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bernies burger bus houston

HOUSTON, TX – The last food fight you had may have been in your middle school cafeteria, but here in Houston, a much more serious fight is about to get underway. On one side, the 800 food trucks that roam the city, which includes a growing number of chef-driven foodie favorites. On the other, the Greater Houston Restaurant Association, the group that represents thousands of restaurants in Houston.

The debate is whether propane-based food trucks should be allowed to operate in the downtown business district (CBD) and the Medical Center.

Take for example, the Pho-Jita truck. On this Wednesday, it was parked along Post Oak in the heart of the Galleria. The truck dished out food to eager office workers. It uses propane to cook, and that’s perfectly legal in the Galleria area.

“As of now the city doesn’t permit us to be within the confines of downtown and that’s a pretty big area, considering Houston is such a big area,” says John Tapia, in between taking lunch time orders.

Tapia and other operators of trucks would love to serve the 250,000 office workers who flood downtown every day. Long time city regulations prevent propane-based mobile food units (MFU) from operating in the CBD and the Medical Center. Mayor Annise Parker tried to update the regulations a few years ago, but lost that battle. She says outdated regulations unfairly stifle competition, and wants to tackle revamping city rules again.

“Competition is competition, and we’re not in the business of protecting existing businesses, we’re about allowing competition to take place,” said Parker

The mayor wants to eliminate the propane ban, and make several other adjustments that would allow the MFUs to operate downtown. That includes getting rid of the rule that benches or other seating must be at least 100 feet from a truck. However, the Greater Houston Restaurant Association is against any loosening of current regulations. The association points out that most brick and mortar restaurants had to make significant investments into their establishments and pay a variety of taxes and fees. They view the loosening of regulations as unfair competition.

“I had to build grease traps, build parking, file for a liquor license,” says GHRA President Reginald Martin, also a restaurant owner. “This is a disadvantage to me. Because there are a lot of costs we can’t recoup overnight.”

Find the entire article at abc13.com <here>

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indian wells ca

INDIAN WELLS, CA - When it comes to the type of pedestrian traffic and activity that food trucks seek, Indian Wells and its lack of a centralized commercial district might not be the most appetizing.

But in case a restaurateur decides to forge ahead anyway, Indian Wells city leaders are considering new restrictions that ensure food truck operators can’t just drive in and park anywhere.

The new proposal, which will be considered Thursday, would require trucks stay at least 150 feet away from any business, stay off all streets with speed limits of 35 mph or less, and obtain a temporary-use permit if they are part of special events.

The proposed restrictions come during a valleywide debate over how to encourage business growth while not being inundated by new mobile food options.

“If you don’t have very clear restrictions … it’s going to be a huge mistake for the city,” Mayor Pro Tem Ty Peabody has said about regulating food trucks.

Riverside County on April 8 started allowing food trucks to operate within the county. But it is up to individual cities to regulate them within city limits.

Cathedral City and Indio have approved laws. But Palm Desert and Palm Springs have moratoriums on the mobile operations, allowing them more time to review potential regulations.

Indian Wells council members first broached the subject in March, which spurred concern over health regulations and a potential over­abundance of food trucks if they were allowed on private properties.

Peabody — whose wife owns Don Diego’s restaurant in Indian Wells and who used to operate food trucks in the 1990s — suggested more than a dozen requirements be part of an ordinance.

Find the entire article at desertsun.com <here>

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Annise Parker Food Truck Quote

“Competition is competition, and we’re not in the business of protecting existing businesses, we’re about allowing competition to take place,” – Houston Mayor Annise Parker

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    bacon onion jam
    image credit: hauteapplepie.com

    So what exactly is bacon onion jam?

    According to Josh Henderson the owner of the Seattle food truck Skillet, it’s comprised of bacon, onions, balsamic, and brown sugar.

    I’ve heard it called Bacon Jam, Bacon Onion Jam, Bacon Onion Relish whatever it’s known as in your part of the world this sweet, salty, bacon spread will be a hit.

    This spreadable jam is an instant hit when used as a topping for burgers or hot dogs. If you are looking for other uses, consider it on toast or crostini, fresh vegetables, pita bread… the list goes on and on!

    While this isn’t Skillet’s recipe for bacon onion jam, I’ve done a little work in the kitchen and came up with my own variation. Once you’ve tried it out in your kitchen, let me know what you think in the comment section below, Tweet us or share it on our Facebook page.

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    Image credit: kissmybroccoliblog.com

    To Our Valued Customers: 

    We have been alerted by our supplier of Trader Joe’s Raw Almond Butters that there is a possibility that product with the specified date codes may be contaminated with Salmonella:

    Raw Crunchy Unsalted Almond Butter
    SKU 91989 
    USE BY 28DEC14 thru 18JUN15 

    Raw Creamy Unsalted Almond Butter 
    SKU 56995
    USE BY 27DEC14 thru 18JUL15

    In accordance with our stringent health and safety standards, and as an extreme precaution, all of the potentially affected product has been removed from sale and destroyed.

    Customers who have purchased any of these items with the specified code dates are urged to not eat them and to dispose of them or return them to any Trader Joe’s for a full refund. 

    No other Trader Joe’s products are included in this recall.

    Customers with questions may contact Trader Joe’s Customer Relations at (626) 599-3817 [Monday through Friday, 6:00 am to 6:00 pm Pacific Time]. 

    We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.

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    inbound marketing strategy

    Food truck owners have always been required to wear a lot of hats. Menu creation, food prep, cooking, HR, public relations, accountant and we could go on. With so many things plates to spin, marketing their trucks can often get put on the backburner.  Unfortunately, too many vendors miss out on the growth that marketing can provide their mobile food businesses.

    A great way to generate new faces at your service window is called inbound marketing. While you may not be familiar with this term, it’s a technique that some food truck owners are already using. Inbound marketing shares your food truck brand with local consumers through blogs, email newsletters and social-media marketing, to name a few. These platforms bring customers to you instead of trying to draw them in with the use of advertising purchases, or in technical jargon…outbound marketing.

    Try to incorporate one or more of these four easy steps into your inbound marketing strategy to increase the size of your customer lines and sales figures.

    4 Steps To Building Your Food Truck Inbound Marketing Strategy

    Leverage The Web

    Don’t assume that once you have created your food truck website that your time online is done. Get your brand out on the web, link up all of the social networks you use back to your website. This will help drive traffic from a wider spectrum of sites and increases the potential reach for your brand.

    Make sure that you check the “About” section at Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn to make sure you have your elevator pitch about who you and your food truck business are, what you cook and why someone should take the time to track your truck down.

    If You Build It, They Will Come

    Creating a blog isn’t an easy task, but there is a tremendous upside to providing your customers with great content. Not only does it help establish you as a food truck business expert, but it also helps to boost your website’s search ranking.

    Related: Developing a Blog for Your Food Truck Website

    Contribute To Local and Industry Websites

    Just as writing a blog for your food truck business, this involves some writing on your part, but it’s well worth the investment. Find local and mobile food industry websites that accept guest posts written by vendors. Getting your name out there will get you established as a thought leader and help will help generate business leads.

    Related: Contribute to Mobile Cuisine

    Provide Testimonials

    The best way to build confidence in the food and service you provide is through testimonials from people who have eaten from your truck or had your food truck cater one of their events. This can be done in a number of ways thanks to all of the social networking platforms available.

    Don’t forget to share the positive media coverage that your food truck receives. There’s nothing like giving potential customers an outside look into your food truck business.

    Related: Build Your Business With Food Truck Catering Testimonials

    We hope this article helped shed the light on creating an inbound marketing strategy for your food truck business. If you have any additional tips you would like to share feel free to share them in the comment section below, Tweet them to us or post them on our Facebook page.