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flora indiana

FLORA, IN - The Flora Town Council faces an unexpected problem.

“To my knowledge this is the first time anything like this has come to town,” said Flora Town Council President Joshua Ayers.

A food truck run by Mitchell’s Mexican Grill of Delphi has started setting up shop in Flora. While local business owners aren’t opposed to the food truck, they said they are concerned that it doesn’t have to play by the same rules as they do.

“It’s not that they were against it at all,” said Ayers. “I think it hurt them a little bit on their best days.”

Ayers said local Pizza King owners, Tom and Peggy Stigers, voiced their opinions during a Flora Town Council meeting Monday. The business owners were not available for an on-camera interview, but Ayers said they claimed to be losing business due to the food truck. However, he said the food truck owners aren’t breaking any rules.

“At this time, the town of Flora has no ordinances of any kind for mobile food trucks,” Ayers said.

Ayers said although people seem to like the variety, he understands why the food truck is a problem for local businesses.

“Any business owner would be concerned about someone from out of town coming into town and not paying taxes,” said Ayers. “Just basically siphoning off the best part and then leaving.”

The town council is now considering an ordinance to regulate food trucks. Ayers said he and the council are researching food truck ordinances in cities of similar size.

Find the entire article at wlfi.com <here>

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food truck fire houston

tip of the day

Today’s tip of the day looks at how to put out fires that occur in your food truck or your commercial kitchen.

When a fire starts in these areas you need to act fast to keep the fire from getting out of control. But how you act depends on what kind of fire you have and where it is.

Follow these instructions for putting out food truck kitchen fires:
  • If you have a fire in the oven or the microwave, close the door or keep it closed, and turn off the oven. Don’t open the door! The lack of oxygen will suffocate the flames.
  • If your oven continues to smoke like a fire is still going on in there, call the fire department.
  • If you have a fire in a cooking pan, use an oven mitt to clap on the lid, then move the pan off the burner, and turn off the stove. The lack of oxygen will stop the flames in a pot.
  • If you can’t safely put the lid on a flaming pan or you don’t have a lid for the pan, use your fire extinguisher. Aim at the base of the fire — not the flames.
  • Never use water to put out grease fires! Water repels grease and can spread the fire by splattering the grease. Instead, try one of these methods:
    • If the fire is small, cover the pan with a lid and turn off the burner.
    • Throw lots of baking soda or salt on it. Never use flour, which can explode or make the fire worse.
    • Smother the fire with a wet towel or other large wet cloth.
    • Use a fire extinguisher.
  • Don’t swat at a fire with a towel, apron, or other clothing. You’re likely to fan the flames and spread the fire.
  • If the fire is spreading and you can’t control it, get everyone off the truck or out of the building and call 911. Make sure your entire staff knows how to get out of these areas safely in case of a fire. Practice your fire escape routes at least twice a year.

Do you have any additional tips for putting out food truck kitchen fires? Leave your tip in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

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awesome mobile food business

Over the years we’ve touched on topics crucial to running a successful mobile food business such as type of cuisine, parking locations, commissaries and selecting the right platform (truck, cart, trailer etc…) to serve your food from. In this article we’ll cover aspects that delve beyond those obvious concerns.

The key ingredients that matter most to creating an awesome mobile food business are your food, your staff and you. If done the right way, your food truck, food cart or trailer will thrive in the industry and stay on top.

3 factors that will create an awesome mobile food business:

Food Identity

Your food is your food truck business’ identity. You first must portray yourself in a very definable way to your customers so they can equate you as the go to spot for your cuisine.

Failure to define yourself is a huge mistake when trying to separate yourself from your competition.

For example, let’s say that there are a bunch of burger trucks in your area, which means there has to be something about your food that makes it stand out if you too will be serving burgers.

How To Make Your Food Awesome

  • Uniqueness. Get your customer’s attention with original dishes. If you plan to serve common dishes, add some flair and make them just 10 percent better, you’ll have an inspiring and stimulating menu your customers will get excited about.
  • Go local. Get some local farm fresh produce. Not only are you bringing in very fresh ingredients, you are supporting the local economy. Today’s customers do take notice of this fact.
Supreme Staffing

You need to hire people who have a passion for the mobile food industry, a sense of urgency when handling customers and a willingness to be part of your team.

The service experience is right up there with food when it comes to the top two elements to a great dining experience.

Your staff needs to work in sync because if they don’t, you could end up with reviews that minimally praise the food but ruthlessly criticize the service.

Customers want to eat great food but at the same time, they want to be treated like royalty.

How To Build An Awesome Staff

  • Processes. Create employee manuals containing your processes and procedures, and ensure they are updated regularly. This gives your staff a way to succeed as a unified team moving in the same direction. There is nothing worse than attempting to manage a bunch of individuals trying to do the same thing, each in their own way.
  • Outstanding training. Your food truck staff has to know their job. Ensure your staff gets thorough book training on procedures along with on-the-job training complete with food tasting and menu education. Basic training should also include job shadowing a veteran staff member. Don’t stop there. Expose the staff member to the other job roles within your food truck. This will allow for position flexibility in case someone can’t show up for work and leaves you hanging.
  • Solicit feedback. Always communicate with them and more importantly, don’t stop listening. Give real-time feedback and think of yourself as a coach to your team. You don’t have to portray yourself as almighty. Look beyond your ego and start putting your people first.

RELATED: Post Your Food Truck Jobs with Mobile Cuisine

Personality Plus

Food trucks don’t fail, people fail.

As the owner, you are the people. Whatever happens under your watch is on you. This could be hiring a truck manager who under-performs or not training your staff to prepare your awesome recipes consistently awesome.

Ultimately, the responsibility rests on your shoulders.

How You Can Become Awesome

  • Self-reflect regularly. The toughest thing for anyone to do is critique themselves. It is not in our nature to tell ourselves we are wrong. As a leader, it’s okay to be vulnerable and allow yourself to be exposed. That doesn’t make you weak; it actually makes you more authentic and respectable.
  • Ask for feedback. Ask your staff for honest feedback. Let it be known that honesty is the only way for you to improve as an owner. Don’t forget your staff extends further than just managers and service window staff. You should be listening to your line cooks just as anyone else. Customer feedback is also very important to the growth and development of your food truck. Let it be known that you want to know what customers think to make their experience better.
  • Keep growing. Food truck owners can always improve. What’s more, your staff has great ideas, so ask them. Your mobile food business needs to keep growing to thrive and it’s vitally important you grow with it.

Do you have any tips on how you created an awesome mobile food business? If so, leave us a comment (below), Tweet us or share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

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maple syrup fun facts

The internet is full of fabulous facts about everything from current events to the history basket weaving. Because of this, as we research for our daily content on food trucks, food carts and street food, we stumble upon some items of knowledge that we just did not know.

We have decided when these fun facts pop up, that we would share them with our readers in our section titled “Did You Know?”

For today’s Did You Know we will look at Maple Syrup fun facts.

maple syrup fun facts

The Facts: Maple syrup was first collected and used by the indigenous peoples of North America. The practice was adopted by European settlers, who gradually improved production methods. Technological improvements in the 1970s further refined syrup processing.

  • The Canadian province of Quebec is by far the largest producer, responsible for about three-quarters of the world’s output; Canadian exports of maple syrup exceed 141 million USD per year.
  • Vermont is the largest producer in the United States, generating about 5.5 percent of the global supply.
  • December 17th is National Maple Syrup Day.
  • Sap becomes maple syrup when it reaches 7- 1/2 degrees above the boiling point of water. At that point, it is 67% sugar.
  • It takes 30-50 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup.
  • Maple syrup is boiled even further to produce maple cream, maple sugar, and maple candy.
  • It takes one gallon of maple syrup to produce eight pounds of maple candy or sugar
  • A gallon of maple syrup weighs 11 pounds
  • There are three shades of Grade A Amber – light, medium, and dark.
  • The sugar content of sap averages 2.5 percent; sugar content of maple syrup is at least 66 percent or more
  • Usually a maple tree is at least 30 years old and 12 inches in diameter before it is tapped.
  • As the tree increases in diameter, more taps can be added – up to a maximum of four taps.
  • Tapping does no permanent damage and only 10 percent of the sap is collected each year. Many maple trees have been tapped for 150 or more years.
  • Each tap will yield an average of 10 gallons of sap per season, producing about one quart of syrup.
  • The maple season may last eight to 10 weeks, but sap flow is heaviest for about 10-20 days in the early spring.

Maple Syrup Fun Facts We Missed

Please feel free to let us know if we may have missed some maple syrup fun facts in the comment section below. We always love to add to these lists. If we can verify that the facts is just that, a fact, we will give the reader credit in the article.

Reference: Wikipedia: Fun Facts about Maple Syrup.

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sarasota downtown

SARASOTA, FL - The Sarasota Food Truck Alliance has been battling for months to raise awareness about Sarasota city and county regulations that they say keeps them from being profitable.

“It is hurting our business!” says Tracy Shenkin, operator of the Southern Smoke BBQ food truck. “We live in Sarasota, our children go to school in Sarasota, but in order to make a living for ourselves we have to go to Tampa, St. Pete, and Largo. Currently Sarasota has the hardest laws in the country for food vendors.”

County official admitted the ordinance governing food trucks is out of date. The county did meet with Food Truck Alliance officials on Tuesday in hopes of updating some of the rules, but the alliance says the proposal on the table would require them to pay more than $280 every time they stop — it’s a permit fee the vendors say they can’t afford.

County official say they are still in the early stages of the process.

Find the original article at mysuncoast.com <here>