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word of mouth

Word of mouth marketing will always be the best form of promotion any mobile food industry operator can expect to achieve. For this reason, the staff at Mobile Cuisine Magazine has decided that we needed to look at the two most commonly used forms of word of mouth marketing; on and offline word of mouth.

Today, in part 1 of this series will look at the oldest and most reliable form of word of mouth marketing that almost everyone is accustomed to, we will be referring to this as “offline” word of mouth.

To start things off let’s ask you some questions to get you started thinking about creating word of mouth recommendations for your mobile business.

Why should anyone talk about your food truck or cart in a positive way?

Do customers talk about your mobile eatery if your food was good?

Do they talk about your business if your service was good?

In most cases the vast majority of people do not spread good things about a food establishment if the customer receives the type of food and service they expect.

Do customers talk about tell others if your food or your service was bad?

When customers receive poor quality food or bad service, this is when many people make sure to let others know about the issues that they have had with a particular food truck or other variation of street food vendor.

Now that we have established that a business owner is unlikely to get positive word of mouth with good service and food, yet very likely to get negative word of mouth for poor service or food, we can conclude that positive word of mouth is much harder to achieve and negative word of mouth is almost an absolute given.

The big question many will have is, why the difference? It is rather simple if you spend any time thinking about it. It is in our human nature to hold onto anger longer than pleasure. We tend to discuss the reasons we are upset far more than why we might be happy about something. Being frustrated or upset by a situation will burn deeply into our memory and we will tend to overreact.

In these cases, the food truck business the primary loser. Yes, the customer may have felt slighted, but ultimately, the business will take the brunt of their frustration in the long run. It often doesn’t take more than a small incident to create bad feelings, particularly when your customer has had a bad day already. You and your customer service staff must be aware of what our customers are seeking. Be understanding and alert as awareness and intuitiveness are key ingredients in customer service. Great customer service comes from paying attention and sensing the moods of everyone that steps up to your truck.

Turning around a situation is well within the bounds of well trained and understanding staff, so all is not lost.

How to create powerful word of mouth is a whole study in itself, but the basics are common sense and logical.

Very often just providing good service or food is not enough to encourage word of mouth recommendations; after all, these things are expected. There needs to be additional reasons for wanting to bring up the subject of where you ate last night and how good it was. Obvious examples are special occasions, such as Valentine’s Day. This could trigger conversations like, “What did you do last night?”…”Oh, we went to <insert your food truck name here>, wonderful food, really fast and friendly, you should definitely try it sometime.”

Although a nice comment, even this type of statement may not attract someone to follow their friend or acquaintance’s recommendation. For word of mouth to be effective it has to have some passion and excitement in it. That means your customer has to have been excited by what they experienced. This, in turn, means that your customer will want to instigate a conversation, rather than just respond to a question they may never be asked.

Hopefully this will make sense to you. Try to remember the last time you were wowed enough by a product or service to start a conversation about it. Very often these situations are few and far between.

How are you going to create sufficient excitement so that your customers want to tell the world? If your customer service is full of passion, that carries over to your customers and can be infectious. Without the passion in your service, how do you expect your customers to get excited? So that’s your starting point, customer service that is full of passion and fire.

Next, ignite the fires of passion in your customer, get them involved and encourage them to join the party. It is much easier to get parties of four or more people to get into the mood. Couples are different, they may well be in their own world. Individuals need more personal attention. Therefore it makes more sense and it is much easier to encourage parties of four or more to become your advocates.

With a little encouragement you should be able to create some word of mouth activity from at least 1 or 2 of the party. Ask if you can take some photos of them in the party spirit. Tell them you would like to place the photos on your customer wall board as well as your blog. (You will need their permission to do this) Offer to email copies of the photos to each of them, so that they can share them with their friends.

For individuals and couples, give them a couple of your business cards each and ask them to pass the cards to a friend or colleague who would appreciate your kind of hospitality, food and service.  Incidentally, we recommend a specially printed card for this purpose. It is very rare for a restaurateur to do this and they really are missing an out on an opportunity.

Manage and meet customer expectations all the time. How do you do this? Back up your brand’s claim or promise each time. A good example is:

  • Maintain your price range within the level your buyers expect, if you need to increase prices make sure you communicate this to them with a little justification of why you need to do so.

Customer service is the framework where loyalty and trust is built on. This is where your company can really stand out in a different way from your competition. Quality customer service is simply going out of your way to please the customer. It is that extra effort, one sincere action, the personal touch that ultimately affects buyers choice to keep remembering you and recommending you.

In part 2 we will be discussing how to utilize the power of word of mouth online; we call this word of mouse.

Keep an eye out for part 2 to be published within the next week. In the meantime if you would like to share how you encourage word of mouth, go ahead and let us know via the comments button below.

Part 2

food truck debate

As our industry becomes more main stream throughout the country, more and more cities are beginning to look at starting a dialog to determine if food trucks have a place in their communities.

We have researched many of the common points brought up by those opposing mobile vendors. Although many of those against the rise of food trucks have ulterior motives that circle back to the brick and mortar restaurant industry.

If the industry is to continue its growth, we need to identify those issues, sit down and civilly discuss that food trucks are not the danger to restaurants and communities that many are trying to convince cities they are.

Food Truck Debate Issue 1: Food Trucks don’t pay rent

They may not have leases or rent payments as high as restaurants, but food trucks still have to pay for commissary space to clean and restock their “kitchens,” they pay for licenses, permits, food and staff.

In many communities, food trucks also are legally required to pay for rent on storage space and commissaries where they do most of the prep work.

In cities such as San Francisco, mobile vendors are charged upwards of $10,000 a year to maintain their licenses in certain districts. New York City has a limit of permits they issue to street vendors which include trucks and carts.

Outside of liquor licenses, cities do not limit the amount of restaurants which can operate within their city limits.

Food Truck Debate Issue 2: Food Trucks unfairly compete with restaurants

One of the most common complaints by dissenters is that Food Truck operator’s relatively low costs give them “an unfair advantage”. Before the recent uptick in mobile food vendors across the country, this occurrence in the restaurant industry was always referred to as a “competitive advantage.”

So long as the owner of a competitive advantage was passing the benefit of their “advantage” to their customers in terms of value both economically and the quality of their cuisine, this has always been looked at as a positive.

The fact that the mobile food industry has changed its perceived limitation as a “food of only convenience” is what has shifted consumer perception. The current emphasis on value in the market strongly favors the Food Truck model, and is what has attracted many consumers to the new generation of food trucks.

Food Truck Debate Issue 3: Food Trucks only go to trendy areas

Of course food trucks go to trendy areas, food trucks thrive in areas with high foot traffic, but at the same time, isn’t that what restaurant owners try to do when they open up?

They find areas where their business model has the best chance to succeed. Why should food trucks be held down to a foundation or lease if all they have to do is start up their truck and drive to another area where consumers spend their time?

It can also be said that trucks develop something close to cults. Food trucks have followers, the difference lies in their devotion and as shown to date, food truck followers will follow their food wherever it is, so new trendy areas can be created by food trucks that new restaurateurs can follow if they choose.

Food Truck Debate Issue 4: Food Trucks polute the environment

The longer the food truck industry is popular; technology will help it to become greener.

Many trucks around the country already run their vehicles off the vegetable oil they produce so as to cut down on oil costs for fuel and the emissions their trucks create. If they are so concerned about the environment, are they as critical of restaurants that generate upwards of 41% of their carbon foot print from merely heating and lighting their restaurants?

Dependent on the area of the country and what is their source of power generation, I’d certainly take a food truck that is driving around town on vegetable oil or biodiesel, over a restaurant that requires nuclear or coal based power generation.

Food Truck Debate Issue 5: Food Trucks generate excessive trash

This is an area where we may be in agreement currently, however the food truck industry is evolving. An example of this can be seen in San Francisco where the group Off the Grid has created lots for food truck festivals throughout the week.

When they started, they were holding 3 hour events where approximately 300 hundred consumers attended every hour, now they are holding 4 hour events with upwards of 700 consumers showing up every hour.

Their solution? Asking each vendor to provide a trash can outside of their vehicle as well as charging each truck a little more for their participation so the event planners can hire more assistance to help clean up the site.

Food Truck Debate Issue 6: Food Trucks create more traffic

food truck debateSince food trucks spend the majority of their operating time parked in a lot or a parking spot selling their fare, this point seems moot. Another way to look at this argument is that food trucks use social media to inform customers of their location from day to day.

Much of their sales come from people already in the area, as opposed to many brick and mortar establishments which get people taking taxis or driving themselves to the restaurant’s permanent location. Imagine the cuts in deaths due to traffic incidents if people stopped using taxis or personal vehicles to get to their food source?

These are far from all of the negative points driven by those who do not back the food truck industry, but we have found these to be the most common.

If you are aware of other topics which are used to attempt to dissuade municipalities from approving laws and regulations which allow food trucks into their community, feel free to share them with us in our comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.


It’s Movember, time to grow a mo or a support a bro as “a gentleman is, after all, still a man no matter how gentle he is.”  The Movember movement started 7 years ago by 30 mates in Australia and the phenomena has grown worldwide; now 9 other countries are on board including New Zealand, USA & Canada.

Participate or Donate

Last year over 128 000 Mo Bro & Mo Sistas participated in earning 21 million dollars for men’s health charities.  Participants begin clean shaven on November 1st then proceed to grow a Mo until the campaign closes on 10th December, using this as an opportunity to promote the cause and acquire nominee sponsorship.

The face of men’s health in terms of public awareness and charitable funding is pale in comparison to that of women’s health, though the moustache symbol is becoming iconic, easily recognizable as a cause worthy of donation.  This is especially the case in Australia, though fund raising endeavors are now occurring throughout November across the globe.

Sporting the Stash for Cash & the Cause

Movember 2010 Campaign’s slogan is “Every Man Deserves a Bit of Luxury” and their official Australian Foundation site explains, “As a result of a lack of awareness around men’s health issues in the past, many men today do not fully understand or know about the risks they face.”  The luxury of awareness, education and funding is being afforded to men with this effective campaign.

It is a fact that cancer occurs more frequently in men and research shows men require resources in identifying issues, seeking treatment and looking out for one another in terms of health.  The moustache symbol is a comedic spin and a humorous catalyst for behavioural change regarding serious matters.  Part of the intention of this campaign is to “give men the opportunity and confidence to talk about their health.”

The Movember Foundation Register

The premise behind Movember is simple in that participants begin with an online registration: If you’re back for 2010, you login and reactivate your account or if you’re new to Movember you sign up and begin.   From there participants campaign either individually or on a team, earning support through nominations and the possibility of receiving some prestige such as Man of Movember, Miss Movember or Team Mo, meaning the campaign is open for everyone to participate, including women in support of their men.

The moustache is now iconic with this international campaign aiming in large part to break down the barriers and taboos surrounding the men’s health movement. Movember United States is a distinguished foundation and the iconic moustache is held in high esteem.  The international organization originated in Australia which speaks to the campaign’s cleverly designed nature whereby public awareness and funding is raised for serious men’s health issues addressed with a vital sense of humor; therein lies the secret of this greatly successful, ever growing campaign.

Do your part today, sign up for Team Mobile Cuisine and donate to this great cause. If you are already a member and belong to another team, feel free to just donate.

julia child

Today marks the 9 year anniversary of the loss of a true trail blazer in the culinary world. On August 13th, 2004 Julia Child passed away just 2 days before her 92nd birthday. To mark this day, we are re-publishing an article we shared last year.

My Life in France chronicles Julia Child’s life from the year she arrived in France in 1948, knowing nothing about the French culture or language, nor the cuisine she would so famously present to to America in her ground-breaking cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and her television show, The French Chef.

What does any of that have to do with your food truck business? One of the things that stood out about Julia as she progressed from culinary disaster to American icon was her business savvy. Of course she didn’t specifically set out to achieve all that she did the day she arrived in France, or even the day she took her first cooking class, but she was passionate about her work and proactive in how she achieved her goals, and her dogged persistence is not only what turned her into a great chef, but also what made her a household name.

julia child

10 lessons you can learn from Julia Child and apply them to your food truck business:

Invest in yourself.

Julia didn’t speak French when she arrived in France. In fact, she says her French seemed to get worse the more she tried to use it and she was surprised the French could understand her at all. “…my inability to communicate was hugely frustrating,” she wrote. One night after a party of mostly French speakers, she’d had it. She declared she was going to learn to speak the language no matter what it took and signed up for a language class that met for six hours each week, plus homework.

Follow your passion.

Julia’s friends, both French and American, thought her early interest in cooking was a little nutty. It wasn’t a middle-class hobby, in fact, far from it: they didn’t understand how she could enjoy shopping, cooking, and serving food all by herself. But Julia, encouraged by Paul, ignored them and pursued her passion.

You’re never too old to learn something new.

Julia was 36 years old when she started learning a new language. She didn’t enroll in culinary school until age 37. Julia had a constant thirst for knowledge and didn’t rest until she’d mastered or learned whatever it was that piqued her curiosity.

Cultivate enthusiasm.

Julia’s words about food and learning to cook practically jump off the pages. While reading it, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to keep reading or go cook something. Her passion is infectious, and it was something she purposefully cultivated while observing her cooking professor, Chef Bugnard. “It was a remarkable lesson,” she wrote. “No dish, not even the humble scrambled egg, was too much trouble for him…I was delighted by Bugnard’s enthusiasm and thoughtfulness. And I began to internalize it.”

Accept that doing anything well requires hard work.

Julia wasn’t satisfied to take culinary classes or write recipes off-the-cuff — her kitchen was her laboratory. While in culinary school, she’d come home from class and spend hours working out the how’s and why’s of what she’d learned that day. When writing recipes, she’d test every ingredient and measurement, experimenting with mayonnaise until she was certain no one could possibly have written more on the subject than she had. “I had never taken anything so seriously in my life — husband and cat exempted — and I could hardly bear to be away from the kitchen,” she wrote.

Nix the self-deprecating scripts. 

When a recipe fell flat, Julia didn’t excuse it with self-deprecating comments. “I don’t believe in twisting yourself into knots of excuses and explanations…” she wrote. These types of admissions only draw attention to your shortcomings (or your perceived shortcomings). Usually you’re better than you think you are, and if something really goes wrong, Julia would advise you to suck it up and learn from your mistakes.

Solicit feedback from your audience.

Julia was big on soliciting feedback. Paul was her main go-to, but while developing her recipes, she’d also send them to trusted friends and family members in America for testing. Did they have the ingredients at their local grocery? Were her instructions clear? Did they like her vocabulary? Julia wanted to bring French cooking to American audiences; she knew it wasn’t about her. She made sure her audience would be able to follow her recipes — and actually cared about French cooking.

Expand your skill set.

Julia was passionate about teaching others to cook. But to do it well, she couldn’t just be a good cook — she had to learn how to be a good teacher. “I decided that, though the cooking we’d done was fine, my presentation had not been very clear…I felt I’d have to teach at least a hundred classes before I really knew what I was doing,” she wrote. Learning how to teach was helpful throughout her career, both for writing recipes and as the host of her own cooking show.

Subject beliefs to “the operational proof.”

In France, wrote Julia, cooking is a major art, which brings with it a certain dogmatism. But she wasn’t satisfied to accept things at face value. She preferred to view everything as a theory until she’d tested it for herself. She checked her recipe on the page and in the oven, and she’d investigate the old wives’ tales too. As you can imagine, it took a lot of time to perfect even one recipe. “I felt we should strive to show our readers how to make everything top-notch, and explain, if possible, why things work one way but not another,” she wrote.

Know your worth. 

Publishing Mastering the Art of French Cooking wasn’t easy. Julia’s co-authors wanted to stay with an agent who hadn’t replied to their communications in months, but thanks to a little networking, Julia secured a much better publishing company for their project. She knew its worth long before it was completed, writing, “Competition in this field is stiff, but we feel this may well be a major work on French cooking…and could continue to sell for years.”

Julia Child cooking quote

Julia’s business savvy isn’t what she’s famous for, but it is what made her famous and allowed her to accomplish her life goal: bringing French food to American dinner tables and sharing her passion with the world.

Which of these lessons can you use to make a positive change in your career or mobile food business?

How To Start A Food Truck

If you are one of the thousands of people that are currently researching how to start a food truck that will sell gourmet burgers, tacos or grilled cheese sandwiches by the truck load, the first thing to seriously consider is not your budget, not the mobile kitchen and not the hours you will be working. The first thing you must consider is the type and style of food you will be selling.

Everything else will flow from the food, so make sure you understand the food you plan on selling from your menu before making business or emotional decisions on everything else.

How To Start A Food TruckYour first major investment will obviously be in the purchase of the food truck itself; however the type of food you will be preparing and selling will govern the type of kitchen you are going to need.

The first thing to do is to research which types of kitchens are most used for selling the food you will be basing your business on; this will serve to narrow down the list of mobile kitchen equipment and components to something that is more manageable for you to realistically research in depth and contrast and compare.

RELATED: Food Trucks For Sale

The type of food you will be offering will also lead you to consider your storage and refrigeration requirements. If you are selling ice cream or frozen yogurts, you are going to need a lot of refrigeration capacity, but a lot less will be needed if you are going to be cooking burgers all day.

How much actual cooking will be required?

If you are going to be grilling chicken and pork then you may want extra grill space, but if you are making up subs or other cold sandwiches, do you really need any grilling space at all? You may want to maximize the food prep space instead.

How the food will be served?

It’s simple to hand over a bahn-mi in a bun, take the money, give change and smile at the next customer in the line, but do you want to offer something more for your customers, such as a place to sit down and take some time while they eat (if this is something your local municipality allows)?

Just because this is a mobile operation does not mean you have to ditch adding value for customers, or employing strategies to help differentiate you from the rest of the competition.

How high is your projected sales volume?

This will affect how many people you are going to need inside the food truck to assist with food prep and sales, and this in turn will affect the actual total storage, prep and selling space you are going to need in the truck itself. If it is too small, you may lose sales and valuable business; too large and you waste valuable investment capital.

Consider how you will prepare the food and the time involved between acquiring the basic ingredients for your dish and time to sell it.

Particularly, do you have to prep and store food off-site, or do you need to do this in the on the truck? The more reliance you place on your mobile kitchen, the greater your need for a good layout, more storage, more prep space and more refrigeration.

We hope this article will help those who are trying to find out how to start a food truck. If you are a current food truck owner and think we may have missed something, please feel free to leave us a comment in the section below, Tweet us or leave your comment on our Facebook page.

Mobile Cuisine Magazine is proud to provide our readers with another article designed to inform them about a multifaceted program that is spreading throughout the country. We have designated our Monday features to help promote the Meatless Monday’s program which not only do we support on the website, but our staff actually has adopted in our Monday dietary lifestyle.



We are always looking for information to share that will entertain, but also educates our readers on reasons why eating meatless (on at least one day of the week) can help to improve your lives. Today we wanted to point out the findings in a 2010 study on the intake of alpha-carotene.

People with high blood levels of alpha-carotene, an antioxidant found in orange fruits and vegetables like carrots, winter squash, oranges and tangerines, live longer and are less likely to die of heart disease and cancer than people who have little or none of it in their bloodstream, the new study reports.

Unfortunately, the study does not prove a cause and effect relationship, but only provides an association between the two. With that said, the study and its findings are very interesting since in the past, other clinical studies haven’t even provided that much.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have researched and analyzed alpha-carotene levels in blood samples from more than 15,000 adults who participated in a follow-up study of the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, known as Nhanes, from 1988 to 1994.

By 2006, researchers determined, 3,810 of the participants had died. But those with the highest levels of alpha-carotene were more likely to have survived, even after the scientists controlled for variables like age, body mass index and smoking.

Those with the highest concentrations of the antioxidant were almost 40 percent less likely to have died than those with the lowest; those with midrange levels were 27 percent less likely to die than those with the lowest levels.

“It’s pretty dramatic,” said the lead author, Dr. Chaoyang Li, a C.D.C. epidemiologist, whose study was published online on Nov. 22 in the Archives of Internal Medicine. While alpha-carotene may be no more than an indicator of other aspects of a healthy lifestyle, studies have found that it inhibits the growth of cancer cells in the laboratory, he said, adding, “We need more research.”

This study immediately brought to mind my oldest daughter who at one time in her life, spent nearly two hours at the dinner table while I coaxed her into eating a single bite of a carrot. Even though, to date she still despises carrots, I hope this study will help to persuade her to eat them more often than she does now, or at least other orange fruits and vegetables.

So even if you are like my daughter, be sure to go out and eat your carrots or other orange vegetables today. We will be profiling a soup truck in the San Francisco area later today that is sure to have menu options that provide a steady stream of orange veggies to its customers.

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

Mobile Cuisine Magazine looks forward to continued coverage of Meatless Monday for our readers!


As a sports fan growing up in the Northern suburbs of Detroit, MI, I had the opportunity in the 70’s to latch onto a sport that had a relatively small niche following. The National Hockey League was available every Saturday evening via the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) before the advent of cable television.


I would watch my home team Red Wings every chance I had and grew to love the sport even though, I didn’t play it. In the 80’s the league expanded and began to take teams out of small markets in Canada and the US rustbelt, and moved them to warmer parts of the country in an attempt to wrestle away viewers of the NBA and NFL. The league had some success in doing this, and went prime time when the NHL signed huge television contracts with ESPN and FOX Sports. What happened next was alien to me, but in an attempt to make the sport more palatable for the whole country, the NHL agreed with FOX, to allow a blue dot to follow the puck during play on their national television broadcasts. This trend quickly died, as long time fans, turned the channel in disgust, as they watched as their small niche sport make the move to the big time.

The ratings started to plummet enough that both ESPN and FOX dropped their weekly programming of hockey, why? Because the original fans stopped watching, and the trendy new blue puck wasn’t enough to keep the new fans. A new trend in the food truck industry has reminded me of hockey history, and if something isn’t done to protect it, we may see the equivalent of a blue dot following the food trucks in our industry.

Although food trucks have been in the United States (primarily NYC and Los Angeles) since the 70’s, the industry has reached new levels of prominence in the country over the last 3-5 years. The big turning point for the industry was this year’s inaugural season of Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race” which brought mobile cuisine to the national stage.

Food trucks are popping up in every region of the country, and more and more cities are legislating new ways to allow the industry within their limits. Yes, this is great for the mobile entrepreneurs who prefer to open up mobile dining vehicles as opposed to traditional brick and mortar establishments, but at the same time, large corporations are starting to look at the industry as a means to market for their already established restaurants. It has been reported over the last few months that companies such as Sizzler, Tasty D-Lite and Cousins Submarines are planning entry into the food truck industry. It appears, their marketing strategy isn’t to help the food truck industry, but to attract customers to their in-line restaurants.

I found out from the Wall Street Journal, that Aaron Webster, owner of three Tasti D-Lite stores in Houston, says he bought a used van last year for $90,000 from the frozen-dessert brand’s parent company. It’s complete with a small refrigerator, freezer, sinks, countertop, soft-serve machine, toppings bar and power generator. A bubble-gum pink exterior features the brand’s logo and website address.

Mr. Webster, a former investment banker, uses the van to sell ice cream mostly at community events and for catering jobs. He says mobile sales account for less than 2% of total revenues for his businesses but that the van is helping to raise brand awareness. “It’s really a roving billboard,” he says.

A roving billboard? Is that really where we want to see the industry head? Of course the National Restaurant Association opened up a measly 1,500 square feet of its annual show to food trucks in 2010, how else would they be able to show all of the national restaurant chains how they can expand their current stores?

Please don’t take this article the wrong way, expansion of the industry is a good thing, and healthy competition on the streets will help to maintain creative menus and innovative fare being served from food trucks. However, our concern is what the next step in this evolution may entail.

As it stands today, many cities already have limits on the number of licenses they issue to mobile food vendors, if these mega corporations delve into food trucks with the backing of their huge coffers of capital, where will that leave the small business owner who loves to cook, and has a new twist on burgers or tacos they wish to share? Will they have to wait 10 years before getting the proper license because Taco Bell or McDonalds already has fleets of 10 plus trucks rolling around each major market in the country? Will cities draw back from their current support of the industry because there are too many corporate applications being submitted for review and approval? Or even worse, will there be a backlash by the current followers of trucks such as Kogi BBQ, The Big Gay Ice Cream, or The Nom Nom Truck? Will these loyal fans turn their backs on the established trucks because of the onslaught of profit driven establishments that litter every corner of the public right of way?

I certainly hope not, however, if nothing is done to help protect against this, I am afraid in the next few years we may have our own version of the blue dot following our industry.


There are currently 63.2 million mobile users in the United States who use smartphones, an increase of 60% year over year. Over 6 million of these phone users are actively using foursquare, a geolocation application that allows them to “check-in” to businesses around the world, show their friends where they are visiting, leave feedback and tips.


While these tips and feedback allows the consumer to validate a local businesses, check in with friends and show how frequently they visit certain locations, mobile food businesses can also leverage this platform by offering deals to customers who “check in.”

Today we’re going to take you through the process of getting your food truck business on foursquare.  Even though most food trucks do not have physical storefronts, foursquare can still help you grow your business and your profits.

Step 1

To get started, head over to www.foursquare.com to create your account by clicking the “Join Now” button. From there, fill in the pertinent information to get your account set up.

If you have a personal account, login and skip to Step 2.

Step 2

Once you are logged into foursquare, type your business name into the search field on the top right side of the page.

When you see your venue on the list, click on it. If your business is not in the search, you will need to add it to the system by searching for your location on a smart phone.

Step 3

When you are in your venue, click the “Claim here” button to claim your mobile food business.

Please note: Since your food truck is mobile you may select a “Moving Target” as a venue as well as offer Specials there for foursquare users. However, foursquare has certain caveats with Moving Targets.

They can be a little tricky for users to locate within the foursquare app, as the “Places” tab that they see at any given time populates with venues that are within a close proximity to their current location. it is therefore recommended that when you create the venue, choose the address where the truck will be most often or where it will start, in order to maximize the amount of times the truck will show up in the “Places” tab organically.

Step 4

After clicking the “Claim here” button, you will be asked to continue claiming your business. After confirming that you are authorized to claim the business, you will need to select the type of business that you have. To confirm the listing, you will need to confirm your listing via telephone or mail.

Step 5

After claiming your location, you can offer a deal for foursquare users that check-in at your location. You can set it to be after a certain number of check-ins or for the mayor of the location. The mayor is the user who has checked in the most times over a two-month period.

Check-in based deals can be a powerful tool for both attracting new customers and rewarding loyal customers. For example, if you are looking to attract new customers you may want to take 10% off the customers’ total check.  If your focus is to reward customers, you can add a better deal for people who check-in multiple times. If you are unsure of the impact of a particular deal, you can different ones to see what sticks with your customers. When the deal is set, click the “Submit” button.

Once this is done, you will be up and running on foursquare and can login at any time to see who has checked in. If you are offering a check-in offer, be sure to educate your staff about it so that they know how to log it into the register.

We hope this article has helped you if you have yet to set up a foursquare account. Please check back for future articles relating to food trucks and foursquare.

Is your food truck already using Foursquare? We’d love to hear your experiences in the comment section below.


Commercial Kitchen

One of the first steps that many food truck owners need to follow through with once they have a started researching for their future rolling business is to find a commissary or commercial kitchen for their truck to call home.

Most municipalities throughout the country require that a mobile food unit be parked at as well as their food storage to be handled by a state licensed commercial kitchen. In addition to this, in the few cities where cooking is not allowed on the truck, the cooking and packaging of the food must also take place at your commissary.

Commercial Kitchen

Just as your vehicle is required to maintain local health standards, these commercial kitchens must also follow these rules. Please note that if a commercial kitchen loses its certification from the city or state, your truck will be grounded until the kitchen makes the needed corrections, or you find a new home for your truck.

Finding a commercial kitchen that works for you is an integral part of bringing your gourmet mobile food to life. The location, type and size of your commercial kitchen will determine a lot of aspects of your business, including the type of dishes you can make, the capacity of events you can handle and where they can be located. When looking for a commissary or commercial kitchen, you can direct your search by the type of food you want to make and the scale of your operation.

Here are some commercial kitchen options:

Shared Commercial Kitchen

For most new food truck owners, a shared commercial kitchen is the most viable option. A shared-use kitchen is leased out to multiple caterers or chefs at once. It is a group kitchen for foodservice professionals. Because you share the lease with other businesses, you will save a lot of money like this, but if you and a co-renter want to schedule the space at the same time, you can have problems.

Private Commercial Kitchen

Leasing out your own private commercial kitchen space is the best option for a food truck business with large-scale aspirations. The benefits to having your own kitchen are endless. You do not have to worry about kitchen availability, and you can purchase or lease your own equipment to ensure that you have everything you need to execute your menu on a large scale. If your space has a front of the house, you can also offer followers a tasting straight from your kitchen. Even better, if things go well you can expand your carry-out and pick-up services, or start selling some of your signature items retail.

Restaurant Kitchen

Many food truck owners have found that renting out a restaurant kitchen during hours when the restaurant is closed is the most viable option for them. You will save money by leasing a space that would otherwise go unused during those hours. Furthermore, you will know exactly when you can use the kitchen and when you cannot, avoiding the scheduling issues that can occur with a shared-lease kitchen.

Other Options

Schools, churches, and even the local VFW or Elk’s Club may have health inspected and certified commercial kitchen which can be rented, or even in some cases used as long as you sign an agreement to cater events for these organization as a means of payment or donation.

Once you know what kind of kitchen you want, you can start shopping around to find the best pricing and amenities for your commercial kitchen. One great tip to follow is to speak with other local food truck operators to find out which commissary or commercial kitchen they use. Some may, or may not suggest using their current kitchen, but at least you can find out the current rates in your area. Your local health department can provide you with a list of the registered commercial kitchens in your area as well, some municipalities have even started providing these lists from their websites.

Food Truck Supplier Directory: Find or place an ad for a commissary or commercial kitchen.

If you have any additional tips or suggestions to finding a commissary or commercial kitchen, please feel free to add them in the comment section below, Tweet us or share it on our Facebook page.

Since we have started coving the Meatless Monday program on Mobile Cuisine Magazine, we have received a number of letters asking for more information on vegetarianism for those who have decided that one meatless day a week wasn’t enough for them. Today’s article will give these individuals basic nutritional information for vegetarians via the vegetarian food pyramid.

The vegetarian food pyramid is very similar to the food pyramid that has recently been changed by the federal government. In place of meat it will list the legumes and nuts that are an alternative protein to animal products. It also replaces the fiber category with a vegetable and fruit category at the bottom of the pyramid. This is possible because of the high fiber content of most fruits and vegetables. It is not necessary to add fiber as a separate tier on the pyramid.

Be aware that the regular vegetarian food pyramid is not suitable for strict vegans since the dairy products listed are not within their guidelines. Replacing dairy with soy products, for example, is an alternative. The main difference between the vegan food pyramid and the vegetarian food pyramid would be the addition of breads and grains instead of dairy or egg products.

The food pyramid is an excellent reference for those trying to determine their nutritional needs. If you are concerned about getting the right foods in the right amounts, you should take a look at the pyramid and plan your diet accordingly. The vegetarian pyramid gives you serving amounts daily just as the traditional food pyramid does so you will be able to determine if you are getting the right amounts.

Just as the traditional one does, the vegetarian food pyramid provides you, not only with serving the right amounts, but also the limits. Oils, fats, sweets and salts should be sparingly used as they are right on the pyramid’s top. This then can be the best healthiest diet.

The food pyramid that a vegetarian follows is a graphic representation of the healthy components of their diet. When the food pyramid is followed religiously, you can be assured that your diet is as nutritious as it could be. This is a great way for dieters, who also follow a vegetarian diet, to design their food plan to get the proper nutrition while they are trying to lose weight.

People choose a vegetarian diet for many reasons and healthy nutrition is right at the top of the list. It can be a little more difficult for a vegetarian to get the nutrition they need without the inclusion of meat, but as the pyramid shows, it can be done. The effort that is expended on planning your food consumption will be rewarded with a greater degree of health and longevity. Most vegetarians are noticeably healthier than their meat eating counterparts.

The vegetarian food pyramid can be a helpful resource and diet planning aid for those who are just beginning the vegetarian lifestyle. The newcomer will have a greater understanding of the nutritional aspects of the diet as well as being more aware as to what is needed to maintain this healthier lifestyle. The transition towards a healthier diet is easier than ever, due to the amount of information that is available. You will discover that an all-around improvement in your health by becoming a vegetarian is delicious and easy.

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

Mobile Cuisine Magazine looks forward to continued coverage of Meatless Monday for our readers!


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