Something that we are seeing more and more of in our shipping container conversions, is the use of them in the food industry. Whether they are being used for the preparation of food or drinks, as a pop-up bar or café, or a full-blown restaurant, we’ve seen it all – and more.
Shipping containers are ideal for use in the food industry as they can give you flexibility over where you put it, how you kit it out, decorate it, and how you use it.
Our bespoke container conversions are specially designed in conjunction with our customers. Once you buy a shipping container, our specialist design team will work with you, utilising our computer-aided design software to design a container that is perfectly tailored to your needs and wants.
We’re proud of all of our food industry container conversions, but here are some of our favourites…
Café Direct Promotional Coffee Shop Unit
Café Direct briefed us to design and build a promotional unit for their coffee shops, showcasing their company ethos around recycling and the environment.
One of the most important features of this project was that the conversion used as many recycled materials as possible. The shipping containers that we use have all been used at least once – whether you have a ‘new’ or used shipping container. They not only have a modern, industrial look but also look upcycled (because they are) and are perfect for what Café Direct was looking for.
Our design team created wheelchair-friendly access at the side opening of the 20ft container, and re-purposed wooden pallets to create the cupboards. The container comes fitted with electricity and lighting (made from ceramic coffee cups), water, and has been professionally painted with the company branding.
Beech House Pub Outdoor Bar
Another of our favourites is the outdoor bar that we created for the Beech House pub in Solihull. This, I’m sure, has been especially useful to them since the COVID-19 pandemic as it has allowed more customers to sit outside.
The shipping container was painted green to continue the look of their city garden and we fitted the bar with everything that a fully-equipped outside bar needs, including beer lines, power, and lighting, chillers, washers under the counter, and bar surfaces made from food-safe oak laminate.
The container was fitted with bi-folding doors and a beautiful wooden interior cladding.
Pop-Up Café for Bar Gazetas
London architects, Bar Gazetas wanted to create a pop-up café to free up space at Battersea Studios. We started with two containers that were stacked on to of each other and a mezzanine platform was added. We then added an exterior staircase for access to the first-floor container.
Lighting, hatches, and personnel doors were added, and the container was fitted with electricity and the appropriate food preparation surfaces and equipment. Here at SJ Containers, we also crafted a large and iconic letter ‘B’ from Corten steel plates which sits on top of the structure.
Wahaca Temporary Restaurant
One of our most iconic projects is the Wahaca temporary restaurant that we were integral to designing and building on London’s Southbank. The restaurant needed to be built quickly as it needed to be ready for the London Olympic Games and the Queen’s jubilee, so converting shipping containers was the perfect solution.
We used a total of eight shipping containers to create a two-storey structure with stunning views, making space for 130 diners. The restaurant was fitted out with everything that is needed for a river-side restaurant including large sliding glass doors, lighting, wall lining – and of course, a tequila bar.
We love all of our shipping container modifying projects, and these are just a few of them. We think that converting a – or several – shipping containers into a food establishment is a great idea. Not only do they look sharp and modern, but they are also versatile in terms of design.