A quick guide to Jiffy trucks
1st February, 2023 |
One of the most popular options for mobile catering businesses, the Jiffy truck is an excellent choice for both experienced traders and those just starting out. Read our quick guide to Jiffy trucks and find out all about these marvellous vehicles.
Remember, all mobile catering trucks need reliable mobile catering trailer insurance to protect your hard work and safeguard your catering vehicle and livelihood from mishaps. Give Mobilers a call and find out why catering business owners have been coming to us for their mobile catering trailer insurance needs for over 20 years.
What are Jiffy trucks?
The Jiffy Trucks company has been around for about 50 years now, specialising in the manufacture of stainless steel mobile hot and cold food delivery trucks. They are rightly regarded as one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of mobile food delivery vehicles.
Jiffy trucks can often be found selling pre-prepared hot and cold food at industrial estates, commercial parks, office complexes and building sites around the country. Quick to set up, easy to run and with the ability to visit many different sites during a typical trading day, speed is most definitely key to success when you’re behind the wheel of a Jiffy truck.
Usually operated by a single person, each Jiffy truck will have a chilled display cabinet where customers can grab sandwiches, drinks and confectionery. There will also be a central ambient temperature display for crisps, fruit, bread rolls, cakes and pastries.
Meanwhile a hot food display will hold a wide range of goodies including pies, pasties and warm rolls. There will also be containers to keep tasty items such as beans, bacon, sausages, soups and other products warm.
Both the heater and the fridge run off the truck’s engine and fuel supply. They are thermostatically controlled to keep food at the right temperature throughout the trading day.
A side serving hatch opens up to give overhead protection from the weather for the server and customers. While the non-serving side of the truck can be used to store utilities, back-up stock and other supplies.
The Jiffy Truck range
There are a number of different models available direct from Jiffy Truck. All hand built at its UK factory in West Yorkshire using high quality materials, incorporating stainless steel merchandising fixtures and ovens, and bacteria resistant chilled display cabinets.
The Jiffy Truck vehicle range currently includes:
- The Panino – The smallest vehicle in the range, the Panino is based on the 1.6HDi diesel Citroen Berlingo and offers excellent fuel economy and a cost-effective alternative to larger vehicles. There’s an optional hot water storage system for drinks.
- The Bocado – Based on the Toyota Dyna, the ever-reliable Bocado was the first Jiffy truck to have a through hot display to allow loading and serving from both sides.
- The Estilo – Based on the Citroen Dispatch, the Estilo is ideal for offering buffet catering and lunch platter delivery as well as the usual mobile catering rounds.
- The Bistro – Another vehicle perfect for buffet catering as well as the traditional breakfast/lunch rounds, the Bistro is based on the Vauxhall Vivaro. A popular choice for a mobile catering business.
- The Gourmet – Offering by far the largest selling area of the Jiffy truck models, the Gourmet is based on the super-reliable Nissan Cabstar chassis. It’s a very popular option as its short wheel base makes it easy to manoeuvre in small spaces.
- The Barista 2 – Very similar to the Gourmet but with some important differences. As well as all the usual advanced features, the Barista 2 also has a professional Barista machine installed to provide excellent fresh coffee to your customers. The Barista 2 can also be used as a plug and play, so there’s no need to have the engine running. Perfect for a mobile coffee business!
- The Ricetta – Using the Fiat Doblo, the Ricetta is very similar to the Panino. Despite being the smallest vehicle in the range they can hold plenty of stock, enough for a great day trading.
- The Pranzo – The newest mid-size vehicle to hit the range, the Pranzo is built on the latest Toyota Proace, 2.0 Euro 6 platform cab. With air-conditioning, an all-new electric system and plenty of other innovations, the Pranzo is great for business lunch and buffet delivery as well as sandwich rounds.
- The Banquet – Almost exactly the same as the Gourmet but built on the new Euro 6 Isuzu Grafter. It has a 1.9 litre diesel engine and can be driven by anyone with a regular car licence. Optional extras include an automatic gearbox and metallic flint grey paintwork.
Be aware not all of these vehicles are still being produced by the Jiffy factory. Jiffy Trucks current models are the Pranzo and the Jiffy Banquet. However, many of the previous models are still available on the second-hand market.
Standard Jiffy truck features include:
- Stainless steel frame.
- Bonded and inlaid insulation panels.
- Stainless steel counters.
- Hot blown air system for the oven.
- Blown air refrigeration with temperature control.
- Selection of trays, baskets and bain-maries.
- In-cab thermostatic temperature display.
- Atmospheric LED lighting.
- Piped music to the serving area.
- Serving hatch alarm.
- Key out safety technology.
- A money safe and bag box.
- Napkin and drinks holders.
- Waste bin.
- Hand washing facilities.
But there are also other optional extras including:
- Vehicle branding and body wrapping.
- Cash till and EPOS systems.
- Reverse parking aid.
- Vehicle tracker.
What type of businesses can you run from a Jiffy truck?
When it comes to mobile catering, Jiffy trucks are very versatile and can suit a whole range of business ideas. With plenty of storage any Jiffy truck will be able to hold more than enough food and drink for a busy day’s trading.
Many high street food retailers use Jiffy trucks as an add-on to their permanent premises to deliver their brands directly. But there are also plenty of independent operators that focus on food delivery.
From breakfast food such as bacon rolls to mid-morning coffee and pastries and then on to lunchtime fare including sausage rolls, pies and sandwiches, there are many opportunities to make money with a Jiffy truck. Wherever there’s a gap in the market you’ll find potential for a Jiffy truck to make a difference.
Jiffy is able to supply almost any type of specialist vehicle, including meals on wheels, refrigerated food delivery, school lunch delivery, homeless support and more.
Indeed, last year mobile pizza takeaway service Mostro Pizza unveiled three specialist pizza takeaway trucks using a Jiffy Banquet. The pizza delivery vehicle includes a refrigerated storage area, a frozen section, a proving area and a gas-powered stone baked oven capable of cooking three pizzas in just 90 seconds!
Just like Mobilers’ mobile catering trailer insurance, Jiffy is always ready to supply a one-stop bespoke solution to meet your needs and budget.
A day in the life of a Jiffy truck
Trying to describe a ‘normal’ Jiffy round is almost impossible to do. But the following may give you a rough idea of what you can expect.
- You’ll need to be up early to load the Jiffy truck and drive to your first stop of the day.
- Depending on the location you’ll probably start trading at around 7:30am. The working day starts early at factory workshops, industrial estates, transport depots, building sites and garages. Check out our recent guide on starting up a roadside catering business and best UK cities for food trucks for a few extra tips on where it is best to pitch-up.
- After the early morning rush, you’ll want to work your usual round to pick up the trade at offices and other commercial areas.
- If you have corporate events or business lunches to deliver for then you’ll need to do this around mid-morning. Remember the lunchtime ‘meal deal’ crowd won’t want to be left waiting.
- After lunch you’ll want to return to base, to clean down the truck and get stock ready for the next day trading.
While many Jiffy trucks will make around 20 to 30 stops every day, if there are plenty of customers then the fewer stops the better. Making fewer stops means you’ll save money on fuel and set-up time.
One of the great things about operating from a Jiffy truck is that if profitability takes a dip or a great opportunity arises you can easily tweak your round. The ability to follow where the most customers are is a big advantage when it comes to keeping your business competitive.
When it comes to how much you should be earning, Jiffy Trucks suggests that if you’re not taking around £400 per day then you need to find more lucrative stops and ditch the poor ones. While a good round will take between £500 and £750 a day, some Jiffy truck owners can take over £1,000!
How much are Jiffy trucks to buy and where can you buy them from?
A brand-new Jiffy truck can be a good investment if you’re looking for something fresh off the production line and custom built for your food business. While they are more expensive than a used vehicle, you’re guaranteed to have a truck that’s completely compliant with all rules, regulations and guidelines.
This means you’ll be able to trade legally from day one and can hit the ground running. Something which can't always be guaranteed with a second-hand catering vehicle.
If you’re looking to buy a new Jiffy truck then you’ll need to go direct to Jiffy Trucks. Prices are subject to change but, as an example, you can pick up the new Pranzo for £41,500 while the Banquet is £42,275.
Making such a large investment outright is beyond the capabilities of many people just starting out in the mobile catering business. Starting from under £100 per week, as an alternative you could arrange finance for your new truck.
Just make sure it’s protected with the right type of insurance from the specialists at Mobilers.
But what about a used Jiffy truck?
While Jiffy Trucks does often have second-hand trucks available, there are plenty of other places to buy such a valuable business item. If you’re looking for a private sale then sites such as eBay or Gumtree offer by far the biggest range of catering vehicles.
Searching for this article, we found a wide range of vehicles available. From a superb 2020 Jiffy Banquet with just 850 miles on the clock for £33,095 to a 2006 Jiffy Estilo with 111,000 miles on the clock for £2,999.
Be aware, with such a wide selection of choices, it can soon become overwhelming. There are risks involved in buying any used catering vehicle.
For example, you’ll want to make sure all gas and electric appliances have been regularly tested and the truck has an up-to-date MOT. Learn more about gas safety in our recent blog.
With mobile catering vehicles a common target for thieves, is the truck stolen? You’ll also want to see as much trading history as possible to verify what the seller is telling you.
Hiring a Jiffy truck
Alternatively, if you fancy branching out into the mobile catering industry and don’t want to make such a large investment, then hiring or renting a Jiffy truck could be the perfect solution.
If you’re just starting out and are unsure about how successful your new business venture could be, owning your own truck may be unnecessary. Jumping straight in at the deep-end doesn’t always pay off!
There are a number of businesses offering these trucks for short, medium and long-term rental, hire and leasing. Flexibility is a key benefit of such deals as it means you can choose a time frame that best suits your requirements and budget.
Going with a reputable company such as Cool Running Rental should bring you a fully serviced and valeted vehicle. So you can be safe in the knowledge that a breakdown won’t put a dent in the profits of your first day trading.
What are the advantages of using a Jiffy truck?
There are many advantages for mobile catering business owners who invest in a Jiffy truck. Some of these include:
- Great for serving hot and cold food, drinks and sandwiches for those in need at any time of the year.
- The Jiffy truck is very versatile and easy to set up anywhere where people need a meal or refreshment.
- Purposely designed to call on many sites in a single day.
- The stainless steel structure makes them easy to clean.
- Simple to maintain the ideal temperature for a wide range of foods.
- Safe and secure for your business.
- A great way for businesses to expand without being tied to a bricks and mortar property.
- A range of sizes containing all you need to kickstart your mobile catering business.
- Feature packed.
- Jiffy Trucks offers excellent training and advice on how to get the best out of its vehicles.
- Easy to arrange the right cover through Mobilers with our range of mobile catering trailer insurance policies.
Taking care of your Jiffy truck
Taking care of any mobile catering vehicle is an important job. As you can see from our cleaning guide for mobile caterers, a key part of any successful mobile catering business is keeping everything spotless and well maintained.
But are there any specific points to remember if you’ve got one of these great vehicles? Let’s take a look at some handy hints from Jiffy Trucks itself.
- Keep an eye on your fuel levels. Allowing your fuel tank to fall below 25% full may cause your heater to run out of fuel.
- Change the oven filter at least once every six weeks depending on the environment in which you’re operating. These can be easily ordered direct from the helpful Jiffy Trucks parts department.
- Service the oven and fridge systems every year.
- Be very careful if you decide to alter the fridge or heater temperatures. They will have been set at the optimal temperature by Jiffy, so it’s probably best to leave them alone. Speak to Jiffy if you’re having problems.
- Don’t forget to perform regular daily checks on fuel, coolant, oil, windscreen wash, tyres, lights and so on.
- Perform a daily check of the door alarms. Every now and again, oil the ball joints on the door gas struts, the door locking mechanism and the key.
- Wash the truck regularly and wax it like you would a new car.
- Don’t use anything abrasive on the mirror finished stainless steel.
Other catering vehicles – which one is right for you?
Whether you’re thinking of a Jiffy Truck, a food cart, airstream trailer, van, or one of the many other options available, working out which vehicle is right for your food business isn’t always a straightforward decision.
Fortunately, finding the right mobile catering trailer insurance is much easier to do. Just contact the helpful team of insurance professionals at Mobilers.
When choosing which mobile catering unit is right for you, ask yourself the following five questions:
- What’s on the menu?
From pre-packed sandwiches and coffee to gourmet burgers and hot dogs, you’ll want a unit to give you enough space to work safely and effectively.
- What’s your budget?
Early on in your business planning you’ll need to get out a calculator and do some serious number crunching. As well as the cost of the unit you’ll also need to take into account any ongoing operating costs such as whether you are catering for 50 customers or more. Stock, fuel, licence fees, maintenance costs, and mobile catering trailer insurance all add up.
- What will your target customers want?
Sports fans looking to grab a burger before the match might have different priorities to families attending a food festival. Think about your target market and what style of unit is most likely to draw them in.
- Where do you plan on setting up?
To make your business a success, you’ll need to work come rain or shine. If you’ll be setting up in exposed places, you’ll want to give you and your customers enough shelter from the elements.
- What’s the likely footfall?
Serving more customers can mean more profit, but it’ll probably also require a bigger unit in which to store, prepare and serve food. And will you be working alone or with a team? Space is always at a premium when it comes to mobile catering.
For an in-depth analysis of the pros and cons of carts, trailers and vans read our recent Mobilers guide. When you’re making such an important business decision it’s a great place to start.
Protect your business with mobile catering trailer insurance from Mobilers
Whatever mobile catering business you operate, it’s vital to get the right level of insurance for your trailer, truck or any other catering vehicle. After all, how else are you going to safeguard your business and your livelihood from the unexpected?
At Mobilers our helpful team can provide mobile catering trailer insurance for a host of different catering vehicles. Cover can also include those expensive-to-replace fixtures and fittings.
Get a quick quote for mobile catering trailer insurance today.