Looking for a Pizza Trailer

I am looking for a pizza trailer to set up in Oregon to finally be able to sell my product. Since I am just getting started back in the business, I want to keep my costs lower so I do not have to run into some of the problems I had with a brick and mortar. Plus, if all the legislature goes through here, I would not be able to afford to hire any employees. I have enough family to looking for a job.

I prefer a trailer with regular pizza ovens. I have never used wood fire ovens and I do not know if it makes a difference on what ingredients are used in the dough. I would like one that is fully self contained including a mixer since I do not have a commissary.

Any help or advice is welcome and needed. Thank you in advance for any of it.


You’re typically going to need a licensed base of operations for a mobile business, so you may not be able to get away from a brick & mortar as easily.

You’ll need mechanical refrigeration, a place to get potable water and dump your grey water, a place for dough making, and much other prep. and storage.

Give your county HD a call to see what they require before making a major purchase like that just so you do not get hosed

That is one of the many things I need to do. It would have to be a class 4 because I do not want to deal with a commissary. I am finding it harder then I thought to make a decision on which way to go.

I’ll drive up to Mac to get some pizza when it gets going. I looked into trucks and it was enough of a headache for me to put that idea on the backburner.

I am in the preliminary phases. If I ran across a small pizza shop, I would consider that too. The food cart was a dream just because it had different headaches then the brick and mortar. I can keep it small too.

I owned a very small trolly type cart many yrs ago, that had a small conveyor oven on it…big dreams, little use…I had a restaurant as well, so the production was easier, but its tougher than it seems…

I would not do both. I am trying to figure out the best option because it would mainly be myself, possibly one of my kids and maybe only a couple employees tops.

I’m not sure you can make enough money to earn a decent living just by yourself…look at the numbers in earnst

As they said in my business class yesterday, you should not be in business to make money. I on the other hand would be in business to make a living. I think you’re right in the sense that it may not be feasible.

I had a friend who made massive money in doing the ‘fair’ circuit, with BBQ type format…I thought about doing it as well, as I already have a cooler box on my truck…but its more than a one-man system…you can buy decent frozen dough balls and shredded cheese…there are several WFO out there that could be considered…and some $$$ could be made, if you want that lifestyle…doing 2 shows a month, generating a 5-7k weekend is a doable goal…

If you are a person that likes to gamble, vending can be a very lucrative business.
A few important things to remember, the main job of a promoter is to make money, they make their money selling little slots to park your rig in, and getting as much money for each spot as they can. and the more spots they lease, the more money THEY make, the more spots they sell, the less money each individual vendor will make.
The lifers typically get the good spots through an ongoing relationship with the promoters, there may even be some kickback involved there too.
Promoters are typically unscrupulous people who do not care of the vendors profit, they only care about the venue making them profit.

Weather is a huge factor. inclement weather could mean a loss of huge coin.

I know those are some of the factors. My niece has a clothing business and has a hard time just making enough to pay her space at the events.

I have decided to take Daddio’s advice and look at the pizza trailers from Canada. I had them price out a truck for me awhile back an it was over $70,000. I’m looking forward to see what the difference will be in price.

I think one of the biggest challenges with food trucks or trailers is finding a viable location to park the rig. There has been a Hugh increase in the number of food trucks in the past several years likely in part due to exposure on the food network. Of coarse, they are shooting the film during the 1 hour of crush time and give the impression everyone is making money hand over fist. Sometimes the most enjoyable part of the concept is designing the rig and menu. Then you got to hit the trenches and that’s where it gets sticky.

As far as parking the trailer in a location. Make sure your county and or town is copacetic to food trucks. A friend of mine has a food trailer he was parking in a rural California county and was moderately successful until the county required a traffic remediation study for each location he parked at. These studies cost thousands for each location and he stuck it out until they served cease and desist documents on him. Now he is trying to develop a festival route but this takes quite a while to find the winners. Fortunately his wife has a good job.

Another friend dropped out of the festival circuit due to the up and down nature of it and did successfully park a food truck in Seattle outside large office complexes. It took quite a while to get the truck approved as there is a rigorous permitting process that requires engineers stamps of the truck design. As I remember, Washington has a limit on the numbers of pounds of equipment per square inch of floor and his original truck build with double stack convection ovens exceeded the psi limit. He ended up completely changing concepts to comply. Lesson is what works in Canada may not necessarily fly in your jurisdiction.

It’s getting much more difficult to support oneself doing the festival circuit. I’ve been doing shows for 25 years and many of my best shows I’ve been at for 20 plus years. Good promoters will keep one booth per niche and not dilute things out too bad to ensure that their quality vendors return. The trend, however, is more booths paying higher fees to compete for the same amount of dollars.
I’ve had some long term shows fold during the economic downturn, and finding substitute show has been difficult. The pizza niche is especially crowded and I’ve gotten into some of my recent newer events with a completely different menu.

We already have food trucks around town. They usually get permission from whomever owns the business and they go to work. We are not that far from Portland where it is a huge business. I also know several wineries in the area that I could set up at for their events. That way, I would not have to travel so far. Everything is still in the planning stages and nothing is set in stone. Otto from Pizza Trucks of Canada took the time to call my health department and get the information he needed to give me a blueprint of a truck. The truck was more expensive then I wanted to spend, so he is looking into a trailer with some modifications from the original design.

Hey Jim,

I am just getting started myself up here in the Seattle. Seems like some of the people that live in cities where food trucks arent as popular dont understand how lucrative this opportunity can be. The key is finding relationships with the right locations. You are on the right track with wineries and breweries!

Hey Jim, Im curious how things are coming along for you?

It never materialized due to finances mainly.