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OUR LATEST POSTS

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fake online reviews

Fake online reviews can become a food truck owner’s worst nightmare.  Websites such as Yelp, Google Places, or even Facebook, can damage a truck’s good reputation at the click of a button.

The advancement of social media has resulted in a host of creative ways to damage a mobile food business name and the internet has become the arsenal for competitors, disgruntled and former employees.

It is thought that by the end of the year, up to 15 percent of online social media reviews could be fake, and it’s a two-way street. Some seeking positive reviews will pay to have five-star ratings while those looking to damage the reputation of another will pay for bad reviews.

Those receiving bad reviews have attempted to turn things around with paid five-star reviews, resulting in a discombobulated and completely inaccurate overview of a business. Add to that the negative reviews left by disgruntled or former employees creating more havoc and leaving a mobile food vendor to feel helpless.

How trustworthy are social media reviews to consumers?  Some reports claim that consumer trust in social media reviews is currently low.

The good news is the Federal Trade Commission is cracking down on fake reviews. Companies face litigation from the FTC for forging fake reviews.

The best way a food truck owner can take to prevent fake online reviews: Pay attention!

Without the aid of social media log-in, computer algorithm and the expense of a lawsuit, food truck owners can protect themselves from fake online reviews by close monitoring of review sites and paying attention to specific patterns in writing, such as common verbiage in multiple reviews. Be on the alert for common misspelled words and pay attention to capitalization.

Those who don’t know the proper spelling of a word will carry the misspelled word throughout each post. Some positing under various identities can be spotted by repeated punctuation errors.  There are, of course, those who are obvious repeat offenders, failing to hide their transparency with verbiage changes. Multiple posts using words such as “gross” or “sick” should trigger a red flag.

If there are suspicious reviews, you can flag the review and take the initiative to contact the website and request the reviews be authenticated or removed.  At the least, protect your mobile food business by marking the suspicious review as spam.

Remember though, that these methods are only useful for legitimate fake reviews. And they’ll only be taken seriously if the review is damaging your food truck business and appears to be fake, or written by a competing business.

Just to be clear, you can’t use any of these strategies for real reviews. If you’ve been taking a digital beating for bad service or bad food, then the obvious answer is to start impress every single person who comes to your service window so that their good reviews make the bad reviews look silly and outdated.

Please Note: Don’t waste your time or money trying to sue review sites over fake online reviews. Websites such as Yelp are protected by the Communications Decency Act. Under Section 230, and aren’t liable for any defamatory content made by its users, as they are considered third- party re-publishers of the content.

Do you have any tips on how to avoid or find fake online reviews? If so, please feel free to share them in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

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fudge 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?”

For today’s Did You Know we will look at fudge fun facts.

The Facts: Fudge is a type of confectionery, which is usually soft, sweet, and rich. It is made by mixing sugar, butter, and milk, heating it to the soft-ball stage at 240 °F, and then beating the mixture while it cools so that it acquires a smooth, creamy consistency. The product is sold in a variety of flavors, and fruits and nuts, as well as candies which are sometimes added.

  • It is believed that someone was making caramel when they “fudged” up the recipe. The result was delicious, but the name stuck even as fudge grew in popularity.
  • Another story goes, that a college lecturer in Virginia, was teaching a class in toffee making, and the temperature was not taken high enough resulting in what we now know as fudge.
  • In 1886, fudge was sold at a local Baltimore grocery store for 40 cents a pound.  This is the first known sale of fudge.
  • November 20th is National Peanut Butter Fudge Day.
  • The largest slab of fudge weighed 5,760 lb and was made by Northwest Fudge Factory in Levack, Ontario, Canada, on 23 October 2010.
Fudge Fun Facts We Missed

Please feel free to let us know if we may have missed some fudge 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 Fudge.

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el paso tx

EL PASO, TX - If you have noticed more food trucks gathering around El Paso, you’re right!

“We are here at the Title Max on Mesa Street and Remcon Circle on the west side, we are here Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” Arturo Nevarez, owner of Big Dogs Hot Dogs said.

It’s a schedule like that for these food truck vendors firing up their generators which have just become routine in the past few months.

“There’s a good atmosphere and plenty of food,” Gandy Vargas said as he enjoyed a dish from one of the food trucks.

“We have a little bit of everything. We have tacos. We have pizza,” Nevarez said of all the different types of food trucks he sees in El Paso.

Nevarez said this gathering wouldn’t be possible if an old ordinance on food trucks was still in effect.

“You couldn’t be parked at a certain spot for 20 minutes. You had to be going around and the customers would flag you down and you couldn’t be near a restaurant,” Nevarez said.

That ordinance ended in 2011.

It’s paved the way for the food truck industry to really gain some traction in El Paso.

According to El Paso’s Department of Public Health, this year so far there are 384 mobile food vendor licenses.

It is still less than Austin’s 1,119 permits issued for city and county combined this fiscal year.

But compare that 384 number to the time the ordinance was still in effect — there weren’t even 250.

Find the entire article at kfoxtv.com <here>

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food truck thanksgiving

In a recent report, The National Restaurant Association (NRA) shared that more than an estimated that 30 million Americans enlist the help of restaurants for their Thanksgiving feast by dining out or using takeout to serve their guests.

Just as restaurants can be used to help cater or serve their customers fresh, safe and delicious Thanksgiving meals, so can food trucks. Preparing a food truck Thanksgiving meal safely will ensure an enjoyable holiday for your customers.

Food and cooking are always a big part of holiday celebrations, so putting food safety practices in focus this time of year will help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Whether cooking in your commissary or food truck kitchen, basic principles like cleaning and sanitizing, and cooking to proper temperatures should be part of everyone’s food safety knowledge base.

Here are 5 safety tips to use when preparing a Food Truck Thanksgiving meal:
  • Thaw your turkey in the fridge. While you can thaw a frozen turkey under running water or in the microwave, the best way is in the refrigerator overnight (or longer). Be sure to follow the instructions on the package.
  • Store raw turkey away from ready-to-eat food. Make sure your raw turkey is covered and stored in a leak-proof container on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. You want to keep it away from foods that are ready to eat, such as desserts and salads, to avoid the risk of cross-contamination.
  • Clean and sanitize your sink and counters. After rinsing your raw turkey thoroughly, properly clean and sanitize the sink and surrounding area before starting to prepare any other food.
  • Cook your turkey to safe internal temperature. Use a properly calibrated meat thermometer to check that your turkey has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Insert the thermometer to the dimple on the stem in the thickest part of the breast and thigh for accurate readings.
  • Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot. Prep salads, cranberries and other colds items first and store them in the fridge until ready to serve. Then prep your hot dishes closer to serving time so they stay hot. Keep all food items outside the “temperature danger zone” (41 to 135 degrees) as much as possible.

We hope you use these food truck Thanksgiving meal tips to help prevent your customers or anyone you happen to serve safely.

Has your mobile food business served a food truck Thanksgiving menu to your customers? We’d love to hear from you and your experiences. Please feel free to share them in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.