Authors Posts by Richard Myrick

Richard Myrick

Richard is an architect by degree (Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, Michigan) who began his career in real estate development and architectural planning. In September of 2010 he created Mobile Cuisine Magazine to fill an information void he found when he began researching how to start a mobile hotdog cart in Chicago. Richard found that there was no central repository of mobile street food information anywhere on the internet, and with that, the idea for MCM was born.

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restaurant equipment

When outfitting their food truck kitchens most mobile food vendors have a multitude of options. Before you head out to start shopping, you’ll need to create a full list of the restaurant equipment your truck will require.

Once you have made a list of everything you think you will need to open your food truck. Run through your business plan, your food truck concept and any preliminary menus you’ve created in your head. This will help you with as complete as possible list of restaurant equipment your food truck will need.

No matter what option you choose for acquiring this equipment: lease, or buy  it new or used, here are:

3 tips for outfitting your food truck with restaurant equipment:
  1. Research your options. Besides finding local food trucks or restaurants that have recently closed, check out online restaurant retailers for deals. Look up auction houses that sell used kitchen equipment to find upcoming auctions
  2. You don’t need all the bells and whistles. Select simple pieces of restaurant equipment. If you pick up one of the high end options, they just present more opportunities for something to break. A simple gas oven may not sound as fancy as a dual convection oven with internal thermal sensors, but consider waiting until you have established your brand and have a good cash reserve to upgrade in the future.
  3. Learn how to haggle. Unlike original equipment manufacturers, dealers who sell used restaurant equipment are willing to negotiate prices just to get an item off their sales floor. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for freebies. If you end up purchasing multiple pieces of restaurant equipment from the same place,  if you ask, there’s a chance they will toss in something like a prep table if you are buying several larger pieces of equipment.

If you are looking to purchase restaurant equipment, please check out our Food Truck Supplier Directory to find someone near you.

Restaurant equipment dealers can list their business FREE in this same directory so feel free to pass this link around to friends and family who might be a great fit to help the continuing growth of the mobile food industry.

Do you have any additional tips for purchasing new or used restaurant equipment to pass along to our readers? If so, please add them to the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

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food truck tip of the day

Every food truck owner I’ve spoken with always comments on the amount of time they spend managing their food truck. Since there are only 24 hours a day, you can always get better at managing the time you have. The best way to do this is to figure out what’s eating too much of it – and what could use more attention.

Break down your work responsibilities into categories, and track how much time you spend in each every day:

  • Primary duties: Day-to-day tasks that define your job.
  • Managing: Have you hired employees for your food truck? Do you work collaboratively with them or do you have a manager? Log how much time this takes out of your schedule.
  • Admin tasks: The little things that seem to take too much of your time – emails, time sheets, event planning, etc.
  • Putting out fires: Interruptions. Urgent matters. Any last-minute issues that end up sabotaging even the best time-management plans.

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start your own food truck business

If you’re currently sitting at your desk or at home sitting on the couch, daydreaming about how to start your own food truck business, this is the article for you.

You already know that to start your own food truck business can be an intimidating process requiring a lot of hard work. But the idea has been with you day and night. Maybe you’re just unhappy with your current job or position in life. Or maybe you’ve always dreamed of opening your own restaurant.

Regardless of the reason, here are our…

20 signs that you may need to start your own food truck business:
  1. You’re a thinker. Food truck owners never seem to stop thinking, to some it’s both a blessing and a curse. Is this you? If so, maybe it’s time to stop thinking for others and do something to put your thoughts in motion.
  2. You have passion. If there’s one food truck concept that stays with you that you’ve completely fallen in love with, perhaps you could turn it into a reality. Food truck owners are truly passionate about what they do and will do everything possible they can to share their concept with the rest of the world.
  3. You’re independent. Are you a problem solver who will try to figure out most problems on your own? If so, then you may feel independent enough to build a food truck empire.
  4. You’re motivated. You don’t always need someone over your shoulder to get you motivated. Self-motivation is what you’ll need to help convert your food truck ideas into reality.
  5. You’re organized. Running a food truck requires an owner with great organizational skills. At some point you may want or need to hire some help (accountant or lawyer), but in the beginning you’ll probably rely on yourself to track finances and create your own business. You’ll never get that done if you aren’t organized.
  6. You feel stuck at your current job. If you hate waking up every day, then you’re probably unfulfilled. The idea of the standard 9-to-5 job just doesn’t do it for you. Determine if you need to change things up or if  you need to be your own boss.
  7. You feel a need to prove your concept. Let’s say you have a great concept for a food truck but everyone is telling you it can’t be done. What are you going to do about it? This might be just enough motivation for you to prove them wrong.
  8. You want to be the boss. Whether you just need to be in control or just don’t like taking directions from others, you have already shown you want to be the boss.
  9. You have a great work ethic. If you don’t mind putting in 12 to 18 hour work days multiple times a week, then why not put that to work for yourself?
  10. You hate working for others. If you seriously can’t stand taking orders and hate your boss; start planning your food truck exit strategy.
  11. You can’t stand being in white collar job. If you feel restricted at your current position, you could set yourself free and work where you want to work: in your own rolling restaurant.
  12. You’re creative. If you’re tired of having your creative food and business ideas go to waste, then maybe it’s time to get into a food truck kitchen and express yourself.
  13. You don’t mind getting your hands dirty. You’ll have to do plenty of grunt work as a food truck owner. And a lot of it isn’t going to be enjoyable. If that doesn’t bother you, then why not do these tasks for your own business?
  14. You’re a problem solver. Are you the type of person who takes responsibility for problem solving? Let’s say the generator on your truck breaks down would you be the person who not only fixes it but gets it running better than before? If so, chalk this one up as a sign that you can start your own mobile food business.
  15. You’re not afraid of failure. As a food truck vendor, you’re probably going to encounter a failure along the way. If the thought of failure doesn’t you, then this line of work could be for you.
  16. There’s a gap to fill. If you notice that there’s a market and no one else is capitalizing on your concept, then maybe you’re the one to do bring it to market.
  17. You’re a leader. Having a great concept is one thing. Being able to communicate it, develop it and follow through with it is one thing but being able to convince others to join you in your vision is another. If you have the leadership skills to rally the staff and motivate them, consider starting your own food truck empire.
  18. You’re a thrill seeker. While most people play it safe in life, you are the adventurous type. Nothing is more thrilling than coming up with a food truck concept and seeing it through.
  19. You have street smarts. If you’re one those unique people with street smarts as well as professional skills, then you might put those talents to work in your own food truck.
  20. You’ve always wanted to do something you enjoy. Cooking for others has always made your day, so instead of merely thinking about it, take a leap of faith and pursue your own food truck business. If you follow your dream, everything else could fall into place.

Yes, you can start your own food truck business without some of these, but it will be a harder journey.

A question for current food truck owners, how many of these 20 signs did you show before you opened up your truck? We’d love to hear from you. You can use the comment section below, Tweet us or share your answer on our Facebook page.

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sustainable shopping tips

sustainable shopping tipsShopping for organically grown foods can be as confusing for food truck owners as it is for anybody else. The different legal terms and jargon that companies use to market their foods can make it seem like their products are sustainable and humane, but it takes a detective to really figure out whether the food is what the farms say it is.

We put together this handy list to help you be as educated a shopper as possible.

Natural for non-meat products (FDA): In 1989, the FDA issued a definition for natural, stating that it meant nothing artificial or synthetic has been included in or added to a food that would not normally be expected to be in the food.

Natural for meat products (USDA FSIS)
: Can’t contain any artificial flavor or flavoring, coloring ingredient, chemical preservative or any other artificial or synthetic ingredient. In addition, the product could only be minimally processed (FSIS, 2006). Under this ruling, the definition of minimally processed includes: a) Traditional processes used to make food edible or to preserve it or make it safe for human consumption, or b) Physical processes that do not fundamentally alter the raw product and/or that only separate a whole, intact food into component parts, e.g., grinding meat, separating eggs into albumen and yolk, and pressing fruits to produce juices.

Naturally Raised (USDA AMS): Naturally raised on livestock and meat derived from livestock would mean that (1) no growth hormones were administered to the animals; (2) no antibiotics were administered to the animal; and (3) no animal by-products were fed to the animals.

Free-Range Eggs: There are no legal standards in free-range egg production. Typically, free-range hens are uncaged inside barns or warehouses and have some degree of outdoor access, but there are no requirements for the amount, duration or quality of outdoor access. Since they are not caged, they can engage in many natural behaviors such as nesting and foraging. There are no restrictions regarding what the birds can be fed. Beak cutting and forced molting through starvation are permitted. There is no third-party auditing.

Free-Range Chicken: The USDA allows for any chicken raised with access to the outdoors to be labeled free-range. Nowhere does it state that the chickens have to actually go outdoors; access is the only legal binding verbiage of that rule. They may still be raised in the same overpopulated poultry house-type production and be labeled free-range. Certified organic chickens may also be raised like this.

Cage-Free: As the term implies, hens laying eggs labeled as cage-free are uncaged inside barns or warehouses, but they generally do not have access to the outdoors. They can engage in many of their natural behaviors such as walking, nesting and spreading their wings. Beak cutting is permitted. There is no third-party auditing.

Knowing these terms will help you navigate through product purchasing and help you decide what’s worth paying extra for, and what’s worth avoiding.

5 Sustainable Shopping Tips For Farmers Markets

More and more food truck owners are going straight to the source to get their produce, meats, breads, and herbs. Farmers markets are one of the easiest ways to assess the quality of several farms in one morning. Here’re some tips for those of you first-timers.

sustainable shopping tips

Get there early. Check the farmer’s market website to see what time the market opens. Good farmers have very devoted fans and may sell out of food.

Ask questions. Get to know your farmer, and don’t hesitate to ask about his or her farming methods, tips for cooking or chemicals they may or may not use.

Look for certified organic or certified sustainable farmers. Certification means the farmers use natural methods to avoid chemicals that could harm your health and the environment. Learn more about what organic means here, and why organic foods are better for you here.

Bring your own reusable bags. Most farmers markets don’t have grocery bags. Don’t forget the chilled bags for your meats.

Check out what’s in season. Consult with a harvest calendar to see what’s in season, and then plan your menu accordingly. But don’t be afraid to try new things. Farmers are helping to keep heirloom varieties around, most of which aren’t sold at a typical grocery store anymore, so they may look weird at first glance.

If you have any sustainable shopping tips you think we missed, please feel free to share them in the comment section below, Tweet us or add them to our Facebook page.

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get more online customer reviews

For the average consumer, nothing eases their concerns about purchasing from a food truck than reading reviews from one of their other customers. With the advent of the internet, social proof is the new word of mouth proof needed to sway prospective customers into showing up at your service window.

It’s great when loyal customers take it upon themselves to give your truck a glowing online review, but did you know that statistically, most of your loyal customers will never leave a written review unless you ask for one?

All too often I hear food truck vendors say that, “If I provide great food and service, people will recommend me to their friends and family.”  While referrals are great, most of the time they only come when they are asked for.  Wouldn’t it be great if you could use that good will and put it online so hundreds of prospective local customers can read the social proof that you truly own an awesome food truck business?

Getting your customers to leave online reviews for your food truck can be difficult, but we’ve put together some steps that will help you attain a much better success rate in generating great online reviews.

4 Steps To Get More Online Customer Reviews

Make requests personal

If you want your customers to take action, take the time to ask them directly, and in a personal way.  By making the interaction one on one and personal you will increase the likelihood of getting a review.

Have a plan

When a customer starts raving to you about what great food you serve and you sense an opportunity, are you prepared?  Can you immediately direct them to take action?   Assemble an email template that direct people to one of several review sites for your food truck business.  When the time is right, you can open the template, write a quick personal note and hit send.

Time it right

If you just served what a customer considers to be the best meal of their lives and they are declaring their undying devotion to you and your menu, thank them and ask for a review.  Tell them you would greatly appreciate it.  People always seem to look to reciprocate when you do something nice for them.

Make it easy

To greatly increase the likelihood of getting reviews online, you have to make it super easy for them to leave one.  Nothing is more frustrating for a reviewer than having to jump a bunch of hoops just to register at some review sites.  Many customers will quit the process if it starts to get complicated.

Here are a few tips to follow to make it easier for your customers:

Yelp.  While Yelp has it’s many detractors, it can be a powerful source of reviews for your food truck business. To make it easy, upload your customer email list (you have one right?) to your email account as contacts.

Once you sign into your personal Yelp account, click on the “Invite Friends” tab on the menu bar.  Here Yelp will scan your contact list to see who has an existing Yelp account.  Those customers who have already registered on Yelp are more likely to understand review righting process and won’t have to go through the registration process to write a review.

Facebook Fan Pages.  Most people are on Facebook already so this should be easy.  Scan your Fan Page to see who would be a good candidate for a review request.

Google Places.  Though many people have Google accounts these days, many still do not.  Look through your contact list and see who is using Gmail and start with them first.

The key to get more online customer reviews is to make the request personal. Ask when it makes sense and to make the whole review process as easy as possible.  Obtaining good customer reviews is a long term benefit for your food truck business. Remember that if you can get just one review a week, you will have more reviews than most of your competitors.

Do you have additional tips on how to get more online customer reviews for food truck owners? If so, please feel free to share them in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

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food truck instagram account
Image credit:

If you haven’t created a food truck Instagram account yet, pause your reading and get over there to get that step out of the way and come back to finish this article.

All you will need is a username that ties into your food truck brand (hopefully it matches your Facebook and Twitter user names), and a few photos to get started. One of the things food truck vendors need to understand is that more and more consumers are paying attention to social media while they are outside their homes and offices, so nothing will grab their attention and draw them to your service window than some perfectly timed photos of your business and the food you offer.

You may be wondering how to market to your customers solely through images, but don’t worry, this article has that covered.

4 Steps To Properly Using Your Food Truck Instagram Account

You need to look at your food truck Instagram account as a means to provide your customers with exclusive access to special deals and an insider’s view of your mobile food business. Just as your other social media accounts, your food truck Instagram account should be engaging while at the same time should be operated in moderation .

Provide Exclusivity

Today’s social media society thrives on exclusivity. Not only do customers want what everyone else has, but they want it before everyone else.

Followers yearn for VIP treatment and first class service, in whatever form we can get it. Those on Instagram are no different. One of the best ways to provide exclusivity to your Instagram followers is posting a special code in the form of a photo and letting your followers share it at your service window to get a discount.

Giving them, and only them (don’t post it on any other social media platforms), this special attention is what will keep them coming back. Just make sure that posting these types of deals doesn’t become an everyday occurrence. Not only is it showing appreciation to your food truck Instagram account followers, but the lines at your food truck should also see a spike in traffic.

Give An Insider View

Instagram hasn’t always been about marketing and advertising for brands. In fact, most people view Instagram as a private place to share photos of themselves, their friends, and family. So make sure your food truck Instagram account isn’t strictly setup to sell.

Most people following your truck are going to want an insider’s view on what’s really going on behind the scenes.

Show your followers what it looks like in your commissary, the inside of your truck and introduce them to your staff.

Engage With Followers

Now that you understand what your customers want to know about your food truck business, let’s talk about the engagement of your food truck Instagram account.

You should follow your followers back (we suggest the same on Twitter). For that matter, don’t just follow them, but share the love and like their posts every once and a while.

As you should already understand, appreciation of customers (and potential customers) is very important. Following your customers back will also give you a better understanding of who they are. This will help you understand what types of posts capture their interest.

Post In Moderation

Everything in moderation is a phrase you need to apply to your food truck Instagram account. While you can get away with almost hourly updates on social media channels like Twitter; Instagram is a different animal.

Instagram posts are much more in the face of your followers. Posting too often is a the fasted way to get bounced off someone’s follower list.

So, have you already created a food truck Instagram account to promote your business? We’d love to hear how. If you have share your experiences in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

Related: If you want to promote special social media messages, head over to Social Surge to get access to our Free tool that helps amplify a food truck’s social media message.

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product portioning

tip of the dayProduct portioning is one of the most important facets of developing a profitable food truck. Not only does it affect your food truck’s bottom line, but it also helps build a stronger customer experience.

It affects your guests’ experience, food quality and food cost.

When someone receives a smaller portion of as particular ingredient amount in a menu item (say the protein in a sandwich) as the person standing next to them, customers usually take notice and many will get upset.

During your food prep process, inaccurate quantities of ingredients in recipes will change the food’s flavor and texture. Have you ever heard a regular customer ask, “What did you change in your sauce?”

Now you need to look at the issue of food cost. Consistently over portioning a $5.00 per pound product just half an ounce adds almost 16 cents to the serving cost. Now let’s say you serve 50 or those items a day, that’s $55 lost per week or almost $3,000 in a year and that’s with just ONE product.

Anything you can do to help you and your food truck staff do a better job of portioning is usually money well spent. Do you or your commercial kitchen supply your staff with the appropriate sized cups, scoops and scales? If so, do they consistently use them?

The new scales and slicing equipment that is on the market helps make it easier for faster portioning with much greater accuracy.

Make sure you conduct random testing. If you don’t do this already pull one item off the line each shift and weigh the key ingredients. If something’s not right, you will know right away that something is wrong and you can address the issue immediately.

So how’s the product portioning on your food truck? Any improvement in this area will give you great results in the areas of happy customers, lower food cost and ultimately a healthier bottom line.

Did we miss any areas where product portioning affects a food truck business in today’s Tip of the Day?

If so, please feel free to share them in the comment section below or leave us a message on Twitter or Facebook.

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are food trucks profitable

So, you’ve watched a few episodes of The Great Food Truck Race and now you want to open your own mobile food business but before you start investing too much time and money into this dream, you want to know…

Are Food Trucks Profitable?

The first thing you need to do to begin answering this question is understanding the simple equation of total of expenses divided by average entree cost, which gives you the amount of meals you need to sell to break even every month.

Let’s say you have $10,000 of expenses and want to average $8.00 per entree, this means you need 50 dishes a day, 25 days a month. Sounds easy, huh? We haven’t even included drinks, side dishes or desserts yet. So what do you think? Are food trucks profitable?

Well, hold on before you jump in and answer the question there are few more costs involved. In addition to the $120,000 in operational expenses ($10K x 12 months) you will have to include your start-up costs.

Additional Start-up Costs

  • How much is the truck you are going to work in?
  • Does the equipment in the truck’s kitchen work properly?
  • Does the truck have a working generator?
  • Does the truck you buy meet local health code, or are you going to have to spend money to get it approved by the city?
  • How much is licensing to operate a mobile food business in each municipality you plan to work in?
  • How much will it cost to get your truck wrapped so it properly explains your brand?
  • Are you going to spend any money on marketing your new business?
  • Are you going to be working alone or do you have to hire employees right off the bat?
  • How much will it cost to hire legal and accounting help to get your business registered?
  • How much do you need in the bank when you start to make sure you have at 6 months’ worth in reserve?

The list can go on and on, but if you leave those items out of the equation, you may answer the “Are food trucks profitable?” question without all of the data needed to come to the correct answer.

Now don’t get too too discouraged, once you begin the process of laying out your business plan financial section you can start working on ways to reduce your operating and start-up costs.

There are pros and cons of most start-up situations; here’s what to think about so you can assess your options when answering, Are Food Trucks Profitable:

  • Should I buy a new truck which comes with everything new?
  • Should I buy an existing food truck and save on start-up costs?
  • Are there opportunities to keep the operational and start-up costs down?

If you go full out, buy a new food truck with all new high end equipment and technology, you’re looking at about $250,000 in operating capital and start-up costs.

If you go the other route and get extremely frugal and able to do some of the build out work yourself, you can probably get away with $50,000 to $75,000.

If this still sounds way too aggressive for you, then you may need to re-think things. Maybe instead of just street vending, you will have to include frequent evening and weekend food truck events and catering to supplement your revenue.

So what do you think? Are food trucks profitable? Have they been for you? We’d love to hear your story. Reach out to us via email at admin [at] mobile-cuisine [dot] com, or leave us a mess on Twitter or Facebook.

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food truck business plans

A business plan is vital for most new businesses but it is an absolute must imperative for a prospective mobile food vendor. By creating food truck business plans, you do two things:

  • Show prospective investors that you have a clear foundation for getting your food truck up and running.
  • Learn about the different aspects of running a food truck, as well as finding out who your local competition is and who in your market will be your potential customers.

A business plan is especially helpful to those new to the mobile food industry. It creates a blueprint for building your food truck business, and will tip you off to problems you may not have previously considered, such as the hoops you need to jump through for licensing and health codes.

While most business plans have the same general structure there are some sections of your plan that will be geared specifically to food trucks.

Here is a breakdown of all the key parts of food truck business plans:

Executive Summary

Start out with an overview of the meat and potatoes of your business plan. Think of it as the introduction. Develop it so it keeps your readers attention. Here are two tips for writing an executive summary geared toward a food truck business plan.

  • Give the reader (potential investors) the basics of your business concept. What is the style or cuisine of food you’ll be serving from your new food truck, the name of the business and your primary parking locations (parts of the city, events, catering).
  • Explain why you are well suited to operate a food truck. Do you have previous cooking experience in food trucks or restaurants? If not, do you have any experience in the food truck business? If the answer is no, then you need to be prepared to sell them on the idea that despite your lack of experience, you are still the perfect person for this new food truck business.
Company Description

This part of a business plan is sometimes referred to as a business analysis. It explains in more detail (than the executive summary) to the reader the operation location, legal name and the concept of the food truck you want to create. This is where you will give details on your local competition (food trucks and restaurants), population of the areas you will operate and other information you have gather during your research.

Market Analysis

This part of food truck business plan is where you lay out your marketing strategy. There are three primary parts to a market analysis:

  • Industry- Who will be your customers? Is your food truck going to serve business professionals at lunch time? The bar crowd on late nights? Explain your customer base and why they are going to flock to your new food truck, not the competition.
  • Competition- Who is your competition? Many people opening a new food truck assume everyone will prefer their truck to the existing trucks in the area. Don’t underestimate them. Many of them have already built a loyal customer base, and attempting to poach customers from them will not be easy. Find out as much as you can about your competition, including their menu, parking locations and prices. Then explain in a paragraph or two how you will compete with the already established businesses.
  • Marketing- What methods do you plan to use to promote your food truck? How are you going to target your core audience? Many food trucks use free social media services such as Twitter and Facebook. Unfortunately, it takes a bit more to make it to the top. What is going to set you apart from your competition? Give specifics on how you plan to get the word out about the newest mobile food business in your market.
Business Operation

This section is where you explain about your when and where you plan to operate and what your planned staffing levels will be. You will also need to explain the benefits your truck will provide potential customers. This is also a good place to mention any close ties you may have with local food suppliers or local farms that will give you a competitive edge.

Management & Ownership

Who is going to run the business? What role will you play in daily operations? Are you going to be the accountant, driver, head chef and marketing guru? If so, how do you plan to get this all accomplished? Many new food truck owners start out on their own others bring in staff to help with day to day operations. Explain who is going to do what, including any potential employees whom you feel will be a great benefit to your new food truck.


Now comes the part of a food truck business plan that scares most inexperienced entrepreneurs. So how much is this mobile food business ultimately going to cost? This is where you want to list the projected growth of your new food truck empire. You should include a profit and loss statement that projects how much are you going to spend versus how much you are going to make. Other items you should include in your financial report include:

  • Break even analysis
  • Balance Sheet
  • Food Truck Industry Data
  • Possible Risk (show investors that you understand that all food trucks don’t succeed by explaining how you plan to pay them if you fall into that category.)

If you have additional suggestions for creating a food truck business plan please feel free to share them in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

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sales forecasting

With smart sales forecasting, food truck owners can plan ahead for the varying levels of business in the future. With properly done sales forecasting vendors can avoid surplus staff and unnecessary food purchases and preparation which will result in a nice boost to your bottom line.

Catering jobs provide food truck owners with 100% certainty for much of the time and business is booked and already paid for. This allows you to achieve lower food costs and consistent staffing levels because you can work with the exact numbers of meals you will be preparing and serving. This allows you to make spot on purchasing and staffing decisions.

So how can sales forecasting allow you to lower your margins for every day operations?

10 Ways To See Into The Future With Sales Forecasting

Maintain logbooks & diaries. Record customer numbers, weather, special events, the pattern of customer visit etc. You can use previous data from these logs to guide your mobile food business for the next few weeks or months.

Make sure your food truck staff understand the numbers. Do they know how many more customers to expect if food traffic will be 25% busier than last week or down 33% from last month?

Keep an eye out for local events. Adjust your daily operation times accordingly (sporting events, concerts and local festivals). This can be a great time to find a location to park specially to catch the crowds.

Find good sources for local weather. Use a reliable mobile app for your smartphone, or the most consistent (they’re almost never right) television weather channels that show weather patterns 7 days in advance. This information will help you determine if you will you need extra staff on the weekend.

Track the effect of changes in temperature, snow and rainfall. You may have to adjust your cooking and turnaround times based on the temperature.

Become more flexible with staff schedules. Explain about how the forecasted changes can affect business, this will prevent it looking like an unfair policy when their shifts are increased or decreased.

Create a staff standby system. If one of your food truck staff members is on-call, pay them an agreed sum to be available. Not only will you will build staff loyalty but your costs will be lower, even if you occasionally pay someone for just being home and watching TV. This will give your food truck staff confidence that they won’t be cut back but might also start planning for some bonus shifts.

Reduce ‘just-in-case’ over-staffing. Prepare your Plan B for an unexpected rush – it may be more profitable to maintain normal staffing levels but institute a smarter queueing system and ways to turn over customers more quickly.

Long term sales forecasting:

Watch population changes in the areas you operate your food truck. This goes for both residents and workers. Census data can help; unfortunately it isn’t officially updated every year. Paying attention to local news and statistics provided by your local Chamber of Commerce will be a more reliable guide.

This can also give you a guide to negative events that could hurt business such as a large business relocating from one part of the city to another (or out of town altogether) could mean the loss of hundreds of potential customers.

Watch industry trends (you can find those here at Mobile Cuisine). Keep your mobile food business ahead of the game such as faster service, healthy options, the newest obsession with ingredients and flavors, and legal regulations. All of these changes can result in the type, preferences and number of customers your food truck business sees.

If you are able to keep your focus on sales forecasting and sales building, rather than reactive steps such as cost cutting: your food truck business will soon see the difference.

Do you have some other sales forecasting tips you’d like to share? If so, please feel free to add them to the comment section below, Tweet us or add them to our Facebook page.


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