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OUR LATEST POSTS

Hong-Kong-street

HONG KONG, CHINA - Members of the catering industry have expressed an interest in operating food trucks, as debate continues on where these vehicles should park and which department should investigate the idea.

Simon Wong Ka-wo, president of the Federation of Restaurants and Related Trades and also chairman of food and beverage firm Kampery Group, said he is interested in operating such a truck.

“Using a mobile truck, we tried to promote our Hong Kong-style milk tea in July and August. It had facilities to make tea,” he said.

He added free milk tea was served after a license was obtained from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah announced in Wednesday’s budget that the government will investigate the concept of rolling out food trucks to sell food on the streets.Wong believes that food trucks will suit Hong Kong, which is famous for local and international cuisines.

Wong estimated that operators would have to invest more than HK$500,000 in a food truck which is lower than opening a restaurant.

He said these type of trucks were not meant for hawkers but for those who were financially capable. He hoped there would be more clarity with the catering industry on suitable locations for the trucks to operate.

Restaurateur Yenn Wong Pui- yain, who has opened Michelin- starred restaurants, such as Dudell’s and Aberdeen Street Social, said she was encouraged by the promotion of food trucks.

Find the entire article at thestandard.com.hk <here>

2 Fat pic 2

Ramone Dickerson and Corey Simmons are back on the airwaves in “2 Fat 2 Fly” this Saturday, February 28 on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) at 10pm/9c.

This 8 episode series takes a look at how these two best friends operate their truck, the “Fonz,” and seek out business expansion opportunities.  Their hometown of Columbia, South Carolina has faithfully supported them, but they try to answer the question: “Is there more?”

Mobile Cuisine sat down with Ramone and Corey last week to get “the fat” (instead of “the skinny”) on their foibles throughout the series.  Overall, they were pretty tight-lipped on the specific happenings, but they’ve learned whole lot more about food truck operations and themselves.  Corey comments, “When we started, we were like teenagers.  We took our licks and bumps starting out, but like a teenager you quickly get up and keep moving forward.  Now we feel more like adults in business.”

What we will see are real friends/business owners face the hurdles and questions of business expansion.  They’ve been at the edge of a precipice of business growth for a while now.  How do they take that leap?  Which direction do they jump?  How do they do it while protecting their delicious stuffed wings?

Stay tuned to find out.  “2 Fat 2 Fly” will air on Saturday nights on OWN at 10pm/9c.  We’ll summarize each show after it airs and share more of our conversation throughout the season.

We want to see Ramone and Corey grow their un-clucking believable stuffed chicken wing business…  There will be tons of laughter and a look into their real lives along the way.

first quarter profits

Like many of your food truck vending peers, you entered 2015 full of optimism. This was the year you moved to the next level. So, when you sat down at your desk this morning and saw the big gap between your projected first quarter profits and reality, you nearly choked. What you thought would be your best quarter yet, isn’t.

So how can you turn this around your first quarter profits?

Now is definitely not the time to panic. Wringing your hands won’t salvage the numbers, nor will excuses. Now is the time to jump back into the saddle, and work smarter than ever. You can salvage this quarter and maybe even turn it around to see record profits. The key is to stay relentless.

Five Tactics To Save Your Food Truck’s First Quarter Profits:
Get that one thing done, as soon as possible

Profits are created from a series of actions: exciting new menu item creation, retaining existing customers, building your customer base, etc. Each of the actions adds up, and eventually, you’ll reach success. But here’s the catch, you’ll never achieve success unless you complete enough of those actions in time.

Asking yourself, “What’s the one action I need to take right now that will make the biggest difference in actually achieving my goal?” Now, get that one thing done as soon as possible. Doing this can add up to big revenues quickly.

Figure out what you care about

Nothing causes your profit line to disintegrate faster than giving energy to things that just don’t matter. Unfortunately that often happens when you first realize you’re not on track to meet your targets.

Checking minor, busy work tasks off your list can make you feel like you’re making a difference, but you’re fooling yourself. The ability to turn around a poor profit almost always rests on distinguishing between what will make a difference.

Don’t quit

Yes, this may seem obvious but it’s one of the things food truck vendors ignore the most. Some of the vendors we’ve spoken with in the past hit a setback and just quit. They weren’t willing to move on. What they didn’t realize is that the setback that stalled them could have been their path to success.

I’m not saying that you should blindly throw all your energy at a goal, instead, give failures a silver lining. If you’re willing to dig into your failures they can tell you exactly where you went wrong and use them to turn your mistakes around, and plot your path to the profit you want.

Handle your emotions

Examining failures isn’t fun. When you’ve spent a ton of time putting a plan together that you thought would be great, but wasn’t, it can be tough to deal with. But letting yourself get overly emotional is a huge mistake. Emotions will skew your perspective and push you into making panicked decisions that lead to additional failures.

On the other hand, don’t wait for an absolute answer to your problems to appear. If you feel that your struggling customer referral program will get better, then stick with it. If your gut is telling you it’s time to try something else, then do it. But don’t let your emotions keep you in the spot you’re in right now.

Stop being realistic

You can see through your current numbers, your profits just won’t meet your projections. So what you do? If you’re like most, you’ll get “realistic” and start scaling down your projections.

This is a great idea, if you enjoy watching your money disappearing right before your eyes.

If you want to stay in business, you have to be realistic about your resources and about what you can reasonably accomplish. But you don’t have to be realistic about how you achieve those goals.

You’ve spent hours, days, weeks formulating a strategy to ensure your food truck’s growth, and for a while, things go according to plan. But now, the numbers clearly show, problems have crept into your system. It doesn’t mean that turning your first quarter around is a hopeless task.

Just because your first quarter numbers look messy right now, doesn’t mean that things are a mess. And overthinking a plan that was fine a few weeks ago is the surest way to ensure that the future you’ve planned never happens. If you press on, you might find that this mess is actually what leads your food truck business to success.

Have anything to add to saving a food truck’s first quarter profits? If so, feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

Foodstruck York

YORK, PA - A bill to legalize and regulate food trucks in York will be introduced March 3 to the York City Council, with a potential vote coming at the council’s March 17 meeting.

The proposed ordinance was discussed by council members for more than an hour Wednesday at the city’s committee meeting.

The 12-page ordinance contains language surrounding times of operation, licenses and fees and other regulations. A license would cost $300 annually and trucks would be allowed to serve food between 7 p.m. and 2 a.m.

The earliest council could vote on the bill is March 17, said Carol Hill-Evans, council president. If approved, the bill would become law 20 days after council approves it, she said.

Council members heard concerns from two business owners Philip Given, co-owner of York City Pretzel Company, and Jordan Pfautz, co-owner of Baron Von Schwein. They both want to operate food trucks in York.

There should not be any time restrictions on when a food truck can operate in York, Given said. Being that restaurants open and close at different hours, regulating that is ridiculous, he said.

The proposed June 30 deadline for submitting applications is totally arbitrary, said Pfautz, who operates a food truck in Lancaster.

Some council members debated whether allowing food trucks would create an unfair playing field for existing restaurants.

Find the entire article at ydr.com <here>

social media networking

I speak with a lot of food truck vendors who still don’t get social media and the importance of social media networking. Four years ago when I started Mobile Cuisine vendors would use Twitter and Facebook for posting their next locations, but weren’t really sure what other purposes being on social media provided.

I’m glad to say that in these last four years things have changed and a large majority of food truck owners do get it and use social media networking as the tool it was designed to be.

With that said, there are still a few out there that still struggle to understand the importance that social media plays in the success of their mobile food business. Some will have a Facebook account, rarely post to it or only have that account. They’ll tell me they are happy with Facebook and find the Twitterverse too fast paced and thus don’t even have a Twitter account.

Unfortunately, simply posting occasional announcements about upcoming food truck stops is not social media networking and it’s not helping your food truck business. In fact, if that’s all you’re doing, it could be hurting you.

What’s worse, you’re not taking advantage of what could become the most powerful tool in your food truck’s marketing arsenal.

Why social media networking so important

You need to look at social media as the world’s biggest networking event and everyone’s there, including your competitors and potential food truck customers.

Imagine walking into a networking event, people are wandering around, engaging with people they know and being introduced to those they don’t. They’re talking about the local economy, how the weather is affecting their business or even the price of beef.

You get into a conversation and they ask what you do for a living. You might say, “I’ve got a food truck catering business that specializes in Italian sandwiches.” The person might say, “Wow, I’ve got a friend who has been looking for an Italian caterer. Let me introduce you!”

Now if that same conversation happened on a social network like Facebook or Twitter, the friend and others would be easy to make a virtual introduction to. They could even be “listening” to that conversation. That’s what makes social media so much more valuable as a marketing tool. You can be exposed to thousands more potential customers than you would through traditional styles of networking.

So you may wonder how this happens. It’s easy, social media users stay connected by “following” one another.

If I’m following you, I can see your social conversations. Post something that interests me and I might share it with my followers, who may also share it with their followers.

Before you know it, you and your food truck may be exposed to hundreds of thousands of strangers. Some of them will become your followers and, presto! Your food truck will have a growing audience.

What works in social media networking – and what doesn’t – are the same things that work when you’re networking in a hotel conference room:

Plan ahead

If you’re going to an event to network, you usually set goals. Maybe you want to find prospective customers or get people interested in a future food truck event.

You identify your target demographics and learn which people are influencers will be at the event, such as the local media, business owners and politicians. In social media networking, making the right moves gets a bit more complicated and involves a little more planning.

Don’t say the same thing

Repeatedly posting the same thing is like going to a network event and saying the same thing over and over. People will turn and quickly walk away from you. Instead, engage in conversations on a variety of topics.

Show off your personality

At a networking event, you smile, ask questions, maybe even tell some jokes, if that’s your personality and the personality you want your personal brand to reflect. Time and time again, it has been shown that people are drawn to people, not things, so let your personality shine.

Just remember to never try to be someone you’re not. People are smart and quickly lose trust of someone they feel is being dishonest about who they are.

Social media is a great way to build awareness of your food truck brand and cultivate prospective.

Do you have any advice to those still struggling to understand the importance of social media networking within the food truck industry? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to share them in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.