Mobile Mini, is helping to drive the trend in containers being used as premises, as a new diner opens in London this month, made entirely from three of Mobile Mini’s storage containers.
Burger Bear is based at the new ‘Magic Roundabout’ development in the middle of Old Street roundabout in Shoreditch and specialises in gourmet burgers and music. It’s another example of business-savvy entrepreneurs who are turning away from expensive retail rentals, opting for cost effective shipping containers to get their dream businesses off the ground, by converting containers rather than take on expensive leaseholds or incur high building costs. In Burger Bear’s case, a stand out destination diner, that has been customised to owner Tom Reaney’s unique design specifications.
Tom Reaney, owner of Burger Bear, who raised £36,000 through a Kickstarter campaign to get his venture off the ground, commented: “I love the look of the containers and they are very robust, cheaper and just a lot more fun for our customers. I’ve always liked to do things differently on the London streetfood scene, and Burger Bear will mix food and music in quite a unique way – a chance for people to ‘let loose’ in our container diner.”
Chris Watcham, Health and Safety Director for Mobile Mini UK said: “Although our containers are typically used in construction, building, retail and education, it’s exciting to see the growing trend in new small businesses, such as Burger Bear, using storage containers.
“Converted storage containers are an ideal choice for small businesses because of their versatility and affordability. Once planning permission has been obtained, containers can be placed on-site in a matter of weeks, or even days, which gives new businesses the great advantage of getting their premises up and running quickly.
“With a wide range of sizes and prices, our storage containers can keep overheads to a minimum, so new businesses can focus on growing, while also helping the environment with an eco-friendly solution. Whether you choose to purchase either new or used containers, we can take the headache out of the transportation and health and safety matters, thanks to our years of expertise.”
Entrepreneurs who are looking for an alternative solution for their accommodation needs have a few decisions to make before getting off the ground. Health and safety expert Chris Watcham gives his five top tips on safely starting up a business in a storage container:
- Containers vary in size, from 10 to 40 foot, so decide what fits your requirements and how you would like them customised. Preparation is key to a successful building project and it’s important to work closely with your designer or architect to perfect the plan for your premises.
- Consult a structural engineer about your design plans to find out what kind of foundations will be best suited. Any permanent structure needs foundations to rest on and these vary depending if you’re using a single or multi container structure.
- Contact your local authority to discuss planning permissions. It’s best to apply for planning permission as early as possible, the wheels of planning departments can often turn slowly. In some cases, planning permissions may not be needed if the structure is an addition to existing premises. But if in any doubt, it’s best to check to avoid any hefty enforcement notices.
- Consider the transportation logistics and the health and safety issues about getting the container onto your site. Although transporting containers is usually straightforward, getting them exactly where you need can be more problematic if stacking is required, or if the site is down a narrow lane or in a built-up area.
- Once the container is on site, construction work can begin. As soon as the main frame of the building is complete and your utilities are up and running, you can install the rest of fixtures and fittings and add any finishing touches – then congratulations – your storage container business is complete!
A guide to converting storage containers and further information on Mobile Mini and its range of storage containers can be found at www.mobilemini.co.uk
Further information on Burger Bear can be found at www.burgerbearuk.com