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Food Truck Management

Running a food truck has never and will never be easy. Over the years of covering the food truck industry we’ve been able to learn many of the top tips from the most successful mobile food vendors to help you build your business and keep on truckin’.

Today we present our readers with…

15 Food Truck Management Tips

Lead by example

Don’t tell your employees to do something you won’t do, and if you notice that your staff is hesitant to perform a specific task, do it with them the first time around.

Learn and use local marketing strategies

Participate in local events can grow your brand and drive business for a minimal cost.

Focus on great service

In our growing foodie culture there are plenty of places to eat. Make a visit to your food truck a special place for the food and the way your customers are treated.

Keep the staff optimistic

Negative emotions are contagious. If your staff is feeling down (for whatever reason), their performance will drop and customers will quickly catch on.

Build trust

This makes it easier to clear up problems in areas such as scheduling or personal relationships, and helps your employees work together effectively.

Get in there and do it

When the rush hits, pitch in as needed. You’ll gain respect in the eyes of your employeesyou’re your customers.

Be consistent with your discipline

Don’t pick favorites, your entire staff will know. Maintaining a strict and consistent set of disciplinary rules with no exceptions will result in your staff trusting you more and sticking to the rules you set.

Plan ahead

Don’t let surprises happen. Keep an eye on your truck’s inventory closely and order as needed, schedule with vacations, special events, and extra tasks in mind.

Communicate with your team

Hold daily shift meetings, monthly staff meetings, and performance reviews. Keep your employees informed about goals (yours and theirs) and policy changes.

Be a leader

A food truck, much like a ship, needs a leader. You need to lead your food truck team. If you personally can’t be there, a manager should always be present.

Keep your cool

Don’t blow up at employees. You need to understand that mistakes are part of human nature. Instead of assigning blame, look for solutions.

Multi-task and delegate

Delegate where necessary, and do more than one task at a time. There aren’t enough hours in the day to do all of your food truck owner duties. Get the best mileage out of your time by maximizing it, and if necessary, have additional staff on the truck for busy shifts.

Know your food truck customers

Learn your regulars’ names, favorite meals, and drinks. Greet everyone you recognize by name.

Run and read daily reports

You will learn quickly that the data in these magical reports is your best friend. Look for trends, and see how you can improve your sales while cutting losses.

Calculate prime costs weekly or daily

Keeping a closer watch on this data will help you improve sales totals, inventory use, and profits.

Related: Food Truck Food & Labor Cost Percentages

Do you have any additional food truck management tips for new food truck vendors? If so, please feel free to share them in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

cold cut 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 Cold Cut fun facts.

Cold Cut Fun Facts: Cold cuts—also known as lunch meats, luncheon meats, sandwich meats, cooked meats, sliced meats, cold meats, and deli meats—are precooked or cured meat, often sausages or meat loaves, that are sliced and served cold or hot on sandwiches or on party trays.

  • There are three types of cold cut meat and poultry products: Whole cuts of meats or poultry that are cooked and then sliced (examples: roast beef, corned beef, turkey breast), sectioned and formed products and processed products.
  • March 3rd is National Cold Cut Day.
  • At Subway, every cold cut is made out of the same meat…turkey.
  • A few American favorites at deli counters are pastrami, roast beef, turkey and ham.
  • Most pre-sliced cold cuts are higher in fat, nitrates, and sodium than those that are sliced to order, as a larger exposed surface requires stronger preservatives.
Cold Cut Fun Facts We Missed

Please feel free to let us know if we may have missed some cold cut 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 Cold Cuts.

Find all of the National Food Holidays to spice up your food truck menu specials throughout the year.

oberlin downtown

OBERLIN, OH  — Oberlin residents may soon be able to add “downtown food trucks” to the list of reasons to be excited for summer.

Council members unanimously passed a second reading Monday to create an ordinance regulating food trucks in downtown Oberlin. Food trucks have been permitted in the city at special events in the past, including the city’s annual Juneteenth celebration, but there is not an ordinance that would allow and regulate food trucks on a more regular basis.

According to the proposed ordinance, a food truck owner would have to pay a $500 application fee, not park in diagonal parking spaces and only set up at times and areas decided by the city manager.

Though all Council members voted for the ordinance Monday, some were wary of the problems food trucks could cause for parking and local businesses.

“Where would a food truck zone be to handle four or five food trucks?” Council member Ron Rimbert asked at the meeting Monday. One of the few places a truck could park without violating the diagonal space rule would be around Tappan Square, something Rimbert said could mar the beauty of the area.

“I hope we would not clutter up Tappan Square with food trucks … that would be a shame,” he added.

Others, like Council member Sharon Pearson, questioned whether food trucks could hurt local businesses, especially if the truck owners are coming from outside Oberlin. Pearson suggested imposing a different application fee for out-of-town food truck owners, though her suggestion was not further discussed Monday.

Oberlin Business Partnership Director Janet Harr, who spoke Monday night, argued that food trucks set up in downtown Oberlin might actually bring business to the city. She referenced “Walnut Wednesday” — a summer event in which food truck owners set up in downtown Cleveland one day out of the week. Businesses, including restaurants, actually report higher numbers of sales when food trucks are parked nearby because some people don’t want to wait in line for the trucks, Harr said.

“So many people come for the food trucks … that they end up going to the restaurants,” Harr said, suggesting a similar “Tappan Thursday,” event for Oberlin.

Find the entire article at northcoastnow.com <here>

recipe costs

I have recently come to the conclusion that too many food truck owners do not have accurate recipes costs for their food truck menus. Recipe costs are the foundation of strategic business functions for a food truck such as menu engineering profit bench marking.

Unfortunately, food truck recipes aren’t typically written to determine accurate costs. They are generally written in standard cookbook terminology; instead they need to be viewed in manufacturing terms. Thinking about your food truck operation as a manufacturer is not common in the industry…although it should be.

Once this paradigm changes; food trucks will start to see improved profits and greater efficiency within their kitchen.

Use these two steps to determine accurate food truck recipe costs:

Step 1: Think Like A Manufacturer

The first concept is to understand what it means to treat your recipes like a manufacturer. The basic rule to follow is that anytime a product or ingredient changes form, no matter how simple it may seem, the costs involved in the change should be accounted for.

As an example, take fresh basil. When purchasing fresh basil from a local supplier, it often comes packaged with the basil is still on their stems. In order to make the basil usable, all the basil leaves need to be picked off. Although this is a very simple task, you need to account for the loss or the final weight of the leaves. If you paid $8.00 for a pound of basil and did not account for the loss of stem weight, you would have used $0.50 an ounce on our recipes…incorrectly.

Not everything has 100% yield. So in the example, we’ll say only 11 ounces were usable. This will result with a new cost of $0.73 per ounce. This is the way to accurately cost your ingredients.

Step 2: Convert Into Proper Weights And Measures

In addition to accounting for proper yields, the second piece of recipe costing is take your recipes and convert them into proper weights and measures.

For example, many recipes will call out for a tablespoon or teaspoon of an ingredient. Utilizing utensils ensures portion control and proper execution. However, for recipe costs, you need to account for the actual weights.

Just as accounting for the proper ingredient yields is important, it is just as important to account for the proper weights and measures to determine your food truck recipe costs for each ingredient as well.

Accurate recipe costs give you the ammunition to plan properly for food truck success.

With the growing level of competition in the mobile food industry, it makes absolutely no sense to make uneducated decisions. When dealing with your menu items, you need to understand the numbers to confirm that the addition or the removal of an item is the right direction to go.

While it might take some initial work and investment of time it is energy and money well spent in the long run. It will assist in improving the profitability of your food truck operation.

Do you currently look at your food truck recipe costs like a manufacturer? How long did it take to make this change? We’d love to hear your story. Feel free to share them in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.