Modified shipping containers are gaining popularity in a number of industries for their ability to create cost-effective and unique spaces. People love innovative or even unusual restaurants. This makes shipping containers the perfect option for bringing the visions of restaurant owners to life. 

7 Modifications Needed to Create a Shipping Container Restaurant

1. Insulation and ventilation

To ensure a comfortable and safe dining experience, shipping containers require proper insulation and ventilation systems to regulate air circulation and temperature.

2. Plumbing and electrical systems

Installing water supply lines, sinks, toilets, and electrical wiring for lighting, appliances, and kitchen equipment is essential. Electrical systems should also provide adequate power supply for the size and operating capacity of the restaurant.

3. Windows and doors

Depending on the desired design, windows and doors need to be cut, fitted, and properly sealed to maintain a controlled environment.

4. Kitchen equipment and fixtures

A restaurant needs appropriate kitchen facilities. Container restaurants can be equipped with cooking appliances, refrigeration and freezing units, food storage areas, countertops, and other necessary fixtures.

5. Seating and dining space

The interior layout needs to be planned. Container Restaurants can be designed to accommodate tables, chairs, and a bar area if desired. Design plans consider the available space while adhering to safety and accessibility requirements.

6. Interior design and aesthetics

Considering the overall ambiance and theme of the restaurant, design modifications may include appropriate lighting, decor and branding elements to create an inviting atmosphere.

7. Compliance with regulations

All modifications must comply with local building codes, health and safety regulations, fire codes, and other relevant guidelines.

Modified Shipping containers can bring the vision of restaurant owners to life. Customers love the experience of dining in uniquely designed container restaurants.

Benefits of Modified Shipping Containers to Build a Container Restaurant

The use of modified shipping containers versus traditional construction to build and launch a new restaurant has numerous benefits. Container restaurants help your eatery stand out from the crowd.

Creative Design Possibilities

The distinct industrial look of a shipping container creates instant visual appeal. Its unique shape and structure can attract attention and set your restaurant apart from traditional establishments. Incorporating creative modifications such as large windows, a rooftop dining area, or unusual design elements creates a more inviting and memorable dining experience.

Mobility and Location Flexibility

Shipping containers are inherently portable, allowing relocation of the restaurant to different areas or to attend events, festivals, or markets. This mobility provides flexibility in exploring different customer bases and markets. Business owners can adapt to seasonal demands, or test new locations without the commitment and expenses associated with permanent structures.

Cost-Effective Construction

Utilizing a modified shipping container for your restaurant significantly reduces construction costs compared to building or buying a traditional establishment. Containers are available pre-assembled, and conversion requires less time and labor than new construction. This potential cost savings may allow for allocation of resources to other important aspects of the restaurant. Savings can allow owners to spend their budget on other items such as menu development, interior design, and marketing.

Quick Launch and Time to Market

The construction process for a modified shipping container restaurant is generally faster than building a traditional restaurant. With proper planning and coordination, you can launch your restaurant relatively quickly, reducing the time it takes to get your business up and running. This speed advantage helps you to start serving customers and generating revenue sooner.

Efficient Space Utilization

Shipping containers provide a compact space that can be customized to suit your restaurant’s needs. The interior can be tailored to include a functional kitchen, dining area, bar, restrooms, and storage spaces. The efficient use of space ensures smooth workflows, optimized seating capacity, and a well-organized kitchen, enhancing customer experience and operational efficiency.

Outdoor Seating and Al Fresco Dining

Modified shipping containers can be easily designed with outdoor seating options, such as patio areas or rooftop decks. These additional spaces expand your seating capacity and offer customers the opportunity to enjoy al fresco dining. Outdoor seating can be especially appealing during nice weather, providing a unique dining experience.


Repurposing shipping containers for your restaurant aligns with sustainability principles. Utilizing an existing structure minimizes the use of new construction materials and reduces waste. Additionally, you can incorporate sustainable practices into your operations such as energy-efficient appliances, eco-friendly packaging, recycling programs, and water-saving measures to promote an environmentally conscious image. 

Marketing Potential

The novelty and unique aesthetic appeal of a shipping container restaurant can generate buzz and intrigue among potential customers. The distinctive design can serve as a marketing tool, attracting attention and creating a memorable brand identity. Leveraging channels like social and local media networks will showcase your innovative restaurant concept, further amplifying your visibility and drawing in curious diners.

Regulations Applying to Shipping Container Restaurants

It’s important to keep in mind that while shipping container restaurants can be innovative, creative, and incredibly unique, there are certain rules and regulations that will still require adherence, including:

Make Your Restaurant Vision a Reality with a Modified Shipping Container

Consulting with professionals experienced in container conversions and restaurant design can offer valuable guidance through the process. M1 Containers has the experience and service quality to implement your restaurant vision. Contact us today to discuss your needs and how we can help!

At M1 Containers, we are here to help you think outside the box – and that means looking at solutions for your next project that you might not have considered. Did you know it's possible to replace many everyday structures with modified shipping containers? Using shipping containers for construction of both commercial and residential structures offers durability, portability, and often a significant reduction in your project’s overall cost.

Advantages of Using Custom Shipping Containers

Custom shipping containers are gaining popularity among architects, builders, and customers due to their numerous advantages over traditional structures. One of the most significant benefits is their durability. Made of steel, shipping containers resist damage from things like harsh weather conditions, fire, and pest infestations. Additionally, building with custom shipping containers is eco-friendly as it reduces waste, reduces the demand for raw building materials, and reduces the carbon footprint of construction projects.

Another important advantage of using custom shipping containers is their mobility. These containers can be easily transported to different locations, making them ideal for building structures in remote areas, temporary job sites, or seasonal attractions. Custom shipping containers are also cost-effective – purchasing and customizing one shipping container can be significantly less expensive than building a new and permanent structure of the same size.

Unique Designs and Features of Custom Shipping Container Buildings

Custom shipping container buildings offer unique designs and features that set them apart from traditional structures. For example, shipping container buildings can be stacked and arranged in various configurations, providing endless design possibilities. Additionally, shipping container buildings are completely customizable, with features such as windows, doors, and insulation, offering a range of functional and aesthetic options.

5 Structures You Can Replace With Shipping Containers

The customizability of shipping containers makes for endless possibilities. While M1 Containers can work with you to create a container for a wide variety of functions, there are some uses for shipping container structures that are becoming relatively common.

1.     Office Space

 Many industries require office space to perform business operations. Shipping container office space is especially appealing and useful for businesses that operate out of warehouses, in remote locations, or in spaces otherwise not conducive to administrative or office work. Consider a construction site or renovation project - a shipping container office can allow a crew to run a construction site more efficiently without having to continuously return to a head office to handle paperwork or communication needs. For a warehouse-based business, separate office space can provide a quiet place to complete paperwork or computer tasks, while also offering a more appealing space for customer-facing interactions.

2.     Housing

Modified Shipping container homes are growing in popularity and are no longer just for clever content creators. They’re showing up more and more in the tiny home movement, in affordable housing options, and in apartment complexes. Container homes can offer the same comfort, space, and amenities as traditionally built homes. With a bit of creativity and expertise, a container transforms into a cozy and modern living space. They can be stacked, arranged side by side, or even elevated to create a multi-level home.

 3. Storage Shed

While traditional storage sheds are plenty reliable for companies and personal use, modified shipping containers are a great solution when extra durability and security – and even potential portability – is needed. Unlike a wood-built shed, shipping container storage units will last well over twenty-five years due to their steel composition. Besides durability, they can be easily outfitted with modifications to make storage easier and more adapted to your needs. Due to their size and shape, they can accommodate a variety of door sizes and configurations, allowing storage for small items as well as vehicles and machinery.

 4. Portable Restroom

 Sometimes a single person outdoor temporary restroom, or Porta Potty™, is not enough for your project or venue needs. Shipping containers offer an option to have an entire restroom building onsite without having to use traditional (and much more costly) construction. Similar restrooms may often be built using trailer structures, but a customized shipping container has more potential space and more options for layout and features. With a modified shipping container, you can have plumbing, air conditioning and private stalls, and counter space. This option is ideal for workforces, amusement parks, ballparks, outdoor event venues, and anywhere that requires restroom accommodation for more than a couple of people.

 5. Storefront

Pop-up stores and restaurants are growing in popularity, and one of the best ways to guarantee success is to be located where your customers can easily see and find you. The mobility and aesthetic flexibility of a modified shipping container is unmatched when it comes to bringing a storefront or restaurant to your target audience. A container can be easily decorated and designed to be unique and eye-catching, plus a compact and mobile space tends to generate interest by being temporary or elusive. With a bit of creativity, a container can be transformed into a trendy and inviting boutique, cafe, or even a food truck.

Other Popular Structures Made from Shipping Containers

M1 Containers works with customers to create the best structure for their needs, but we also have some pre-designed options that can be customized according to your requirements. These include:

·        Ticket office – A simple design for customer service and ticketing, ideal for event venues.

·        Sand laboratory – Designed with maximum counter area for equipment and workspace.

·        Barber shop – Accommodates up to four barber stations and a shampoo station, perfect for a small barber or hairstyling business.

Are You in Need of a Structure and Considering a Modified Shipping Container?

Modified shipping containers are revolutionizing the world of architecture and construction, offering a unique alternative to traditional building methods. These containers offer numerous advantages, including durability, mobility, and affordability, making them ideal for creating customized structures of various types and sizes. As the world continues to prioritize sustainability and eco-friendliness, custom shipping containers are likely to become even more popular in the future.

If you are interested in custom shipping container construction, M1 Containers and our team of experts will create the exact space you need. Whether you’re looking to build your next home or add office or storage space for your business, contact M1 Containers today to discuss your options.

Modified Shipping Containers have grown in popularity across many industries.  These sturdy cargo boxes that ship goods across the globe have now become upcycled containers that offer solutions in a cost-effective, eco-friendly way that is much quicker than conventional construction projects. Many businesses and industries have discovered the versatility of using shipping containers to meet their needs. The strength, durability and portability of shipping containers have grown them into a popular choice for many projects.

What is a Modified Shipping Container?

Modified shipping container modules began as standard shipping containers. M1 Containers then modify the containers, changing the exterior or adding interior elements to meet a customer or company’s requirements. The modifications we can make to a shipping container are endless. And that is one of the biggest advantages to using shipping containers for your office space, restaurant or pop-up store.  Modified shipping containers are entirely customizable to fit your needs. From a working kitchen to restrooms to determining exactly how many windows you want – any project benefits from a modified shipping container structure.

Over time, M1 Containers has discovered that many of our customers have similar requests. We have designed a set of ready-made containers with floor plans and features that meet the needs of the requests we here most often from clients. Let’s explore the advantages of ready-made modified shipping containers.

Why are Ready-Made Modified Shipping Containers a great option?

  1. They are proven and tested
  2. They are fast
  3. They are durable
  4. They are secure

Proven and Tested

For years, many of M1 Containers has 18-foot, 20-foot, 25-foot and 40-foot ready-made modified shipping containers available. These tried and true designs are proven, tested and can make your project a success. When you use M1 Containers’ pre-existing container designs, you get all the benefits without the hassle of starting from scratch.

Sometimes, projects have a short lead time. While we work hard at M1 Containers to modify our containers to exceed our customers’ expectations – sometimes, time is crucial and a ready-made container is key to the success of your project. When you choose one of our pre-existing designs, your project is that much closer to being done! This will often take weeks off your project schedule.


Upcycled shipping containers take speed a step further. There are many unique advantages to containers over traditional modular structures. Shipping containers are:


Shipping containers are constructed to weather harsh marine environments while protecting the cargo inside. As the base structure for the modified modules, this resiliency is part of the foundation of every module.  

Sometimes called conex containers, shipping containers have a lifespan of 25 years on average. After that, they still hold a 75 percent salvage value, even as training facilities and workspace solutions. Not only is the longevity of repurposed shipping containers unlike most other capital assets, but the maintenance required to ensure that longevity is simple and cost-efficient. For example, you’ll need to regularly inspect the surface for rust and clean the metal as necessary – an easy yet worthwhile routine.


Alongside durability, repurposed shipping containers are incredibly secure. Constructed of heavy-duty, 16-gauge steel, shipping containers are difficult to break into, helping to protect against theft. Shipping containers are a great solution to protect the most important items to your business, no matter if it’s inventory storage or vital industrial equipment.

Can a Ready-Made Modified Shipping Containers Meet Your Needs? 

Check out what modified containers we have in stock or browse our floor plans to find a different solution. Then reach out to us. We’re ready to work together to get you the right structure. If you need something unique to our business needs -- or just prefer to add another door or a larger window, reach out to us and we can work on a custom shipping container for your project. It’s time to think outside the box with M1 Containers!

envelopephone-handset linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram