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Unsuccessful Food Truck Owners

Over the years we’ve provided some fun articles which point out key traits we’ve witnessed in some of the most successful food truck owners in the country. Today we are going to reverse things a little and go over the the common traits of unsuccessful food truck owners we’ve seen in the mobile food industry in the 4 years of Mobile Cuisine.

15 Traits Of Unsuccessful Food Truck Owners
  1. Vendors who say that they never have enough time for themselves or family, but who refuse to hire anyone because they do not have the ability to trust anyone else.
  2. Vendors who desperately need a marketing plan, business plan, operation plan, strategic plan, etc.,  but never seem to get around to getting it.
  3. Vendors who have high turnover and blame it on the market or the economy.
  4. Vendors who are totally reactive to circumstances.
  5. Vendors who treat all staff the same.
  6. Vendors who cannot think beyond their own experiences, and who refuse to understand that their success will be limited to their level of understanding that food trucks are a unique business model and may not be related to their understanding or experience in other industries.
  7. Vendors who do not understand that if you are not able to differentiate yourself in your market, you will fail.
  8. Vendors who do not study industry trends.
  9. Vendors who cheat, lie, steal and abuse any or all of their relationships with vendors, staff, and customers.
  10. Vendors who, find they have a great sales increase, but don’t know where it came from.
  11. Vendors who refuse to ask for help, even when they run into major problems.
  12. Vendors who take their staffs, customers, vendors or team for granted.
  13. Vendors who do not embrace change.
  14. Vendors who never seem to be ready for change.
  15. Vendors who do not understand the importance of branding their food truck business.

Please note, if you feel you have some of these traits…it’s almost never too late to change.

I’m sure there are more, but these 15 traits of unsuccessful food truck owners seem to be the biggies. Do you have any additional traits that we should add? If so, please let us know in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

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wandering dago attorney
Attorney George Carpinello holds a copy of the e-mail from Cuomo adviser Bennett Liebman complaining about the name of the Wandering Dago food truck. (Casey Seiler, Times Union)

ALBANY, NY - The lawyers for a controversially named Schenectady food truck complained to a federal judge that the Cuomo administration purged the emails of a top aide who had warned that allowing the Wandering Dago to remain at Saratoga Race Course represented “a problem waiting to blow up.”

The deletion occurred despite the administration’s email retention policy for state agencies, which calls for the preservation of communications “that are to be preserved due to active or reasonably likely litigation.”

The owners of the Wandering Dago, Andrea Loguidice and Brendan Snooks, filed suit in late August 2013 against officials at the state Office of General Services and the New York Racing Association, claiming that the truck had been rejected by OGS’s summer lunch program on Empire State Plaza and banished from Saratoga Race Course on the first day of the 2013 meet due to state officials’ objections to its name. Loguidice filed a separate lawsuit in last month, claiming that she was fired from her job as an attorney for the Department of Environmental Conservation due to her connection to the truck.

While “dago” is generally understood to be a slur on Italians, Loguidice and Snooks insist it is nothing more than a tribute to her ancestors, laborers who were paid “as the day goes.”

In a Nov. 6 letter to Magistrate Judge Randolph Treece, Wandering Dago attorney George Carpinello of Bois, Schiller & Flexner said that a lawyer for Bennett Liebman, Cuomo’s former deputy secretary for gaming and racing, informed the plaintiffs that all emails relating to the cart had been deleted. Liebman, who is not a defendant in the lawsuit, retired in August.

Find the entire article at timesunion.com <here>

 

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rosslyn food truck

ROSSLYN, VA - For the past two weeks, officers with the Arlington County Police Department spent the lunch hour issuing parking tickets to food trucks and other vehicles along N. Lynn Street in Rosslyn.

The increase in enforcement, according to ACPD spokesman Lt. Kip Malcolm, came after the police received complaints that the trucks were parking illegally beyond the two hour limit in the metered spots.

“They weren’t just writing parking tickets to the food trucks, they were writing tickets to all vehicles,” Malcolm told ARLnow.com. Officers from the Rosslyn district conducted meetings with the vendors about the parking situation. “Officers spoke with and warned food trucks about all the laws there.”

Malcolm said one food truck owner agreed with the enforcement. The vendor told police “it had to be done, the saving spots in overnight parking was getting out of hand,” Malcolm said. Not all food vendors that frequent Lynn Street — one of the busiest spots in the area for food trucks — think the enforcement is a good idea.

Maireni Melo, who works on Brandon’s Little Truck, strongly objected to the enforcement.

“They’re enforcing the two-hour parking limit, but they’re checking on vendor’s licenses and everything while they do it,” he said.

Brandon’s Little Truck was stopped from selling last week because of licensing issues, but they were back open for business today (Monday) for lunch. Melo sold out by 1:30 p.m., he said, and the line for the truck formed before the window even opened.

“We’ll just keep feeding the meter, even if there’s a limit,” he said. “We can afford a ticket. If you’re going to get a $35 ticket, that’s just a little more than three sandwiches.”

Che Ruddell-Tabisola, the executive director of the DMV Food Truck Association, said there’s been some confusion over whether trucks need to move after the two-hour limit on Lynn Street expires.

“Different enforcement officers have different answers,” he said. As for the enforcement campaign, spurred by complaints, Ruddell-Tabisola said similar situations have popped up around the area about the brick-and-mortar businesses complaining. “We’ve had situations where established brick-and-mortars oppose innovation and variety.”

Find the entire article at arlnow.com <here>

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vegan food truck customers

It’s Monday again, and for today’s Meatless Monday coverage we are going to look at individuals who have taken vegetarianism to the next level in their dietary lifestyle.

Growth in the mobile food industry is only being matched by the growth of individuals in the United States who have made the conscious effort to limit or even eliminate the amount of meat they include in their lives. There are now twice as many vegetarians in American as there were in 1994, and almost a third of them are now vegans.

vegan food truck customers

Food truck owners around the country are constantly looking to find new customers, and being able to offer the growing vegan population food from your truck is an easy way to expand your customer base.

The problem many mobile food unit operators have isn’t that they are open to expanding their menus, but that they aren’t sure what vegans can or cannot eat. Today’s article hopes to help those understand vegan food truck customers, and what they typically eat.

What is a Vegan?

As many people already know, vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or poultry. The way the vegans differ from vegetarians is that they do not eat other animal products and by-products such as eggs, dairy products and honey.

Why Veganism?

People choose to follow a vegan lifestyle for health, environmental, and/or ethical reasons. For example, some vegans feel that one promotes the meat industry by consuming eggs and dairy products.

Many vegans choose this lifestyle to promote a more humane and caring world. They know they are not perfect, but believe they have a responsibility to try to do their best, while not being judgmental of others.

Vegan Food Truck Customer Nutrition

The key to a nutritionally sound vegan diet is variety. A healthy and varied vegan diet includes fruits, vegetables, plenty of leafy greens, whole grain products, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Protein

It is very easy for a vegan diet to meet the recommendations for protein as long as calorie intake is adequate. Strict protein planning or combining is not necessary. The key is to eat a varied diet.

Almost all foods except for alcohol, sugar, and fats provide some protein. Vegan sources include: lentils, chickpeas, tofu, peas, peanut butter, soy milk, almonds, spinach, rice, whole wheat bread, potatoes, broccoli and kale.

Fat

Vegan diets are free of cholesterol and are generally low in saturated fat. Thus eating a vegan diet makes it easy to conform to recommendations given to reduce the risk of major chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. High-fat foods, which should be used sparingly, include oils, margarine, nuts, nut butters, seed butters, avocado, and coconut.

Calcium

Calcium, needed for strong bones, is found in dark green vegetables, tofu made with calcium sulfate, calcium-fortified soy milk and orange juice (I also heard that wheatgrass juice is good, tho you need a wheatgrass juicer), and many other foods commonly eaten by vegans. Although lower animal protein intake may reduce calcium losses, there is currently not enough evidence to suggest that vegans have lower calcium needs. Vegans should eat foods that are high in calcium and/or use a calcium supplement.

Other good sources of calcium include: okra, turnip greens, soybeans, tempeh, almond butter, broccoli, bok choy and commercial soy yogurt.

Zinc

Vegan diets can provide zinc at levels close to or even higher than the RDA. Zinc is found in grains, legumes, and nuts.

Iron

Dried beans and dark green leafy vegetables are especially good sources of iron, better on a per calorie basis than meat. Iron absorption is increased markedly by eating foods containing vitamin C along with foods containing iron.

Sources of Iron

Soybeans, lentils, blackstrap molasses, kidney beans, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, Swiss chard, tempeh, black beans, prune juice, beet greens, tahini, peas, bulghur, bok choy, raisins, watermelon, millet, and kale.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

In order to maximize production of DHA and EPA (omega-3 fatty acids), vegans should include good sources of alpha-linolenic acid in their diets such as flaxseed, flaxseed oil, canola oil, tofu, soybeans, and walnuts.

Common Vegan Foods

Oatmeal, stir-fried vegetables, cereal, toast, orange juice, peanut butter on whole wheat bread, frozen fruit desserts, lentil soup, salad bar items like chickpeas and three bean salad, dates, apples, macaroni, fruit smoothies, popcorn, spaghetti, vegetarian baked beans, guacamole, chili…

Vegans Also Eat…

Tofu lasagna, homemade pancakes without eggs, hummus, eggless cookies, soy ice cream, tempeh, corn chowder, soy yogurt, rice pudding, fava beans, banana muffins, spinach pies, oat nut burgers, falafel, corn fritters, French toast made with soy milk, soy hot dogs, vegetable burgers, pumpkin casserole, scrambled tofu, seitan.

Egg Replacers:

  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) soft tofu blended with the liquid ingredients of the recipe, or
  • 1 small banana, mashed, or
  • 1/4 cup applesauce, or
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot starch.

The following substitutions can be made for dairy products:

Soy milk, rice milk, potato milk, nut milk, or water (in some recipes) may be used. Buttermilk can be replaced with soured soy or rice milk. For each Cup of buttermilk, use 1 cup soymilk plus 1 tablespoon of vinegar.

Soy cheese available in health food stores. (Be aware that many soy cheeses contain casein, which is a dairy product.)

Crumbled tofu can be substituted for cottage cheese or ricotta cheese in lasagna and similar dishes.

Several brands of nondairy cream cheese are available in some supermarkets and kosher stores.

We hope this guide gives you a better understanding on how to serve vegan food truck customers. We understand that some trucks have a very limited menu, however, being able to add at least one vegan meal to your truck’s menu will allow even more people to enjoy your truck’s cuisine.

meatless monday

Please do your part today and join the movement? Signing up is fast and easy! Follow them on Twittter.

Mobile Cuisine Magazine looks forward to sharing Meatless Monday with our readers!

 

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espresso fun facts

The internet is full of fabulous facts about everything from current events to the history basket weaving. Because of this, as we research for our daily content on food trucks, food carts and street food, we stumble upon some items of knowledge that we just did not know.

We have decided when these fun facts pop up, that we would share them with our readers in our section titled “Did You Know?”

espresso fun factsFor today’s Did You Know we will look at Espresso fun facts.

The Facts: Espresso is coffee brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans. Espresso is generally thicker than coffee brewed by other methods, has a higher concentration of suspended and dissolved solids, and has crema on top (a foam with a creamy consistency).

  • Espresso is not referring to a particular type of bean, it is a drink.
  • Angelo Moriondo’s Italian patent for a steam-driven “instantaneous” coffee beverage making device, which was registered in Turin in 1884, is notable. Author Ian Bersten described the device as “… almost certainly the first Italian bar machine that controlled the supply of steam and water separately through the coffee. ” Unlike true espresso machines, it was a bulk brewer, and did not brew coffee “expressly” for the individual customer.
  • The origin of the term “espresso” is the subject of considerable debate. Although some Anglo-American dictionaries simply refer to “pressed-out”, “espresso,” much like the English word “express”, conveys the senses of “just for you” and “quickly,” which can be related to the method of espresso preparation.
  • November 24th is National Espresso Day.
  • Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world second to only oil.
  • Espresso is regulated by the Italian government because it is considered an essential part of their daily life.
Espresso Fun Facts We Missed

Please feel free to let us know if we may have missed some espresso fun facts in the comment section below. We always love to add to these lists. If we can verify that the facts is just that, a fact, we will give the reader credit in the article.

Reference: Wikipedia: Fun Facts about Espresso.