Authors Posts by Richard Myrick

Richard Myrick

1551 POSTS 0 COMMENTS
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.

0 2386
farm to food truck

“Farm to food truck” isn’t a new concept to the mobile food industry, but at the same time, it is a term that some food truck owners aren’t aware of.

This is a concept of purchasing locally grown food directly from the source. The term which was adapted from “farm to table” comes from the idea that with less time and fewer hands for the food to get from the farm to the food truck, the fresher, more environmentally sensitive and community minded it is. This can include growing your own garden for sustainable consumption at home or for your mobile food business.

food farm food truck
FoodFarm Food Truck from San Diego, CA

Outside of the fact that you can greatly impact the economy of your community, health of your customers as well as the bottom line of your food cost budget as a result of buying from a local farm as your main food supplier.

Some of the benefits that come from the farm to food truck concept are:
  • Support the local economy. Money stays within your community, which in turn directly supports your food truck business. Advertise the information about the farm that grows your food. Engage your customers with your locally-minded concept and inspire your neighbors to support local commerce as well.
  • Keep inventory longer. Food that is purchased directly from the farm will naturally last longer on your storage shelves. It hasn’t spent time in a processing plant or on a delivery truck during the shipping process. It came straight from the ground to you, meaning you just bought yourself more time to think creatively.
  • Invest in value. Many local farmers will compete with nationally recognized grocery store chains, but at times may charge a bit more because the quality of product that is being sold may be greater. Local produce and meat is more likely to be organic which increases the value of your menu.
  • Create a local partnership. Building a business partnership between your business and local farmers, and other food trucks that support local business, can create a marketing network that promotes and sustains the local economy.

While it may seem as though there is no reason to join this movement, it isn’t without it’s challenges:

  • Buying meat locally. Buying locally raised and processed meat, fish and poultry can be challenging. The U.S. Department of Agriculture restricts the number of birds a farmer can process on site and does not allow any red meat processing for small farm operations. Because of this, the meat may have been locally and organically raised with an emphasis on humane standards, but the slaughter and processing of the meat animals are probably (with the exception of poultry) handled off site.
  • Finding off-season produce. There will be periods between planting and harvesting when produce may not be as bountiful. However, many farmers do have greenhouses where produce can be grown during colder months. Discuss off-season options with your partnered farmer or farmers ahead of time to avoid lack luster deliveries.
  • Setting-up in the city. Maybe there isn’t a farm just down the road from where your food truck operates. This is the case for many mobile food businesses, but chances are there is a farm within a reasonable enough distance to your urban area. Visit your local farmer’s market and inquire about locations. Learn about delivery options for your establishment, or show up early and stock up weekly at the market.

If you are interested in getting started, try one of these organizations:

Sustainabletable.org

Americanfarmtotable.com

The farm to food truck (table) business model supports your local ecology and economy. Many food truck owners who have joined this movement have also developed composting programs to assure that their business stays green from start to finish. Consider buying locally to strengthen your neighboring rural community as well as your immediate neighborhood’s economy.

Is your food truck already using the farm to food truck concept? Share your story with us in the comment section below, Tweet us or share it on our Facebook page.

0 1292
food truck signature dish
Kogi BBQ's signature short rib taco

The rise in knowledgeable food consumers has grown leaps and bounds since the increase of food related television programming. Because of this growth, it should be no surprise that the the mobile food industry has benefited from the new foodies in the world.

These foodies tend to be consumers who enjoy sharing information about their last, best meal through word of mouth and social media. A great way for a food truck to give these share happy customers a reason spread the word about their mobile business is to provide them with a signature dish to talk about.

Classic cuisine dishes have always connected diners with their roots or the history of the regions where they have lived or traveled. Your food truck’s signature dish can be a modified or elevated version of a popular dish from the cuisine your concept is built on.  By promoting these signature menu items, food truck vendors can take advantage of these customer emotions or memories and create committed fans and followers.

Creating Buzz About Your Food Truck Signature Dish

People show tremendous loyalty and enthusiasm for their favorite foods, and signature dishes give you the ability to find a way of sharing your culinary self-expression. In fact, many food trucks have started operations based partly on the culinary appeal of their signature dishes.

  • Signature dishes often incorporate local produce, seafood, game or condiments.
  • Most mobile food vendors specialize in cooking national, regional or local dishes that are popular with people from particular ethnic backgrounds.
  • Brand image and food consistency often have their roots in distinctive signature dishes.
  • Emphasizing history, preparation techniques or sustainable local ingredients provides rich marketing possibilities for food trucks.

Signature dishes could include appetizers, soups, salads, streaks, entrees or desserts. Regional favorites include barbecue dishes, Cajun and Creole specialties, crab cakes, chili and even Philly cheese steaks.

The cooking methods can range from simple and healthy to complicated dishes, it really depends on the technical skills of your staff to consistently recreate the dish. Not only can your signature items draw in local consumers, it can serve as tourist attraction if your market has a high flow of out of town foodie visitors.

The Benefits Of A Food Truck Signature Dish

An important point about a signature dish is that they can capture the imagination of foodies who can influence others to visit your food truck’s service window. Other promotional ideas to consider:

  • People who visit food trucks to enjoy their favorite foods often try other menu items and spend additional money on sides and beverages.
  • Window Servers can up sell signature dishes by explaining their history.
  • Food trucks can link their cuisines with local or regional foods, ethnic specialties and sustainable local sources.
  • Signature dishes can generate social and traditional media attention for your mobile food business, which will increase local market followers, and online visibility.

Food trucks often change their menus to keep pace with culinary trends, but your signature dishes have the power to serve as menu anchors for loyal customers and evolve to reflect new culinary trends and healthier eating habits.

Does you already have a food truck signature dish? If so, tell us about it in the comment section below, Tweet us or share it on our Facebook page.

0 2265
food truck marketing plan

Here are four time-saving tips to help you develop an effective food truck marketing plan while working on it less than 5 hours a week.

How much time do you spend each week growing your food truck business as opposed to running it? If you’re like 99% of mobile food vendors, your answer is probably, “not nearly enough.”

Running a food truck is a huge job that can keep you busy from the start of your day until late into the night. So it’s no wonder you can’t find the time to focus on marketing strategies that can help you grow your mobile food business.

The good news is, an effective profit-generating marketing plan doesn’t have to take weeks to plan and execute.

Today we’d like to share four time saving-tips to help you set up an effective food truck marketing plan that will help grow your business huge – working less than 5 hours a week on it.

… And yes, you DO have 5 extra hours a week to spend on your marketing, and we’ll show you where to find them.

Planning: 1 Hour a Week

The best time to do this would be every Sunday evening or early Monday morning, when most food truck business is slow. This allows you to create a schedule for the week ahead that identifies all the important tasks you need to accomplish and blocks off times when you can work on them.

We suggest that your planning hour is set at the same time every week, this way you’ll create a rhythm that maximizes your productivity.

Marketing: 30 x 3

In order to effectively market your business, you are going to have to stay on top of regular marketing communications tasks such as:

  • Updating your food truck website/blog
  • Responding to positive and negative reviews of your food truck on review sites such as Yelp
  • Creating graphics/posters announcing your upcoming special events
  • Creating press releases to promote upcoming events

The best way to manage this process is to schedule 30-minute blocks three times a week for yourself to work on these tasks. Again, if you schedule these 30-minute blocks for the same times each week you’ll  create a rhythm that will help you to be more productive.

Facebook and Twitter: 30 Minutes a Day

Facebook  and Twitter can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool for your food truck. Best of all, they’re free. It only takes a few hours to set up effective Facebook and Twitter pages for your mobile food business – and once they’re in place, you can rapidly grow a local audience and establish a strong connection with them.

The best part is you don’t have to spend more than 15 minutes a day on each.

We recommend you schedule your 15-minute social media break for the same time every day – maybe early in the morning when you first get to your commissary, or in the afternoon once the lunch rush is over.

During this time, here’s what you can do:

  • Send out a status updates or tweets telling everyone about your specials and locations for the day.
  • Respond to any comments, messages, or Friend Requests you may have received.
  • Write a status update letting people know how preparations are going for your next upcoming event. It personalizes your business at the same time as it reminds people about your event. comment that everyone can relate to, say, about the weather, or an upcoming holiday.

Have a Notepad and Pen With You

As a food truck owner, you spend a lot of time in your truck, dealing with your staff and customers. And all that time is time you’re not spending working on your marketing plan…or is it?

The truth is, when you’re in the thick of a busy day, the time listening to your customers and overseeing your staff can be when some of your best marketing ideas can come to mind. You might suddenly think up a status update you’d like to share with your Facebook followers. Or maybe you’ll come up with a great idea for an upcoming promotion or special event.

If you jot your ideas down as they occur to you, then you don’t have to bang your head against the wall trying to remember what they were when you finally have a moment to sit down.  This will save you a lot of time and aggravation and will help you maximize your efficiency.

By implementing these tips, you can get an enormous amount of marketing work accomplished every week. All you have to do is create a regular schedule for yourself and then stick to that schedule. You’ll be amazed at how fast you’ll see results.

Related: 5 Essential Pieces Of A Food Truck Marketing Plan

0 1889
food truck menu

In our consistent attempts to assist mobile food vendors across the country, Mobile Cuisine Magazine has produced a number of articles aimed at both new and existing vendors in areas that are most likely to effect the operation of their business. Today we have dedicated our writing to one such area, food truck menu building.

food truck menu

A good menu design is one of the ultimate goals to any mobile food vendor’s marketing plan. If done properly, it will expresses your eatery’s personality, focus your overall operations, promote you businesses profitability, establish your budget and keep your brand fresh in your customer’s mind.

What is the goal of a well-crafted menu?

Your menu is your primary means of businesses representation: It says exactly who you are and what you hope to convey personality-wise. It also should create enough of an impression so that it stays with your client long after they have ordered from it. In addition, it must convey your brand in a manner that makes diners excited to visit, want to come back and recommend it to family and friends.

What steps should you take before designing your food truck menu?

As with most creative endeavors, proper results can’t be achieved without sufficient research. In the case of designing the right menu for you, that means collecting data from various sources. Examine your own numbers first, such as your food truck’s prospective financial and marketing numbers and its sales mix.

Then look at your competitors: Examine their Web sites, menus and marketing efforts and try to see where they went right and how you could compete successfully with those traits.

After that, consider your typical locations and how they relate to the customers you attract. Knowing all of this, ask yourself the following:

  • What can my mobile restaurant menu offer that others in the area do not?
  • What menu items do we have in common?
  • How does our pricing match up?
  • Does my menu offer more variety than theirs?

Determining these factors will help guide you towards designing the right menu for your food truck or cart.

How should you design your food truck menu?

There are no rights or wrongs in mobile food vendor menu design. What works with some establishments will fail at others. However, as mentioned before, your menu should be an expression of your businesses personality. In designing it, think about how it will best represent your image and objectives. Are you classy and sophisticated? Fun-loving and wild?

A small, simple menu can be used to enhance a truck’s impression of elegance or simplicity. A long, item intensive menu can emphasize your festive side. Once you determine personality you wish to achieve, you can easily begin crafting the look of your menu to match that.

How should you arrange items on the menu? Should you use merchandizing techniques to help?

Design your menu in a way that mimics the dining experience. Arrange items sequentially, with appetizers, salads and soups first, then entrees, then desserts. Place star items on boards that contain more visual flair than others, and set markers or images around featured items to further draw attention.

Merchandizing techniques will further help this agenda and create a menu by allowing you to easily spotlight specialty and signature items, introduce newer selections and invoke an appropriate sense of personality. In turn, the techniques also make these items easier for your clients to find and recognize.

food truck menu boardWhat are some tips you can use to design your mobile restaurant menu?

Place your best selling items, or those you want to have the biggest draw, on the prime sweet spots of the menu board. These areas refer to the spots where the average customer brings his or her eyes to first, and thus receive one’s first attention.

Also, if room on the board allows, arrange your menu in columns. One column can reflect a sense of sophistication and elegance, where two or more columns can bring forth a sense of playfulness, etc.

Highlight spotlight or signature items in a way that draws attention to them: Boxing selections off within your menu works well at this, as does adding colors, images, labels and logos.

Naming items specifically or creatively (ex. Rojo Chicken Salad), and using active descriptions of the ingredients in the dishes, makes the food sound more enticing and exotic for the customer.

What are some common mistakes in food truck menu design?

If your menu creates problems for your customers, they may become apprehensive and less likely to return. Common mistakes include: Menu print that is too small to read easily; menu boards that lack English translations for non-English words or phrases; menus without daily or weekly special insets; entrees that don’t look like their photos; and misalignment of brand and menu.

How should you price your food truck menu?

Food truck diners are savvy, and often they’ll know how your items match up value-wise against your competition. In light of this, keep your more everyday items (dishes you can find anywhere, really) approximately $1 more or less than your competition.

Many customers do not perceive such increments to be significant, especially with dishes above $5, so there is some leeway there. Likewise, items unique to your truck or cart can be a little higher but also should not exceed the other items excessively. Doing so will make the latter more enticing to diners, especially those who visit your establishment regularly.

Also, to get a better feel for the sense of value you are promoting, take a picture of each item on the menu in a way that mimics the actual presentation on the table. After doing so, ask yourself: Do the items look like they are worth the price you are charging?

Could a change in presentation justify an increase in price? Is there consistency with the overall look or does there seem to be a wide range or inconsistency in the price versus its presentation? You’ll be amazed at what you discover when you look at the entire menu collectively through the customer’s eyes.

How often should you update your food truck menu design?

To keep your menu fresh, relevant and profitable, you need to know how each item is performing and how it stacks up against your competition. Conduct an analysis of your menu every six to twelve months.

During this evaluation, look at profitability analysis and competitive menu analysis and determine what works best and what isn’t working at all. Then make the proper adjustments so that your changes reflect your research.

Comparing your food truck menu with that of your competitors also helps. It not only opens more doors towards pricing your menu, it offers you a solid foundation on how to measure your profits. Performing a cross analysis helps uncover strengths and weaknesses in your pricing plan, specifically in terms of the way your items are priced and presented.

By doing this, you determine which items are most popular, which are most profitable, which need extra emphasis, and which need to removed or replaced.

We hope this article will help both new and existing mobile food operators maximize their businesses marketing plans by creating a food truck menu that shows who you are and coveys this with your current and prospective customers.

Outside of your truck’s wrap or your carts graphics, you menu is the first glance into your operation that a person on the street is going to have of your business. Do not squander this opportunity by putting up a menu that is hard to read or does not express the type of chef you are, or the food that you have created.

Did we miss something in regards to food truck menu design? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below, Tweet us or share your ideas on our Facebook page.

 

0 883
facebook likes

If you’re managing your food truck’s business Facebook page, how are you gauging the success of your efforts? If it’s simply the number of Facebook likes your page has, the following article is worth reading.

Facebook Like

The value of measuring what is and what is not working in your mobile food businesses social media marketing strategy cannot be overstated, especially in areas such as website SEO conversion where goals can sometimes get muddy. So when it comes to evaluating the success of your Facebook strategy, we want to be sure that you’re measuring those efforts correctly.

Why Use “Likes” as Your Default Metric

Why? That’s simple…it’s easy. For many food truck owners using organic (not bought) Facebook likes as the key measurement is a no-brainer. And on the surface, it does seem like the right answer. But your Facebook’s success shouldn’t be boiled down to simply how many people have “liked” your food truck’s page.

What Else Can You Measure

Revenue is certainly the one that should interest you most. Granted, it’s not easy to calculate revenue when it relates to social media. However, social media can be used as a way of driving traffic to your website where some food truck owners sell products, show upcoming parking locations and provide contact forms for catering opportunities; all of which can add to your mobile food company’s bottom line. These actions, by the way, can be accurately measured against your Facebook page as a referral source of traffic in Google Analytics.

Conversions that happen on your website as a result of social media traffic, though, are just one good way to measure success. Other metrics include time-on-site, pages viewed, return visits, and participation on your Facebook page.

Are Facebook Likes Important

It’s not wrong to want to have your food truck to be liked; we all want more Facebook likes, the same way we all want more visitors to our site, more customers at your service windows and more subscribers to your email list. But getting hung up on a single number is never good for measuring all the different kinds of work you put into your food truck business, social media included.

With all that said, please feel free to “like” Mobile Cuisine…we do use our likes as a metric of our social media strategy.

0 347
food truck tip of the day

Outside of food quality and service, the biggest issue for food truck owners is keeping a positive attitude with their staff and keeping them motivated. The interesting thing is, when your staff is helpful to customers, they will typically receive positive feedback.

Having a good grasp of food knowledge is one thing, but local information and recommendations can really make a difference to a customer’s experience. Build up your staff’s local knowledge and their ability to assist your customers and even those who may just be walking by.

Use this list to build a local fact file for each of the cities your food truck operates in for your staff, and quiz them from time to time to check if they’re offering the correct answers.

Make sure your food truck staff can respond to questions like these:

  • When did the business start, and who were the first owners?
  • If there have been other owners since, what has changed?
  • Do you do catering, functions etc?
  • What’s the website, phone number, and email address?
  • Where can I find a local taxi, bus, train etc?
  • Phone number and website for transport information.
  • Best place for parking – long and short stay.
  • How much does it cost – described in a way that makes it sound affordable.
  • Where is an ATM?
  • Where is the post office or where can I buy a stamp? How much does postage cost on a postcard or letter?

Local attractions and points of interest:

  • Places that would appeal to a family with young children.
  • Places that would appeal to people that like shopping.
  • Places that would appeal to a group of sport players who are staying locally for a competition.
  • Places that would appeal to people who like walks and outdoor activities.
  • A well-known tourist attraction – hours of opening and costs etc.
  • Local bookshops, fashion shops, music shops, gift shops and department stores for browsing.
  • Is there an internet café nearby?

There are many more but we wanted to get you started.

0 2206
food truck brand marketing

Conventional wisdom says building a strong brand for a food truck requires creating a cool name for your mobile food business, getting the word out about your truck, and enforcing brand message consistency in all of your future customer interactions.

However, conventional wisdom is wrong. Branding doesn’t create, build or strengthen your brand. Your food truck’s brand will always be a reflection of the quality of your menu and service. There are really no exceptions to this rule.

To understand why, it’s first necessary to define what is part of a food truck’s  “brand.”  Most people think a brand consists of exterior elements: the truck’s name, it’s logo and the tag line.

To get a general understanding of a brand, think about it in the simplest terms. Take yourself as an example, are you just a combination of skin, clothes, and what you say?

Food Truck Brand Marketing

The essence of food truck brand marketing is not your truck’s exterior elements, but how your customers feel about your menu items and service.

The purpose of the brand elements is not to create those feelings, but to remind customers of them.  If their feelings about your truck are negative, those brand elements simply remind them of how much you dislike the end product being sold from your service window.

The only way to build a strong brand is to create and sell food that delights your customers. If you fail at this basic step, brand marketing is not just a waste of money, but is actively counterproductive to your food truck business since every time someone sees your truck they will be reminded how they disliked the meal or service they last received.

Ultimately, if you want to build a strong food truck brand marketing strategy, put your time and money into creating and selling the best menu items as possible.  Once you have invested in this area use additional brand marketing to help spread the word.

A question to food truck owners: How long did it take for you to find the essence of your food truck brand marketing? We’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

0 992
zombie food truck

The Halloween is back and there will be ghosts and goblins wandering the streets in search of treats in the coming weeks. We have compiled some ideas for your use to help spark sales and show your customers that are in the Halloween spirit with them.

Spookify your Twitter theme: Many people feel as if one profile theme is enough and never touch it after they initially activate their account. Change your theme to match the season show your followers that you and your business enjoy Halloween as much as they do.

pumpkin food truck

Find a Truck Gathering: Throughout the country, more and more cities are allowing food trucks, and in those cities, the market is accepting them with open arms. A recent trend across California is festivals centered on food trucks. Find one of these gatherings that are following a Halloween theme. Show up following some of these tips, and you and your customers will do nothing but enjoy the evening.

Special Halloween Menu Items: This may be the easiest thing for food trucks to do to get into the Halloween spirit. Take a standard menu item, tweak it to give it a Halloween flavor, or even renaming menu items can let your customers know you are part of the scene, not just there for sales.

Costumes: As long as safety is viewed as the number one issue, ask your employees to dress up for the night. Make it fun for both your employees and customers. We don’t want to find out that any of you food truckers has gotten into an accident because you left your mask on while driving or has injured themselves while preparing their food because their costume was to baggy.

Decorations: Fake spider webs, jack-o-lanterns, spooky lighting, maybe even a little dry ice in a bucket outside of the truck. If you have a lot you plan to spend the evening in, decorate it for the occasion.

Halloween Music: This is part of the decorating theme, but something that can be over looked. Go out and buy a compilation CD of Halloween sounds or songs and play them for your customers throughout the night, just make sure to keep the volume at a level where orders can be given without the need to scream.

Candy for the Kids: Always part of Halloween, many parents will be out with their children trick or treating, if the kids are rushing Mom and Dad off because the truck next door is giving away Snickers bars, you are risking a loss in sales.

Contests: Hold a best costume contest at a specific time of the night. Not only will this type of thing be fun for your customers, it will give them more reason to hang around your truck (and buy more food). The winner could receive a free item off your menu.

We would love to hear from our readers about suggestions or tips that you think would work well for food trucks. If you are out tonight and spot a truck that is in the spirit of the night, take a picture and send it to us at admin [at] mobile-cuisine [dot] com. Who knows, your shot, or your favorite truck may be part of the next feature in Mobile Cuisine.

0 640
food truck budgeting

When you begin planning for the start of a food truck business, you need to understand the various expenses you’ll need to plan for. Even if you have previous experience in the food service industry, you probably aren’t aware of all the things you’ll need to plan for when it comes to operating a food truck. Because of the difference in the businesses, consider the following expenses and budgeting for your new business.

5 Areas To Include In Your Food Truck Budgeting

Startup Costs For A Food Truck

There are a lot of things you’ll need to purchase up front that aren’t cheap. First and foremost, you’ll need a truck. These can cost anywhere from $10,000 – $150,000 for a used truck to over $200,000 for a completely new custom vehicle.

Related: Mobile Cuisine’s Food Trucks For Sale

After you have your truck, you’ll need to outfit it with the equipment you need to cook the food you plan to sell. If you’re selling pizza, you’re going to need some ovens and prep tables. However, if you’re selling ice cream or shaved ice, freezers will be key components.

Related: How Much Does It Cost To Start A Food Truck

Legal Requirements For A Food Truck

You’ll need to make sure you budget for all the legal requirements to operate a food truck. This will include city, country, and/or state permits. These permits cost varying amounts, depending on where you operate, so make sure to check with every municipality to plan to operate in to know the exact amount and how often those payments need to be made.

On top of your operational permits, you will need to account for insurance. Most municipalities require some sort of insurance for your mobile food business. The specific type and amount of insurance you have varies by state and city as well. Plus, you may decide that you want extra coverage that isn’t required. Talk to your insurance agent to make sure you have accounted for the coverage you need.

Related: Food Truck Insurance

Monthly Costs For A Food Truck

There are a number of ongoing costs you’ll need to budget as well. Are you paying employees? You’ll have to budget payroll. Purchasing ingredients is crucial, because if you don’t have these, you don’t have a product to sell.

You’ll need to purchase paper products. What you need again depends on what you’re selling. However, a good start is plates, cups, napkins, and plastic silverware. You’ll buy these items regularly, since they’re used by your customers every time they show up at your food truck’s service window.

Recurring Costs For A Food Truck

Other costs will occur frequently that you’ll need to budget. One of the most expensive things you’ll need to think about the cost to fuel your food truck. Depending on how often you move the truck every day, you may find yourself going through a full tank quite often. This won’t be a monthly cost, it will in all likelihood be a weekly or even daily, cost.

Also, unless you are well versed and skilled in vehicle maintenance, you are going to have additional costs for things such as:

  • Oil changes
  • Tire changes and rotations
  • Other preventative vehicle maintenance
  • Kitchen equipment repair or replacement

These items are critical to account for so you don’t have to spend time that could be spent on the road, in a mechanic’s bay.

Extra Costs For A Food Truck

It’s extremely important that you budget for extra expenses. If you don’t, you’ll be scrambling when problems come up. Consider adding an extra 5-10 percent of your budget each month for unexpected happenings. This gives you a buffer if there’s a problem. Some things to consider are extremely large repairs to the truck or equipment, having to hire a new employee, legal fees, and more. Each of these can cause a lot of trouble if you haven’t put money aside for problems.

I have never suggested that running a food truck is an easy job, but over the years of covering this industry, I can tell you it is extremely rewarding. If you carefully develop a budget for your food truck before you ever get on the road, you’ll have a much better chance of success.

If you’ve run into additional costs we’ve missed or things you’ve included in your food truck budgeting, please feel free to share them in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

0 979
first food truck employee

If you have big ambitions for your mobile food business, eventually (perhaps even at start up) you’re going to have so much to do that you can’t do it all yourself. When that day comes, it’s time to hire your first  food truck employee.

3 tips to help you manage hiring your first food truck employee:

Knowledge First

You can’t just hire people, pay them with a wad of cash every two weeks and then lather, rinse, repeat. Start by learning everything you need to know about becoming an employer.

The Small Business Administration outlines the steps you need to take and everything you need to consider, like getting an employer identification number (EIN), tax withholding, wage and tax reporting, employee eligibility verification, workers’ compensation insurance, quarterly federal taxes and record keeping requirements.

There’s a lot to think about, but it’s manageable.

Now that you have the government’s blessing, it’s time to work on a hiring strategy.

Define Roles

When making your first official hires, it’s better to go with clearly defined roles.

That means taking stock of the tasks that you need a hand with and creating a position in support of those needs. Are you going to be working in the kitchen or working directly with your customers?

The answer to this question will help you to determine what type of skill set you are looking for in your first food truck employee(s).

Mind you, a little flexibility doesn’t hurt and helping employees spread their wings can help you nurture your food truck staff.

Food Truck Business Culture

Another important factor to consider before making your first hire is your food truck’s culture.

What values, traditions and practices do you want to shape your mobile food business? Once you’ve figured out what kind of workplace and culture you want, the better your chances of finding someone who shares that vision.

Once you’ve determined what defines your food truck as a workplace, look for hires that fit the bill. If your employees share your vision, they’re more likely to excel in their jobs and all stick around long enough to help you succeed.

BONUS: We now provide food truck employers and those looking for food truck jobs a great way to meet. Food Truck Jobs at Mobile Cuisine is the perfect solution for employers who want people who have specific food truck experience. Post your food truck job today!!!

If you are an old hat at hiring, what tips would share with vendors looking to hire their first food truck employee? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

Give-Network-Ad 3