A lot of restaurants have awnings for many different reasons, but lately we also see awnings often assembled in food trailers, food trucks and other types of vehicles. A food trailer awning can be something very practical that could improve your business and offer extra comfort to your clients.
In this article we will explain the advantages and disadvantages of installing an awning to your trailer, we will analyze the way they work, the materials they are made of and the different options and alternatives you can choose from.
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Benefits of Installing Awnings to Food Trailer
Shade and sun protection
The main job of a concession trailer awning is to protect your clients from the sun and provide shade. Awnings can be extremely useful in food trailers with a lot of traffic where customers have to wait next to the service window for a long time to order or to get their food. While waiting they are exposed to the sun or different weather conditions and this oftenly provokes frustration.
A catering trailer awning can be very beneficial for your employees as well since depending on the place your food trailer is located at different times of the day, the sunlight might hit the service window during a few hours. This is not only unpleasant for the people who work there but it is also dangerous since they will be exposed to UV light rays for several hours every day.
Helps you make the difference
In a food trailer business you have a few elements to play with in comparison to a traditional restaurant. That means that you should be extremely careful with the colour, shape and style of all of these elements.
A beautiful concession trailer awning with a cool pattern can distinguish you from your competitors and attract more clients to your food trailer. Furthermore, you can use your awning as an advertisement by printing letters or choosing a great combination of colours.
If you indeed decide to print a message or your logo on it, make sure you do it in a place where it is visible when the awning is open.
Types of Food Trailer Awnings
There are various types of awning that could be installed to a mobile food cart trailer. The two main categories to distinguish them are the manually operated and the electric motorized.
Manually operated awnings
They provide the same shade and protection from the sun as the motorised awnings but they are a little bit more complicated to set. You probably need two people to set them and they have to do it outside of the food trailer. You also need a longer time to set it and it can be a little bit disturbing when there are clients around.
Electric Motorized awnings
To open and close the awning you just need to push a button and you don’t even have to get outside of the catering trailer. It opens and closes quickly without any effort and you are not disturbing your clients.
Most motorised awnings also have a manual option in the case of power loss. This type of food trailer awnings are a better option for an occasion of bad weather since you can quickly retire them and prevent any damage from happening.
How to Choose Material For Concession Trailer Awning?
All concession trailer awnings are made of fabric, however you cannot use any type of fabric to make an awning. There are some key characteristics that you should take into consideration when choosing the fabric for your awning.
Choosing a water resistant fabric for your vending trailer awning is crucial since you will use it on rainy days. A perfect choice would be a vinyl canvas fabric that is totally waterproof, extremely strong, it will offer the protection you need and it will not be damaged with heavy rain.
It is quite common to see those black stains in awnings. These stains are caused by mold, they will destroy the look of your trailer awning and they will also cause a weird smell. The fabric of the awning usually gets very moist.
That’s why it is important to choose a mold resistant fabric or ask your awning manufacturer to add an extra protective layer to prevent mold from developing.
Sun & UV protection
Outdoor conditions can be extremely damaging for your food cart awning. That’s why there are fabrics that are especially designed to resist sun exposure. Choose an opaque fabric that will protect your customers from direct sunlight and UV rays but will also reduce overheating. Your clients will really appreciate it and you will get to keep your awning for a long time.
There are plenty of types of fabrics to choose for your food trailer awning, however acrylic and vinyl have proven to be the most popular and long lasting options thanks to their durability and their resistance.
Choose Color For Your Food Cart Awning
The color of your awning can tell a lot about your business since it is one of the first elements clients notice when they walk by your food trailer. Picking the ideal color for your business can be an easy and fun process if you understand some basic principles.
Food cart trailer color
The first thing you have to consider when selecting a color for your awning is your food trailer color. You can either do the same color, a complementary color or a color that is already in the color palette of your brand. It might not be the color of your trailer but it could be the color of your logo.
Food cart trailer size
Not all colors look good on big surfaces. Black might look great on a small food trailer but it could seem a little bit terrifying in a very big awning. Keep in mind that if you want to cover a big surface it will probably look better with a lighter color. The same rule applies to prints: Stripes or flowers are not a great idea for bigger awnings.
Fading and Cleaning
Bright food trailer awning colors like white and beige tend to be more resistant at fading from the sunlight but they are also harder to clean in comparison to navy blue or forest green. Darker trailer awning colors can help in hiding the stains so that you can keep your awning for a very long time.
Do You Really Need Awning For Food Trailer?
Installing a food trailer awning is an extra cost that you might want to avoid especially if you are on a tight budget or you don’t really need one.
As we have mentioned before, trailer awnings can be very useful during sunny days while they can also offer some protection on rainy days. It all depends on the weather in the city you live in. If the sun doesn’t get intense or if you mostly work during night time you probably don’t need a food cart awning.
Another factor you should take into account is that not all food vending trailers have the structure or the space for an awning. For example: awnings cannot be installed in very small food trailers since there is not enough space to attach it. There are also food trailers that have a lifting up roof. In this case the rooftop has the same function as an awning so installing is totally unnecessary.
Catering Trailer Awning Alternatives
If you cannot add an awning to your food trailer but you still want a shadowy place for your clients then you also have the option of an outdoor tent. The outdoor tent will not be attached to your food trailer but it can be set next to it.
Setting an outdoor tent is a quite difficult and time consuming process. Depending on the size of your tent you need at least two people to lift it. You also need storage space to hold it because the canva fabric is large and heavy.
Every day you need to open it and at night you need to clean it and fold it. The biggest difference between an awning and an outdoor tent is that a tent is much bigger, it offers you a protected space you can use to put tables and chairs for your customers.
Think it twice! A food trailer awning can be a great investment for your catering business if it matches your food trailer and is easy to operate. When selecting the materials, keep in mind that you have to maintain it for a long time and of course pick a pattern and a color that will not hide your beautiful food cart trailer but it will offer shadow and protection.