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8 Lessons For Future Food Truck Owners

When I was researching to start my own food truck (still in the planning stages) as well as the research I did for my book, “Running A Food Truck For Dummies”, I had the great fortune of receiving a lot of great advice from a lot of people with food truck experience.

In the spirit of sharing, I thought I would jot down some of the lessons I found the most helpful.

8 Lessons For Future Food Truck Owners

You can’t do it alone

Over the years you’ve heard about food trucks across the country as “one man” or “one woman” shows. The truth is there is no such thing. Sure, there are many successful food truck owners who came from backgrounds with very few advantages in life.

It’s also true that all of these people had to work incredibly hard to get where they are and they should be recognized for their hard work, but they still aren’t one person shows. No one is. Every single person who has experienced any degree of success in the mobile food industry has a long list of people they owe this success to.

You’re going to things that make you uncomfortable

Whether you have a fear of talking to strangers, or taking financial risks, being a successful food truck owner means coming up against your fears and doing what needs to be done. Every time you do something that needs to get done, despite being uncomfortable doing it, you’re bravely stepping up to the plate. Over time, the things that make you feel uncomfortable will become much easier.

Freedom comes with a price tag

There is a lot of freedom in being a food truck owner. When you work for yourself, you get to call the shots. You can take time off to do things a normal 9-5 doesn’t allow. But in exchange for these freedoms, you will have to put in long, hard hours. You may find yourself working harder than you have ever worked in your life.

You don’t have to step on other people

There is never a justifiable reason to speak poorly about your competitors, no matter what they may say about you behind your back or in public. One of the most satisfying things you can experience as a food trucker is uplifting other people, rather than pushing them down.

You have to learn how to say no

The ability to say no is crucial as a food truck owner. If you don’t master the art of saying no, sooner or later you will get burnt out and exhausted. You’ll eventually let staff and customers down if you attempt to keep up with everything. Commit only to the things you want and have the time to do well.

Flexibility is key

There are going to be times when things don’t go according to your plan. Look at your food truck business plan as a road map, and remember to leave plenty of time and space for detours. If you don’t bend, you’ll break.

Commitment is required daily

You don’t just commit to being a food truck vendor once in your life. You have to continually do it day in and day out. To take that a step further, there will be days when you have to recommit yourself multiple times a day. Doing what you love for a living sometimes means doing things you’d rather not.

You have the same amount of time as everyone else

Every food truck owner has a busy life, but most aren’t nearly as busy as they believe they are. In reality the problem isn’t that you don’t have enough time, it’s how you spend it. Try tracking everything you do for a week or two. See how many time wasters you can eliminate to make room for what you want to accomplish.

These eight lessons are just the start. There are a lot of brilliant people out there running food trucks, so I expect to keep learning every day I’m involved.

What have you learned that has changed the way you approach running a food truck? Do you have any additional lessons for future food truck owners? If so, feel free to share your ideas in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

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tulsa food trucks

MUSTANG, OK - Food trucks are not currently allowed in Mustang but the Mustang City Council is working to change that.

The ordinance the council is looking to pass is identical to the Oklahoma City ordinance for food trucks, Mustang City Manager Tim Rooney said.

The first council meeting to address the ordinance is Nov. 4.

Rooney said the council appears to be very supportive of the ordinance and thinks the citizens will welcome it as well.

Find the original article at koco.com <here>

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taco churros food truck

BATON ROUGE, LA - University students will soon see a new food truck driving around campus and cooking up Cajun cuisine with a South Louisiana touch.

Both Zatarain’s and the already established Taco Churro’s are owned and operated by Triple B’s Cajun Corner, based out of New Orleans. Triple B’s also serves Cajun cuisine in Tiger Stadium, The Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the Smoothie King Center.

To meet the needs of students, both food trucks will start to accept Tiger Cash and Paw Points.  Jimmy Saldana, partner with Triple B’s, said that should be finalized Monday.

Saldana said LSU is currently programming the registers and that they should be set up by Monday.

He said the Zatarain’s food truck is finalizing the menu this week and should open in two weeks. It will have several options, including jambalaya and crawfish pies along with hamburgers and hot dogs, “but with a Cajun flair to it,” he said.

Trevon Williams, biological engineering senior, said he thinks adding another food truck to expand dining options is “interesting.”

“It’s good to have somewhere to pass by and get a little something to eat if you’re going to class,” Williams said.

Joseph Goodman, chemistry junior, said he likes the idea of having food trucks on campus but wants to see more variety.

“It doesn’t really seem like the one we have right now has all that much to offer. Zatarain’s would definitely be a hit here,” Goodman said.

Both Goodman and Williams agree the food trucks will ease traffic in the Union and bring more variety to the food options on campus.

“I like how it gives the students another alternative to eating in the Union or at the Northgate,” Goodman said. “I know that people kind of get tired of eating the same stuff in the Union every day.”

Find the entire article at lsureveille.com <here>

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industry growth

NEW YORK, NY – According to the latest monthly report from American Express Market Briefing, food trucks are continuing their rise in popularity. The October issue tracking restaurant and foodservice trends compared food truck usage over the past three years, based on research by Technomic.

Of today’s consumers, just under one-third (32%) say that they have visited a mobile food truck for a meal or snack within the past three months. The proportion of diners who patronize food trucks has grown accordingly with the overall growth of the food truck phenomenon in the past year and its proliferation to new markets, says the report. For comparison, in July 2013, only one-fifth of consumers (21%) reported having visited a food truck recently — slightly lower than July 2012’s 26%.

However, the report points out that the most recent poll occurred in September, whereas the previous years’ polls were in July. With food trucks seen as a largely a warm-weather phenomenon, at least in northern climates, it’s possible that those polled most recently have had more opportunities to enjoy this summertime custom.

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monroe la city council

MONROE, LA – The controversial mobile food vendor ordinance will once again come before the Monroe City Council.

The ordinance, which was written and submitted by City Council Chairman Ray Armstrong, was the cause of much public debate earlier this year as local businesses and Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo expressed their disagreement and the council voted not to introduce the bill.

Mayo threatened to veto the ordinance if it did pass earlier this year.

Armstrong tells The News-Star he has rewritten the ordinance so that all of the concerns from the previous debates have been addressed.

“I have done extensive research into this,” he said. “I would encourage the passage of this ordinance.”

If the ordinance were to be passed at the council’s next meeting, it would allow for mobile food vendors, such as food trucks, hot dog carts and other forms, to operate in the city of Monroe.

One woman expressed her disagreement with the ordinance and said the ordinance would hurt small business owners in the city.

Armstrong said it is illegal to prohibit the passing of an ordinance to protect businesses from other competitors.

“America was not built by regulation,” he said. “America was built by people seeking freedom who were willing to take risks.”

Armstrong added that the success of mobile food vendors makes them a great opportunity for the city of Monroe.

The ordinance will be open for more public discussion at the council’s next meeting Oct. 28.