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food truck budgeting

When you begin planning for the start of a food truck business, you need to understand the various expenses you’ll need to plan for. Even if you have previous experience in the food service industry, you probably aren’t aware of all the things you’ll need to plan for when it comes to operating a food truck. Because of the difference in the businesses, consider the following expenses and budgeting for your new business.

5 Areas To Include In Your Food Truck Budgeting

Startup Costs For A Food Truck

There are a lot of things you’ll need to purchase up front that aren’t cheap. First and foremost, you’ll need a truck. These can cost anywhere from $10,000 – $150,000 for a used truck to over $200,000 for a completely new custom vehicle.

Related: Mobile Cuisine’s Food Trucks For Sale

After you have your truck, you’ll need to outfit it with the equipment you need to cook the food you plan to sell. If you’re selling pizza, you’re going to need some ovens and prep tables. However, if you’re selling ice cream or shaved ice, freezers will be key components.

Related: How Much Does It Cost To Start A Food Truck

Legal Requirements For A Food Truck

You’ll need to make sure you budget for all the legal requirements to operate a food truck. This will include city, country, and/or state permits. These permits cost varying amounts, depending on where you operate, so make sure to check with every municipality to plan to operate in to know the exact amount and how often those payments need to be made.

On top of your operational permits, you will need to account for insurance. Most municipalities require some sort of insurance for your mobile food business. The specific type and amount of insurance you have varies by state and city as well. Plus, you may decide that you want extra coverage that isn’t required. Talk to your insurance agent to make sure you have accounted for the coverage you need.

Related: Food Truck Insurance

Monthly Costs For A Food Truck

There are a number of ongoing costs you’ll need to budget as well. Are you paying employees? You’ll have to budget payroll. Purchasing ingredients is crucial, because if you don’t have these, you don’t have a product to sell.

You’ll need to purchase paper products. What you need again depends on what you’re selling. However, a good start is plates, cups, napkins, and plastic silverware. You’ll buy these items regularly, since they’re used by your customers every time they show up at your food truck’s service window.

Recurring Costs For A Food Truck

Other costs will occur frequently that you’ll need to budget. One of the most expensive things you’ll need to think about the cost to fuel your food truck. Depending on how often you move the truck every day, you may find yourself going through a full tank quite often. This won’t be a monthly cost, it will in all likelihood be a weekly or even daily, cost.

Also, unless you are well versed and skilled in vehicle maintenance, you are going to have additional costs for things such as:

  • Oil changes
  • Tire changes and rotations
  • Other preventative vehicle maintenance
  • Kitchen equipment repair or replacement

These items are critical to account for so you don’t have to spend time that could be spent on the road, in a mechanic’s bay.

Extra Costs For A Food Truck

It’s extremely important that you budget for extra expenses. If you don’t, you’ll be scrambling when problems come up. Consider adding an extra 5-10 percent of your budget each month for unexpected happenings. This gives you a buffer if there’s a problem. Some things to consider are extremely large repairs to the truck or equipment, having to hire a new employee, legal fees, and more. Each of these can cause a lot of trouble if you haven’t put money aside for problems.

I have never suggested that running a food truck is an easy job, but over the years of covering this industry, I can tell you it is extremely rewarding. If you carefully develop a budget for your food truck before you ever get on the road, you’ll have a much better chance of success.

If you’ve run into additional costs we’ve missed or things you’ve included in your food truck budgeting, please feel free to share them in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

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evansville indiana

EVANSVILLE, IN - Food trucks are now in Owensboro, and starting next week, they’ll be in downtown Evansville temporarily. It’s part of a two-month trial program that could lead to the city allowing these diners on wheels in some parts of Evansville.

“People love to eat outside,” says Joshua Armstrong, the Downtown Alliance Director for the SW Indiana Chamber.

Everyday we get hungry and, sometimes, we’re hungry for change.

“There’s quite a few options, but after you work here for a few months, it starts to, kind of, be the same places over and over,” says Michael Schade of Evansville. City officials want to introduce another option to downtown’s dining menu: food trucks, starting a test block on 3rd Street four hours a day for two months.

“I think it gives some diversity,” says Rebecca Russell, who lives in Dana Point, California. “It allows people to try out different foods that they wouldn’t necessarily try out that’s available. I think for the people that own the food truck, they have menus they can tweak, depending on the clientele.” Armstrong says they started the program to get city code changed to allow food trucks. Currently, city law prohibits them from parking on public streets.

“When you apply for your permit through the county, you’re given a list of regulations and one of them is you have to park on private property with permission of the property owner or the tenant,” he explains. “So, within that, that automatically excludes all city streets.”

Armstrong adds the site will also bring in contractors working on downtown projects in the future, and get Evansville hungry for more.

“It would be kind of a cool experience just to get to walk up and, you know, maybe get to meet someone new, get some good food,” Schade adds.

City officials say if the program works, an ordinance allowing food trucks to operate on city streets could be introduced after the test program ends.

Find the original article at tristatehomepage.com <here>

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detroit food trucks

EAST LANSING, MI - As the outdoor growing season comes to a close and seasonal farmer’s market customers look for a venue to find locally prepared food in an outdoor community setting, they may have to look no further than Twitter. Food trucks are on the rise in Michigan, which echoes a nationwide trend of these small, mobile food businesses increasing in number. Since these businesses may change locations many times per day, food truck owners will often update their whereabouts via Twitter, Facebook or their website. Check out some food trucks local to southeast Michigan at these handles: @elGuapoGrill, @MarksCartsA2 and@TravelBurger. Despite our state’s potentially extreme winter weather, many food trucks stay open year round and appreciate support through our colder months.

Food trucks may not seem like a large piece of our food economy, but according to a recent report, food trucks currently bring in $650 million every year, nationwide. This amount is expected to increase, so much so that food truck revenue is projected to account for $2.7 billion over the next five years. Despite this growth, the food truck business has some unique challenges.

In southeast Michigan, one community action project is working to improve the licensing procedures and policy related to running a mobile food business in the city of Detroit. This project comes out of FoodLab Detroit, a nonprofit organization devoted to providing resources, support and a strong network of small food businesses in the region. In addition, FoodLab offers a food truck licensing guide as a resource for new mobile business owners. This resource would be useful to anyone in Michigan, and particularly helpful for those located in the southeast region. The MSU Product Center also offers services to address issues surrounding regulations and licenses, as well as assistance with concept definition, business planning, business development, marketing, branding and market research.

In Michigan, food trucks are gaining traction through a variety of means. A popular way to highlight these businesses are community sponsored food truck rallies, which are often hosted in conjunction with other community events. These gatherings host multiple trucks and usually feature various types of cuisine. Some farmers markets will also host one or more food trucks in conjunction with market day. If you have not had the chance to experience a food truck rally, there may be one in your area organized for the late fall. The Oct. 30 rally at Detroit Eastern Market is one example.

Find the entire article at msu.edu <here>

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first food truck employee

If you have big ambitions for your mobile food business, eventually (perhaps even at start up) you’re going to have so much to do that you can’t do it all yourself. When that day comes, it’s time to hire your first  food truck employee.

3 tips to help you manage hiring your first food truck employee:

Knowledge First

You can’t just hire people, pay them with a wad of cash every two weeks and then lather, rinse, repeat. Start by learning everything you need to know about becoming an employer.

The Small Business Administration outlines the steps you need to take and everything you need to consider, like getting an employer identification number (EIN), tax withholding, wage and tax reporting, employee eligibility verification, workers’ compensation insurance, quarterly federal taxes and record keeping requirements.

There’s a lot to think about, but it’s manageable.

Now that you have the government’s blessing, it’s time to work on a hiring strategy.

Define Roles

When making your first official hires, it’s better to go with clearly defined roles.

That means taking stock of the tasks that you need a hand with and creating a position in support of those needs. Are you going to be working in the kitchen or working directly with your customers?

The answer to this question will help you to determine what type of skill set you are looking for in your first food truck employee(s).

Mind you, a little flexibility doesn’t hurt and helping employees spread their wings can help you nurture your food truck staff.

Food Truck Business Culture

Another important factor to consider before making your first hire is your food truck’s culture.

What values, traditions and practices do you want to shape your mobile food business? Once you’ve figured out what kind of workplace and culture you want, the better your chances of finding someone who shares that vision.

Once you’ve determined what defines your food truck as a workplace, look for hires that fit the bill. If your employees share your vision, they’re more likely to excel in their jobs and all stick around long enough to help you succeed.

BONUS: We now provide food truck employers and those looking for food truck jobs a great way to meet. Food Truck Jobs at Mobile Cuisine is the perfect solution for employers who want people who have specific food truck experience. Post your food truck job today!!!

If you are an old hat at hiring, what tips would share with vendors looking to hire their first food truck employee? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

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Tara Food Truck Quote

“Coming face to face with our customers and seeing them smile when they get our food is worth every minute to us. We love feeding people,” – Tara Love

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AUSTIN, TX - Police have charged a teenager and a man accused of burglarizing three food trailers at the Barton Springs Picnic food court in June.

According to an arrest affidavit, in the early morning hours of June 14, 17-year-old Yale Gerstein cut open padlocks at the Ms. P’s Electric Cock Fried Chicken, The Seedling Truck and Hey!…You Gonna Eat or What? food trailers with bolt cutters.

The affidavit says $1,000 was stolen from the Ms. P’s truck, but the other businesses reported nothing was taken.

Surveillance camera images captured two different people the night of the burglary, according to police. On July 3, police arrested Gerstein for theft in the Zilker Park area, and 24-year-old Lonnie Whitaker was also detained.

Gerstein told police that Whitaker burglarized a smoke shop and two food trailers on Barton Springs Road. Gerstein also told police he didn’t participate in the crime, but watched from across the street. Later, Whitaker told police that Gerstein and a third person were involved. He identified himself and Gerstein in the surveillance photos.

Whitaker and Gerstein are charged with burglary of a building.

Find the original article at kvue.com <here>