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How to Design a Shipping Container Restaurant

Updated: Aug 9

Shipping containers have made their way into the list of possible materials from which we can build various structures. Although they seem unconventional, as time passes, more and more different types of buildings are being built from them, showing the world how versatile they can be. However, there were a few types of shipping container structures which found very early popularity, and among them are shipping container restaurants.


There are so many different types of restaurants, and shipping containers check all the boxes of what is needed in a restaurant structure for many of those types. In our other articles, we have talked about why are shipping container restaurants so popular among restaurant owners and customers alike.

How to Design a Shipping Container Restaurant

If you are here reading this, it’s possible that you are interested in opening a restaurant and considering going for a shipping container restaurant. Here in this article, we will talk about things to consider in the design process of a shipping container restaurant.


Things to Consider Before Designing a Shipping Container Restaurant


Mobile or Stationary


Among all the reasons for which shipping containers are considered practical material for building a restaurant or any other type of structure, on which is talked about very often is their great mobility. Although shipping containers are huge and very heavy, they are the single most important standard in the world of freight transportation.


Because of that, every cargo transportation vehicle and every crane is built to be able to move them about. Keeping that in mind, any structure made out of shipping containers can be designed to be portable. Just look at all the mobile shipping container restaurants already out there. There are many advantages to owning a mobile restaurant. You can go wherever you think there will be more customers and a better market. You can offer food and services in special events such as concerts or festivals.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that shipping containers are only good choices for building restaurants if they will be mobile. Many structures which are built out of shipping containers are meant to stay at that specific location and never be moved. The fact that shipping containers are used to build them is because of many reasons, such as great cost reduction compared to other types of structures, the eco-friendly nature of using them, their practical robustness, their versatility in spaces they offer, their great recyclability, and many other reasons.


Just like those examples already out there in the world, an entire stationary restaurant can be built out of shipping containers. It can even add a sense of modernity and high-tech trend if the owners decide to expose some or all of the corrugated pattern of shipping containers.

The bottom line is that shipping container restaurants come in all shapes and sizes, and both mobile and stationary options are valid choices.

How to Design a Shipping Container Restaurant

How Much Space Do You Have? How Much Space Do You Need?


When it comes to designing a restaurant, one of the most important limitations which dictates many choices is the space you intend to open a restaurant in. For mobile restaurants, you are usually limited to a single shipping container, unless you design your restaurant to be have the capacity to be easily assembled and disassembled in your new chosen location, which isn’t unheard of.


But for the most part, mobile shipping container restaurants are only made of one shipping container. For those types, you can consider the few different sizes available in shipping containers. There are a few variations, but in general, shipping containers come in two normal sizes of 20ft. and 40ft. Depending on the nature of the restaurant, the amount of storage they might need, and the variation of foods they intend to offer, different sizes of shipping containers can be chosen.


As for stationary shipping container restaurants, the land in which the restaurant will be set up, and the local laws regarding structures and buildings determine most of your limitations. Inside those margins, you can have as many shipping containers as your preferred design demands.


You can have many stories built and many great spaces set up by placing shipping containers in a way that some spaces are created simply inside shipping containers, and some spaces are created between them. The fact that you are using shipping containers to build a restaurant doesn’t mean that you have to contend with the limited space inside shipping containers.



How Much are You Planning to Spend?


Another very important reason for which shipping containers are used to build structures is the fact that they are very economic choices. Not only you pay less for a high-quality structure, they are set up in a fraction of the time, and with saving a lot of time comes saving a lot of money. That however, does not mean that you can’t spend a massive amount of money on a shipping container restaurant.


As is the nature of restaurants in general, they can be very cheap or extremely expensive to open. Shipping container restaurants are the same. If you want to open a very luxurious restaurants, choosing shipping containers will not stop you from doing so. The versatility of modified shipping container structure allows them to be used to built anything ranging from workshops and factories to residences and clinics and many other things. It’s not difficult to imagine that they are flexible enough to any design, even those which are very luxurious and expensive.

Special Equipment for a Special Restaurant

Special Equipment for a Special Restaurant


Any restaurant requires certain types of equipment. Depending on the type of restaurant, this equipment can be very basic and limited, or they can be very intricate and advanced. Before meaningful decisions about specifics of the design of a shipping container restaurant could be made, the designer and owner must consider the equipment and how much space they will occupy on their own, and how much space is required for someone to operate them.


This is especially important for mobile shipping containers as space is very limited in those. Just like the equipment, the amount of storage should be considered with equal importance. You cannot operate a proper business if your storage isn’t sufficient for your restaurant.

How to Design a Shipping Container Restaurant, and Where Can You Get One


It is a little ironic to have an article titled how to design a shipping container restaurant and only dedicate a few final words to this matter specifically. The reason is that aside from their structural integrity which is easily achieved, their modular nature which creates a few limitations and many possibilities, and their metal looks which can be covered or utilized as a theme, most other things about designing a shipping container restaurant are the same as any other type of restaurant.


You can choose your theme based on the type of food or service you offer, and as we said before, you can use spaces inside or between shipping containers, or even cut parts of shipping containers and attach them together to create your desired space.

As for where can you get one, you’re already here in our website, and we specialize in every and all things related to shipping containers modification and repurposing.


From the design phase, to modification, delivery, and maintenance, you can count on us as much as you want or need.If you have any questions, contact us, our experts are ready and happy to offer you any detail you might want.


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