Tags Posts tagged with "Food Truck"

Food Truck

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food truck insurance checklist

When you’re in an auto accident in your food truck, it can be easy to forget what information you need — you’re shaken up and rattled and in many cases wondering how the accident will affect your mobile food business.

But for your insurance company and that of any other people involved, carry a copy of the following list in your glove compartment so that you get all the information you need to protect yourself and expedite your insurance claim to assure you are back on the road with your mobile bistro as quickly as possible.

Food Truck Insurance Checklist

  • Date and time of accident
  • Accident location (take photos if you have a cellphone with a camera)
  • Name, address, phone number, and driver’s license number of the driver of the other vehicle
  • Injuries (for each person)
  • Name, address, and phone number of each witness
  • Police department responding, including phone number
  • Police case number
  • Police officer’s name
  • Tickets issued (if any)
  • Name, address, and phone number of each passenger in your vehicle
  • Name, address, and phone number of each passenger in the other vehicle
  • Name, address, phone number, and driver’s license number of the owner of the other vehicle (if different from driver)
  • The year, make, model, license plate number, and vehicle identification number (VIN) of the other vehicle
  • The insurance company, insurance agent (name and phone number), and policy number of the other vehicle’s driver
  • The insurance company, insurance agent (name and phone number), and policy number of the other vehicle’s owner (if different from driver)

We hope this food truck insurance checklist will help you in a time of need. If there are any additional items you feel are important but have been left off our list, please share them in the comment section below, Tweet us or share it on our Facebook page.

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Tallahassee Food Trucks

TALLAHASSEE, FL - Though food trucks — mobile restaurants that abide by the same health codes as permanent establishments — are nothing new, over the past dozen or so years their popularity has taken off across the country. Cities like Portland, Austin and even Orlando rally around the miniature kitchens during lunch breaks, community gatherings and festivals.

Along with craft beer and throwback mustaches, food trucks lie at the vanguard of hip culture — and you’ll find all three in Tallahassee at the newly relocated Food Truck Thursday at Lake Ella.

Between the cottages and the water, beneath a high canopy of oaks, pines and magnolias, a cheery mass of patrons lounge on blankets and in folding chairs while listening to live, local music in the early evening. They munch on specialty sandwiches, tacos, pizzas, cupcakes and more. The sense of community is palpable: children dance to folk and bluegrass standards, pets sniff and beg for a bite of their owners’ food and strangers chat with each other while waiting in line at any of the half-dozen food trucks on hand.

“The correlation between food trucks and the community can best be summarized at the weekly Food Truck Thursday event,” said Beverly Rich, vice president of the Tallahassee Food Truck Association (TFTA) and owner of the Valhalla Grill food truck. “(The event) draws hundreds of people, all of whom are there to enjoy dinner, do some shopping and enjoy great, live, local music.”

Valhalla Grill features a Viking motif, with a bearded, helmeted warrior on the side of its cream-colored truck. Rich and her crew serve up menu items such as the Blue Ox Burger delivered on a Kaiser roll and topped with blue cheese and horseradish mayo and the Curried Phoenix, which is marinated chicken wrapped in naan bread and topped with a Thai chili cream sauce.

A few steps in either direction, the culinary vibe differs wildly. Next door at Foodz Traveler, the motto is, “Some of this…some of that.” Owner Jose Ferrer dishes up an eclectic array of sandwiches, including the Memphis Traveler, featuring a tender pork cutlet pounded out wider than your head.

“It doesn’t get any better than (Food Truck Thursday),” Ferrer said. “Everyone is sitting around on blankets eating from their favorite food truck, laughing, drinking their favorite beverage, listening to the band.”

In one of the smaller tucks, MoBi (short for Mobile Bistro), owner Viet Vu hands tacos and sliders, wings and wraps through a sliding glass window. Vu and his brother have created a fusion cuisine from their “vast knowledge of Asian street food,” he said. “We design our menu around whatever inspires us: a craving, a travel show, the market, an event. It helps keep things fun, interesting and challenging.”

Alejandro Scougall, owner of Fired Up Pizza — a food truck with a wood-fire oven — spoke to the difficulty of finding consistent business. “The challenge is finding a place where people will come out and find us,” he said. “As well, the area we work in is smaller than a restaurant, so we’re limited in how much food we can make or prep.”

Find the entire article at tallahassee.com <here>

 

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accounting tips

Unless you were an accountant before deciding to become a food truck owner, the word “accounting” probably makes you a bit uneasy. For new food truck owners, this feeling is usually much worse. After all, bad bookkeeping when a business opens not only puts you in a hole in the short term, it can come back to bite you in the backside over time. Don’t forget; even start-up food truck businesses can get audited.

Now that we’ve made you feel even more uncomfortable, there are ways you can avoid having your tax submissions getting flagged by the IRS. Here are a four beginner accounting tips to help start your mobile food business.

4 Accounting Tips For New Food Truck Owners

Make It Part Of Your Schedule

In the same way that you go through your email every morning, or in the same way that you tirelessly prep for each day in your truck, make your accounting work a habit. Set a recurring alarm on in calendar: “Review The Financials!” The frequency you do this is up to you, but you need to set aside time for accounting at least once a month, if not more.

Learn The Jargon

The terminology of accounting can seem like it’s another language and in some cases it is. Accrual? Imprest System? Key Ratios? Accounting jargon isn’t usually in the average person’s day to day vocabulary.  So take some time to understand the basics. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Center is a great place to start.

Find The Right Software

Find the accounting software that you feel comfortable using. Don’t simply grab the first one you find. Research the various options you have and relate them to the way in which you will be using it? Do you have POS system that will provide financial reports? Find software that is compatible with these reports.

Look For Advice Locally

Chances are, if you spend enough time trying to figure out an accounting issue, you could. But the reality is, you’ve got a food truck business to operate. Since you need to file taxes quarterly (not just annually) you need to place a bit of urgency to get these issues solved. Speak with other local food truck or restaurant owners in your area. The years of accounting they have seen will probably lead to an answer faster than any other place you look.

Food truck owners familiar with the SCORE program offered in communities across the country have used this group as a local resource to get accounting questions answered.

Another route is to set up food truck owner working groups where you can invite a local accountant to speak on common problems the group members run into. Look for an accountant or bookkeeper who specializes in food service businesses. If nothing more, they’ll be a voice of comfort if you receive some alarmingly confusing IRS mail.

Once you have taken these steps you’ll realize that accounting doesn’t need to be scary. Start off on the right foot and you might actually find that it’s fun. Ultimately, you need to understand the financials in your business to be able to make corrections if your profit just isn’t where it needs to be.

Do you have more accounting tips for the new food truck owners out there? Please share them with us in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

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Jacksonville Food trucks

JACKSONVILLE, FL - In a closely watched issue for local food truck owners and fans, drafted legislation for Jacksonville’s food truck ordinance will go before City Council committees this week.

Councilman Reggie Brown proposed new rules for food trucks back in February, including regulations for business hours and where they can operate.

Critics of these rules said they would essentially legislate food trucks out of existence.

How can the City Council and food truck owners balance concerns about health and safety, while at the same time making sure they’re not suffocating a growing business and popular cultural trend here in Northeast Florida?

Chef Chriss Brown, owner of Beaver Street Commissary, where many of the food trucks park, joined First Coast Connect guest host Karen Feagins to discuss the legislation.

Find the original article with audio at wjct.org <here>

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food truck success

We continually hear that starting a food truck business is one of the hardest small business can start on limited funds. Often the outcome doesn’t result in a fleet of food trucks, a chain of brick and mortar restaurants or even a company deemed successful. The failure rate that occurs in the food service industry can be attributed to many different factors, but often, it comes down to these three common problems.

3 Reasons Why You May Never See Food Truck Success

You have the wrong menu

The biggest mistake you can ever make as a vendor is to create a menu that doesn’t solve a particular need or fill a void. Once you make an assumption about what your market needs, you’ve already started down the wrong path. One of the best ways to create a concept and menu that people will actually pay for is to involve your prospective customers in the process – from the start.

Do your homework, hit the streets and talk to people about what you intend serve. Ask them if they would eat it. Once you gather enough evidence about the need for your menu, you will spend fewer resources trying to convince people to track you down once you start rolling.

Most of the great food trucks started with menus that the owners were passionate about. Start with what you want, validate and focus on making it awesome.

Related: Why Do Food Trucks Fail?

You can’t adapt or change direction

If a food truck vendor can’t give up on their original ideas when the market requires it and make necessary changes, a mobile food business could be heading for a dead end street.

Most food trucks that we’ve seen fail usually have specific immobile goals they want to achieve. Food service is a fast changing business model and demands that concepts and plans need to be consistently re-visited and altered if necessary. Roles within the truck organization, menus, leadership and goals should be open for discussion and re-evaluation when things don’t go as planned.

How flexible are your food truck’s business goals? Successful food trucks are the ones that can change direction on the fly to adjust as needed. There is nothing wrong with making tweaks and sticking to what sells.

Related: 5 More Reasons Food Trucks Fail

Your market isn’t big enough

You need an existing market that is big enough or has enough foot traffic to be successful. How big is your current market?  How do you sustain growth if you are operating in a town that isn’t growing? You could have a fantastic concept, wonderful food and the best service, but if your market isn’t growing, you will eventually struggle to sustain your business.

We hope this article sheds some light on the issues of food truck failure and shows new food truck vendors how to keep their service windows open for the long haul.

If you have any points you’d like to add to this discussion on food truck success, please feel free to add them in the comment section below, Tweet us or post them on our Facebook page.

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albany downtown

ALBANY, NY - Foodies in Albany may soon have more options for food on the go.

The city rolled out a new pilot program this week to expand locations for food trucks and food vendors in the capital.

Currently the City of Albany only allows food trucks and food vendors in three main areas in the city but starting this week, that’s about to change. Food vendors will have the chance to apply for permits to move elsewhere. 

The food trucks on Washington Avenue have been a long tradition for people on the go. Melissa Silva’s family has been running their hot dog cart for the last 42 years.

“We were actually one of the first vendors out here, and you can see it’s grown a lot since then,” said Silva.

On Thursday alone there were eight trucks and one hot dog stand. According to the vendors, that’s in part because currently the city restricts vendors to State Street, Washington Avenue and the Lincoln Park Pool, but thanks to a new program more locations are being added.

“I think that’s a great opportunity to have other spots to go to,” said Amanda Zareski with Baja Chops Food Truck.

According to the mayor’s office the program will now allow three vendors to set up shop in Washington and Lincoln Park, and five more in public right-of ways across the city. This is something Capital Region foodies like Madelon Swinton says she can get behind.

“That would be a pretty good idea, so we don’t have to walk all the way from the museum to here, just all of the street, that’d be pretty cool,” said Swinton.

Find the entire article at news10.com <here>

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Food Truck Blog Mistakes

We have shared numerous articles on food truck website development and more specifically how and why food truck owners should be posting in their site’s blog.

Simply posting a few short articles throughout the month about the things happening inside your mobile food business isn’t going to automatically bring you the 5-10 new customers a month your food truck needs for continued growth.There’s a bit more to this recipe than just the writing.

Have a food truck blog that isn’t gaining any traction? Feel like you’re wasting your time?

Here are some food truck blog mistakes you might be making:

Speaking to the wrong audience

Look over your content. Do you use a lot of culinary jargon that may confuse your non-foodie knowledgeable customers?

Your food truck customer is your target audience, not your culinary peers, so if this is you, simply try putting those ideas into words that someone who has never tuned into Food Network or taken a culinary class would understand.

Poor speeling

Are you taking enough time proofreading the first drafts of your posts? Are you showing personality in your writing? Just because you’re writing a blog post doesn’t mean you shouldn’t practice the kind of quality control you practice in your kitchen.

Boring your readers

Spice up your posts with images, videos, or audio clips. Think about the other food truck websites you and your audience visits, what kind of content do they create? What is engaging to them?

No clear goals

Your food truck blog should reflect you and your mobile food business. What do you hope stand for? Where did you come from and where are you going?

The passion you have for the mobile food industry and your local community is the best way to show your readers who you are. They will sense your energy and be brought back by it.

Focusing on the numbers too much

As I well know, it can be very easy to get obsessed with blogging statistics: how many daily readers we get, the bounce rate, the likes, the comments.  Sometimes it’s best to focus on the actual people we are connecting with, whether it’s five or 5000.  Your food truck blog must be about building your community, interacting online and creating relationships with your current and future customers.

Focus on interacting with your readers, responding to their comments and constantly asking for their feedback and your community will begin growing before you know it and your stats will benefit at the same time.

Poor website and post design

In order for all of the previous tips to work, you have to integrate them with a good looking and functional design.

Check out what other food truck blogs you read and enjoy are doing; find out what kinds of blogs your target audience is reading and what those look like.

Look at your blog and evaluate what changes you can make to make it more appealing to your customers. Most importantly, strive to have a design that is professional, easy to navigate, and easy on the eyes.

We hope you found this article helpful. If you have any suggestions to get past the food truck blog mistakes, please feel free to share it in the comment section below or Tweet us or post a comment on our Facebook page.

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oklahoma sooner food truck

NORMAN, OK - Oklahoma has found a creative way to make sure it complies with the new NCAA rule that allows athletes to receive unlimited snacks: a food truck. Athletes

Sooners athletic director Joe Castiglione told ESPN.com that the vehicle the school is in the process of purchasing will serve as a solution to make sure athletes can get what they want when they want it.

“We don’t have facilities in all the places they would need to be, so the idea is to have a mobile fueling station and perhaps some additional trailers that have refrigeration capabilities that can operate as a prep kitchen of sorts,” Castiglione said.

Castiglione stresses that the truck is “not about largesse or excessiveness” and more about “putting ingenuity to work,” but does say that he fears the new rule will create an unnecessary competition of sorts.

“I realize the idea was to give institutions the flexibility to do what they want within their means,” Castiglione said. “But it’s now so flexible that schools can provide full meals to athletes at any time, and there will be some schools that will undoubtedly push that envelope. The next thing people will be doing is a comparative analysis for recruiting as to what schools offer more.”

Castiglione said the food truck and perhaps trailers will not be on demand. They will set up in places that ideally can service the most athletes at a given time.

In April, the NCAA legislative council approved unlimited meals and snacks to athletes, a far cry from the former legislation that prohibited schools from giving its athletes extras like cream cheese for their bagels.

While Castiglione said he appreciates the NCAA’s willingness to change, it has come at a great financial cost to schools. Oklahoma, he said, will spend about $1 million to provide a wider selection of food offerings beyond the typical granola bars and Gatorade that had been standard and to staff the areas where the more extensive selection is housed.

Costs also rise because walk-ons were not previously eligible for meals but are eligible for snacks.

Find the original article at espn.com <here>

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