Build Your Own Shipping Container Restaurant - Container Design Idea Build Your Own Shipping Container Restaurant - Container Design Idea

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Build Your Own Shipping Container Restaurant

Container Restaurant Design

Shipping containers that have been customized to create restaurants, whether pop up or permanent, grows and grows. Sure we’ve written about this topic before, but food is awesome, and shipping containers full of food that is ready for our bellies at lunch time is even more awesome. So let’s have a look at the ultimate guide and learn how to build a shipping container Cafe,Home,Restaurant

It starts by 3 stages: Plan / Design / Execute


Establish planning and design goals / Define and evaluate space requirements / Review benchmark standards, codes, and guidelines.

90% Of good architectural design is planning - knowing what you want from your new restaurant, what you can afford budget wise, and what the external factors (site, code, costs, etc..) are.

Preparation is an important part of the design process. As you start to design your shipping container restaurant, the "limitations" brought about by site, code, and budget can serve to inform many of the necessary design decisions along the way. Being aware of these issues and how they could potentially impact (productively or negatively) the design and budget, will keep the design economical and efficient. And buildable!

This is a critical phase where expectations are set, and budget ceilings determined. The primary objective is to establish a conceptual design with input from design professionals, potential contractors, modular suppliers, and material/equipment suppliers.

A comprehensive budget and schedule are also developed so a true profile of scope, budget and risk can be understood and assessed early on.


Develop your design to a level of detail necessary to work out a clear, coordinated description of all aspects of the project. Drive all construction, permitting, and build drawings and documentation. Determine final budget.


Building a restaurant is no small feet. Even a small one. There are thousands of materials, pieces, and tasks involved. Unless you are a builder or experienced it's intimidating. But, what containers as perfect modules allow you to do, is simplify the entire process. Think of a typical 1,000 square foot. Try and work through in your head the total length of timber for the framing, square footage of sheathing, number of floor joists required, and ceiling rafters. Can't do it. Not too many can. Now think about that 1,000 square foot restaurant made out of shipping containers. It's 3 forty foot containers. By reducing the restaurant into 3 base component pieces (modules), it's much easier to understand, design, and build.
Purchase New, One Trip or Used Containers?

New and ‘one-trip’ containers are essentially the same thing; one trip containers are used to ship a single cargo load and once they have arrived at their destination they are sold

Clearly the decision of whether to buy new or used containers will most likely come down to your budget, however there are a few points to take into consideration.

New or one trip containers will be in much better condition than used containers so this will make it easier to build with them; they will also have a longer expected lifespan than used containers. In addition the risk of unknown chemical contamination is greatly reduced (most used containers are treated with hazardous chemicals such as pesticides and lead-based paint).

However, you pay the price for this as discussed later on in the blog post under ‘How Much Should I Expect To Pay?’.

Used containers do offer the advantage of being cheaper than new containers and you can get your hands on them much quicker. However be prepared to expect a few dints and potentially some light rusting.
Where to Buy Your Shipping Container?

The simplest way to purchase a shipping container is to find a reputable local dealer. Green Cube Network has a fantastic search tool to find local dealers; take a look at their tool over at:

If you are still struggling to find a container try using eBay, Gumtree or Alibaba.
Note- when purchasing your containers try to purchase them all from the same manufacturer. Manufacturers have slight variations which could make working with different brand containers difficult.

For more information, look out Where Can I Buy Shipping Containers From?
How Much Should I Expect To Pay?

Clearly this will vary depending on the containers you’ve decided to buy, however we have put some estimates below to give you a rough idea.
  •     Used Standard 20 Foot Container  : US$2,100 | AUD$2,700 | GBP£1,350
  •     New Standard 20 Foot Container   : US$3,000 | AUD$3,900 | GBP£1,950
  •     Used Standard 40 Foot Container  : US$2,850 | AUD$3,650 | GBP£1,850
  •     New Standard 40 Foot Container   : US$5,600 | AUD$7,200 | GBP£3,650
  •     Used High Cube 20 Foot Container: US$2,200 | AUD$2,850 | GBP£1,450
  •     New High Cube 20 Foot Container: US$3,200 | AUD$4,150 | GBP£2,100
  •     Used High Cube 40 Foot Container: US$2,950 | AUD$3,800 | GBP£1,925
  •     New High Cube 40 Foot Container: US$5,800 | AUD$7,500 | GBP£3,795

Modified Shipping Containers Make the Perfect Restaurant

Whether it’s a single 20 foot container for a pop up cafe, a cheap roadside stall, 10 fully modified containers for a massive, full scale restaurant or something fit for the best eating destination in the country, Gateway Container Sales and Hire have got you covered. Give the team of container experts a call or email for a free quote.

Are you looking for an affordable and creative cafe design team expert with container?

Give the team of container experts a call or email for a free quote.

With CAS Shipping container ideas and design you will reach your dream with a new year package.
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