Newsroom

05.08.2013

Utilimaster Enters Food Truck Market with Mobile Kitchen Solutions

 

BRISTOL, Ind., May 8, 2013 – Visitors to the Restaurant Leadership Conference held last week in Scottsdale, Ariz., reviewed a new modular food truck design from Utilimaster, a subsidiary of Spartan Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPAR).   The design includes a commercial kitchen engineered specifically for franchise and owner operators.  Utilimaster also announced its partnership with Mobi Munch, the nation’s preferred services provider for restaurant brands looking to successfully navigate the ever-changing mobile dining landscape.   

John Forbes, President of Utilimaster, said, “This new product line targets an exciting and rapidly growing new niche market that is ready for the innovative design, features and service that Utilimaster is known for.  The growth in this market is driven by Americans that demand unique, fresh cuisine on the go, with a real emphasis on ethnic choices prepared in a clean, quality environment.  Our new offering is an ideal solution for gourmet entrepreneurs, as it avoids the heavy fixed investment of a traditional storefront while opening up broad new markets, from sporting events and entertainment venues to college campuses and downtown office parks.”  

The new line of mobile kitchen solutions will be produced at Utilimaster’s Bristol, Ind. Facility and offers a number of key features designed to meet the specific needs of the mobile restaurant market, including a perfect balance between operator safety, comfort and productivity, and the ability to offer the highest quality cuisine.  The vehicle’s array of highly differentiated, patent-pending features includes: 

·   A proven Utilimaster commercial-grade structure with industry-leading visibility and interior headroom   

·   Well-lit stations with high-intensity LED lights, modular kitchen design, and a heavy-duty Isuzu chassis that includes a nationwide support network 

·   Comfortable work environment with ample ventilation, superior headroom and a computerized point-of-sale station 

·   Significant storage space, with built-in bins, shelves, compartments and condiment station 

·   Top-of-the-line commercial-grade kitchen equipment, with a variety of power sources 

·   Modern customer interface, including ergonomic point-of-purchase stations, and flat panel menu boards 

·   Utilimaster nationwide parts support is easily accessed via an online parts store and quick VIN search  

  

In addition to the broad range of standard features, the modular design allows for a significant degree of customization based on the specific menu requirements.   

  

The Utilimaster design team employs a four-part project deployment plan that begins with understanding the clients’ brand and overall needs.  Utilimaster plans to partner with restaurant operators to assess safety and productivity needs to control costs and provide a highly productive kitchen.  Utilimaster offers attention to detail in every component, building vehicles to unique user requirements and engineering them to be robust and innovative.  Owner-operators will also have access to a superior level of service every step of the way, from initial design to building and delivery.  The mobile kitchen vehicles are designed to meet California Health Code requirements, some of the toughest in the country, but Utilimaster will also work with each customer to research local health requirements to help ensure that each vehicle is in full compliance.  After delivery, buyers will have one-stop comprehensive service, support and warranty through Utilimaster. 

  

The partnership with Mobi Munch is another example of the Utilimaster commitment to providing its customers with a full-service solution that is unmatched in the industry.  Through this partnership, customers will have access to a team of restaurant industry experts.  Mobi Munch offers operators methods to maximize daily revenues and achieve their test-market results, enabling them to formulate strategies for future brick-and-mortar outlets.  Mobi Munch customizes its client service offerings to determine an appropriate level of support and provide a unique plan to meet client goals. 

  

“We believe that the mobile food market holds a tremendous amount of potential for us, but we recognize that it can also be an extremely challenging and competitive environment for the customers of these vehicles,” noted John Marshall, senior vice president of sales and marketing.  “We understand that having the right vehicle is an initial key element in creating a formula for success, which is why we are excited about our partnership with Mobi Munch to offer our customers the additional support they need to ensure success.” 

  

Utilimaster is targeting a variety of end-user market segments with its new mobile kitchen product line, including independent owner-operators, high-end cuisine providers and national chain restaurants.  Based on recent industry research from IBISWorld, the target industry is expected to grow an average of 8.4% annually for the next five years, reaching total annual revenues of $1.5 billion as consumers continue to demand unique, gourmet food options in an increasingly mobile environment. 

  

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About Utilimaster 

Utilimaster, a subsidiary of Spartan Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPAR), is a leading manufacturer of walk-in vans and commercial truck bodies for the delivery and service marketplace. Utilimaster designs, develops and manufactures products to customer specifications for use in the package delivery, one-way truck rental, bakery/snack delivery, utility and linen/uniform rental businesses. The company serves a diverse customer base and also sells aftermarket parts and accessories. Visit Utilimaster at www.utilimaster.com. 

  

About Spartan Motors 

Spartan Motors, Inc., designs, engineers and manufactures specialty chassis, specialty vehicles, truck bodies and aftermarket parts for the recreational vehicle, emergency response, government services and defense, delivery and service markets. The company's brand names - Spartan™, Spartan ERV™ and Utilimaster® - are known for quality, performance, service and first-to-market innovation. The company employs approximately 1,700 associates at facilities in Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Indiana, Florida and Texas. Spartan reported sales of $470.6 million in 2012 and is focused on becoming a global leader in the design, engineering and manufacture of specialty vehicles and chassis. Visit Spartan Motors at www.spartanmotors.com. 

  

About Mobi Munch, Inc. 

Mobi Munch develops and licenses a curated portfolio of nationally recognized street food-inspired concepts and provides expert consulting to emerging and established food service providers and brands. Mobi Munch is dedicated to creating an innovative consumer experience that integrates cutting-edge technology and bridges multiple restaurant formats, including mobile.