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food truck financials

Food truck vendors tend to excel in the areas of cooking, menu creativity, and customer interaction. But many don’t have to firm grasp of the business side of the food truck industry. Unfortunately, this lack of knowledge has led to the failure of some great concepts.

You probably already know that it doesn’t take long for your financials to spiral out of control. Today I’ll provide some pointers to help keep your food truck financials from losing control.

Keep Control Of You Food Truck Financials

Know the numbers

If the only thing you understand about food truck finances is how much money you have at the end of the month, how will you know what the problem is? Understand concepts like profit margins and check averages and keep track of these calculations on a weekly or at the most, monthly schedule.

Know what’s most profitable

Just because a menu item is more expensive than another doesn’t mean that it returns a higher profit. Determine which menu items make you the most money. With this data, you can train your service window staff them to your customers.

Create combo deals

Combo meals are popular for a reason. They allow customers to get more for their money, stay within their budgets, and simplify the ordering process. And food truck owners get a more consistent profit stream as well as providing a service that attracts repeat business you’re your happy customers.

Consider catering

Catering from food trucks has quickly become one of the most popular catering trends across the country. Although catering does present food truck owners some challenges, it’s a high margin service that food trucks are already equipped to provide.

Create reports

It’s essential to create daily or weekly reports just to reconcile your cash drawer. These reports can explain which menu items are you big sellers and what stops give your truck the most sales. Reports will also show you sales trends that can allow you to tweak your menu to maximize profitability.

Protect against theft

Employee theft is significantly higher in the food service industry due to the accessibility of cash and high quality food products. Establishing systems for inventory management and cash accounting can cut down on the chances of being stolen from by your food truck staff members.

I’m not sure I’ve met a vendor who started a food truck business because they excelled at accounting. But at the same time, understanding the basic accounting concepts of food truck profitability and cost controls can help to determine if your food truck enjoys a long and profitable run, or shuts its service window after one season.

Do you have any additional tips for new and existing food truck vendors to help them make it in this industry? If so, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

santa cruz food trucks

SANTA CRUZ, CA - Acknowledging the increase in popularity of gourmet food trucks, the Santa Cruz City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved an 18-month pilot program allowing purveyors of pulled pork sandwiches, truffle fries and shrimp kebabs to serve outside city parks, occasionally set up downtown and stay for longer periods of time.

The temporary rule changes will allow trucks to park outside Harvey West, San Lorenzo, Depot and lower DeLaveaga parks up to four hours in any location from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Previously, mobile vending near parks was prohibited, and vendors could only sell for up to 15 minutes in one public location.

Two trucks also may park on Cooper Street outside the Museum of Art & History as part of First Friday events downtown. The provisions also allow for up to three trucks to park on private property without paying a parking impact fee.

“There is a balance being created to provide opportunity for food trucks and make sure there is safe access where trucks park,” said Councilwoman Pamela Comstock, who along with former mayors Hilary Bryant and Lynn Robinson studied changes based on how trucks operate in other communities. “We have to be very mindful of neighborhoods.”

Find the entire article at santacruzsentinel.com <here>

kitchener Food Trucks

KITCHENER, CANADA — Downtown restaurateurs came before city council Monday night to argue that food trucks have a role to play in bringing life to the core, but that giving them free rein would harm brick-and-mortar eateries.

He pays rent, property taxes, utilities, employees and other significant costs, while food truck operators have much lower overhead and pay no property taxes, but rather a $360 licence fee.

Reiser stressed that he is not opposed to food trucks, which he said generate excitement and are here to stay. But he argued that if, as food truck operators contend, food trucks drive more traffic downtown, then they should be located in areas to attract people to quieter areas of the core, such as Victoria Park, Vogelsang Green or Speakers’ Corner.

“I’m not saying get rid of food trucks,” Reiser said. “They’re here and people are excited about them. But how can we use them to really add to the vibrancy of the downtown?”

Find the entire article at therecord.com <here>

Food Truck Food Borne Illnesses

As a food truck owner you are not only responsible for the health and safety of your employees, but of ensuring the customers don’t walk away from your service window with a food borne illness.

By definition, “A food borne illness is any illness resulting from food contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites, chemicals or poisons.”

By following these 5 steps you can almost eliminate the chance of food borne illness in your food truck.

5 Steps To Prevent Food Truck Food Borne Illnesses

Keep Clean

Always wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling food. We understand you have a limited amount of water on board, but for safety reasons, make sure you don’t skip this step.

Clean cutting boards, utensils, and work surfaces with a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach in 1 gallon of water or properly mixed sanitizer solution.

If your health department doesn’t require you to wear gloves, at least wear them when working on food being served without being cooked (think salads and cold sandwiches).

Don’t Cross Contaminate

Cross contamination is the transfer of harmful types of bacteria from one food item to another. To avoid cross contamination keep the juices of raw meat, poultry and fish away from other food.

This can be accomplished by properly storing items in your refrigerator (example: keep meat on lowest shelf, vegetables on the top shelves).

Cook To Proper Temperatures

Cook all raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source. Cook all raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal to an internal temperature of 160 °F as measured with a food thermometer.

All poultry items should have an internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer.

For quality, remember that cooked meat will continue cooking (anywhere from 5-10%) after it’s been removed from the heat source.

Serve At Proper Temperatures

Not only must you and your food truck staff members cook food to the proper temperature, but they must serve it at the right heat to prevent the potential for food truck food borne illnesses. Hot foods typically need to be served at 140 °F or warmer and cold at 40 °F or colder.

Store At Proper Temperatures

One of the most important aspects of preventing foodborne illness is how you store your products. Check the temperature of your refrigerator and freezer (if you have one) with an appliance thermometer.

Refrigerators should be kept at 40 °F or below and freezers at 0 °F or below. Make sure you mark all food containers or packages with the proper expiration dates.

We hope that by following these 5 steps you are able to prevent giving food truck food borne illnesses to your customers and staff members.

If you have any additional tips, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.