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Movember

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.

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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

Here is a list of 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’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?

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If you are one of the thousands of people that are currently considering starting up a mobile food truck selling 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 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.

Food truck kitchenYour 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.

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.

One question is how the food will be served; it’s a simple deal 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.

Another issue you will need to consider is the volume of food sales you are going to be striving for; 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 timescales involved, between acquiring the basic ingredients for your food offering, and time to selling 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 looking to start your own mobile cuisine business or expand your current food truck fleet. If you have any questions about the article, please be sure to leave them in the comment section below.

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Each week new Meatless Monday participating restaurants and food trucks are popping up worldwide. To do our part in supporting Meatless Mondays we believe that sharing information, recipes, and news about vegetarianism and leading a more conscious life overall is beneficial for everyone, vegetarian and omnivore alike.

From large chains to fine dining, chefs and restaurateurs are discovering the many benefits Meatless Monday offers to both their patrons and their pockets. So what can Meatless Monday do for your food truck business?

• By signing onto the Meatless Monday movement, you’re joining forces with eateries nationwide! From delis in D.C. to five-star bistros in Santa Monica, this is a public health campaign that everyone can get behind. Even celebrity chefs like Mario Batali and John Fraser now have Meatless Monday specials.

• Meatless Monday is a creative way to combat an otherwise slow day in the mobile food industry. Weekly specials are a great way to increase traffic and gain new customers. Meatless Monday also lends itself to a wide variety of one-time events and promotions; get them talking about you one week and dining with you the next!

• Offering a Meatless Monday special couldn’t be easier! Simply highlight the meat-free options you already have on hand. Just like Sodexo, the world’s premier food services provider, does for its 10 million meals served every Monday. Remember- you don’t have to take meat off the menu to participate. For an exciting start to the week you can also use Monday to launch new meatless options or to highlight a local or seasonal dish.

• Meatless dishes are usually much cheaper to produce and take less time to prepare. Highlighting meat-free entrees means an increase in profits from each dish sold. Low costs also mean you can offer attractive discounts and specials without breaking the bank.

• Meatless Mondays are an easy way to show customers that you care about issues in your community. Rates of obesity and chronic preventable disease have soared in recent years. So too have concerns about the environmental impact of what we eat. Meatless Monday addresses both of these issues in an approachable way, allowing restaurants to be part of the conversation.

WHAT’S A MEATLESS MONDAY FEATURE?

There are limitless ways to bring Meatless Monday to your restaurant. But they broadly fall into two categories:

Highlight What You Have

If you already serve meatless dishes, simply highlight them as Meatless Monday options! You can gather them under one menu heading, use a little “MM” insignia next to each item, create your own Meatless Monday logo, make a Monday menu inset, or highlight Meatless Monday meals on a specials board. Ultimately, it’s just a matter of drawing attention to the delicious meat-free items you already serve.

Add Meatless Dishes

If you don’t already offer meat-free items, it’s easy to create and/or add these dishes. Half the fun of Meatless Monday is trying new, tasty meat-free fare – and this is a great opportunity for chefs and restaurateurs to get creative, experiment with different vegetables, or try new combinations of veggies, grains and beans. If you’re looking for recipes, MeatlessMonday.com is just one place where you’ll find a bounty of possibilities.

IT’S ALL ABOUT CHOICE

We encourage our restaurants, whenever possible, to offer meat-free options alongside meat dishes. Meatless Monday is a campaign of choice – it’s fundamentally about adding options, not taking them way. We want to introduce people to new, healthy foods and new ways to prepare and eat greens, grains, beans and fruits. The restaurants around the country that have had the most success with Meatless Monday offer choice to their customers.

GO FROM MENU TO MOVEMENT

When you offer Meatless Monday specials, you’re joining an ever-growing network of restaurants, organizations, schools and communities across the globe who have taken the pledge for better personal and environmental health. To tap into the power of the movement, make sure your patrons and staff know the message behind your menu!

Brief your employees on the Meatless Monday Movement – including benefits, history, and why your restaurant is participating – so they can easily answer customer questions.

ADVERTISE ONLINE

• Let the world know that you’re going meatless on Monday! Add an announcement to your restaurant’s homepage or menu section- you can even use the logos available on www.MeatlessMonday.com. If you’re featuring a full Meatless Monday menu, post a link so site visitors can get a taste of what you have to offer.

• Let them know you’re going Meatless Monday! Send an e-mail to info@MeatlessMonday.com and they’ll add you to their list of participants on site!

USE SOCIAL MEDIA

Utilizing social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter is a quick, easy way to share the movement with your favorite customers:

• Remind your followers about your Meatless Monday special on Sunday night or Monday morning.

• Reinforce your reasons for going meatless by sharing informative health and environmental articles on Monday.

• Use social media to ask for customer feedback- that way you’ll be able to share your successes and see where there’s room for improvement.

• Show your follows what they’re missing! Post pictures of your Meatless Monday entrees, smiling customers, busy cooks or your Monday night full house!

• Make your followers feel important with exclusive discounts, giveaways, meal deals and other “social media specials”.

• Take advantage of the Meatless Monday network! Send a shout-out to Meatless Monday on Facebook or Twitter so they can cross promote you.

www.Facebook.com/MeatlessMonday

www.Twitter.com/MeatlessMonday

POINT OF SALE PROMOTION

Don’t forget to advertise at your food truck! A few well-placed signs and a knowledgeable staff are all it takes to bring your Meatless Monday special to the next level:

• Place a Meatless Monday cling in your service window so passersby can see that you’re part of the movement.

• On Monday try putting specials on the menu board. Monday is your opportunity to make a positive impression that will last all week.

• Train your wait staff to ask customers if they’re celebrating Meatless Monday today. Provide them with general information sheets so they can answer any questions customers might have.

• Call attention to your Meatless Monday meal choices- add a graphic to your existing menu, or simply create a separate menu board for Monday.

Please do your part today and join the movement? Signing up is fast and easy! Mobile Cuisine Magazine looks forward to our continued sharing of Meatless Monday articles with our readers!

 

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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.

orange

 

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!

 

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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.

glowpuck

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.

 

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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.

Foursquare

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.

 

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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 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.

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.

 

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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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During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world. With their Mo’s, these men raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men. Mobile Cuisine is doing our part by starting Team Mobile Cuisine to give the mobile food industry a centralized industry team to submit their donations to, so we can show how much the industry and it’s fans care about spreading the word in addition to trying to eliminate these risks to men’s health.

 

Movember

It’s Movember again, 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 8 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

In 2010, over 64,500 US Mo Bros and Mo Sistas got on board, raising $7.5 million USD.   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

Big steps have been taken towards changing attitudes and habits relating to men’s health around the world, but there is still much to be done to catch up with the women’s health movement. Via the moustache, Movember aims to fulfill its vision of having an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health by continuing to spark conversation and spread awareness of men’s health issues each year.

The Movember Foundation Register

The premise behind Movember is simple in that participants begin with an online registration: If you’re back for 2011, 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.

Team Mobile Cuisine’s Movember Page

 

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