The Benefits of Investing in a Shipping Container Restaurant


By Contributing Author

You’re probably thinking of owning a restaurant one day, but you’re intimidated by the risk factors involved and the high costs needed to keep it up and running. There’s a way to turn your dream of owning a restaurant into reality while keeping costs down, and that’s by investing in a shipping container restaurant. Shipping containers have grown into popularity over the years, converting them into retail spaces, restaurants, offices, etc. They come with a ton of benefits, so this is a trend that’s here to stay.

You may have questions on how you design a fully functional kitchen from a big steel container. It’s the same way you’d design any restaurant or building – with your objectives and goals in mind. It sounds challenging considering the limited space, but with a good designer, it can be done. Here are the benefits of owning a shipping container restaurant and what type of restaurant you can run successfully using shipping containers.

Beverage service

You can use shipping containers and redesign them to a bar. These containers usually don’t serve food. They optimize the limited room for soda machines, kegerators, glasses, beer, coolers, and a few staff. The containers in this setting are more about customer interactions and serving beverages. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about costly bulky kitchen appliances.


This simple setting is ideal for concerts, festivals, games, and other events. They typically consist of a point of sale and some equipment like hotdog grills or popcorn machines.

Warm service/commissary

This type of shipping kitchen is popular because you can serve freshly made food without the hustle of buying an expensive industrial oven. With this setting, all your food preparation is done at another location. You only need the necessary tools to warm and serve your food to customers.

Full-service restaurant

Full-service shipping container restaurant works the same way as any other typical restaurant you’ve visited. All the food preparation is done on location like cooking, grilling, frying, and baking. The kind of equipment needed and the limited space means you can be a little flexible with your menu and staff. You need to install all the necessary equipment needed to cook; it may cost a bit more than the others.

The Benefits


The expanding popularity of redesigning shipping containers is closely related to their affordable price. America usually imports more than it exports, so there’s a surplus of shipping containers sitting in parking lots and shipyards. The shipping containers can be purchased cheaply and are more affordable to repurpose into a fully functional restaurant. The money you save buying a shipping container can be used in the marketing expenses to get your restaurant off to a good start.

Sustainable construction

The supply of shipping containers is high, and because of this, they are sustainable and eco-friendly. With traditional construction, a lot of materials go to waste. However, with container construction, they only need a bit of redesigning, and they are ready to go.

There isn’t much energy used when moving the containers than when building a restaurant from scratch. Even if you find a building with the traditional restaurant setting, you still have to remodel it to fit into the restaurant setting. Using shipping containers for your restaurant business helps recycle and re-use the materials that are already there and helps keep the carbon footprint down.

To top it all, most prefer to interact with places that are environment-friendly since, with shipping container restaurants, you’re recycling shipping containers.

Flexible design

You’d think that with the box style of a shipping container available from eight to forty feet, your design options are limited. Yes, the restaurant will have a box-like look, but once you release your creative juices, you can work with your designers and create something unique and beautiful. One container can make a nice little restaurant, but add on a few more, and you have more open space.

If you get the rustic industrial look going and add some few elements here and there, you can make your vision into a reality.


The containers are easy to move around and can be used in any location and season. You can place your container in any place you think is suitable for you and get more customers. For example, if you find an empty lot close to a high traffic road, that’s a prime real estate for a new restaurant and can get your name out there faster.

Although they aren’t as mobile as food trucks, they are more flexible than normal restaurants. If you’re also planning to franchise your restaurant, you already have a built-in plan for expansion.

Fast setup

Sometimes, your brick and mortar restaurant may not be completed in time due to some reasons. But then, with a shipping container restaurant, you can create them very fast. They already have a wall, ceiling, and floors, so they only need a few modifications, and you’re good to go.

Dream kitchen

The kitchen is the core of the restaurant, where all the delicious food is created. A shipping container kitchen can be designed according to your needs and specifications. You know what will work best for you, so work with your designers to get your dream kitchen.

Cool designs

Shipping containers are cool. This means they are in line with current trends since you can design them in any way you want. They are eye-catching and unique. Food is the main attraction, but an additional incredible design is your cherry on top.


Investing in a shipping container restaurant may seem a bit far-fetched to many food business owners, but the idea has quickly gained popularity with some restaurant owners. It will take you a bit of planning, creative designing, and buying a few pieces of equipment and restaurant furniture, but owning one of these unique eateries makes you stand out.

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