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Business Tips

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tip of the day

Unlike restaurant owners who operate a franchise, most likely you do not will have a professionally prepared operations manual that contains everything you need to run and operate your mobile food business.

Since you have started your own food truck, you will need to do all of this yourself.

A food manual is a record of all of your recipes for the menu items you are serving from your food truck. Your food manual should contain:

  • The specifications for the raw ingredients, cook times and temperature for each item and the size of each portion.
  • Preparation procedures
  • Holding times and temperatures.
  • Procedures for handling left-overs
  • Food storage procedures
  • Food safety procedures
  • Food cost for each portion and suggested price

If you want to be able to give a nutritional analysis of each menu item or dish, this can be done with a good software program.

Having this written down for all of your menu items will help you keep consistency in your menu and it will be a great help if you have a change of cooks or chefs.

 

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Although the recession is showing no signs of ending, especially with the latest news breaking in Greece and Italy, it’s still a great time to be a mobile food entrepreneur. In the last decade, technology has helped to level the playing field in the food service industry and is a primary cause that has propelled the current food truck revolution.

You as an entrepreneur, now have more access to information that in-turn enables you to make more intelligent choices much faster than before. You have an advantage over big restaurant businesses in that you’re lighter, more flexible, and faster on your feet. You can target new target areas more quickly, and you can turn on a dime.

But being a successful food truck operator requires that you look at the big picture and follow a plan through from beginning to end. We have come up with some practical guidelines that can help you when beginning your own mobile enterprise:

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

Consider starting your food truck business part-time. It can take upwards of six months to a year to get a food trucks business going and you don’t want your ability to make your house payment to hinge upon your truck being an overnight success. Start with what you can manage, financially and time-wise, and scale up as your business grows.

Find Your Niche

Food trucks typically do not have more than 8-10 regular menu items which means consumers typically look for a truck that specializes in a specific cuisine. You have to find a need, something a specific group of people want, but can’t get at the big chain restaurants or other local food trucks; and fill it.  At the beginning, you will not be able to compete with the big guys, so you have to find where the big guys aren’t and go into your niches.

Have an Online Presence

Even if you’re not planning to start selling food from your truck online, consider that the internet can still play a valuable role in your mobile food company. Having an online presence will broaden your customer base by, literally, millions. It’s also a great tool for promoting yourself and letting people, even in your own area, know that you’re there, and what you’re doing. If your truck caters events, your website is the perfect place to let people know.

Refuse to Quit

Successful entrepreneurship requires creativity, energy, and a drive to keep going when you fail. Few people realize that before Bill Gates created the extremely successful Microsoft 3.0, he created a Microsoft 1.0 and 2.0, both of which flopped, but he kept at it. And that determination and refusal to give up is what will separate successful entrepreneurs from unsuccessful ones. Arm yourself with optimism to get beyond the ‘No’ or the trouble. There is nothing wrong in failure, just be sure not to repeat the same mistake.

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