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Earth & Stone Wood Fired Pizza

The Best Pizza Food Truck is Here!

Congratulations to Huntsville, Alabama’s Earth and Stone Wood Fired Pizza for winning Mobile Cuisine’s 2014 Pizza Food Truck of the Year!

Earth and Stone Wood Fired Pizza is sharing their delicious wood-fired pizzas with Huntsville locals and throughout the Southeast United States.  Stan and Tina’s handmade pizzas are made to order with the freshest ingredients have their customers raving and wanting more.

We’ll learn more about Stan and Tina and their award-winning pizza soon.  Congratulations to Earth and Stone Wood Fired Pizza and their enthusiastic voters/diners!

Rounding out our top 5 Pizza Food Trucks for 2014 are:

2. Saucee Sicilian – Oklahoma City, OK

3. Little Luna Pizza – El Paso, TX

4. Chicago Pizza Boss – Chicago, IL

5. Pi Pizza – Houston, TX

We would like to thank all of the competitors as well as to all of our readers who voted.

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sales forecasting

With smart sales forecasting, food truck owners can plan ahead for the varying levels of business in the future. With properly done sales forecasting vendors can avoid surplus staff and unnecessary food purchases and preparation which will result in a nice boost to your bottom line.

Catering jobs provide food truck owners with 100% certainty for much of the time and business is booked and already paid for. This allows you to achieve lower food costs and consistent staffing levels because you can work with the exact numbers of meals you will be preparing and serving. This allows you to make spot on purchasing and staffing decisions.

So how can sales forecasting allow you to lower your margins for every day operations?

10 Ways To See Into The Future With Sales Forecasting

Maintain logbooks & diaries. Record customer numbers, weather, special events, the pattern of customer visit etc. You can use previous data from these logs to guide your mobile food business for the next few weeks or months.

Make sure your food truck staff understand the numbers. Do they know how many more customers to expect if food traffic will be 25% busier than last week or down 33% from last month?

Keep an eye out for local events. Adjust your daily operation times accordingly (sporting events, concerts and local festivals). This can be a great time to find a location to park specially to catch the crowds.

Find good sources for local weather. Use a reliable mobile app for your smartphone, or the most consistent (they’re almost never right) television weather channels that show weather patterns 7 days in advance. This information will help you determine if you will you need extra staff on the weekend.

Track the effect of changes in temperature, snow and rainfall. You may have to adjust your cooking and turnaround times based on the temperature.

Become more flexible with staff schedules. Explain about how the forecasted changes can affect business, this will prevent it looking like an unfair policy when their shifts are increased or decreased.

Create a staff standby system. If one of your food truck staff members is on-call, pay them an agreed sum to be available. Not only will you will build staff loyalty but your costs will be lower, even if you occasionally pay someone for just being home and watching TV. This will give your food truck staff confidence that they won’t be cut back but might also start planning for some bonus shifts.

Reduce ‘just-in-case’ over-staffing. Prepare your Plan B for an unexpected rush – it may be more profitable to maintain normal staffing levels but institute a smarter queueing system and ways to turn over customers more quickly.

Long term sales forecasting:

Watch population changes in the areas you operate your food truck. This goes for both residents and workers. Census data can help; unfortunately it isn’t officially updated every year. Paying attention to local news and statistics provided by your local Chamber of Commerce will be a more reliable guide.

This can also give you a guide to negative events that could hurt business such as a large business relocating from one part of the city to another (or out of town altogether) could mean the loss of hundreds of potential customers.

Watch industry trends (you can find those here at Mobile Cuisine). Keep your mobile food business ahead of the game such as faster service, healthy options, the newest obsession with ingredients and flavors, and legal regulations. All of these changes can result in the type, preferences and number of customers your food truck business sees.

If you are able to keep your focus on sales forecasting and sales building, rather than reactive steps such as cost cutting: your food truck business will soon see the difference.

Do you have some other sales forecasting tips you’d like to share? If so, please feel free to add them to the comment section below, Tweet us or add them to our Facebook page.

 

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2014 nyc vendys

NEW YORK, NY - Pouring rain and long lines didn’t stop New Yorkers from stuffing their faces with bites from the city’s best food trucks at the Vendy Awards held on Governors Island this Saturday.

Over 40 food trucks nominated for awards shared samplings from their menus with the sold-out crowd.

Lines loomed longest for Nuchas (http://www.nuchas.com) (a Vendy Cup nominee and 2013 Rookie of the Year Winner), an empanada truck serving pastries filled with meats and veggies including pulled pork and portobello mushroom treats. Nuchas unsurprisingly took home the People’s Taste Award.

Cinnamon Snail, a vegan food truck, won the overall Vendy Cup. They served samples including their spicy Korean vegan tacos and warm crème brulee doughnuts.

Zha Pan Asian (http://www.zha-ny.com) delighted many tasters with their signature Asianici—Italian-style fried rice balls in Asian flavors like Bulgogi and Thai Yellow Curry Tofo. They took home the Best Market Vendor Award.

Other awards went to reigning champion Calexico for the Masters Cup; Ice & Vice (vegan ice cream) for Best Dessert; and maple-syrup themed Snowday for Rookie of the Year.

Despite a few umbrella dribbles of rain into curry wurst and ramen burgers, the event offered a fantastic opportunity to taste a plethora of local food trucks, without tracking them around the city. Bites could be chased down with Brooklyn Brewery lager or IPA.

Tasting highlights included seemingly endless (no complaints) hibiscus and dulce de leche doughnuts from Dough; Big D’s Khao Cart serving juicy hamburger patties and fried eggs over rice in a Thai gravy; Desi Truck with their fantastic ‘Game Changer’ chicken puri-bhaji; King of Falafel serving freshly wrapped schwarma and falafel; and Shanghai Sogo with freshly fried pork dumplings and bubble tea.

Find the original article at amny.com <here>

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fat-sully-food-truck-explosion
Photo credit: CBS

DENVER, CO – Denver firefighters rushed to a popular music venue on reports of a food truck explosion.

The Fat Sully’s food truck was parked near the Bluebird Theater at Colfax and Adams.

Firefighters say a propane line broke and caused the blast.

The fire happened about 8:30 p.m. on the 3200 block of East Colfax Avenue. The fire caused at least one of two 60 pound propane tanks on the truck’s rear to explode, Capt. Greg Pixley said.

“The fire was pretty significant,” he said.

The injured man, believed to be the truck’s driver, was taken to an area hospital with minor to moderate burns. Pixley said he was alert and responsive.

No damage to any surrounding buildings or people was reported.

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cinnamon snail

Congratulations to the Cinnamon Snail for winning the 2014 Vegetarian Food Truck of the Year!!  This is the third year in a row!  We’re very excited to bestow this title on The Cinnamon Snail, Chef Adam Sobel and his team – AGAIN!

Chef Sobel was so excited he ate his clothes!  Just kidding.  I’m not sure if chef’s jackets are vegan.

2014 Vegetarian Food Truck Of The Year Profile: Cinnamon Snail

Asked what keeps Chef Sobel going being in an industry filled with roadblocks, he replies that he’s driven to “spreading a non-violent lifestyle to the mainstream.”  “People come to our truck regularly and tell us that they became vegetarian or vegan because of our food.  Continuing our hustle is a matter of life and death to creatures who will not be consumed,” states Chef Sobel.

He’s passionate about veganism and wants to spread “the word” through his food.  It’s usually a lot easier to get someone to consider a plant-based diet when they have a mouthful of delicious food.

After a passion for food, customers give him that drive to work so hard.  Chef Sobel listens to his customers when they tell him about what they currently love and would love to see in his food in the future.  He also tries to go where his customers want him to go.

He’s had so many fun customer experiences over the years.  They’ve fed all kinds of people – from upper west side suits to clowns in full make-up and luchadors.  In fact, a lady threw a tortilla at them this week.  “It’s fantastic!”

What Chef Sobel lives for is witnessing a die-hard carnivore fall in love with his plant-based dishes.  “If we can chip away at people’s reasons for why they still eat animals (flavor/enjoyment), soon all remaining excuses crumble,” comments Chef Sobel.

cinnamon snail donutThe Cinnamon Snail is often found in the media and winning awards.  “We’ve always been really blessed to get a lot of attention as a food truck.”  It’s natural that Chef Sobel continues to challenge himself creatively in the kitchen changing people’s perspectives on plant-based food and to keep customers curious for new creations and fantastic staples, like their vanilla bourbon crème brulee donut.  That donut alone sends crowds to his truck.

When asked about the inspiration behind his menu, you know he could say something traditional – that he cooks from his soul – or something similar to that.  Because he’s asked this question so frequently he’s gotten as creative with his answers as he is with his menu. “Our menu is chosen at random by a foam crafted pirate robot we call Cyn-B@d.  He’s hot.  And he’s bothered.  So we don’t ask questions.  We just do what he says and hopes he doesn’t make us walk the plank!”

That was the BEST answer ever.  We also liked the alien mothership reference too!

Should you choose to try your hand a vegan cooking at home, you’re in luck.  Chef Sobel’s book, Street Vegan:  Delicious Dispatches from the Cinnamon Snail Food Truck, will be out in May 2015.

He had been asked to write one for years, but he finally felt like his cooking and teaching ability were mature enough to really make something as special as a book.  He mentions his food is very component-y and many recipes had to be rewritten from the ground-up to work in home kitchens and in normal sized portions.  The book also gave him the opportunity to share recipes like vegan Chinese buns or dumplings that are not served off the truck due to space or specialty equipment needs.

If you don’t see the Cinnamon Snail in your area, you can get tickets to the 10th Annual NYC Vendy Awards this Saturday in Governor’s Island where they’re official finalists.  Chef Sobel has a tempting dish he’s preparing just for the event – sage tempeh sausage sliders, lavender roasted shallots and roasted habanero hot sauce on their battered cauliflower buffalo wing sub.  “It’s going to be wild!” It sounds wild!  It’s their 5th year nominated for the NYC Vendy Awards.  He’s working hard for the Vendy Cup his year…

We’ve got our fingers crossed for you!  Congratulations on your THIRD win as the Mobile Cuisine 2014 Vegetarian/Vegan Food Truck of the Year!