Designing Your Shipping Container Restaurant

From modular classrooms to exhibition stands and housing, we are seeing shipping containers being converted and used for an array of different purposes today. This is a sign of how flexible they are for people to construct with – a blank canvas and building block for people to let their imaginations run wild.

One of the nation’s favourite uses for converted shipping containers is the restaurant, either as a pop-up or as a semi-permanent structure. Shipping container restaurants are not only cost-effective to build, eco-friendly and, frankly, interesting to look at, but they can be built to meet all of the health and safety and hygiene standards that are required.

Designing your Restaurant

Designing your own restaurant will always require some research and knowledge, but the good thing about using shipping containers is that you have a basic structure to work from. You can design it from scratch to the specifications that you wish for.

You will first need to think about where you are going to locate your shipping container restaurant – do you have some land? Do you have planning permission? Do you need planning permission? Is it in a suitable location for a restaurant? Is it big enough?

You will also need to prepare the land for your shipping container. They need to be placed on a solid floor; most people lay concrete or concrete slabs down or put it on top of railway sleepers.

Computer-Aided Design Technology

Our design team is on hand to help you design your ideal restaurant from shipping containers. They can use computer-aided design – or CAD – technology to help you to do so, ensuring that you get exactly what you envisioned and that it is built properly and safely.

You should think about the layout of your restaurant, what capacity you want it to have, and whether you have an outside space, for example.

You have a range of different sized shipping containers available to you, including:

You also have these sizes available in a high cube format – raising the height from 8ft 6in to 9ft 6in.

Other Restaurant Specifications

There are other specifications that will also need to be considered when designing your shipping container restaurant, for example:

  • The addition of an entrance and exits, and fire doors that comply with health and safety regulations
  • Adding windows for natural light and to help with ventilation, as well as hatches for serving areas if desired
  • Ensuring that there is adequate ventilation both in the front of house and in the kitchen
  • Fitting an insulating lining to make it a comfortable temperature for staff and customers
  • Clearly defining where your front of house is and where your kitchen is
  • Considering the addition of an office where admin can be done
  • Fitting specialist kitchen equipment including worktops and flooring that comply with health and safety and hygiene regulations
  • Adding sanitary facilities for both staff and customers
  • Fitting lighting and electricity
  • Fitting water systems
  • Adding ramps to make it accessible for wheelchairs and deliveries

Once you have designed these important aspects of your restaurant, you can then go on to design the interior and exterior decoration.

You could consider professional painting or vinyl wraps to get your restaurant looking perfect, or cladding to help it to blend in.

Although they require a little work, creating a restaurant from shipping containers is a great way for you to have control over its design. Shipping containers give you a great deal of flexibility and are the ultimate upcycling project, helping reduce waste and save the planet as well.