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Old 08-24-2018, 10:58 PM   #1
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Question Food bus !!!

Hey y'all !!! I'm looking to convert a school bus into a ramen shop on wheels. I am looking for info on suggestions for a bus that would best suit this endeavor. I have been considering a 77 passenger 39' thomas saf-t-liner but i was curious if any of you professionals would have any good suggestions. I have a company designing a 20 ft kitchen and a company working on heating and energy. we'll be installing solar panels and a propane generator then run them through a hybrid interface. And for the heating we are considering insulating the crap out of it and installing in-floor/wall heating.

The preferred bus would have to be tall enough to be comfortable... i'm 6'11 and for the average guest. we should have enough standing table space for about 20 people...

anyone got some good ideas?
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Old 08-25-2018, 11:19 AM   #2
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I would first get with the Food and Health department where you reside and find out what requirements they have. They will be stricter on quality than anyone else and one little thing they don't like and you won't be able to sell the first cup of Ramen. Plan on a lot stainless steel. Chances are you will need a CDL for that commercial operation.
At 6'11" you have a roof raise in the works. Hard to imagine a complete build and still have comfortable standing room for 20 people.
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Old 08-25-2018, 11:38 AM   #3
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Ya I already have approval from the health and state departments, i'm signing up for my CDL Class next month, and i'm looking at a bus just north of here that has a raised roof, otherwise whats the typical cost of a roof raise? and if not we may cut the standing and have a few seats with tables that they can sit at along the sides of the walls. The restaurant supply guy has just designed the kitchen set up and only took up the back 20' with the heavier stuff towards the front axle, and will be submitting the final draft to me next week. This seemed impossible up until doors started opening with the right people to make this happen.

If the raised roof bus sells before i can get it would a thomas safe-t-liner do the job? i don't mind having to bend over a bit in the back, i do that anyways when i cook... otherwise how much does that cost to have someone raise the roof?

i gotta pretty big budget
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Old 08-25-2018, 12:32 PM   #4
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With skills and tools and a bit of help it could be accomplished for around $300. I've heard there are companies out there doing them retail for $7k-$10K
Take into consideration how much actual time you'll be standing up, though at 6'11" you definitely have a concern more than most tall guys.

Fill out your profile in the UserCP so we know where you are and can better advise by your state.

I would search here for a bus with the correct drivetrain. The Thomas and BlueBird bodies taper in at the bottom of the window line, so roof raise is funky sometimes. They have been done.
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Old 08-25-2018, 01:18 PM   #5
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There are a lot of variables.

Some of the folks here that have access to discounted or free materials and lots of skilled friends have managed a$300 roof raise.

I have not been so fortunate on the material side. I have shopped price on material from every supplier I could find within 90 miles and online.

I have purchased all of the structural metal and most of the sheet metal and rivets. Also, welding supplies, grinding wheels, flap disks, drill bits etc.

Approximate cost so far:

Metal $1200
Welding supplies $150
Misc supplies $100
Rivets $371
Labor $140

I had the good fortune of having a skilled and generous board member help with the raise so far. Sadly, his job dictated a move out of state .

There is an outfit in the Denver area that does roof raises. I have heard that they charge $10-15k but I have not confirmed that.

Take a look at: https://chromeyellowcorp.com

Good luck with your quest.
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