Do you own a mobile food truck that currently specializes in cold sandwiches and/or grilled food? Do you want to add French fries to your menu, but aren't sure whether or not your small space is capable of holding a fryer big enough to meet your customers' demands? If so, read on to learn just how big of a fryer you'll need to successfully serve fries to your food truck followers.
I'll Show You My French Fries If You Show Me Yours
The first thing you'll need to determine is just how big your French fry servings will be. According to livestrong.com, a healthy serving size of French fries is 2.4 ounces, or 10 small fries. Most restaurants, however, serve up French fry portions of around 6.9 ounces (50 small fries); and, if you asked a teen in South Korea or Japan how big a French fry serving should be, they'd likely tell you that a satisfactory-sized fry order is 16 serving trays full.
So, just how many ounces of fries should you dish out per hungry customer? That's up to you, but it's wise to visit other food establishments in the area you'll be selling in to see how big their fry orders are. You can bet your
bottom burger that your competition will be checking you out too, and you don't want to have the smallest fry size on the block.
How Many Customers Want To Get (French) Fried?
Now you'll need to figure out how many servings you can get per pound of potatoes. There are 16 ounces in a pound, so if you went with the standard 6.9 ounce serving size, you'd get 2.3 servings per pound of potatoes, or roughly 23 servings per 10 pound bag of potatoes.
If you keep good records on your food truck business, you already know how much traffic you get, and how many orders you take per day. How many of those customers will order French fries? During the most famous French fry upsell of all time, a popular fast food franchise reported that half of all customers would add the deep fried treats to their meal when asked if they'd like to upon ordering their food.
While the nation has grown more health-conscious since this French fry promotion, estimating that roughly 50% of your customers will order fries will ensure that you've got plenty for those who do crave them.
Oil Be Cooking Fries In No Time
Now you know how many orders of fries you'll need to be prepared to serve, and how many potatoes you'll need to make it happen. The only thing left to learn is how big of a fryer you'll need to buy to cook all those fries.
At optimal performance a commercial fryer will cook an equivalent of food equal to 2 times the amount of oil it holds, per hour of operation. For example, if you've estimated that you service 20 customers an hour, then 10 of them will order fries. At the standard 6.9 ounce serving size, you'll need 69 ounces, or roughly 4.3 pounds of French fries per hour.
Since you can assume that the fryer you purchase will cook twice its oil's weight in food each hour, any fryer with an oil capacity greater than 2.2 pounds should be perfectly ample to meet the needs of your food truck.
If you are in an extremely high traffic area, however, and you see 50 customers per hour, then you can assume that 25 of them will want fries. Using the standard 6.9 ounce serving size again, you'll need around 172 ounces (10.7 pounds) of fries per hour. In this case, you would need a fryer capable of holding at least 5.5 pounds of oil.
Countertop fryers from places like K & D Factory Service Inc are available with capacities as large as 14 pounds. These units don't take up a lot of room, but they can cook 28 pounds of food per hour -- that's a lot of French fries. If you're thinking about buying a fryer for your food truck just so you can put French fries on the menu, but aren't sure you've got the room, go ahead and make the plunge.
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