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restaurant equipment

When outfitting their food truck kitchens most mobile food vendors have a multitude of options. Before you head out to start shopping, you’ll need to create a full list of the restaurant equipment your truck will require.

Once you have made a list of everything you think you will need to open your food truck. Run through your business plan, your food truck concept and any preliminary menus you’ve created in your head. This will help you with as complete as possible list of restaurant equipment your food truck will need.

No matter what option you choose for acquiring this equipment: lease, or buy  it new or used, here are:

3 tips for outfitting your food truck with restaurant equipment:
  1. Research your options. Besides finding local food trucks or restaurants that have recently closed, check out online restaurant retailers for deals. Look up auction houses that sell used kitchen equipment to find upcoming auctions
  2. You don’t need all the bells and whistles. Select simple pieces of restaurant equipment. If you pick up one of the high end options, they just present more opportunities for something to break. A simple gas oven may not sound as fancy as a dual convection oven with internal thermal sensors, but consider waiting until you have established your brand and have a good cash reserve to upgrade in the future.
  3. Learn how to haggle. Unlike original equipment manufacturers, dealers who sell used restaurant equipment are willing to negotiate prices just to get an item off their sales floor. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for freebies. If you end up purchasing multiple pieces of restaurant equipment from the same place,  if you ask, there’s a chance they will toss in something like a prep table if you are buying several larger pieces of equipment.

If you are looking to purchase restaurant equipment, please check out our Food Truck Supplier Directory to find someone near you.

Restaurant equipment dealers can list their business FREE in this same directory so feel free to pass this link around to friends and family who might be a great fit to help the continuing growth of the mobile food industry.

Do you have any additional tips for purchasing new or used restaurant equipment to pass along to our readers? If so, please add them to the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

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2014 Food Truck Facts

We’d like to thank our friends over at NCR for providing this great infographic. Take some time to check out these 2014 food truck facts on the state of the food truck industry in graphic form.

2014 Food Truck Facts

Check out the latest news on NCR’s latet product the NCR Silver POS system <here>

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NCR Silver

DULUTH, GA– As the U.S. food truck market continues its surge in popularity and size, NCR is spotlighting this dynamic market by offering insider tips, first-hand insight and customer stories.

Along with street vending, food trucks are one of the fastest-growing segments in the hospitality industry. According to the National League of Cities, food truck revenue is expected to increase 76 percent over the next five years.

Food trucks are also one of the fastest-growing segments for NCR Silver, an advanced tablet point-of-sale (POS) system for small businesses. More than just a mobile POS, NCR Silver offers back-office technology to run an entire food truck business – from integrating customer loyalty to automating different tax rates.

“It’s a simple user interface to change,” said Travis Schamerhorn, partner of Gotta Have It, an Atlanta-based “fusion” food truck and catering business. “I can also take payments anywhere and access everything I need to run my business on the same system.”

Other food trucks tout NCR Silver’s ability to manage multiple locations as a top draw.

“My favorite part is the reporting features,” said Joe Bruno, partner and head chef at Happy Belly Curbside Kitchen, a “farm-to-street” food truck in Atlanta. “We love the ability to pull up sales based on individual events, quickly see how we did, and plan for the next one. I always know how much product to bring to repeat events. NCR Silver helps us run our business more efficiently and prevent waste.”

As NCR Silver has grown alongside the food truck market – which took off in 2008 – the POS team has gained valuable insight into running a successful mobile business:

Know your regulations

Many local governments want to see food trucks succeed. But it takes time for laws that were written decades ago for brick-and-mortar restaurants to catch up.

Adjacent cities and counties can sometimes have different rules on safety, parking and more. Fees can also vary widely.

“Be sure to know each city’s and county’s rules first,” said Justin Hotard, president of NCR Small Business. “Compliance can sometimes be so time-consuming that it may be best to dedicate one person full-time to handle licensing, permitting and other regulatory requirements during the initial few months.”

Get creative with parking

With a mobile business, location is everything. To combat parking restrictions in certain communities, many food truck vendors are generating additional income by offering catering services.

The industry also is seeing an increase in free market options, such as “pods” in San Francisco, where trucks can park in public spaces and not worry about breaking local rules.

Bottom line, know the market options in the communities you serve – some are better than others – to minimize parking hassles and maximize customer reach.

Build – and maintain – your brand

The most successful food trucks have unique brands, which include everything from the menu and logo to truck design. Given the mobile nature of food trucks, letting fans know where you’re going each day is crucial. Social media is a prime vehicle for this, as well as overall customer engagement.

Loyalty programs also help. It’s beneficial for a loyalty program to work seamlessly with the checkout process – automatically tracking rewards with each sale, so customers see what they’ve earned, and have added incentive to come back. Loyalty integration eliminates punch cards and disparate programs.

“You need several ingredients to run a successful food truck – good service, amazing food and passion,” Hotard said. “The element tying all of this together is your brand. Staying consistent with your brand and continually engaging customers increases your likelihood of long-term success.”

For more industry stats and insider views, check out “#GetRolling America: 2014 Food Truck Facts” infographic and “Rolling with Happy Belly Curbside Kitchen: A Day in the Life of a Food Truck” video.

To learn more about NCR Silver’s features, visit the website, or call 1-877-630-9711. NCR Silver provides live, 7-day support and access to Silver SidewalkSM, a customer community portal with information and opportunities to connect with other members. NCR Silver tablet POS runs in the cloud, uses consumer-friendly technology, and works on Apple® devices running the latest iOS.

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Adriano Ciotoli Food Truck Quote

“By permitting food trucks, you are not only helping create vibrancy in the city, you are helping create jobs in the hospitality industry with minimal investment, supporting entrepreneurs and providing destinations for residents and tourists to flock to.” – Adriano Ciotoli

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COEUR d'ALENE food trucks

COEUR D’ALENE, ID  “If a guy comes and wants to sell hot dogs and asks us what the rules and regulations are, there aren’t any,” says Coeur d’Alene city council member Dan Gookin.

Gookin says it was only after seeing someone selling knives next to a school that he realized the city can do nothing about mobile vendors. There is no ordinance governing them and that is something he’s hoping to change.

“There’s a price of doing business in the city, unless you’re a mobile merchant,” says Gookin.

The city is hosting a public workshop on October 1st to discuss the possibility of an ordinance that would regulate mobile vendors, for reasons Gookin says is simple public safety but also fairness.

“At the end of the season these guys just pull up their stakes and then they’re gone, but the brick and mortar guys are still here, they’re fighting for that business,” says Gookin.

But many mobile food vendors are concerned about what further regulations mean. Heather Riviere who owns a food truck says she is already required to meet the same requirements that a brick and mortar restaurant meets; such as kitchen specifications, a food handlers license, and a license through the Panhandle Health District.

“We always have inspectors coming through making sure we’re up to code,” says Riviere.

Some of the differences between restaurants and food vendors, that Gookin would like to see changed are the extra costs that restaurants take on like water and sewage fees. But Riviere says food vendors take on similar costs when it comes to setting up shop, whether it be through a city permit or private landowner, and that’s where she feels all food vendors will get hit with extra fees.

“I’ll probably have to get a permit for where I am now, and then they can say ‘no we’re not going to give it to you because there’s a restaurant fifty feet away,'” says Riviere.

Find the original article with video at khq.com <here>

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windsor food trucks

WINDSOR, ONTARIO – Ward 4 candidate Adriano Ciotoli is advocating for the easing of restrictions on food trucks within Windsor.

Ciotoli believes food trucks should be permitted within Windsor to not only support the entrepreneurial spirit and create vibrancy within the city, but to also spur economic growth and job creation, all the while creating a revenue stream for the city at virtually no cost.

“Creating jobs is still the top issue residents are discussing on their doorsteps and it is something the other candidates simply haven’t addressed,” Ciotoli said. “My plan to permit food trucks is a simple, cost-effective way for the city to support the entrepreneurial spirit, small business, and create jobs, all while creating a vibrant, modern city and a destination for residents and tourists alike.”

Ciotoli’s plan includes creating pods within the city allowing food truck operators to pay a monthly fee to operate, creating a revenue stream for the city to reinvest in beautifying the parks and areas the trucks are located. The plan would also allow Business Improvement Areas to opt-in or out of permitting food trucks within their district.

As a leader in culinary tourism in Windsor and the province, Ciotoli was happy to see the City of Windsor recently invest over $60,000 to help further the sector in our region. He believes permitting food trucks would help ensure a return on the investment.

Ciotoli hosted a food truck rally this past weekend which attracted over 5,000 people eager to sample from several food trucks, demonstrating the demand residents have for the mobile businesses.

“With more and more cities permitting food trucks, the evidence is building that their addition to the streetscape has actually benefited brick-and-mortar businesses, including restaurants, as a result of higher foot traffic.”

On average, a food truck costs $50,000-$75,000 to start-up versus the $250,000-$500,000 for a restaurant.

Ciotoli currently has an online petition advocating easing restrictions for food trucks on his website.

Find the original article at windsorsquare.ca <here>