all the condiments and fixings your taste buds desire, comes compact enough to fit into tighter areas and alleyways but functional enough to serve the masses, and is easy to lock up and secure at the end of the day!
Pictured: Vice & Virtue Brewing
What’s on tap? Surely something delicious at this modern Okanagan brewery! This modified 20’ unit is the permanent housing structure for the brewery’s taproom operations. While occupying a core aspect of the bar space, the unit’s custom, crisp white paint job helps to maintain a breathable and open serving atmosphere. Shipping container taprooms are a modern, industrial-chic, efficient solution for aspiring microbrewers!
Open-side units are commonly used as sipping booths or extended lounging space at outdoor markets or events. These larger open-side units lend themselves well to passersbys wanting some quick grab-and-go refreshments, and also offer more covered space and can provide a respite from the hot sun. Containerized pop-up sipping stations will keep your product offering protected from the elements, while also allowing enough extra space to move around and accommodate additional inventory!
Photo Credit: Smitten Iced Cream
Containers offer plenty of convenience, particularly when it comes to small seasonal businesses; they are easy to install, dismantle, and relocate, as well as being budget-conscious, watertight, easy to power, and are a great solution for those wanting to operate iced cream or coffee stands. Iced cream pop-ups can be nestled in the perfect location to visit during a lunch break walk or the perfect place to cool off while exploring a city on the weekend!
Pictured: Okanagan Crush Pad
This industrial chic winery hosts tasting tours on the ground level, while the administrative side of the business is accessible via add-on stairs and stacked above. The ground-level tasting area comes complete with an open concept and beautiful, sliding glass patio doors that open up to an outdoor lounge area. The office space upstairs has been modified to accommodate windows at both ends, and a large landscape-sized window along the front, bringing in loads of natural light and vineyard views that are to-die-for.
The primary advantage of container pop-ups is that they go where the crowd is. Containerized restaurants and distilleries, whether they’re built for temporary or permanent placement, tend to come with a certain trendy ambience and urgency; the perception is that they are there for a limited period of time and likely to move on to another location, so get in while you have the chance!
In addition to catering to patrons’ curiosities and cravings, these pop-up containers also put the business owner’s mind at ease from a maintenance and security perspective, as they are modified with amenities that a typical storefront would have - insulation, water inlet and outlet, waterproof floors, doors with a deadlock, and so on.
If you have dreams of creating and building your own unique culinary experience, Secure-Rite will work with you from your initial napkin sketch, to materials and upgrade selection, to production and execution. Get in touch and talk to us about bringing your dream project to life today!