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How to Use Shipping Containers as a Portable Pantry

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If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant or watched a Gordon Ramsay TV show, you probably have a pretty good idea that it’s important to keep things clean and organized in the kitchen of your eating establishment. In the food and beverage industry, keeping some items chilled or frozen is essential, while others must remain dry and moisture-free. You must also have the means to keep your goods fresher longer to reduce food spoilage and waste.

Many chefs, restaurants and business owners have found that using dry storage shipping containers as a portable pantry is an affordable option to keep non-perishables on hand and safe from contamination. This blog discusses how to use dry storage shipping containers as a portable pantry for non-perishable items and how it can be advantageous for your restaurant.

A dry storage shipping container stores bags of coffee beans.
A dry storage shipping container allows you to purchase nonperishable food items in bulk and store them until needed.

Does I Need a Dry Storage Shipping Container?

You’d be surprised how many businesses need extra space for non-perishables. If you own a restaurant or eatery, a steel shipping container is a practical and cost-effective solution to your storage needs. There are many different types of restaurants that could benefit from a dry storage shipping container:

  • Bars
  • Cafes
  • Cafeterias
  • Chophouses
  • Coffee shops
  • Diners
  • Doughnut shops
  • Drive-ins
  • Fast food
  • Pizzerias
  • Nightclubs
  • Soda fountains

These businesses have non-perishable items that must be readily available and secure from theft and pests. A dry storage shipping container provides extra space and security at a reasonable price.

Dry Container Storage for Nonperishable Foods

Your restaurant or store may use a storeroom to keep your dry goods, dry foods or inventory. However, excess supplies can cause clutter that can fill your storeroom. This makes finding specific items and adding new items difficult. If you have multiple locations, sharing inventory can also mean driving back and forth between sites to retrieve items.

Non-perishable items are processed and packaged to withstand extensive storage times. Some common examples of nonperishable food items include:

  • Baking mixes (biscuits, cakes, pancakes, muffins, etc.)
  • Canned meats, beans and vegetables
  • Canned or dry soups
  • Dried fruits and vegetables
  • Flour cornmeal
  • Herbs and spices
  • Oats
  • Oil and vinegar
  • Pasta and jarred pasta sauce
  • Peanut butter
  • Pickles and olives
  • Rice and soy sauce
  • Sugar
  • Tea bags
  • Water

Keeping these items in a shipping container will decrease spoilage and eliminate pests, reducing food waste and increasing profits. Containers also allow you to stock up on things when the price is right and keep them on hand and safe until you’re ready to use them.

Benefits of Dry Storage Shipping Containers

Using a dry storage shipping container as portable panty storage can give your establishment the efficiency it needs to meet customer demand. In the food and beverage industry, time is money. Time is often wasted when kitchen staff has to search for ingredients, causing preparation and serving to be delayed. The more time your customers have to wait for food, the less likely they will return or leave you positive feedback online. By renting a shipping container as portable pantry storage, you can further increase your restaurant’s capacity and give your staff a fast and easy way to restock essential ingredients.

Dry storage shipping containers offer ample space that fits into any budget. Four significant benefits of using a portable pantry include:

  1. Accessibility
  2. Organization
  3. Portability
  4. Security
A dry storage shipping container storing dry goods.
Steel shipping containers can store various dry goods and keep them safe from pests.

1. Accessibility

With a shipping container pantry, you can keep items close at hand, so they’re readily available when you need them. Modifying your container to include shelving units can help keep things off the floor and in dedicated sections, which allows staff to know where a particular item is. You can also add custom entrances, like roll-up doors and cargo doors, allowing easy access for more oversized items like crates and bulk bags of food.

2. Organization

Perhaps the best benefit of a dry storage shipping container is that it keeps your items organized. Along with adding cabinetry or shelving to keep things organized, you can also add insulation and an HVAC unit to help maintain a consistent temperature inside the container. (A dry container should maintain temperatures in the 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit range.) An HVAC unit will also help regulate humidity levels, so it’s not too dry or too moist inside the container.

3. Portability

If you run multiple restaurants or food stores, a portable storage container rental can be used between those locations. Moreover, having the ability to move your 20ft container after it’s filled gives owners various options. You can open a popup shop, attend a local farmers market, or have a presence at the local fair. Additionally, you can even go for the gold at a local, regional or national cookoff competition. And, with your logo of business colors adorning the outside of your modified container, you get the added benefit of promoting your restaurant, nonprofit organization or retail business.

At Southwest Mobile Storage, we secure shelving and cabinetry to the shipping container’s interior, so they don’t move or collapse as it is moved from location to location.

4. Security

Dry storage shipping containers are made of steel and are wind and weatherproof. Not only will they keep the outside elements at bay, but they will also ward off pests. Roaches, mice and other pests can’t get into a steel container to wreak havoc like they can in a traditional brick-and-mortar building as long as you keep the doors closed.

Southwest Mobile Storage’s steel shipping containers include lockboxes and a dual-locking system to protect your goods and inventory from damage or theft.

Other Uses for Dry Storage Shipping Containers

Storage container rentals aren’t limited to storage, especially in the food industry. Mobile offices, for instance, extend office space without building an addition. Another trendy use for containers is as a vertical farm. Vertical container farms are indoor growing environments using hydroponics that routinely produce greater yields than traditional farming.

Customer awareness of where their food comes from has grown exponentially, with many wanting to ensure that their meals and food are locally grown and shifting appetites to eating healthier. Consequently, restaurants and other eateries can use these container farms to grow their herbs, spices, leafy greens, and fruits, delivering a more nutritious and fresher menu.

Pure Greens container farms, a sister company to Southwest Mobile Storage, designs and builds custom hydroponic grow facilities at its headquarters in Phoenix. We manufacture all our container farms on-site and ship them worldwide.

Dry Storage Shipping Containers Summary

Renting or buying a portable pantry storage container is a low-cost option for your restaurant or eatery, with ease of access and convenience. Ready to start? Shipping containers come in standard sizes of 10 feet, 20 feet and 40 feet. At Southwest Mobile Storage, you can move stocked 10- and 20-foot containers once they are loaded with items. However, you cannot relocate a loaded 40-foot container. You can only move it empty.)

Are you interested in a dry storage shipping container? Get your free quote now! Please tell us what you’re looking for, and an experienced sales representative will contact you with options and pricing. From a standard container to custom modifications, if you can dream of it, we can build it!

Related Blogs

Want to do more research? We regularly update our blog with helpful information and tidbits about the many uses of steel containers. Below are five relevant blogs to get your started. Select a link below to learn more!

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