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Food Truck

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food truck tip of the day

tip of the dayWe all have them: those days when nothing goes right. To avoid taking the stress home, try doing three things at the end of a bad day:

  • Clear your mind. Take a few deep breaths. Think about the things that matter to you outside of the food truck. Prepare yourself mentally to walk out the door of the commissary and leave the  day behind (even if it’s already night).
  • Do something easy. Send off a report or reply to a few straightforward e-mails. Get some things off your to-do list to restore a sense  of control.
  • Get up and leave. Once you’ve completed the last task at the commissary prepping for the next shift, don’t check your email. Just leave.

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recipe journal

Many of the food truck owners I have spoken with are always looking for alternative revenue streams for their mobile food business. Some look at opening a brick and mortar location, some want to take popular menu items, sauces or seasonings to market. Others dream of turning their food truck recipes into a cookbook.

If the cookbook idea is something you’ve tossed around let’s look at some numbers that might help you proceed.

Something few people are aware of is that cookbooks are one of the top two best-selling book genres, second only to mystery novels. That’s right; more cookbooks are sold than any other type of book with the exception of mysteries. In North America alone, consumers purchase 60 million cookbooks each year.

With so many cookbooks on the market, you may wonder if there is a need for yet another. The simple answer is yes.

The cookbook buying public is huge. Do you really think there would already be so many cookbooks out there if there wasn’t an eager market for them? Do you think publishers would release as many cookbook titles as they do every year if there wasn’t a constant demand for more?

New cookbooks are being released all the time, and new cookbook authors appear every day.

While the best reason to write a cookbook is probably the same reason you started your food truck (because you want to share your great food and terrific stories with the public) it may not be the only reason. Whatever your motivation for writing a cookbook, the bottom line is writing a cookbook can help you create a new revenue stream for your food truck.

An added benefit is that writing a cookbook is more than just a new way of generating immediate income. That same cookbook has the potential to turn into a long-term profit producer. Cookbooks often continue to sell for many, many years after they were first published. A single cookbook can continue to provide long-term profits even years after you’ve written it.

So the cookbook you write now could very well still be making money for you even if you shut your food truck business down. This is referred to as “passive income” because after your initial investment of time, effort and money, you can sit back and spend your time doing other things while the money still continues to roll in.

But while a lot of people dream of writing a cookbook, for most it never goes beyond that – a dream. Why? Because they really have no clue how to do it. And so they may try, but don’t get far. Or they may never even try, because they lack the motivation and confidence, knowing they lack the necessary knowledge and guidance.

In future articles I’ll cover some of the aspects of writing a cookbook such as working with a publisher and self-publishing.

As a final note, just remember if you choose to start writing your own food truck cookbook, don’t get discouraged. Julia Child was rejected by almost every publishing house because “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” wasn’t considered a book that would sell.

Are you ready to take your dream of being a published cookbook author into a full-fledged and very profitable revenue stream for your food truck empire? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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honolulu food trucks

HONOLULU, HI - The public will have the chance to give input on rules for city permits allowing food trucks to operate in the Hawaii Capital Special District at a meeting on April 24.

The public meeting, being held by the city departments of Transportation Services and Enterprise Services, is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Mission Memorial Hearings Room on South King Street next to Honolulu Hale.

The departments are coming up with rules to allow food truck vendors to bid for an as-yet-unspecified number of food truck permits allowing them to park in designated stalls in the district.

Other food trucks would not be allowed in the district during the two-year pilot program which was triggered by the approval of City Council Bill 1.

A second public hearing and comment period will occur after draft rules are produced.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell allowed the bill to become law without his signature, noting that food trucks did not provide input about the idea until after it was passed. Caldwell said the subsequent comments were largely negative.

Council Chairman Ernie Martin said he introduced the bill to make the process more equitable and provide the city with a small stream of income. Food truck vendors themselves suggested the permitting system, and that such a system not allow trucks without permits in the same vicinity.

Find the entire article at staradvertiser.com <here>

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brentwood tn food truck

BRENTWOOD, TN – As Middle Tennessee’s love for food trucks continues to gain traction, many of these restaurants on wheels are pulling into local offices’ parking lots to peddle their cuisines.

But that mobility in sales can sometimes run afoul of municipal ordinances, codes or regulations.

The Nashville Food Truck Association, a collective group of food truck owners and operators, is staying out of Maryland Farms for now after finding out that these mobile kitchens aren’t allowed to do business in some areas there according to Brentwood zoning rules, said NFTA president Dallas Shaw.

“The food trucks will abide by the request of the city and not park in that zone,” he said.

Shaw, who owns Hoss’ Loaded Burgers, was reminded of these regulations in early April, when his truck was in an area of Maryland Farms that didn’t allow retail sales. Shaw said there was some confusion on the food trucks owners’ part about whether they could set up shop if granted permission by the property owner. But zoning rules trump an invitation by the building owner in this instance, said Brentwood City Manager Kirk Bednar.

“Essentially, there are two types of zoning in Maryland Farms. C-1 is office only, which doesn’t allow for retail sales, and C-2, which is office or retail. We don’t go out looking for them. But if we see them, we do enforce (the rules),” said Bednar.

Brentwood has considered whether to change parts of its ordinance after the issue came up with another food truck selling food in the C-1 zone of Maryland Farms in 2012. The city is still looking into the matter. Until then, the city is enforcing the regulations that are on the books.

“Obviously, we understand it’s a growing business model. But we also have to consider the protection of brick and mortar places that are invested in community and pay taxes,” Bednar said.

Find the entire article at the tennessean.com <here>

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Homaro Cantui Food Truck Quote

“Food trucks give creative entrepreneurs the ability to cook with freedom and make what they love.” - Homaro Cantu

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food truck tip of the day

tip of the dayStudies have shown that as much as 90% of learning and career development takes place on the job; which makes sense since continuous learning is a key to building a sustainable career in any field. While some of your staff members may have years of formal culinary education and other that have worked under some of the country’s best chefs…the fact is that you and your food truck managers are going to be their most important career developers while they work for you. Help your food truck team members flourish with these tips:

  • Instead of a yearly conversation about career goals during performance reviews, talk with them frequently. Regular discussions about their career objectives and interests will help them to refine goals and spot opportunities for development.
  • When planning a group project, ask team members to identify both how they can contribute and what they would like to learn. This avoids their volunteering to perform only tasks that they already know they can do.
  • Ask employees to report back  to you periodically on what they feel they have been learning and how they are using their new skills and knowledge to better your mobile food business.

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stillwaffles stillwater ok

STILLWATER, OK - When Kathleen Oliviers moved from Belgium to Stillwater, she decided to bring a staple of her country with her.

Stillwaffles brought something different to Stillwater’s selection of food truck options when it opened for business on Saturday. The new food truck will serve its customers authentic Belgian waffles.

Her business brought a unique option to Stillwater’s food scene, Oliviers said.

“It’s a new product for the United States, and a new product for Stillwater,” she said. “It’s all new.”

The waffles aren’t like the ones you would eat at breakfast, said Gregory Dwil, Olivier’s husband and business partner. They’re completely different from the American version.

“The (waffles) people mostly know from hotels is a Brussels waffle,” he said. “Brussels waffle is very rectangular, and you just serve it with whipped cream or powdered sugar. These are liege waffles, which are a little thicker.”

Oliviers says the secret to her waffles lays in the special sugar she uses. It’s unique to her hometown of Tienen, Belgium.

“The thing that makes them so good is the pearl sugar we use,” Oliviers said. “No one else in the world makes it. We have to order in online. It caramelizes on the waffle in the waffle iron.”

Find the entire article at ocolly.com <here>

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Tyler Florence quote

“Today’s food trucks are far from cheap eats on wheels, there are some seriously gourmet offerings on four wheels.” – Tyler Florence

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top 10

You’ve done it; you’ve built your food truck, perfected your menu, gained all of the required licenses and permitting and now it’s time to hit the streets…RIGHT? Wrong! There is one more step you need to take before your truck hits the street.

What is this mystery ingredient? It’s the ingredient we’ve seen numerous food truck operators miss that leaves their grand opening turn out less than expected.

You must build buzz around your food truck by contacting the media, posting press releases, using social media, and taking part in events, awards and other activities to get the word out about your new, mobile food business.

But before you move forward, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Here are 10 things to avoid when starting your food truck PR efforts:

  1. Distribute a press release to hundreds of media members via e-mail. It will go in the trash, and your system will probably crash. Find out who your local newspaper and television food editors and reporters are. These are the people you want to build lasting relationships with.
  2. Send out press releases without adding SEO friendly keywords relating to your food truck business and the community you plan to operate in. You are missing out on a great opportunity to snag more online attention.
  3. Pitch a reporter during a deadline. This is the quickest way for your story to be missed or even ignored.
  4. Say “No comment” to the press. There are better ways to respond to questions. If you aren’t comfortable giving the media an answer immediately, let them know that you get back to them with an answer…and then follow up as soon as you’ve gathered yourself.
  5. Hire a publicist who guarantees placement in all of your local media outlets. Due to the nature of PR, this is a promise that is impossible to keep.
  6. Create your own Website without getting outside feedback. You are too close to the information and risk missing some grammatical errors.
  7. Provide content that is boring and old. Instead, offer valuable information for your local market at all times, and you’ll build long-lasting, customer relationships.
  8. Forget to update your Website on a regular basis. How old is the news and information on your site? If it’s not current, you’ll look outdated and lose business to the competition.
  9. Stop communicating with customers. Outside of face to face conversations at your service window, there are numerous processes to create newsletters, blogs, e-mails, social media, and more, there is no reason you should not talk to customers and get their feedback on a daily basis.
  10. Avoid any public relations or search engine optimization activities because you lack the funds. There are free and inexpensive ways to build buzz around your new mobile food business.

For PR and SEO copyrighting success, take the time to provide value to all of your prospective customers and the media, so your food truck builds positive buzz fast. If you aren’t sure if your work is up to par, have a professional copywriter review it or even write it.

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the grind louisville food truck

LOUISVILLE, KY – The latest venture from food truck owners Liz and Jesse Huot now has a name and a slightly more definitive opening date.

The Huots have traversed Louisville for about three years, selling burgers in a food truck they dubbed Grind. Now they will settle down, so to speak, in a storefront at 3311 Preston Highway, near the Kentucky Exposition Center.

The location was most recently occupied by Oasis Sushi and Soul Karaoke Bar.

The restaurant will be called Grind Burger Kitchen and will feature the same burgers that are offered on the food truck. The bricks-and-mortar location also will sell fries and new vegetarian options.

The couple plan a soft opening after the Kentucky Derby.

Find the entire article at bizjournals.com <here>

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