Shepherd’s Hut Catering Trailer: Using a Hut for Food & Drink Business

pumphrey and weston hut 2 catering trailer

Looking for your own top class coffee hut, luxury food van or catering trailer? A shepherd’s hut could be the perfect choice.

Characterful, unique and radiating quality, a shepherd’s hut could well set you apart from the other food and drink competition. A hut can also be an extremely flexible and versatile space to fit your exact needs.

A few centuries ago, shepherd’s huts were used as a mobile second home for shepherd’s looking after their flock. So it’s not a huge stretch in the imagination to picture a beautiful shepherd’s hut as a fully mobile, road-towable catering trailer.

Shepherd’s hut catering trailer sizes and prices

shepherds hut catering trailer
Source: www.pumphreyandweston.co.uk

Shepherd’s hut as a catering trailer generally start from 10ft (3m) in length by a fairly industry standard 7ft width.

Please note, according to UK motor laws, the width of a trailer must not exceed 2.55, which is just short of 8.5ft.

A hut of this size – 10ft x 7ft – will weigh around 1,800–2,000kg (1.8-2 tonnes). Read this for more on how much shepherd’s hut weigh. Hut sizes will then go up in 2ft intervals, so 12ft x 7ft, 14ft x 7ft all the way up to 20ft x 7ft.

Another please note, big huts at 14ft and over are likely to be nearly the 3,500kg threshold, which would be an annual test is needed. Not a problem at all, just something to note.

The length of the hut will affect the price. On the smaller scale (10ft x 7ft) for a standard spec hut (this will come with roofing, flooring, galvanised cladding, hatch, electrics etc), prices will start from £15,000. Depending on the manufacturer and build specifications, huts can generally be clad in two types of material: galvanised corrugated iron or oak panelling. The type of cladding you want, will depend on what business you intend on running from your hut.  

Moving up in size to 20ft x 7ft and your specialised hut is likely to cost in the region of £30,000.

For more information on prices and catering trailers, please take a look at the following catering hut manufacturers:

Road towable shepherd’s hut

To make your hut fully mobile for a catering trailer, you’ll have to make sure it’s towable and road-friendly. Any good hut manufacturer will help you with this.

Shepherd hut’s aren’t motorised, so if you are looking to be on the move then your hut will need to be towable. This isn’t too difficult to get set up and your specialist hut maker will be able to help you out. There are a couple of things you’ll need to make sure are set up though.

First of all, your hut will need to be certified to go on the road. For this your hut needs to be type approved by the DVSA and fitted with a UK trailer identification number before entering service. This should be done by the manufacturer who will then put this ID number onto the hut. Trailers who don’t have this ID number of chassis number plate attached securely will fail the annual roadworthy test.

towability shepherds hut catering trailer
Shepherd’s hut catering trailer from Towability.com

Heavy trailers – that’s ones with a weight over 3,500kg (3.5 tonnes) – manufactured after 29th October 2012 are required to be constructed in compliance with European or National type approval requirements. These heavy trailers must be tested one year after they were first sold or supplied and every year after that. Smaller trailers do not require annual testing. More info here.

To be able to tow your hut with a 4×4 or other suitable vehicle, your hut will have to be fitted with an adequate drawbar and have sufficient tyres to be able to take the stress of moving. Traditional shepherd’s hut always come equipped with cast iron wheels, however, these aren’t ideal when your hut is being regular towed on tarmac, concrete or other hard surfaces.

This is why many road towable huts are fitted with more conventional rubber trailer tyres than can remain largely hidden under the body of the hut to limit the impact on the shepherd’s hut aesthetics. You can still have the cast iron wheels on the outside of the hut so it looks the real deal.

It’s probably wise to add also that your trailer does not require any form of MOT, just that it’s kept in good roadworthy condition.

Related Post: Are Tiny Homes Mobile?

Calculating your return on investment with a shepherd’s hut

A large shepherd’s hut catering trailer costing £30k may seem a little steep for some. But when you work out your potential return on investment, it could be a very shrewd move.

Just think, the hut is completely yours once paid, you can make a good return from your catering service or other business, and huts retain a high sell-on value. How much would you be paying for a motorised vehicle or premises in a building over the year?

Hut owners who are just looking to rent theirs out as a luxury holiday let, can achieve northwards of £100 a night. A rental hut at £100/night with 50% annual occupancy will make back £18,200 in a year – not a bad investment.

commercial timber clad shepherds hut with steps and glass doors
Not a food trailer but a business-ready hut by Cedar & Oak.

Best food and drink catering business ideas for a shepherd’s hut

pumphrey and weston drinks trailer shepherds hut
Source: www.pumphreyandweston.co.uk

With their rustic and charming appearance coupled with great versatility, it could be a great move for you if you are looking for some kind of event catering trailer or speciality drinks hut. Even as a quiet, private space for you to tend to clients and speak in confidence.

Artizan pizzas, top quality coffee, premium street food or even a craft beer hut would all look absolutely superb being served from a shepherd’s hut side hatch.  

If you’re an independent retailer, salon owner or entrepreneur, running your business from a high-quality shepherd’s hut could be a brilliant choice from a practical and marketing point of view. Here are a few ideas of what businesses would work perfectly from a shepherd’s hut:

Food & drink ideas

  • Artisan pizza trailer
  • Street food vendor
  • Premium burgers
  • Coffee hut
  • Craft beer, ale stand, prosecco and wine bar
  • Homemade cake hut
  • Ice cream trailer

Other business ideas for a shepherd hut

  • Health and beauty salon
  • Pop up shop
  • Barber’s or hairdressers
  • Professional service – therapy parlour
  • Run 1 on 1 classes/workshops
  • Wedding trailer
  • Photobooth
  • Luxury rental toilet

So, there you have it. It’s more than possible to create a fantastic shepherd’s hut catering trailer. Depending on your circumstances, you will need to make sure your hut is up for the job but it could be a great move for your mobile food and drink business.

*Header image credit: Fantastic catering hut made by Pumphrey and Weston


You can read more on shepherd huts just below…