If you own a catering business or are a restaurateur, and have deliveries to make, then selecting the best vehicle for your foodservice operation is a priority.
The bottom line when selecting the best vehicle for your foodservice operation is that food delivery needs to satisfy two essential priorities. It must reach its destination at the right temperature to ensure food safety and of course it must capture the same signature flavor that your restaurants or catering facility has built its reputation on. My goal is to use this column to bring my 30 plus years of experience as a Commercial Vehicle Professional to help the foodservice operator accomplish that goal.
I’m convinced when you shop for a commercial van or truck emphasis that your first look is “under the hood”. I would suggest that you look at the timing chain rather than the timing belts because of its longevity factor. The difference is that the belts break up and need to be serviced whereas, a timing chain is encased and gives you more longevity.
One of the key factors that attracted me to the opportunity with Teddy and the Nissan line is the quality under the hood. Nissan has a leasing program that can build higher payments during prime season, and lower during off season for qualified clients who are seasonal businesses. This means that when business owners in the food industry plan to purchase vehicles they should keep in mind the overall cost of ownership.
The next key factor is to compare the dimension of the trucks that you are considering. Our Nissan NV vehicles have the ideal dimensions (48 inches x 40 inches) that offer ample cargo space to hold a standard 48 inch palette.
Let’s face it speed is also crucial in the successful and profitable delivery of food. So not only does it offer large cargo space but also the bumpers are low in the doors, which means it is easier to load cargo. The other advantage of Nissan is the lower loading cargo which means that the bumper is a little lower in the doors – so you’re not really lifting high to put things in.
The next consideration is of course to find a truck that can handle your mix. As you look at your menu and the orders that you are sending for delivery, how much space needs to be allocated towards, frozen, refrigerated and/or dry goods. Nissan has taken the time to understand the needs of the restaurant/foodservice professional and design a van that offers the proper compartments and flexibility.
I have also found that successful restaurateurs/foodservice operators take the time to consider the comfort of the employee that is making the delivery. Nissan has worked diligently to minimize such problems with seat and cab design technology that virtually eliminates spine and back issues for the driver. Sometimes you sit in vans and the feeling is yes it feels like you’re sitting on a piece of cardboard. Nissan designed Zero Gravity seating that alleviates tension on the back and the spine.
As you shop, you also want to look for the little things that can make such a big difference. For instance, Nissan offers a larger window in the front doors, which offers the driver a larger view frame to look in the rear view mirror.
When it comes to selecting the right transportation solution, please take the time to look under the hood, and then consider capacity, the comfort of your driving staff and not just the total cost and monthly payment but the total value of your investment. Like those signature items on your menu, it’s a recipe for transportation success.
Mark Charroux is the Director of Commercial Vehicle Sales at Bronx based Teddy Nissan. The New Bedford, MA native brings some 25 plus years of industry experience in helping restaurant and food service professionals and the distributors that serve them build transportation strategies. He can answer questions at MCharroux@teddynissan.com.