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OUR LATEST POSTS

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public relations basics

Most food truck’s across the country lack the cash to invest in an internal press staff, so as usual, this task is just one more job an already busy mobile food vendor needs to take care of themselves. So what is it that journalists want when you send them information about your food truck or an event you are going to be part of?

public relations basics

Check out our public relations basics list of 10 Do’s and Don’ts for pitching a story to the press about your food truck.

  1. DO some research and figure out the right reporter before you pitch a story. All reporters have beats and Associated Press also has national writers who specialize in certain areas, including business, entertainment, medicine, health, sports and lifestyles.
  2. DO make sure your story pitch is national in interest and sharply focused. AP is for national and international news. Stories about local food truck events and a new menu items developed by a local food truck aren’t AP stories — but they might be a better fit at a local publication.
  3. DO write succinct press releases, preferably with bullet points noting the time, place and date of the event and a FEW sentences explaining the “what” and “why” of the story. Every newsroom in America receives hundreds of press releases each day by fax and email. Long winded pitches fall through the cracks.
  4. DON’T shop your story around to multiple reporters at once. If one reporter turns down your pitch, it’s likely all reporters will turn it down. If a reporter can’t handle your pitch or it isn’t in their beat area but he or she thinks it has interest, the reporter will pass it along to the appropriate person. Please keep in mind, they talk to each other and pass along pitches all the time.
  5. DO tell reporters that if (despite no. 4) you’re sending a pitch to multiple people within the same newsroom. If a reporter begins a story based on a pitch, only to find out one or two other reporters in other departments or beats have done the same thing, this will make reporters more cautious the next time you pitch something.
  6. DON’T call to follow up on a pitch. If they are interested, they will call or email to let you know.
  7. DO take no for an answer. Nothing drives a reporter crazier than getting multiple pitches for the same story from the same person after they’ve said no once, twice or even three times or having a spokesperson argue on the phone over a “no” response. If you accept a no this time, maybe the next time they will work with you. If you drive them nuts when they are on deadline, that won’t happen.
  8. If you really have a great story, DON’T wait until the day before, or even two days before, to pitch it. The best stories may require a week or more of planning and reporting. Too often, pitches that could have been a good story, but we are first notified of them the day of the event or the day before. That’s just not enough time to turn around a story, alert all the editors, coordinate any video or photo coverage and edit the piece.
  9. DON’T assume you know everything about pitching the media. Media is ever changing and fast moving. With the proliferation of news sites on the Internet popping up daily, news comes in many forms and we can all learn a thing or two!
  10. DO be consistent and send news out regularly. One day your food truck story may be the one that gets chosen to follow.

If you and your food truck follow other rules that would fit into a list of public relations basics, please feel free to share them in the comment section below.

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smiling-bison-cart

ORLANDO, FL - Thieves stole more than $6,000 worth of equipment from behind the popular Orlando restaurant The Smiling Bison early Tuesday morning, according to a report from Orlando Police.  Co-owner Joshua Oakley knew something was wrong as soon as he pulled up to the back of the restaurant.

“Our cart is always chained up out there, and obviously it stuck out like a sore thumb. I knew it was gone right away, and there was only one possibility. I knew it had been stolen.”

The report says the thieves cut several chains and 4 locks to remove the food cart from the property, and a piece of the tail light was still laying on the ground Wednesday. Oakley says they also managed to cut two more locks and several chains in a storage area fenced in behind the eatery.

“All of our empty kegs that had been chained up, all of our propane tanks for the cart and for our smoker that had been chained up, and then our smoker itself were just gone.”

Oakley tells FOX 35 it’s business as usual inside the restaurant, but they have lost a key marketing tool and a way to make extra money by going to events.

“Everybody knows about the cart, so and it has always just had a big following, and it still is a big part of our business even though obviously the restaurant is bigger.”

Oakley is hoping someone will spot the cart and its recognizable “hot hot” sign on the side.

“We’re just really disappointed, you know?  We’ve put our entire, all of our eggs into one basket being this business, and just really trying to make it work,” says Oakley.  “It’s really frustrating when my partner and I have been here 100-plus hours a week for a year straight, just trying to make this place happen for our selves and for the town, and you lose a little faith in humanity I guess.”

Orlando Police are asking anyone with information to call them or Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).

Find the original article at myfoxorlando.com <here>

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Food+truck+explosion+mother+daughter+picture

PHILADELPHIA, PA - A mother and daughter in Philadelphia who were injured earlier this month after a propane tank exploded in the back of a food truck have died from their injuries, according to a family member.

Jaylin Landaverry, 17, and her mother, 42-year-old Olga Galdernez both passed away, according to Landaverry’s brother and Galdernez’s son, Marco Hernandez. A family friend told NBC10′s sister station Telemundo 62 that Galdernez succumbed to her injuries Sunday afternoon while Landaverry died Tuesday night around 7 p.m.

Back on July 1, the mother and daughter were working inside their food truck, La Parrillada Chapina, at 3rd Street and Wyoming Avenue when the 100-pound tank blew around 5:30 p.m.
The truck was equipped with two such tanks filled with gas.

Investigators believe propane vapor began leaking from one tank and filled the truck. A flame from the grill inside the mobile restaurant provided the spark, officials said. Witnesses told detectives they smelled gas before the blast.

The propane fueled a fireball that engulfed the truck, the street and surrounding sidewalks. One tank was blown 95 feet away into the backyard of a home nearby, police said.

Galdemez’s husband spent 20 minutes at the scene of the explosion the next morning talking with investigators from the Philadelphia Police Department, the Philadelphia Fire Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The truck was properly licensed to operate, officials said.

Find the entire article at nbcphiladelphia.com <here>

Our thoughts go out to the family and friends.

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discover local flavors

Over the years, I’ve written a lot about using local ingredients and products as a way food truck owners can separate themselves from the competition. Today I want to take that idea a step further to discuss local tastes or better yet, how to discover local flavors to inspire your next food truck creation.

If you’re a mobile food vendor looking for a way to excite potential customers and create a niche in the community you operate in, there might not be any better way than researching local flavors. Every town has the typical list of fast food, fast casual, burger joints, diners, and pizza places. What’s a better way to stand out (other than having a kitchen is on wheels) than offering something specific to the region your food truck calls home?

Discover Local Flavors

What this means depends on the course of meals you serve from your truck as well as where you typically park. Regardless of the ingredients, flavors, and dishes that are native to your hometown, a strategy like this means moving away from developing a menu based on the demand of the masses and toward a food truck menu based on something unique that people might not realize they want.

If this sounds risky, that’s probably because it might be. But it’s not as though using unique flavors and ingredients means making and serving weird food. You can use local influence to put your personal twist on a popular, mainstream dish.

Consumers Have Changed

If you’ve missed it, the average consumer has developed much more interest in the flavor of the food they purchase. Food truck customers typically ignore the old standbys and safe choices. They are a demographic that enjoys watching food television, trying new cuisines, and exploring food establishments that previous generations may have passed by.

The era of the celebrity chef has taught television watching foodies how to be adventurous and try the best local food any given place has to offer. When it comes to your location, that could be your food truck; that should be your food truck!

Research Local Flavors

If you’re looking for something new to add to your food truck menu, it might be time to study the flavors and ingredients that are indigenous to your local community. Speak with local farmers or better yet, if you have a local food historian (yes they exist) track them down and find out the food history of your area.

Determine how you can use the history of food and the local ingredients and flavors to influence your menu. Think about different twists can you put on old favorites to make them truly local, truly worth the locals tracking you down at next food truck location or for those traveling to seek out your food truck service window on their way through town.

I’m betting with the ingenuity I’ve seen come out of the kitchens of food trucks around the country; you can come up with something absolutely amazing.

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durham food trucks

 — For a little extra summer cash, Demosthenes “Demo” Megaloudis, 12, and his brother Alexandrous “Alex,” 11, often help their parents take orders and load supplies onto Gussy’s Greek Food truck.

But on Tuesday, they were donating their time. Following through on an idea inspired by their father and their parish, St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church of Durham – the boys helped serve a free lunch dedicated to the men trying to restart their lives at Durham Rescue Mission.

Although they had served with the food truck at St. Barbara, they wanted to do something more. They considered a homeless shelter as as an ideal, and landed on Durham since their family is heavily invested in the city.

Along with three other food trucks, Stuft, Chick-N-Que, and Not Just Icing, Gussy’s Greek Food gave away a total of 210 meals of barbecue, gourmet potatoes, gyros and cupcakes from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Spotty rain showers did not deter the men, who stood in steady lines in the East Main Street campus parking lot for the food before returning to class at the mission or to shifts at work.

During the past few years, food trucks have become a fixture of the Triangle, growing in rapid numbers and creating a family-like community, said Gus Megaloudis, owner of Gussy’s Greek Food.

Apparently, they are a family characterized by being eager to serve, donating a day’s wages and a truckload of $5 to $8 meals.

Not Just Icing served around 180 of their $3 cupcakes in less than two hours.

“I made four calls, and I got four trucks,” said Megaloudis, although one truck’s generator died at the last minute.

Megaloudis said that the day cost him about $500 to $600 in meals.

“There are some things money cannot make you feel,” Megaloudis said.

The giveaway saved the mission about $430 the center would have spent on the men’s lunch. Tony Gooch, director of developmental operations at the mission, said summers can be difficult as the food banks become lower on food and donations slow when people leave for vacation.

Find the entire article at newsobserver.com <here>

 

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menu food truck toronto

TORONTO, CANADA – Summer is the season for food trucks, but many vendors say despite the new regulations it’s still a challenge doing business in the city.

“That’s the hardest part. There is nowhere to park cause there are restaurants all over Toronto,” said Bryan Siu-Chong who is co-founder of MeNU Food Truck.

On Tuesday afternoon, MeNU Food Truck was parked along University, just outside Toronto General Hospital. When Global News was there, a security guard approached Siu-Chong at the truck to tell them they were not supposed to be there – apparently, because there was a food court in the hospital, they were violating the 50-metre rule.

Global News checked with City Hall’s Municipal Licensing and Standards department. We learned that MeNU was in the right place and did not have to move.

Carleton Grant is the Director of Policy and Strategic Support for the department. He said the rule is only for restaurants that are facing a street, not food courts inside a building.

“Now we need to educate the businesses, the parking lots , the hospitals the security guards, what the rules are,” said Grant.
When the city introduced the permit system it allowed for 125 permits at a cost of $5000 each. To date, only 14 permits have been picked up by gourmet food trucks.

Zane Caplansky owns a food truck and a restaurant, Caplansky’s Delicatessen. He says he opted not to get a permit. “It is the most expensive mobile vending permit in the world, and it’s useless.” Said Caplansky.

Find the entire article at globalnews.ca <here>