Food trucks have become the new “in thing” in the food and beverage industry. Consumers are flocking to these quirky trucks to try the delicacies on offer, ranging from hamburgers to hotdogs, and some even serving gourmet oyster dishes. But there is something that all food trucks have in common – they all use water to cook and clean.
To find out how you can save water, speak to water specialists for some advice on how to proceed. You might also look into different water treatment methods, such as recycling your wastewater in a garden or asking to use borehole water from the market property you are on. If you want to help save the environment, read on below for top tips on how food truck drivers can save water and still serve fabulous food.
Water should not be left on
A food truck often is a small space, and you need to use every inch of it. Many food truck chefs defrost frozen items in a sink full of running warm water while they are using the microwave for others. This is a massive waste of water and can be remedied with just a little future thinking on the chef’s part.
Instead of using this method, you should think ahead and move these frozen items to your refrigerator before you need them so that they are thawed on time. You should also place reminders up around the truck so that your staff will not leave the water running when washing their hands or rinsing vegetables. Rather use hand sanitiser to keep hands clean and only use water when necessary. You can use water filters on your taps to ensure only a certain amount is let out when in use.
Create an eco-friendly menu
Your menu is your signature, but it does not have to be unsustainable. If you choose to create dishes that use little water, for example using couscous as a base for curries rather than rice that has to boil in a large pot, you will be one step closer to saving water.
You could look for waterless recipes, such as baking vegetables rather than boiling or steaming them, and offering salads as a side rather than fries or hot veg. It might sound difficult at first, but with some creativity thrown in, you will find customers enjoy the unique take on food truck meals. Be sure that your kitchen will cater for waterless cooking before you devise a menu.
Waterless hand washing
This was mentioned earlier, but here is some more detail on how to implement waterless hand washing without any hassle. You must still allow your staff to use soap and water to wash their hands but limit the amount of water they let run out when rinsing their hands.
Provide them with a high-grade hand sanitiser to wash their hands with throughout the day, implementing a soap and water wash only if they will be handling meat and vegetables. Choose a hand sanitiser with a high alcohol content so it will effectively kill off all germs and ensure that everyone uses it on a regular basis. Waterless hand washing will save your water supply and still adheres to public health legislation.
Assess your water source
If your food truck will be using the water source from the property it is on, you will need to assess this and decide if it fits with your eco-friendly and water-saving methods. If you are serving food at a market on a wine farm, there is a chance that the water will be coming from a borehole, which is a sustainable source of water.
However, if you know that you will have to use the water mains of a venue, you should look into providing your own water. You could bring along a few five-litre bottles of water for food cleaning purposes or you could ask for your water to be sourced from a nearby treatment plant that reuses water and wastewater. As long as the source you are using is hygienic and potable, you can use it. Ask your host about their water treatment processes and what water technologies they use.
Install low-flow taps
If you absolutely have to use water in your food truck, you should look into installing low-flow taps. Low-flow technology limits the amount of water that is released from the tap, making it more eco-friendly. You will still be able to wash your hands, the water pressure will simply be lower and not as forceful, therefore using less water.
You could also install nozzles on the tap that let out a smaller stream of water if low-flow technology is out of your budget. Be sure that your staff are aware of this change and do not try to remove the filters in order to improve the water flow. At first, the low pressure might be frustrating but you will soon become used to it and will appreciate the fact that you are contributing to saving the environment.