FoodTruckr | How to Start and Run a Successful Food Truck Business https://foodtruckr.com Fri, 25 Sep 2020 00:00:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 FoodTruckr | How to Start and Run a Successful Food Truck Business FoodTruckr | How to Start and Run a Successful Food Truck Business pat@foodtruckr.com pat@foodtruckr.com (FoodTruckr | How to Start and Run a Successful Food Truck Business) 2014 | Flynndustries, LLC How to Start, Run and Grow a Successful Food Truck Business FoodTruckr | How to Start and Run a Successful Food Truck Business https://foodtruckr.com/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/ftr-podcast.png https://foodtruckr.com/blog/ 6 Types of Insurance Food Truck Owners Need https://foodtruckr.com/2020/09/insurance-types-food-truck-owners-need/ https://foodtruckr.com/2020/09/insurance-types-food-truck-owners-need/#respond Thu, 24 Sep 2020 21:56:27 +0000 https://foodtruckr.com/?p=22153 Historically, the food truck industry grows about two percent each year. That will surely increase in the next year or two, as many food entrepreneurs look towards food mobility as an alternative to brick and mortar locations. Depending on the type of food truck you operate, there might be different types of insurance requirements and […]

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Mistakes

Historically, the food truck industry grows about two percent each year. That will surely increase in the next year or two, as many food entrepreneurs look towards food mobility as an alternative to brick and mortar locations.

Depending on the type of food truck you operate, there might be different types of insurance requirements and considerations. For example, a truck that prepares food with commercial equipment might need a different type of coverage than an ice cream truck.

While you may be able to bundle together the different types of coverages you need, in many circumstances, you will have to piece together different policies to ensure that you have the most comprehensive coverage for your business and your own financial protection.

Choosing the right types of insurance that you need for your business can be tricky and not all are necessary for your particular situation.

Here are a few types of insurance that most food truck owners could find beneficial:

Food Truck Insurance

As a food truck owner, the first insurance option is to look into a specific food truck insurance policy.

What is food truck insurance? A food truck insurance policy protects you from any claims that might be made against your business’ day-to-day operations. This could include anything from potential injuries, damages, general liability, or illness, which is particularly important when serving food.

Finding ways to protect your business from unfortunate events is crucial because depending on the claim, you could face major financial loss without adequate coverage. Remember to do your research and ensure that the company you purchase a policy is reputable.

A simple way to test this is to ask if they offer free additional insured services (all of them should say yes).

Here’s a few companies that you can look into:

  1. FLIP – with policies starting at $299 per year, the Food Liability Insurance Program makes it easy to insure your food truck.
  2. Insure My Food Truck – another company that’s been in the food truck insurance game for a while, IMFT can get you a fast quote and have you insured in no time.
  3. Progressive Commercial – Progressive bundles a few types of insurance into custom food truck packages, including commercial auto, general liability, and worker’s comp.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Because the foundation of your business relies on your ability to sell food or drinks from a vehicle, commercial auto insurance is one of the most important types of safeguards to have.

Remember that it can vary state to state, but in most circumstances, you will be required to carry a certain amount of insurance—even if you aren’t cooking or preparing the food in your vehicle.

A commercial auto policy will secure your business vehicle, similar to how car insurance protects your personal vehicle. It is important to differentiate between the two because a personal automobile insurance policy will not cover damages on a vehicle that is used for business purposes.

Similar to auto policies, commercial auto insurance is made up of different components within the policy to protect your vehicle from certain events. Here are some of the components of a typical commercial auto policy:

Collision coverage: Collision coverage will pay for the physical damage done to your vehicle in an accident if you were to hit someone else or if they were to hit you. This type of coverage is usually required if you are financing or leasing the vehicle.

Comprehensive coverage: Comprehensive coverage will pay for damage outside of an accident from things such as theft, fire, natural disasters, or vandalism.

Liability coverage: Liability covers bodily and property damage to others if you are in an accident and are deemed at fault. This component of a commercial auto policy will financially protect you from a lawsuit and also pay for various items such as accrued medical costs for the other party in the accident.

Additional coverage: Most companies will offer additional coverage options and add-ons such as rental car reimbursement, tow truck coverage, underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage, and loan or lease gap coverage.

Commercial Property Insurance

While a commercial auto will protect your vehicle from damage, commercial property insurance will protect the contents within your actual vehicle from damage. This could include your everyday equipment such as commercial stoves, point of sale systems, food, or utensils.

This type of coverage protects your contents from damage or loss caused by unanticipated events such as theft, natural disasters, or fire.

Workers’ Compensation

If you have one or more employees, you will need some kind of workers’ compensation insurance for your food truck. Most states will require this type of coverage as it protects you if one of your workers were to get injured or fall ill while on the job. This can help you pay for your workers’ immediate and ongoing medical bills and lost wages. If you have employer liability coverage as a component of your workers’ compensation policy, you will also be covered from legal fees and settlement costs if the employee decides to sue as a result of their injury or illness.

Life Insurance

Although life insurance may not be legally required for your business, it is important to have as a safeguard in both your professional and personal life. Life insurance provides an income replacement if you were to unexpectedly pass away. If your food truck provides a source of income that your family depends on, it is important to secure a term life insurance policy.

A term life insurance policy is beneficial for small business owners because it costs substantially less each month than a whole life insurance policy. You can customize the length of time you need coverage for depending on the financial status of your business. Additionally, this type of insurance is particularly important if you used family assets to support your food truck business.

Disability Insurance

Disability insurance for business owners can be a bit complicated to secure at times, however,  it’s often worth the extra time investment to ensure that both your business finances and personal finances wouldn’t suffer in an unanticipated event.

If you were to become injured and unable to operate your food truck, having some kind of coverage is essential. A long-term disability insurance policy pays you an income replacement each month if you were permanently injured or disabled.

Perhaps this is your first experience as a business owner altogether or maybe you have owned a business before, but this will be your first food truck. In any case, it is important to understand that financial planning is a necessary part of ensuring your food truck’s future success and how choosing the right type of insurance coverage plays a large part in this equation.

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7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Food Truck https://foodtruckr.com/2020/09/7-questions-to-ask-yourself-before-starting-a-food-truck/ https://foodtruckr.com/2020/09/7-questions-to-ask-yourself-before-starting-a-food-truck/#respond Tue, 01 Sep 2020 21:41:38 +0000 https://foodtruckr.com/?p=21826 Whether you’re looking for a new career path or are a seasoned veteran in the restaurant business, starting your own food truck is a massive emotional, financial, and physical undertaking that you should not approach lightly. In some respects, food trucks follow the same formula for success as any other business: a savvy plan, a […]

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Whether you’re looking for a new career path or are a seasoned veteran in the restaurant business, starting your own food truck is a massive emotional, financial, and physical undertaking that you should not approach lightly.

In some respects, food trucks follow the same formula for success as any other business: a savvy plan, a unique angle, great customer service, and some old-fashioned elbow grease. But at the same time, food truck owners experience certain obstacles and circumstances that set them apart from any other type of hospitality service.

To ensure you’re fully prepared for the responsibilities that come with owning your own food truck, here are the 7 most important questions you should ask yourself before you get behind the wheel.

Need answers to all the questions below? Get the How to Start a Food Truck: The Definitive Guide

1. Am I Prepared for the Upfront Costs of Starting a Food Truck?

Let’s face it—no matter what kind of business you want to start, there are going to be financial risks involved (although the magnitude of these risks might vary). Prospective food truck owners, especially, must anticipate all kinds of upfront hurdles that are likely to come their way.

The most obvious, and essential, upfront expense is the cost of the food truck itself, in addition to the kitchen equipment it carries. But food truck operators need to be aware of the following as well:

  • Permits, especially those required to park and vend on city streets. Regulations will vary depending on the areas you serve, so be sure to research before you set up shop for the day.
  • Insurance, including everything from auto insurance to general liability.
  • Funds for repairs and other roadblocks in the event of any breakdowns as you travel from one location to the next.
  • Any necessary procedural updates to meet the board of health standards.
  • Allocations toward salaries and benefits for any employees you decide to hire.

2. How Can I Fund My Food Truck?

If you’ve determined that you don’t have the cash-on-hand to juggle your baseline expenses, the next question to ask yourself is: what’s the best way for me to build up my capital?

Answering this question requires you to think strategically. Not only will you need to brace yourself for the upfront costs, but you’ll also have to budget in enough money to keep yourself without seeing any profits in the immediate future.

However, as with most aspects of new business, there is no one formula for success when it comes to financing. Here are a few ideas and common ways to fund your business:

  • Small Business Loans – Whether it’s from a bank or from the SBA, getting a loan is one of the best options if your credit score is great.
  • Raising money – For individuals who have a dependable professional network, convincing family and friends to back a new business idea might be enough to get their feet off the ground. Other have gone through Kickstarter and other fundraising websites.
  • Borrowing against assets – Entrepreneurs who already have wealth built up in their home have found borrowing against their home equity a worthy option to further investigate.

3. What Does It Take to Run a Food Truck?

The ability to run a successful food truck is so much more than manning the grill on a busy weekend. Even the best chefs and restaurateurs are doomed to fail if they aren’t ready to grapple with the administrative demands of food trucking.

One way to describe running a food truck is to look at two things: costs and revenue.

Costs:

The successful food truck owner should know where all the major costs will be. Any food service on wheels is paying for gas, generators, and parking spots, which are all costs that your brick-and-mortar competitors won’t have to consider.

Once you know the costs, it’s important for food trucks to factor in their own unique variables to the standard menu price point equation. Be sure that your meals, whatever they may be, give you wiggle room to support you in the long-term.

Revenue:

The day-to-day grind on the streets is essential to building brand visibility within your local communities, but private events and bookings—such as food festivals, graduation parties, and even weddings—are other lucrative opportunities to diversify your revenue streams. And don’t forget about having a solution for order ahead, pick-up, and delivery.

The ability to physically move your business proves to be a food truck’s greatest asset or its most formidable weakness, depending on how you use it. Regardless of how often you relocate, make sure that your customers are fully aware of where you plan to set up shop for the day.

To find catering and event opportunities in our area, start with Roaming Hunger.

4. Where Can I Buy a Food Truck?

When it comes to sourcing a food truck, you have three options:

Each option comes with benefits and costs. Buying a used food truck, for example, comes with the risk of unknown problems with the engine and the kitchen. Building a new food truck will come with a lot less risk, but it will be more expensive. Renting is also an option, but often supplies are limited and the monthly costs can be high.

A great place to start your search for your new mobile business is a reputable online site that offers food trucks, carts, and trailers for sale. Sites like Roaming Hunger’s Marketplace provide detailed information on the types of equipment that are included in a sale, such as food storage, sanitation stations, and extra perks like air conditioning.

5. Do I Have a Business Plan?

Before you invest too much time and money into any part of your food truck business, you need to ask yourself: do I have a strategy for sustaining this business in the long-term? And what is my plan to get there?

Business planning provides the perfect opportunity to step away from the day-to-day grind and see the larger, encompassing strategy you’ll need to turn your food truck into an entire fleet.

The plan and model by which you run your food truck will include the objectives that you believe will drive the most future value and potential. Include your ideal customer, employee efficiency, partnership opportunities, and efforts to continue establishing your personal brand within the communities you serve.

In order to make these objectives effective, however, it’s important that each bullet point in your plan is linked to a meaningful goal. Use the SMART goals philosophy to create objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and constrained to a designated time period. Even if you don’t hit these goals the first time around, these SMART constraints will give you valuable insights into how to improve for your next business planning sprint.

6. What Makes Me Different From the Competition?

In most circumstances, a potential customer looking to grab a quick bite has a wide range of options to choose from. What will make them wait in line at your window instead of choosing a sit-down restaurant or a nearby lunch cafe?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the competitive nature that is the restaurant industry, it’s essential to remember that there are a number of tangible benefits that make food trucks a more worthy venture than the average restaurant, and these advantages are the key to leading the pack in your local food scene.

Where restaurants are cemented to a single location, you can experiment with different streets, parking areas, and seasonal events. Similarly, a sit-down spot is limited to advertising outside of its store-front or with an external, paid campaign.

Food trucks are their own advertising, and your visibility is limited in only the places you visit. Finally, as you expand your brand to include additional trucks, recognize that proportionally lower costs to open a food truck (versus an entire restaurant) make new food trucks a much smaller risk. This allows food truck owners to make much bolder choices that can result in a higher payout.

7. How Can I Grow My Customer Base?

As the saying goes, a stagnant business is a dying one, and organizations that are not concerned with consistently attracting and delighting new customers will be hard-pressed to keep their spot on the street. The question for you, therefore, is how you can continue to market and publicize your food truck in the weeks or months after you cut the “first day of business” ribbon.

Fortunately, there’s more than one way to drive fresh sales to your food truck. Changing up your menu from season to season helps your truck stay relevant beyond the summer months, and experimenting with customer loyalty programs (such as a free side after a certain number of visits) are relatively simple places to start.

Regardless of the tactics you decide to use, the key to new customer engagement at any level is connecting with the communities you serve. Perhaps this means volunteering your time and efforts toward a fundraiser that your customer base is passionate about. You may not yield a huge sum of profits from these types of events at the end of the night, but they more often than not will prove their value over time.

At the end of the day, word-of-mouth marketing will always yield the highest traffic and customer interest, with over 90% of consumers believing suggestions from family and friends over an advertising campaign. In an industry where so much depends on a customer’s taste, the bottom line for any customer growth is continuing to create delicious, buzz-worthy food that people are excited to talk about. If you’re equipped with the right recipes and ready to answer these 7 crucial questions, then your food truck is already steered in the right direction.

Continue on to our “What I Wish I Knew” article for advice from over 50 food truck owners on what they learned starting a food truck business.

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5 Menu Ideas For New Food Truck Owners https://foodtruckr.com/2020/07/5-menu-ideas-for-new-food-truck-owners/ https://foodtruckr.com/2020/07/5-menu-ideas-for-new-food-truck-owners/#respond Fri, 17 Jul 2020 19:17:22 +0000 https://foodtruckr.com/?p=7515 You’re new to the food truck industry (or getting ready to enter it), and you have a million things running through your head as a result. Of course, one of the things is probably your menu. Here’s the thing: People are going to love your food! You put a lot of time into this, and […]

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Menu

You’re new to the food truck industry (or getting ready to enter it), and you have a million things running through your head as a result.

Of course, one of the things is probably your menu. Here’s the thing: People are going to love your food! You put a lot of time into this, and you surely have some unique recipes up your sleeve. However, in hopes of helping you with the food, we are about to drop five menu ideas for new mobile kitchen owners!

Check them out below!

For more information about what you should sell, click here

5 Menu Ideas For New Food Truck Owners

  • Incorporate A Popular Meal
  • Don’t Be Afraid To Go Outside Of Your Concept
  • Get Seasonal With Your Menu
  • Don’t Forget About The Beverage Department
  • Always Add Your Own Unique Twist

Idea No. 1: Incorporate A Popular Meal

Incorporate a popular meal? How are you supposed to do that when you are new to the food truck industry and don’t even know what is going to be a hit at your lunch truck?

Here’s what we mean by this: Add a popular meal in general to your menu. For example, a burger and fries, chicken fingers, grilled cheese sandwich, any type of sandwich, a salad, etc.

Of course, you probably want to add a popular meal that relates to your food truck concept, and we get that. However, it’s not a bad idea to have a meal that most people are used to because you never know who is going to order at your truck — this popular item might stand out to them!

Idea No. 2: Don’t Be Afraid To Go Outside Of Your Concept

Street tacos are big in the food truck industry, but you are afraid to add them to your menu because they don’t relate to your concept. Spoiler alert: It’s okay to go outside of your concept from time to time!

Just mark up this item/meal as a special, or only offer it for a limited time.

This is your kitchen, and your business, so if you want to cook something that doesn’t exactly relate to your food concept, then by all means do so! You’re the boss!

Not to mention, there are some foods that trend based on the time of year, and you might want to follow these trends in hopes of attracting more customers. For instance, pumpkin spice is the king of fall, so feel free to add your own pumpkin spice treat during the fall.

Idea No. 3: Get Seasonal With Your Menu

If you want to attract customers year-round, then you might have to get seasonal with your menu. Now, you don’t have to change up your entire menu — well, unless you want to, that is — but it would be wise to add a couple of different meals for the winter and summer. For example, incorporate some type of soup in the winter (or comfort food), and then add a cold dessert in the summer!

Like we stated above, pumpkin spice is big during the fall months, and you have every right to add pumpkin spice anything to your menu during this season.

Looking to take your food truck business to the next level? If so, then The Food Truck Growth Kit has your name written all over it!

Idea No. 4: Always Add Your Own Unique Twist

You want to stand out in the food truck industry, which is why you should always add your own unique twist to your meals.

Let’s go back to Idea No. 1. Let’s say your concept is Mexican food, and let’s also say you want to add a burger to your menu as your popular meal. How do you add your own unique twist to something like that? It’s up to you! Here are some suggestions: Smother your burger with green chili, or simply add chili peppers.

There are an endless amount of ways to spice up meals, and you surely can add your own unique twist to even the most basic/common meals.

Keep doing you, food truck owners!

For more information on testing out recipes, click here

RELATED: 3 Ways To Keep Your Food Truck Employees Motivated

Idea No. 5: Don’t Forget About The Beverage Department

When trying to perfect your menu for your grand opening, it’s very easy to put beverages on the back burner. With that in mind, if you really want to stick out, then you will give every single food item on your menu the time of day, and this includes your beverages.

While, yes, it is perfectly fine to have a soda/pop machine at your mobile kitchen, it would also be wise to concoct some homemade drinks, such as mango tea, smoothies, milkshakes, etc.

Being unique and standing out is the name of the game in this industry, so make sure to add some unique drinks to your menu!

To dig your teeth into what FoodTruckr has to offer, make sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, and also make sure to check out more content that we bring to the table.

About the Author

FoodTruckr

FoodTruckr is the #1 online destination for current and aspiring food truck owners looking to succeed in the mobile food industry. Self described “food truck devotees,” the FoodTruckr team enjoys reading about successful entrepreneurs, salivating over photos of burritos on Twitter, and long walks through food truck parks. Chat with FoodTruckr on Facebook or check out the FoodTruckr School podcast for more awesome tips to level up your business.

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How to Start a Food Truck 19: Organize Your Licenses and Permits https://foodtruckr.com/2020/05/start-food-truck-19-organize-licenses-permits/ Thu, 28 May 2020 14:07:04 +0000 https://foodtruckr.com/?p=1316 What’s on today’s menu? We’ll walk you through some of the licenses and permits that you’ll need to sell food from a food truck, as well as some of the requirements you must fulfill as an employer. Then, we’ll show you how to stay organized and keep everything together while you’re researching the local requirements in your area and applying for various documentation.

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This article is Unit 5 of our “How to Start a Food Truck” series.

There was a lot of legal mumbo jumbo in our last lesson as we explained how to register your food truck business as a legal entity. Today’s lesson on licenses and permits will have a lot of the same. We know, we know—it’s complicated information and it’s not as fun as testing your recipes or buying your food truck was. Nonetheless, it’s all necessary work, and we again recommend bookmarking this installment in the series so that you can refer back to it as you begin going through all the paperwork.

So, what’s on today’s menu? We’ll walk you through some of the licenses and permits that you’ll need to sell food from a food truck, as well as some of the requirements you must fulfill as an employer. Then, we’ll show you how to stay organized and keep everything together while you’re researching the local requirements in your area and applying for various documentation.

Let’s get those food truck wheels rolling!

Business Licenses and Permits: An Introduction

We love the Small Business Administration (SBA) here at FoodTruckr, and we’ve recommended checking out their resources a number of times before—but the particular page we’re sharing today is especially awesome!

On this page from the SBA, you can find information on business licenses and permits in your area. Once you click that link, type in your city and state or the zip code where you’ll be doing business and select “restaurant” as the business type. After you hit “search,” the magic happens! You’ll get a long list of the items you’ll need to run your food truck—and, most importantly, the links to your area’s government pages and the specific departments you’ll need to contact.

Now, this won’t be a complete checklist of everything you need to operate a food truck in your city, but it should offer a pretty thorough overview of the categories you’ll need to consider. Let’s take a look at some of the categories you’ll find:

1. Tax Registration

Most food truck owners will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), a number used by the IRS to collect taxes from business owners and their employees. You can apply for an EIN online at the IRS website or by fax or mail. 

During the application process, you will need information such as the name of your business, the county and state where you’re located, and your Taxpayer Identification Number. When applying online, you have to complete the application in a single session, so be sure to have the necessary information handy and review online guides before jumping into the process.   

You will also need to register for additional licenses and tax-specific identification numbers in your state. You can find state-specific information by clicking on the links from the SBA page.

2. Business Licenses

Before you can begin operating your food truck, you’ll need some general business licenses from your state as well as a Food Service Establishment Permit. 

Each state has their own requirements, so you’ll need to visit your state or county’s website for the specifics. You can also find more information on these licenses and the Food Service Establishment Permit from the SBA, and we’ll cover some information on additional food truck-specific permits you may need later in this post (under the “Food Truck Laws” heading).

3. Local Permits

In addition to the state licenses, you will also most likely need several local licenses from your city, county, or both. Much like state business licenses, each city has different requirements. It’s important to find out what’s required in your area by visiting the links provided by the SBA or your city or county’s government website.

These are a few of the most common permits you’ll encounter:

  • Alarm Permit
  • Business License and Tax Permit
  • Health Permit
  • Signage Permit
  • Zoning Permit

Some permits recommended by the SBA for restaurants (such as a building permit) won’t be relevant to you as a food truck operator—but you will need to keep them in mind if you ever decide to expand to a brick and mortar location.

4. Incorporation Filing

Unless you’re operating a sole proprietorship (which can be risky for a food truck owner, as all of your personal assets will be on the line if you’re sued for something like a work-related injury, food poisoning, or a collision), you’ll need to formally register your business as a legal entity. We covered this topic in-depth in this post and you can find the specific forms you need to make it happen from the SBA page.

5. Doing Business As (DBA)

In some cases, you may also need to register a “doing business as (DBA)” name to legally identify the name your truck is operating under. Again, we covered this practice here and you’ll find the specific place to register your business name from the SBA page.

6. Employer Requirements

There are also a number of requirements you’ll need to meet as an employer if you’re planning to hire one or more people to work in your food truck. This is one of the more complicated parts of getting your food truck business off the ground, so we recommend starting out by reading this overview from the SBA, as well as the IRS Employer’s Tax Guide (PDF).

Here are a few of the other employer requirement categories you’ll need to consider:

Documentation

Before you can hire any employees, you need to make sure that each individual is legally allowed to work in the U.S. All new employees will need to fill out:

  • An I-9, which collects documentation to prove the individual can legally work in the U.S.
  • A W-4, which determines income tax withholding.

You can find the most up-to-date versions of these forms from the IRS and you can use the government’s E-Verify website to help you process the I-9 form.

After you’ve officially hired an employee, you must also report him or her to your state’s directory. Most states require this to be done within 20 days. You can find the link for your state’s reporting service from the SBA.

Insurance

You need two key types of insurance to cover your employees: unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation insurance.

Unemployment insurance covers your employees if you terminate them or lay them off from their jobs. You will pay the state for this type of coverage, and you can find the link for your area from the SBA’s licenses and permits page.

We discussed workers’ compensation insurance in Lesson 16—but in general, you should know that it covers your employees if they are injured on the job. 

Each state has different requirements for the type of coverage you need, and your insurance agent or broker can help you find the best insurance for your business. You can also find the link to your state’s requirements from the SBA’s licenses and permits page.

Posters

As a business owner with employees, you’ll also be required to display certain posters in an area where all of your employees may see them. These posters will contain information on their rights in regard to workers’ compensation and minimum wage. Find out what you need to display from the Department of Labor.

Food Truck Laws

In addition to the general business licenses and permits you’ll need, each state, county, and city may also have their own additional requirements for food trucks. Keep in mind that if you’re planning to operate in more than one city or county, you’ll need to know about the laws in each area and may need separate licenses and permits for each one.

We’ve explained why it can be tough to find your city’s local laws before, but it’s especially important to make sure you’ve researched them all thoroughly before taking your truck out on the street. As a food truck owner, you need to consider laws for topics such as:

  • Bathroom Locations
  • Commissaries
  • Food Handling
  • Parking Laws and Permits
  • Truck Inspections and Food Safety Inspections
  • Zoning

We’ve explained why it can be tough to find your city’s local laws before, but it’s especially important to make sure you’ve researched them all thoroughly before taking your truck out on the street. As a food truck owner, you need to consider laws for topics such as:

  • Bathroom Locations
  • Commissaries
  • Food Handling
  • Parking Laws and Permits
  • Truck Inspections and Food Safety Inspections
  • Zoning

Find Your Area’s Food Truck Laws

The Department of Health is most likely the agency responsible for regulating food trucks in your area. Look for it under any of the following names:

  • Department of Health
  • Department of Public Health
  • Department of Environmental Health

If you’re having trouble locating the correct agency, be sure to also see if there is a food truck association in your city. Food truck associations often spend a lot of time working to better the food truck laws in their cities, and many of them will have information about local restrictions and requirements listed on their websites. They may also be able to point you in the right direction or help you connect with a food truck owner who can share some tips and tricks with you.

Many cities and counties also have pages on their websites that explain how to start a food truck. For example, here’s a page from the City of Boston’s website and one from the City of Philadelphia (PDF)

If you can’t find any information about opening a food truck on your local health department’s website, look for the regulations for opening a restaurant. This will give you a general sense of some of the laws and restrictions you may face. After reviewing these requirements, look for a phone number where you can call and ask further questions about how the restaurant requirements are different for food trucks.

Note: Even if the website has a dedicated page for opening a food truck (and especially if they only have guidelines for brick and mortar restaurants!), don’t assume that you’ve found all of the regulations and everything else you need to know. Always call and ask questions of the licensing officials directly.

We know that all of the hoops you have to jump through to get this information can be a little discouraging and stressful, but remember—cities do want new businesses to open, even if it seems like they’re trying to make it impossible on purpose. If you’re having trouble working through all the red tape to find the answers you need, find out if your city has a Department of Economic Development or a small business assistance program. Visit the “Businesses” page of your city or county’s website and look for information on “Starting a Business in [your area].” You can also find a wealth of resources from the SBA or from SCORE.org, a nonprofit organization that helps entrepreneurs get the education and mentorship they need to reach their goals.

Our Top Five Organizational Tips

That’s a lot of information and paperwork to keep track of! Fortunately, we’ve got a few key organizational tips that can make the entire process a lot easier as you begin working through this lesson.

1. Make a Checklist

Before you start trying to get the licenses and permits for your food truck business, explore the links and other articles we’ve provided above and make a thorough checklist of everything you need to investigate. The list might seem daunting at first, but keep in mind that some contacts such as your local health department office may be able to provide answers to several of the questions at once.

Additionally, you should understand that you will come across more things to do as you begin going through your list. Simply leave some room (and plan some time!) at the bottom of your list to accomplish these new tasks.

2. Plan a Dedicated Time for Research

Some FoodTruckrs prefer to take a long weekend to knock out all of their research at once, and others would rather spread it out by spending an hour every night for several weeks until it’s done. Either approach is okay as long as you plan a specific time that will only be dedicated to researching, gathering, and applying for your food truck’s licenses and permits—and then stick to it! 

Try not to let little distractions interrupt this working time, as your focus and commitment to accomplishing this task is pivotal to your success.

3. Keep Records of All Your Phone Calls, Meetings, and Emails

Once you start researching the particular requirements for your area, be sure to keep detailed records of every one of your phone calls, meetings, and emails. 

For starters, the records will help you ensure that you’ve gotten all of the information correct and that you know exactly what you need and how to obtain it. 

These records are also an important safeguard in case you run into trouble down the line. If you’re facing problems because you didn’t have a particular permit or license in place or because you didn’t file one application the right way, it’s helpful to know exactly who you talked to and when you spoke so that you can resolve the discrepancy as quickly as possible.

4. Store Your Documents in One Place

This is one simple tip that’s surprisingly hard for many people to follow! Store all of your documents and the information you’re recording in one place. This includes all of your notes, any records you’re keeping on your contacts, and copies of applications or approved licenses you’ve received. 

You’re going to be managing a lot of paperwork over the next few weeks, and it’s important to know exactly where to go whenever you need to review a document. If you’re working with hard copies and electronic documents, consider scanning in your papers or printing off online communications so that you can keep everything in the same folders.

5. Be Sure to Use the Exact Same Information Every Time

As you’re completing applications and filing documents, be sure to use the exact same information each time. This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’ll need to be careful to keep things consistent if you have a nickname that you sometimes go by, a common abbreviation for your street address, or if you’ve registered a separate DBA name for your business. 

Make sure to use the same information on each new form so that there is no confusion down the line.

Get Ready to Move Quickly

You’ve been hitting the books hard over the past few weeks, and the day you can take your truck out on the road is getting so close that we bet you can taste it! That’s awesome news, and we hope you’re getting ready to move quickly and advance to Unit 6 of “How to Start a Food Truck.” 

In Unit 6, we move on to something a little more fun—your truck’s personal properties and the elements that will define your truck to customers. We cover branding, logos, websites, and social media, and we can’t wait to share these awesome lessons with you!

Until then, we’re also here to help out with any questions you have. Are you feeling overwhelmed by the number of documents and licenses you need to procure? Tell us how we can help in the comments below or send us a message on Facebook or Twitter. We’re here to support you as you work toward opening a food truck, and we’re happy to help with anything you need!

Want to learn how to build a subscriber list for your food truck business? One of our managing partners here at FoodTruckr has put together an AMAZING FREE GUIDE that will teach you everything you need to know about getting started with Messenger Marketing! Click here to get your free guide.

image by Brett VA

About the Author

FoodTruckr

FoodTruckr is the #1 online destination for current and aspiring food truck owners looking to succeed in the mobile food industry. Self described “food truck devotees,” the FoodTruckr team enjoys reading about successful entrepreneurs, salivating over photos of burritos on Twitter, and long walks through food truck parks. Chat with FoodTruckr on Facebook or check out the FoodTruckr School podcast for more awesome tips to level up your business.

The post How to Start a Food Truck 19: Organize Your Licenses and Permits appeared first on FoodTruckr | How to Start and Run a Successful Food Truck Business.

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3 Ways to Use Google Trends For Your New Food Truck Business https://foodtruckr.com/2020/05/3-ways-to-use-google-trends-for-your-new-food-truck-business/ Wed, 13 May 2020 21:22:55 +0000 https://foodtruckr.com/?p=20663 https://pixabay.com/photos/the-city-the-city-busan-busan-3515815/   Google Trends is a really powerful tool, especially for a food truck business. The name of the site speaks for itself: it helps the user to monitor the general tendency in users’ Google search. This priceless information may come in handy for you, a person who wants to start or promote their food […]

The post 3 Ways to Use Google Trends For Your New Food Truck Business appeared first on FoodTruckr | How to Start and Run a Successful Food Truck Business.

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https://pixabay.com/photos/the-city-the-city-busan-busan-3515815/

 

Google Trends is a really powerful tool, especially for a food truck business. The name of the site speaks for itself: it helps the user to monitor the general tendency in users’ Google search.

This priceless information may come in handy for you, a person who wants to start or promote their food truck business. If you use and understand how it works right, then you will feel the benefit it can bring you almost immediately. Here are three ways that you can use Google Trends for the sake of your food truck business.

Know What Is Trendy Right Now and Do Not Lag Behind

Trends are sometimes difficult to understand. While being a social media user yourself you have probably acknowledged that it is hard to monitor the trends when there is so much information out there on the Internet. Google Trends is a patient observer of this situation, not an active participator. It analyzes all the information users search and presents it to you in the form of tables and diagrams. For example, let’s type “food” in the search line.

These are the most searched phrases for the past 12 months in the USA related to food. As we can see, among all of them we can identify fast food, food delivery, food near me, Chinese cuisine and Mexican food as the most popular. If we enter “best food for”, among results like related to dog food, we can see that the prevailing phrases are “bets food for weight loss”, “best food for protein”, “best food for energy”, “best food for allergies”.

And among the related topics, we can see topics of weight loss, diet, stomach, allergy, vegetable and so on. Making connections to our own experience and observations, meaning numerous posts on Instagram and Youtube about a healthier lifestyle, weight loss motivation and tips, we can make the conclusion that healthy food is definitely trendy today.

Therefore, if we connect the two results we can make something unique – healthy Chinese or Mexican food truck. Why not? Take into account popular diets and lifestyles, like keto, veganism, paleo, vegan diet, non-alcoholic drinks, organic foods, waste-free cooking. If you add the service of delivery, you will get an even bigger advantage. It was a basic example, but if you spend some time digging deeper and exploring the tangled nets of the Internet, you will definitely find the treasure.

See What Is Popular In Your Region

Not all of us live in the USA, so let’s virtually go to Canada and find out whether the healthy lifestyle is popular there.

By entering “vegan” into the “Explore” line, we can see that the interest in veganism is stable and is continuing to rise and that it is most popular in British Columbia, Ontario and Yukon Territory.

“Healthy food” shows that it is a popular concept in Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta and that people are thinking about budget options to save some cash. If you open your healthy Chinese food truck in a region where, as Google shows, people show less interest in a healthy lifestyle or Asian cuisine, your business can be less profitable. However, do not be afraid of being the first.

Let’s analyze one more example – here is a map of Ukraine which shows the popularity of healthy food in different regions of the country. Some regions are completely grey, but there is no threat in bringing new concepts and ideas to a place where it is not popular yet.

Get More From Trends Results with Other Google Services

If you search for something in Google, you rarely get to the fifth or tenth page, because the results which matched your demand were placed on the first pages. However, it does not mean that the rest of the websites which remain on other pages are not relevant. Their titles are just made of different keywords.

If you have a website, then try to enrich its pages with as many possible keywords as possible. Those can be both the text that the site visitors read and site code which is read by the search engine. The greatest advice is to place six of the most popular key phrases in the meta title and meta description. These actions will bring your website higher on the list if one of those key phrases is entered by a user. By the way, Google Trends are also suitable for keywords research but it should not be the only tool for this task.

If you do not have a website, then you can use the service of Google My Business. This Google service is an online directory, which will help you to interact with customers more. First and foremost, you need to ask your most faithful customers to write a review for your business or at least put a star rating.

If you do not mind spending some more money on promotion then you can also use Google Ads, Facebook Business Ads and Youtube Paid Advertising. The best thing about Google Ads is that you can decide which region you want your advertisement to be seen and only pay for “clicks” – for ads that a potential customer clicked on.

Conclusion

As you can see, a free Internet site like Google Trends can be very helpful in your tough journey of food truck business building. Keep your eyes open on the insights you can get from it, find a supply gap and fill it with your food truck service.

Author bio:

Frank Hamilton has been working as an editor at review service Online Writers Rating. He is a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, digital marketing and self-education. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German and English.

 

The post 3 Ways to Use Google Trends For Your New Food Truck Business appeared first on FoodTruckr | How to Start and Run a Successful Food Truck Business.

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50 Food Truck Owners Speak Out: “What I Wish I’d Known Before Starting My Food Truck” https://foodtruckr.com/2020/05/what-i-wish-id-known-before-starting-my-food-truck/ https://foodtruckr.com/2020/05/what-i-wish-id-known-before-starting-my-food-truck/#comments Wed, 13 May 2020 07:40:55 +0000 https://foodtruckr.com/?p=76 Do you remember the enthusiasm you felt upon that initial spark: “Hey! I should open a food truck!” What would you say to yourself now, these many moons later? Would you warn yourself off, or encourage yourself forward?

We at FoodTruckr wanted to know, and we bet you do too. So we asked food truck owners from across the country one simple question:

What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you started your food truck?

The post 50 Food Truck Owners Speak Out: “What I Wish I’d Known Before Starting My Food Truck” appeared first on FoodTruckr | How to Start and Run a Successful Food Truck Business.

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Originally published in 2014, this article has been updated for 2020.

We asked food truck owners from across the country one simple question: What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you started your food truck? Oh boy, did you all deliver! 

From the cynical to the hilarious to the outright unexpected, you shared tremendously practical insights for any aspiring food truck owner out there. This is precisely the type of knowledge we here at FoodTruckr aspire to share in our quest to create a resource for the entire food truck community. From tips and tricks on compiling the paperwork to advice on fostering relationships with customers, consider this a crash course in food truck fundamentals taught by experts.   

Want to start a food truck? Check out How to Start a Food Truck: The Ultimate Guide

Regulations And Permits 

Hands-down, navigating all the regulations was the most consistent external source of frustration we heard. Luckily, food truck owners had plenty of advice about avoiding potential headaches. 

Want to learn more about permits? You’ll find more info in Lesson 21 of our How to Start a Food Truck Book

First, Do Your Homework 

Ben from Luke’s Lobster  (New York, NY)

Luke'sLobster

I wish I had known how anti-truck the NYC government is. If I had known that there was no way I could legally own a permit for my business, that it was illegal to staff my truck the way I staff a restaurant, and that it would suddenly become illegal to sell from a metered parking spot whether or not I pay the meter.

In short, if I had known that despite running an honest business I would have to operate in gray areas of the law at the whim of the NYPD, I would have been more prepared for the trials of the business.

Chuy from Mariscos Jalisco (Olympic, CA) 

MariscosJalisco

I wish I would have known how much the regulations would change over time with the general acceptance of our industry. I believe there needs to be a central location for all food truck vendors to check the laws and regulations of each county in California and eventually all states. 

Check out Lesson 5 and 8 in our How to Start a Food Truck Book for more info on food truck laws.

Stay Up To Date On Rules In Your Area 

Jordan from Mustache Mike’s (San Francisco, CA) 

As an owner, it can get quite confusing trying to keep up with and understand all of the different mobile vending laws and to obtain all of the required credentials. 

Each state and city’s requirements are different, but out here in California you need about a handful of different credentials before opening up your doors such as a California Seller’s Permit (from the state), a Local Health Department Permit (from the county), a city business/peddler’s license (from the city), etc. 

As a food truck owner you also need to have a Food Safety Handler’s certification and even your truck itself needs to be certified as well through the Housing & Community Development (HCD Department). If you operate in multiple counties or in different cities, you would need a whole new set of credentials for those locations as well.

Roy from Champion Cheesesteaks (Atlanta, GA) 

In Georgia, we are in the most regulated state in the country, strong in terms of what the health department required, and there’s no streamlined method of being able to get a truck approved because each county is different. It’s almost impossible to get a license.

Note: This food truck has closed since this article was published. 

Felix from Gillian’s Italian Ice (Suffolk County, NY)

GilliansItalianIce

When I bought my truck, I expected to be able to park it somewhere and sell without being bothered. This is not the case, and the special permit needed requires everything from a lease to rent the spot I am parked in to providing toilet facilities. The fine is heavy if you are caught selling on the side of a road, for example. 

Note: This food truck has closed since this article was published. 

Give Yourself Enough Time To Get Everything Together

Bollywood Zing (Smyrna, GA)

BollywoodZing

I wish I would have known what all went into the permitting process and how involved it is so that I could have been more prepared and ahead of the game.

Note: This food truck has closed since this article was published. 

Melissa from Melissa’s Chicken and Waffles (Orlando, FL)

MelissasChickenandWaffles

Check with promoters, farmers markets, lunch spots, etc. about their waiting lists for trucks. A lot of trucks come out with the thought that they will be able to bring their new truck to all these events, but sometimes the waiting lists are months, even years.

Note: This food truck has closed since this article was published. 

Finally, Don’t Be Afraid To Challenge Inefficient Systems 

Rachel from La Cocinita (New Orleans, LA)

LaCocinita

I wish I’d known that it would be so difficult to obtain a permit to operate our truck. That struggle—which took months—was what initially inspired my partner and me to start the New Orleans Food Truck Coalition back in early 2012. We spent a year and a half working with city officials on legislative reform, which were just recently passed by the City Council and the Mayor. 

Starting in January, there will be 100 permits for food trucks (there were previously only a dozen or so). Also, we have gained access to certain areas of downtown that were previously off limits. We increased the amount of time food trucks can stay parked in one spot. Most significantly, we completely eliminated the proximity restriction that prevented us from parking within 600 feet of restaurants.

Before You Hit The Streets 

Food trucks may seem like fun, but they require serious business planning to be profitable and sustainable. Many food truck owners expressed great thoughts on this very point.

Want to learn more about creating a business plan? Read Lesson 9 in our How to Start a Food Truck Book

Upfront Costs Are Higher Than You Realize 

Lisa from Two for the Road (San Diego, CA)

TwoForTheRoad

Expect it to cost you a lot more than you think to run your business. You need a license for every city you visit. Liability insurance will run upwards of $1,900 per year. Fuel costs are very high—most trucks only get about 7 MPG. 

You will be at the store or stores every day because you cannot buy in bulk, often because you don’t have the space to store the product. This means that you will often pay more than a regular restaurant does.

Want to learn more about insurance? You’ll find more info in Lesson 18 of our How to Start a Food Truck Book

Joe from Chef Joe Youkhan’s Tasting Spoon (Trabuco Canyon, CA)

ChefJoeYoukhansTastingSpoon

I wish I would have known how truly expensive it was going to be to get the business off the ground. Even with a detailed business plan, it was 30% more than anticipated. 

There Are A Lot Of Unexpected Expenses  

Louie & Daniel from Rito Loco (Washington DC) 

RitoLoco

I think the one thing that we wish knew prior to getting into the food truck business is how efficiently we could actually run the business. When we first started, we hired a marketing/PR rep—a waste of money! We spent extra money all over the place, but learned how to run a really lean operation.

Juan from MIHO Gastrotruck (San Diego, CA)

MIHOGastrotruck

Always prepare for the unexpected; truck breaking down, selling out too soon, preparing too much. The best advice I can give is just like any other business you venture into, “Do your homework and write a solid business plan!” 

There are so many trucks that rolled out that didn’t do the proper research and development, financial projections, break-even, and capital requirements. Without this essential piece you are setting yourself up to fail.

Note: This food truck has closed since this article was published.  

Do Your Research Before Hitting The Roads 

Leah from Babycakes Truck (Chicago, IL)

BabycakesTruck

I would have to say that I wish I had better understood the food truck climate in Chicago, where consumers are rather uneducated in general about food trucks and the city seems utterly opposed to the entire industry. 

I had researched the market in LA and New York and had some major misconceptions about how much money a food truck here in Chicago would realistically be able to generate in a day. 

The truth is, my food truck serves more as an advertising vehicle for other revenue generating channels, such as catering, food delivery and cooking classes. Though we do make money with the food truck at special events, the daily grind is just not that profitable. 

Sameer from Rickshaw Stop (San Antonio, TX) 

RickshawStop

No matter how good your food is, your business plan needs to be equally good—if not better—and vice versa. Do your homework about your market. Don’t think The Great Food Truck Race windfalls will be as easy as seen on television. It’s a business, not a cooking hobby.

Note: This food truck has closed since this article was published. 

The Day To Day Life 

Hands-on ownership is not a suggestion; it’s a requirement. And vacations are hard to come by. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves.

You’ll Do A Lot More Than Just Cooking

Stephanie from Seabirds Truck (Costa Mesa, CA) 

Seabirds

A few months into starting the truck, I realized that in order for us to grow, I needed to remove myself from the truck to have time for answering emails, booking stops, developing new menus, promotion and marketing, etc. 

With doing that, I had to pay about three people to replace me, and I noticed that the quality of product and service dropped. For instance, sometimes menu items would be served that were under my standards or we would open our doors for service later than we had on our schedule.

John from Capelo’s Hill Country Barbecue (San Francisco, CA)

CapelosHillCountryBarbecue

The food truck business is not just about your passion for food. It’s a crazy combination of business, time management, marketing and most importantly making people happy with your product. How you spend your time is extremely valuable to the success of your food truck business.

Food Preparation Is Surprisingly Time Consuming

Christina from Son of a Bun (Los Angeles, CA) 

SonOfABun

Before I got into the Food Truck Business, I wish I knew how time consuming it was to get all my product. It is difficult for food trucks to receive product deliveries, because a last minute event may pop up and you won’t be able to stay there to receive it. Now, I spend extra time in the mornings just driving around in my cars, shopping for ingredients

My advice: engineer your menus to be simple and don’t use too many ingredients or specialty items.

Want to learn more about shopping for ingredients? Click here.

Guy from Nana G’s Chicken & Waffles (Atlanta, GA)

NanaGsChickenAndWaffles

The amount of time you’ll spend shuttling food. I feel like I’m always at Restaurant Depot, Sam’s, or the local grocery store.

Scott from Streetza Pizza (Milwaukee, WI)

StreetzaPizza

Owning a food truck is a much greater time commitment than most potential owners think. Especially when you are making things from scratch. 

The amount of prep and post sale time is actually about equal to the service time. Something to take into account when you are estimating your labor costs in your P&Ls.

Being Your Own Boss Is A Major Time Commitment   

Paawan from The Chai Cart (San Francisco, CA)

TheChaiCart

I wish I had known that this business would really limit my ability to take vacations. I run three chai carts in downtown San Francisco and chai is something people have everyday. There are really no options for authentic and/or good chai in San Francisco.

My customers expect us to be open every day. It’s great to become part of people’s lives, but it does add the pressure of running the business seamlessly, without any breaks.

Nick from Slider House Burger Co. and Tortally Tasty (San Diego, CA)

TortallyTasty

I wish I would have known that it’s an endless cycle of long, long hours day in and day out. As Jacob Bartlett of the Mastiff truck said, “We don’t work full time. We work all the time.” And it has been my family business since 1926 so I have a very unique view on it that has kinda been warped by the online business world. 

There are tiny-ass margins and way too many people to deal with. And what I’ve found in this industry is that the most successful truck operators are the ones who 1) have a passion for food and 2) love people and interacting with them daily.

Matt from Scratch Truck (Indianapolis, IN)

ScratchTruck

The one thing that I wish I knew before I started is that the time it takes to make a truck successful. I am sure it is the same in any business, but I didn’t realize it would be seven days a week, 11 hours a day. 

If my eyes are open, I am working on the business in some capacity. It is all-consuming. I love it, but didn’t realize there would be so much to do all the time.

Note: This food truck has closed since this article was published. 

Jamie from Where’s the Fire (Apple Valley, CA)

One thing I wish I knew before starting this business is how much work goes into it. I mean I didn’t think it would be easy, but most outsiders just think “Oh my goodness your job is so easy, you cook on your truck for 5 hours and you’re done.” 

No! It takes so much time cleaning, shopping, prepping, menu changes & development, driving, on site cooking & cleaning, emails, interacting with coordinator, marketing, increasing catering sales, etc. 

Note: This food truck has closed since this article was published. 

Networking Can Make Or Break Your Business  

Kenneth from Devilicious Food Truck (Temecula, CA)

Devilicious

We have learned that this industry relies on the cooperation of other food truck owners, local businesses, and suppliers. There is more to the back end of the business which we didn’t realize before starting it. 

There is networking, finding reliable suppliers, and food preparation. Lots of food preparation. Basically owning a food truck is your life.

Timothy from Flatiron Catering Group (Los Angeles, CA)

FlatIronTruck

The food truck world is just like a restaurant, it’s dog-eat-dog, and no one is going to help you figure it out. The way to succeed is to earn respect from your fellow food truckers.

Note: This food truck has closed since this article was published.  

Booking And Working Events

Make food so good it sells itself…almost. Finding the right events and taking advantage of those opportunities is an art in itself.

Watch Out For Hidden Fees    

Stephanie from Seabirds Truck (Costa Mesa, CA)

The nature of the food truck industry relies a lot on chance and luck; you roll the dice every time you go to an event without a guarantee of sales. Sometimes you score big and other times you lose money. 

You have to rely on a lot on the word of event organizers that may exaggerate a little to get your truck to come. Or they may want a fee or percentage for you to be at their big event. You never really know what to expect, but with time you can start to understand the patterns a bit better.

Lisa from Two for the Road (San Diego, CA)

TwoForTheRoad

Fees are high to attend events ($200-$900) and many places you stop will require that you give them up to 20% back of your sales.

Mike from Garliscapes Food Truck (Orange County, CA)

Garlicscape

Booking, booking and booking. The ability to book the right events is the single most important piece to this “food truck” puzzle. 

When we started, I thought, “If we have great food, they will come”. That is true, but if you’re at a bunk event because you booked incorrectly, you’re out of luck.

Rhea from Neri’s Curbside Cravings (Los Angeles, CA)

NerisCurbsideCravings

Oh, how I wished I would have known right away which locations and events make the most! When we decided to get into the food truck business, we were ready for all the hard work that any business entails. 

Being in the food industry (having a family run business and my own share of restaurants in the previous years), I know that this is a business that requires a lot of patience, long hours and diligence.

Note: This food truck has closed since this article was published. 

Account For Prep Time When Planning 

Dustin & Kristen from Dusty Buns (Fresno, CA)

DustyBunsBistro

We wish we could’ve known the amount to prep for each new gig. After our first year, we started building charts and learned that wisdom only comes with time and trials. We hope to keep up with the ever-changing market and improve each year!

Jim from Jimmy Ray’s Bar-b-que (Woodburn, IN)

JimmyRaysBar-B-Que

Being at street, farmers markets, fairs, festivals, or special occasion vending are what adds to the fun of your business and definitely help in the bottom line. 

Try to make setup time, after you reach your site, a quick and somewhat easy chore. It takes us roughly 45 minutes to an hour to setup. Other trucks in the Association are setup in 5-10 minutes. We cook outside our truck, on a large grill, while all the others cook inside their truck.

Note: This food truck has closed since this article was published. 

Scout The Area To Find The Best Locations

Michael and Cheryl from The Burger Bus (Denver, CO)

TheBurgerBus

If possible, try to secure some locations to park your food truck. Find as many as you can, they don’t always work out.

Fishlips Sushi (Los Angeles, CA) 

FishlipsSushi

The one thing I wish I’d known: how to find the good location for serving!

Note: This food truck has closed since this article was published.

Maintaining Your Truck

We’ve covered the food side of the food truck business. What’s left? Oh yes, the truck. From temperamental transmissions to wonky power steering, your truck is both your best friend and your greatest adversary.

Become Your Own Mechanic 

Nancy from Kurbside Eatz (Houston, TX)

KurbsideEatz

One thing I wish I knew was that, I needed to get a job as a part time mechanic, if not, an electrician. I’m sure most will agree!

Justin from Bernie’s Burger Bus (Houston, TX)

BerniesBurgerBus

I would have become a diesel mechanic first.

Andrea from Border Grill (Los Angeles, CA and Las Vegas, NV)

BorderGrill

We designed and custom built our trucks. This has been incredible. Learning how to create a super efficient cooking machine. We can produce just as many orders out of our trucks as a restaurant kitchen ten times the size. We love the trucks!

Nic from Blue Sky Dining (Durham, NC)

BlueSkyDining

Be a better truck mechanic! Anyone can make a pan gravy, but can anyone replace their power steering pump?

Note: This food truck has closed since this article was published.

Research The Best Equipment  

Nathan from Oh My Gogi! (Oklahoma City, OK)

OhMyGogi

We are going into our fourth week now and my Gogi truck is a 1987 Chevy StepVan. She has who knows how many miles and a countless number of people who have tried to rig her to run. Me being a car enthusiast, I want the old girl to run properly. 

That being said she really needed a lot. Replaced the entire transmission, the driveshaft, tires, brakes, wiring, re-customized the interior, had the engine tuned up. But even now I am having some engine issues. 

The thing I wish I knew before starting would be to know which trucks run longer, have the quickest available replacement parts, which is easiest to maintain, and the pros/cons of diesel vs gasoline. The cooking, cleaning and serving are the fun part, even if I’m working 18 hour days. Sucks being stuck on the side of the road thinking about all the profits being lost on a Saturday night.

Joel from St. John’s Fire (Houston, TX)

StJohnsFire

Since I have been in the restaurant business for over 30 years the easy part was the menu and food. I think what I need most was some guidelines on the build of the truck

For example, what size of fresh water tank is needed for a two shift day? How much propane is need for a week? Generator size? Does an air conditioner really make a difference in a 130 degree truck in Houston summer? 

Note: This food truck has closed since this article was published.

Adam from Food Shark (San Antonio, TX)

FoodShark

I wish we knew that Honda EU 2000 generators were the way to go with generators. You can take them tens of feet from the truck, so you won’t get gassed out. It’s more for a place where you’re gonna set up and be for awhile with some space around, like we pretty much always are (not for a mobile city unit unless you have them mounted on top but then what a bitch to have to climb up there and start them every day). 

If you have a big loud generator on the front or rear bumper, you might give yourselves carbon monoxide poisoning which over time is not too good not to mention the noise. Anyway, portable, quietish, dependable generators which you can move fairly far from the truck will keep the occupants healthier, at least for Food Shark.

Splurging On Quality Equipment Is Worth It  

Wendy from W.O.W! (Atlanta, GA)

WOWFoodTruck

I wish someone had told me not to cut corners. I wish I had gotten a newer truck. We had so many repairs the first year we were in business. 

We had to replace the engine, transmission, all tires etc…if I had just taken that money and bought a better truck in the first place we would’ve been much better off.

Ryan from Dashboard Diner (Indianapolis, IN)

DashboardDiner

We should have built two food trucks instead of one. We have had great success since launching the truck in the fall of 2011 and are currently in the process of getting ready to build another one in the future. The food truck business is the future of restaurants.

Maintenance Will Be Time Consuming   

Julie from Sam’s ChowderMobile (El Granada, CA)

SamsChowderMobile

The one thing we wish we knew before starting in the food truck business is the amount of maintenance/repairs that would be required for our trucks. A typical restaurant deals with ongoing maintenance for the facility and kitchen equipment. With a food truck, you have those same maintenance issues, but in addition, you have all the maintenance issues that come with owning a heavily used vehicle. 

Our trucks serve the entire San Francisco Bay Area, as far north as Napa, and as far south as Monterey. Being headquartered in Half Moon Bay, they put on a lot of mileage, and there is constant need for them to be serviced, which gets expensive, and causes them to be unavailable for periods of time.

Evangeline from The Buttermilk Truck (Los Angeles, CA)

ButtermilkTruck

The one thing I wish I would have known is all the extra maintenance that comes with owning and operating a food truck; including, but not limited to generator maintenance, equipment maintenance, vehicle maintenance, etc.

Note: This food truck has closed since this article was published.

Connecting with Your Customers 

You’re nowhere without your customers. And your super-fans are the lifeblood of your business. Becoming a master of ceremony is just as important as becoming a master chef.

FT In Blog Opt In

Use Social Media To Your Advantage

Chef Heidi from The Flip Truck (Orange County, CA)

TheFlipTruck

The one thing I wish I had known before I began my business would is how critical a big social media push would have been to help launch the business. I would have put way more focus avenues like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the likes – connecting, announcing, introducing, giving offers, specials and a better communication effort to the world of social media. 

I didn’t realize the enormous community that relies on social media and had I started that focus three years ago, I feel like we would have come to a certain level of success long before we did!

Want to learn more about effectively using social media? Click here.

A Strong Brand Yields An Enthusiastic Response 

Mark from The Hogfather BBQ (Pink Hill, NC)

TheHogfatherBBQ

The one thing I wish I knew prior to operating The Hogfather BBQ food truck is that I never expected such enthusiasm for the brand

I thought people were honking at me because I was driving slow, but once they got up to the side and front of my vehicle they would take pictures, wave, and give me a thumbs up approval. It took some time getting used to that, especially when I was timid driving a large truck.

Want to learn more about building a strong brand? Click here.

A Strong Community Helps You Cope With Setbacks 

Beckie from Quiero Arepas (Denver, CO)

QuieroArepas

When disaster strikes you are convinced that no one has it so bad. Then, through talks with other owners, the knowledge you gain along the way and the building of an amazing repair person arsenal, you feel empowered that you have earned your place every day. There isn’t anything we’d rather be doing. We love our truck!

What Say You?

We’d love to read your response to the all-important question: What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you started your food truck? Please share in the comments. 

We so appreciate your continued input on this important topics because it helps to shape the future of FoodTruckr content. We’re here to serve your interests; we’re building this resource together. 

Images by pasa47, troismarteaux, meddygarnet, BruceTurner, Townsquare Media Albany, AlishaV, weeklydig, and Scott McLeod

About the Author

FoodTruckr

FoodTruckr is the #1 online destination for current and aspiring food truck owners looking to succeed in the mobile food industry. Self described “food truck devotees,” the FoodTruckr team enjoys reading about successful entrepreneurs, salivating over photos of burritos on Twitter, and long walks through food truck parks. Chat with FoodTruckr on Facebook or check out the FoodTruckr School podcast for more awesome tips to level up your business.

The post 50 Food Truck Owners Speak Out: “What I Wish I’d Known Before Starting My Food Truck” appeared first on FoodTruckr | How to Start and Run a Successful Food Truck Business.

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How to Start a Food Truck 15B: Choose the Right Truck for Your Business https://foodtruckr.com/2020/04/start-food-truck-15b-choose-right-truck-business/ Thu, 30 Apr 2020 16:13:39 +0000 https://foodtruckr.com/?p=1134 In the latest "How to Start a Food Truck" lesson, we explain how to buy a food truck that will support your business goals and allow you to make progress toward achieving your dreams. Learn about the equipment and essentials you need to get out on the road in this all new chapter.

The post How to Start a Food Truck 15B: Choose the Right Truck for Your Business appeared first on FoodTruckr | How to Start and Run a Successful Food Truck Business.

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We know how serious you are about starting a food truck—but are you ready to show the rest of the world? If so, there’s one decisive action you can take that makes your commitment to this dream evident: buying or leasing your very first truck.

In last week’s post, we showed you where to find food trucks for sale and explained the differences between new trucks, used trucks, and leased trucks.

To learn more about the pros and cons of new and used trucks, click here

It’s so important to choose a food truck that will support your business goals and allow you to make progress toward achieving your dreams—and last week’s lesson and today’s lesson are designed to help you find the absolute best food truck for your business. Today, we’ll cover more information on the equipment and essentials you need to get out on the road.

Ready to get cooking? Let’s fire up the food truck search grill by exploring the different types of vehicles you can choose!

Trucks, Carts, and Trailers

Though we usually talk about food trucks specifically here on FoodTruckr, our site is really a resource for everyone in the mobile food industry. Many of our favorite FoodTruckrs don’t even own food trucks—they’re operating from carts or trailers.

Which type of street food vehicle is the most effective way to sell your famous Philly cheesesteaks or organic hummus? While the vehicle you choose will be largely dependent on the local laws in your city, it’s still helpful to understand the benefits that trucks, carts, and trailers have to offer.

  • Food Trucks: If you find someone selling gourmet burgers and brats or fresh salads with fruit-inspired dressings on the side of the road, chances are good that the vendor is working out of a food truck. Many mobile restaurant owners go for food trucks because trucks offer plenty of space and lots of flexibility. Typically ranging in size from 14 feet to 34 feet, food trucks have room for the operators to cook and serve onboard the vehicle itself. Though you may still be required to prepare and store your food at a commissary, food trucks offer many aspiring street food vendors the perfect way to serve their tastiest creations.
  • Food Carts: If you’re interested in something a little smaller and easier to manage, a food cart could be right for you. Food carts are small and simple—just attach the cart to another vehicle and tow it to your selling destination. Some FoodTruckrs start out with food carts because they cost less and may be easier to manage. However, you should be sure that you’ll be comfortable serving from a small space. Food carts also cost less to maintain and may require less cleaning and care, but they don’t allow you to serve as much food at once and may not be as noticeable as a larger vehicle to people passing by on the street.
  • Food Trailers: In some ways, food trailers are similar to food carts—they don’t move on their own, so you’ll need to tow them with another, larger vehicle. However, food trailers are more comparable in size to food trucks. A food trailer generally has plenty of room inside for a good-sized kitchen and storage space for ingredients. With a food trailer, you’ll be capable of serving large crowds of hungry fans. Keep in mind that if you opt for a food cart or food trailer, you’ll need to ensure that your vehicle has sufficient towing capacity. Simply adding a trailer hitch to your two-door coupe won’t cut it. Ask your dealer what your car or truck can handle.

To learn more about the different types of vehicles, click here.

Basic Considerations

Once you’ve chosen a food truck, food cart, or food trailer, you’re ready to move on to the next step of buying a street food vehicle: selecting a model with the right equipment. Ask yourself these four questions to determine what type of equipment you’ll need to have on your food truck, cart, or trailer:

1. “What’s on the Menu?”

You figured out some general ideas about what you’ll be serving way back in Lesson 04 and in Lesson 09. Now you’re ready to put those plans to the test by figuring out the specific equipment you’ll need to create each menu item. Think about the preparation method for every single dish and list out the tools and supplies you’ll need to make them happen (including small details like prep bowls, tin foil, and spatulas). Then, think about how you can store every item (again, including everything from the actual ingredients to the tools and equipment you’ll need to cook with).

Did you decide to start out with a simple menu during the early days of your truck in order to make things a little easier? That’s great—but if you’re planning to expand to new offerings any time in the near future, be sure to also include the equipment and additional storage space you’ll need to your truck plan now. Upgrading the equipment and kitchen space on your truck can be costly, so it’s best to plan ahead to avoid making changes down the line.

To learn more about what to add to your menu, click here.

2. “Will I Work From a Commissary?”

Before you begin shopping for a food truck, you need to know whether or not you’ll be required to use a commissary. Many cities have health code laws that prevent FoodTruckrs from preparing and storing food on their trucks. Fortunately, if you’ll be working out of a commercial kitchen, you won’t need as much kitchen prep space and cooking equipment on the truck itself.

However, if your city does allow you to prepare food from the truck, you need to make sure that every piece of equipment onboard adheres to the local health code. Check your local laws to learn what kind of equipment your truck should include. Your city may also have laws about how much prep space you need and how large your sink should be, so be sure to read each policy carefully and to call your local health department representative if you have a question.

To learn more about commissaries, click here.

3. “How Many People Will I Serve Each Day?”

It’s a simple fact: when you’re serving lots of customers in a single day, you’re going to need more ingredients—and more room to store them. If you’re planning to work frequently at large events or if you’re interested in offering catering services, you need to plan ahead to operate from a large truck with lots of storage room. Though you could certainly take a hot dog cart to a major festival with tens of thousands of people, it wouldn’t be long before you ran out and had to head back to your commissary or to the grocery store for a refill. When you have enough storage space on your truck to meet the demands of your customers, you can keep on selling through rush hour without worrying about running low.

4. “How Many People Will Work on the Truck?”

Are you planning to man the truck primarily on your own, with only the help of a trusted partner? Or are you aiming to eventually have a full team with three chefs and a cashier or two? Your truck’s kitchen space needs to have enough room for every team member to work comfortably without rubbing elbows all day long. When you look at potential trucks, think about the layout of the space and how well people will be able to move around and work—especially when they’re trying to wash dishes, prepare chopped veggies, or use a scalding hot grill.

You also need to have a seat with a seatbelt for every single member of your team. If the food truck you’re looking at doesn’t have enough seats and seatbelts, you’re going to need to plan to have someone also drive a car with extra passengers to every stop you make. This is one point that is non-negotiable, so make sure to keep it in mind while you’re looking at your food truck options.

Are you currently doing any kind of email marketing or social media marketing? If so, then you should also be doing Facebook Messenger Marketing! Click here to find out more.

A Guide to Standard Food Truck Equipment

Once you’ve figured out how much space you need and what you’ll be cooking, you’re ready to start looking at food truck listings. To help you in your search, we’ve put together a list of the standard equipment you’ll find in many food trucks. This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, but it can help you get a head start as you figure out what you’re really looking for. If you see an item on this list that you’re not familiar with, make sure to look it up.

Here are some of the most common pieces of equipment that food trucks include:

  • Plumbing System
  • Compartment Sink for Dishes
  • Hand Sink
  • Drain Boards
  • Grease Trap
  • Disposal System
  • Water Heater
  • Freshwater Tank
  • Greywater Tank
  • Exhaust Hood
  • Fan Motor
  • Interior Lighting
  • Electrical Outlets
  • Fire Suppression System and Sprinklers
  • Awning or Ordering Window
  • Glass or Screen for Ordering Window
  • Interior Covering for Walls and Ceilings
  • Non-Slip Flooring
  • Generator
  • Air Conditioning and Heating
  • Storage for Utensils, Tools, Paper Products, and Cleaning Supplies
  • Storage for Food and Ingredients
  • Refrigeration System
  • Freezer Space
  • Stoves, Grills, Fryers
  • Warmer and/or Cooler
  • Food-Safe Prep Space

Many of these pieces of equipment will come standard in the food trucks you’re looking at, though you may need to install some on your own or pick and choose between the pieces of equipment that are most relevant to your business. Keep your ultimate goals and your city’s local laws in mind before committing to any one food truck design and before replacing any equipment.

To learn more about equipment, click here.

Choosing the Best Truck

As we mentioned last week, you should take your time choosing the best food truck for your business. If you’re looking at food trucks and not getting that special feeling that you’ve found “the one,” hold off a little longer until you find a vehicle that fits both the needs of your business and the dream you’ve been envisioning along the way.

Having trouble imagining what it will really be like to work on the truck? Try connecting with a local food truck owner and ask if you can see the inside of his or her truck to inform your purchasing decision. You can also ask truck owners what features they like best about their trucks or how their layouts affect their teams’ daily routines. The answers to these questions will give you a better idea of what to look for when you buy your own truck.

Finally, you should also find out if you need to have the plans or equipment approved by anyone in your local city or state government offices. In addition to placing strict regulations on all aspects of food truck businesses, many local laws also dictate that food trucks and their equipment must be reviewed and approved by a knowledgeable representative before hitting the streets. This simple step can help you get your truck licensed the right way the first time and save you money on costly changes and renovations later on.

Think you’re finally ready to buy your very first food truck? Tell us where you’ve found food trucks for sale and let us know how we can help you choose the best vehicle for your business! Contact us on Facebook or Twitter to share your food truck buying experience with our team and with the rest of the FoodTruckr community.

Coming up next week: we’ve got another in-depth lesson on the way for you! We’ll kick off May’s month of “next steps” with a comprehensive guide to buying insurance for your food truck. It’s a super important lesson with very practical applications that you won’t want to miss—so stay tuned!

Want to learn how to build a subscriber list for your food truck business? One of our managing partners here at FoodTruckr has put together an AMAZING FREE GUIDE that will teach you everything you need to know about getting started with Messenger Marketing! Click here to get your free guide.

image by Mike Linksvayer

About the Author

FoodTruckr

FoodTruckr is the #1 online destination for current and aspiring food truck owners looking to succeed in the mobile food industry. Self described “food truck devotees,” the FoodTruckr team enjoys reading about successful entrepreneurs, salivating over photos of burritos on Twitter, and long walks through food truck parks. Chat with FoodTruckr on Facebook or check out the FoodTruckr School podcast for more awesome tips to level up your business.

The post How to Start a Food Truck 15B: Choose the Right Truck for Your Business appeared first on FoodTruckr | How to Start and Run a Successful Food Truck Business.

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15 Online Ordering Options for Your Food Truck https://foodtruckr.com/2020/04/food-truck-online-ordering-options/ Thu, 23 Apr 2020 22:24:06 +0000 https://foodtruckr.com/?p=20474 It’s a time of unprecedented uncertainty for food trucks, and there are plenty of trucks and caterers out there wondering how to navigate a world without crowds. Thankfully, there are companies helping food trucks survive.  Take a look at this list of options for third party delivery & ordering ahead, to make pickup and delivery […]

The post 15 Online Ordering Options for Your Food Truck appeared first on FoodTruckr | How to Start and Run a Successful Food Truck Business.

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person ordering food online

It’s a time of unprecedented uncertainty for food trucks, and there are plenty of trucks and caterers out there wondering how to navigate a world without crowds.

Thankfully, there are companies helping food trucks survive.  Take a look at this list of options for third party delivery & ordering ahead, to make pickup and delivery easy for your business.

Order Ahead Food Truck Apps

Online ordering from your food truck gives eaters the ability to order for pickup, skip the crowd, line, and social interaction that tends to come along with a food truck. Every app and platform is different, so take a look and find what works for you (especially if you have multiple trucks or locations).

Here are a few options that may work well for you:

  • Foodtruck.pub was created to help your customers skip the line and order ahead. Their iOS/Android app lets you set up online and app ordering so customers can place an order for pickup or delivery. Here’s some of their features:
    • mockup of Food truck pub appUnique Ordering URL
    • Coupon Codes
    • Order Notifications
    • Menu Management
    • Future Ordering
    • Pickup or Delivery Orders
    • Order Throttling
    • Alert Customer to Pick Up Food

You can sign up with Foodtruck.pub here.

  • Best Food Trucks lets you take orders from any iOS or Android device. You’ll be notified through the app when you have a new order, and when it’s ready for pickup, your customer will be alerted via text. Afterwards, customers are prompted to rate their meal and provide feedback.
  • TruckBux facilitates online ordering with lots of different helpful tools, like adjustable live hours and sales metrics. 

POS Order Ahead

Leading POS (point-of-sale) services are stepping up to help the food service industry, adding online ordering and providing services for free.

Here are two great options:

1. Toast, a leading restaurant management platform, has launched Toast Now giving you the ability to quickly set up digital ordering channels like online ordering, a mobile ordering app, contactless delivery, and e-gift cards. You can keep your communities fed and keep revenue coming in with no upfront costs, no POS purchase required, and no commission fees. For more details, review their one-pager.

Sign up with Toast Now here

This video explains more about Toast Now:

 

2. Square has a service that makes it easy to create an online store to operationalize curbside pickup and delivery for your business. They also do e-gift cards, and are waiving all monthly fees for local delivery until June 30, 2020. Click here to learn more about how to set up your business.

Delivery App Options

Third party delivery has become incredibly popular with consumers, offering a chance to get your food out to more people without hiring any delivery people. Costs and prices differ based on the platform, so click around and see which one works the best — there’s also no harm in signing up for all of them.

Other Helpful Online Ordering Options and Apps

The below apps might offer a good alternative to the third party delivery apps. Much like the POS ordering systems, they let you set up online ordering yourself. Check them out to see if they work for you. The Ordering App, for example, has an integration with Google My Business, which puts a button on your GMB profile.

  • The Ordering App — Currently waiving its order fee until July 1
  • OrderEm — Geared towards food trucks, with Facebook integration for online ordering
  • OrderAgentPro — Easy integration, with unlimited orders and no commission fees
  • Order Grub App — Great for any platform, compatible with any operating system or device
  • App Lova — Tiered pricing for different services, with demos available 
  • Ordrslip — Designed for delivery as well as pickup

In conclusion, it’s clear that as a food truck owner you have a lot of options when it comes to setting up online ordering for your business. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the apps you’re interested in and ask questions. The companies that respond to you the fastest will probably be the easiest to work with long-term.

The post 15 Online Ordering Options for Your Food Truck appeared first on FoodTruckr | How to Start and Run a Successful Food Truck Business.

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How Food Trucks Are Coping With Coronavirus https://foodtruckr.com/2020/04/how-food-trucks-are-coping-with-coronavirus/ Wed, 01 Apr 2020 22:43:41 +0000 https://foodtruckr.com/?p=20255 We checked out what all the Foodtruckrs on our Facebook groups to see what they were doing during this unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic. What we found is a mix of reactions. Many trucks have voluntarily closed down for the time being and reassessing each week based on how their state and local government are reacting. Other […]

The post How Food Trucks Are Coping With Coronavirus appeared first on FoodTruckr | How to Start and Run a Successful Food Truck Business.

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g's taco spot on wheels hands out meals at Dream Center

We checked out what all the Foodtruckrs on our Facebook groups to see what they were doing during this unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic.

What we found is a mix of reactions. Many trucks have voluntarily closed down for the time being and reassessing each week based on how their state and local government are reacting. Other trucks have closed down simply to protect the public and their own families, especially if they have family members that are immune-compromised.

“We took the difficult decision to close [at the moment] over here in the UK! To be fair had we stayed open we probably would have been so busy but and this is the crux with an illness that spreads this quickly and hurts so many and yet can also be without symptoms I’d rather lose money and struggle and know I haven’t spread this thing or contributed to it’s spread so trying to wait it out!”

But some trucks believe that selling in a safe manner is a necessity to support local communities. After all, with so many restaurants closed, people have fewer options. Especially individuals and families that depend on buying hot meals and cannot easily prepare meals for themselves.

“We have residence in our communities that rely on restaurants for meals due to various reasons that are often out of their control. We are marked essential for a reason. It’s important that those who can serve the communities that they live in do so. We will stay open as long as we possibly can. We are taking lots of measures to social distance when not at work and use extra precautions while shopping and such.”

Below are quotes from some food trucks that are choosing to stay open and serve the public safely. (We’ve kept them anonymous)

1. Almost all trucks are being extra safe and cautious.

“We’re taking extra precautions. Nothing on the outside shelf. People seem to be distancing themselves by my truck and are very nice and working with me.”

“Just being xtra cautious of course. Seriously considering delivery next week too.. Our customers have been respectful of each other’s space so far it’s been thankfully going well. Also we posted a public service announcement of our safety measures.”

2. Some food trucks are experimenting with different payment models.

“Just an idea guys. We have gone to a pay what you can model and I’ve got to tell you it has worked out amazing.”

3. Ways food trucks are finding clients.

“Highly recommend reaching out to HOA’s, Churches, YMCA’s etc… people at home will need access to food and getting as close as possible will help with that. You basically have to require online ordering based on what we’ve seen.”

“I have been calling the businesses (within 10 miles around me) that are still open and that has worked very well for me.”

“Hi guys and gals just wanted to share some info with y’all. Yesterday my father and I made a few rounds at some local businesses to try and drum up some business particularly some catering. We have been successful in doing our local Lowe’s these folks are hungry and if you haven’t noticed very busy with this virus going on. Needless to say reach out to them we have been lucky enough to serve all their employees for the past two Friday’s. We also got hooked up with our local Sam’s club. Remember these places have shut down there snack bar so no food for there employees just wanted to share with you all. God bless be safe.”

“Hit up big neighborhoods and apartment complexes. You will be blown away how many people want to help you out to stay in business. We are killing it”

“We’re 3.5 years old and constantly growing. People look for us! We make pizza, both wood fired and New York style with 2 rigs. The last couple weeks we’ve had a lot of requests from people/groups/neighborhoods asking us to come to them and we’re turning them down because we just can’t cover it. We’re in Southeast Virginia.”

4. Using apps, marketing, and doing delivery.

“I’m still doing family pack orders through Street Food Finder.”

“Our state (Colorado) just went into “Shelter in Place” as of this morning. We’ll be heavily promoting social media since everyone is at home and on their phone. My friend who has a pizza truck is doing like $15k a week (3 weeks now). He said his business has been killing and rarely did deliveries. 90% of his business is delivery.”

“We’ve added delivery to our services and prepaid option using food truck pub app”

“We have only delivery. So they have to text us the order and prepay. So no contact.”

“I think every region is a bit different. Our daily sales have been slightly above average due to the support local push in our communities. Our nearest big city even has a group connecting businesses with customers and they’ve had several food truck threads.”

“No-contact delivery only:

  • Customers text order, I invoice them. They pay, we deliver. -Pre-orders are encouraged because we are trying to deliver all over the city.
  • My drivers wear gloves and change gloves between each delivery.
  • When orders are in and ready to go, I load their car up (backseat) so they don’t even get out and have no contact with me.
  • No curbside, no walk ups at all.
  • Also for prep, we rotate 1 person at a time to be on the truck. Every 4 hrs, counters and handles are sanitized. Using scarves as mouth guards while prepping.

It’s more work but absolutely worth it 🙏🏾 it’s so important that we and the customers have peace of mind!”

“I am doing curbside pick up from home, correct cash. All pre orders.”

Conclusion

As things continue to develop, it’s clear that every city, county, and state is at a different stage in their response. Food trucks in the middle of the country are dealing with things differently than food trucks in major coastal cities.

The one thing that is clear is that most food trucks are trying to do the right thing. No one wants to spread the virus but some feel a responsibility to go out and sell. Others feel that it’s better to stop operations and wait out the pandemic.

We hope everyone is able to get through this time and come out healthy and with their business intact.

 

The post How Food Trucks Are Coping With Coronavirus appeared first on FoodTruckr | How to Start and Run a Successful Food Truck Business.

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FoodTruckr’s 3 Most-Viewed Articles Of All Time https://foodtruckr.com/2019/09/foodtruckrs-3-most-viewed-articles-of-all-time/ Sun, 29 Sep 2019 17:15:36 +0000 https://foodtruckr.com/?p=18577 We want to close out the busy season and enter fall 2019 with style. And we plan on doing that by showcasing the three most-viewed FoodTruckr articles of all time. We hope the information in each article can provide tremendous value and help you take your food truck business to a new level. FoodTruckr’s 3 […]

The post FoodTruckr’s 3 Most-Viewed Articles Of All Time appeared first on FoodTruckr | How to Start and Run a Successful Food Truck Business.

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Food

We want to close out the busy season and enter fall 2019 with style.

And we plan on doing that by showcasing the three most-viewed FoodTruckr articles of all time.

We hope the information in each article can provide tremendous value and help you take your food truck business to a new level.

FoodTruckr’s 3 Most-Viewed Articles Of All Time

Sign up to receive the FoodTruckr Newsletter and we’ll throw in our free guide: 6 Free Social Media Tools to Get People Talking About Your Food Truck.

3.) How to Start a Food Truck 19: Organize Your Licenses and Permits

Preview:

In addition to the general business licenses and permits you’ll need, each state, county, and city may also have their own additional requirements for food trucks. Keep in mind that if you’re planning to operate in more than one city or county, you’ll need to know about the laws in each area and may need separate licenses and permits for each one.

Are you currently doing any kind of email marketing or social media marketing? If so, then you should also be doing Facebook Messenger Marketing! Click here to find out more.

2.) How to Start a Food Truck 15A: Buy or Lease a Food Truck

Preview:

We’re right around the halfway point in the series, and it’s time for us to take on one of the most exciting topics we’ve ever covered: how to buy a food truck. Like last week’s lesson, this is a pretty big topic, so we’re splitting it into two parts. Today, we’ll discuss where to find food trucks for sale and how to choose the best vehicle for your business, and next week, we’ll tackle some of the specifics of what exactly should go inside your truck.

Looking to take your food truck business to the next level? If so, then The Food Truck Growth Kit has your name written all over it!

1.) 50 Food Truck Owners Speak Out: “What I Wish I’d Known Before Starting My Food Truck”

Preview:

Do you remember the enthusiasm you felt upon that initial spark: “Hey! I should open a food truck!” What would you say to yourself now, these many moons later? Would you warn yourself off, or encourage yourself forward? We at FoodTruckr wanted to know, and we bet you do too.

Image by Peter H from Pixabay

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About the Author

FoodTruckr

FoodTruckr is the #1 online destination for current and aspiring food truck owners looking to succeed in the mobile food industry. Self described “food truck devotees,” the FoodTruckr team enjoys reading about successful entrepreneurs, salivating over photos of burritos on Twitter, and long walks through food truck parks. Chat with FoodTruckr on Facebook or check out the FoodTruckr School podcast for more awesome tips to level up your business.

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