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Food Truck

2 3022
the cinnamon snail

Mobile Cuisine is always proud to provide our readers articles designed to share a multifaceted culinary lifestyle program that is spreading throughout the country and world. As many of you already know, we have designated many of 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.

Today we want to follow up a recent article in which we asked our readers to submit their choice for America’s favorite vegetarian or vegan food truck or cart. The submissions have been counted and many of the trucks were too close to eliminate some, so instead of a top 10. we have a top 15.

Bombay Food Junkies – St. Louis, MO

The Cilantro Truck – Golden, CO

Cinnamon Snail – NYC/NJ

Custom Confections – Houston, TX

The Farm Concessions – Keene, NH

Good Karma Kitchen – DFW, TX

The Green Radish – New York, NY

Homegrown Smoker Vegan BBQ – Portland, OR

Karma Chamealeon – Toronto, Canada

Like No Udder – Providence, RI

Mama Juice – Ft. Lauderdale, FL

PAC Pastries – Jupiter, FL

The Randy Radish – Sterling, VA

The Squeeze – New York, NY

Unity Vegan Kitchen – Austin, TX

If you are a food truck that feels you should have been included, we apologize. The trucks selected for this poll were determined by our readers, and by the number of votes they received in the first phase of the contest.

2014 Vegan/Vegetarian Food Truck of the Year

View Results

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This poll will stay open for 2 weeks to make sure everyone gets a chance to vote for in the poll and the truck operators will have a chance to let their fans know to come help them collect votes. The poll will close on August 8th at 12AM CT. The results will be announced on the following Monday.

If you run into issues with submitting a vote in the poll, you can submit via email (contest@mobile-cuisine.com), however we will be making sure that only 1 vote is counted per person.

The winner of this contest will be featured on Mobile Cuisine in a feature article, to help share information about the vendor, their menu, and how they came up with the idea for serving meatless fare.

Tell your friends and family to help spread the word.

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

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

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Hilary Gowins Food Truck Quote

“Politicians who enact rules to restrict competition at the expense of access to food aren’t just hurting entrepreneurs – they’re also harming the communities these businesses serve.” – Hilary Gowins

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discover local flavors

Over the years, I’ve written a lot about using local ingredients and products as a way food truck owners can separate themselves from the competition. Today I want to take that idea a step further to discuss local tastes or better yet, how to discover local flavors to inspire your next food truck creation.

If you’re a mobile food vendor looking for a way to excite potential customers and create a niche in the community you operate in, there might not be any better way than researching local flavors. Every town has the typical list of fast food, fast casual, burger joints, diners, and pizza places. What’s a better way to stand out (other than having a kitchen is on wheels) than offering something specific to the region your food truck calls home?

Discover Local Flavors

What this means depends on the course of meals you serve from your truck as well as where you typically park. Regardless of the ingredients, flavors, and dishes that are native to your hometown, a strategy like this means moving away from developing a menu based on the demand of the masses and toward a food truck menu based on something unique that people might not realize they want.

If this sounds risky, that’s probably because it might be. But it’s not as though using unique flavors and ingredients means making and serving weird food. You can use local influence to put your personal twist on a popular, mainstream dish.

Consumers Have Changed

If you’ve missed it, the average consumer has developed much more interest in the flavor of the food they purchase. Food truck customers typically ignore the old standbys and safe choices. They are a demographic that enjoys watching food television, trying new cuisines, and exploring food establishments that previous generations may have passed by.

The era of the celebrity chef has taught television watching foodies how to be adventurous and try the best local food any given place has to offer. When it comes to your location, that could be your food truck; that should be your food truck!

Research Local Flavors

If you’re looking for something new to add to your food truck menu, it might be time to study the flavors and ingredients that are indigenous to your local community. Speak with local farmers or better yet, if you have a local food historian (yes they exist) track them down and find out the food history of your area.

Determine how you can use the history of food and the local ingredients and flavors to influence your menu. Think about different twists can you put on old favorites to make them truly local, truly worth the locals tracking you down at next food truck location or for those traveling to seek out your food truck service window on their way through town.

I’m betting with the ingenuity I’ve seen come out of the kitchens of food trucks around the country; you can come up with something absolutely amazing.

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durham food trucks

 — For a little extra summer cash, Demosthenes “Demo” Megaloudis, 12, and his brother Alexandrous “Alex,” 11, often help their parents take orders and load supplies onto Gussy’s Greek Food truck.

But on Tuesday, they were donating their time. Following through on an idea inspired by their father and their parish, St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church of Durham – the boys helped serve a free lunch dedicated to the men trying to restart their lives at Durham Rescue Mission.

Although they had served with the food truck at St. Barbara, they wanted to do something more. They considered a homeless shelter as as an ideal, and landed on Durham since their family is heavily invested in the city.

Along with three other food trucks, Stuft, Chick-N-Que, and Not Just Icing, Gussy’s Greek Food gave away a total of 210 meals of barbecue, gourmet potatoes, gyros and cupcakes from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Spotty rain showers did not deter the men, who stood in steady lines in the East Main Street campus parking lot for the food before returning to class at the mission or to shifts at work.

During the past few years, food trucks have become a fixture of the Triangle, growing in rapid numbers and creating a family-like community, said Gus Megaloudis, owner of Gussy’s Greek Food.

Apparently, they are a family characterized by being eager to serve, donating a day’s wages and a truckload of $5 to $8 meals.

Not Just Icing served around 180 of their $3 cupcakes in less than two hours.

“I made four calls, and I got four trucks,” said Megaloudis, although one truck’s generator died at the last minute.

Megaloudis said that the day cost him about $500 to $600 in meals.

“There are some things money cannot make you feel,” Megaloudis said.

The giveaway saved the mission about $430 the center would have spent on the men’s lunch. Tony Gooch, director of developmental operations at the mission, said summers can be difficult as the food banks become lower on food and donations slow when people leave for vacation.

Find the entire article at newsobserver.com <here>

 

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THE_GREAT_FOOD_TRUCK_CASE_INFOGRAPHIC-Feature

Our friends over at Armor Active have something they’d like to share. We agree that it’s a great concept. Who wants to have to continually reinvest in an Ipad or other mobile device. For any size food truck business, that’s just not a cost anyone wants to have to deal with on a regular basis.

So sit back and enjoy this infographic on the industry they’ve shared.

THE_GREAT_FOOD_TRUCK_CASE_INFOGRAPHIC

For more information on this product, check out their site ArmorActive.com

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empty battle creek streets

BATTLE CREEK, MI - The lines on Jackson Street are painted and the ordinance is now on the books, but only one vendor has so far applied for a license since Battle Creek commissioners voted to allow food trucks downtown.

“The current application volume is about what we expected,” Jessica VanderKolk, the city’s communications specialist, said in an email Thursday. “We were not anticipating a large number of applications in the immediate term.”

Shane Farlin, owner of the food truck Hogzilla Squeals on Wheels, said he applied for the downtown vending license, the only one to have done so as of Wednesday morning. He said he already has a state-issued veterans peddler’s license and is exempt from additional fees because he is former military.

The City Commission voted in a new vending ordinance July 1, allowing up to seven food trucks to operate on Jackson Street beginning 10 days later. This week, crews marked off parking spaces and installed signs designating the spots for vending.

The issue sparked a months-long debate as downtown restaurant owners voiced concerns over unfair competition in an area that doesn’t have a large enough customer base to support the food trucks. After discussions over locations and the addition of a provision that would end mobile vending downtown after 2015 unless renewed, commissioners adopted the ordinance in a 7-2 vote.

Vendors can operate as early as 7 a.m. and as late as 3 a.m. and must pay a $30 monthly license fee. VanderKolk said because the ordinance requires a background check on all employees involved in transactions, it is the city’s standard practice that each employee must acquire a license.

Find the entire article at battlecreekenquirer.com <here>

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provo city hall

PROVO, UT – Mobile food businesses were given some new marching orders Tuesday: Stay out of downtown Provo, unless invited for a special occasion.

The Provo Municipal Council approved unanimously, with two council members missing, an ordinance on licensing and regulating food truck vendors, what they can and cannot do, and where they can do it.

Highlights of the new regulations include the following:

  • Food trucks will not be allowed in the downtown area without special permission from the city administration, exceptions would be allowed for special events in the downtown area.
  • Food trucks will be allowed adjacent to city parks with approval from the parks director.
  • Background checks will be done on food truck owners and drivers but not on all employees.
  • Multiple food trucks will be allowed to operate on the same street.

Those missing were chairman Hal Miller and council member Gary Garrett.

“I feel the document we have come up with is very good,” said councilman Stephen Hales.

Members of the brick and mortar restaurant owners group, truck vendors and other downtown residents met during the past two weeks to agree on what is good for everyone.

Discussion considered how federal law may prohibit restriction on the free markets and how food trucks can be kept from the Center Street area.

The accepted distance is a 100-foot radius from the main entrance of a brick and mortar restaurant. However, the number of restaurants and the type of parking available already is very prohibitive in the downtown area.

One suggestion included the city’s mayor signing off on exemptions for trucks in the downtown area.

“Overall I’m not excited about exemptions coming to me,” Mayor John Curtis said. “That’s all I would be doing — approving exemptions.”

Some discussion included using a neighborhood chair to help.

Council attorney Brian Jones said, “The intent only applies to the downtown neighborhood chair. All of legal staff have concerns about a prohibition district. We’re creating a district in which food trucks cannot enter, except on special occasions. Granting power to grant exceptions is taking away the power of the administration.”

Find the entire article at heraldextra.com <here>

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food truck catering testimonials

What someone else says about the quality of the catering your food truck provides is far more believable to a customer than what you can say about your own mobile food business. For most people, buying catering services from a food truck is a relatively option and can be filled with anxiety.

Unlike your Yelp listing, there are no “rating” services for food truck caterers for individuals to gain confidence in your catering quality or level of service before they buy.

Food truck catering is a major purchase for most people. A lot of money is spent without any real assurance the catering will be as it’s promised to be. This is why testimonials from previous clients are extremely crucial for the success of your food truck catering especially when buyers fear making a mistake they might regret.

Food truck catering testimonials are important because shoppers gain confidence to buy and then are able to assess blame to others if something goes wrong with the event. Think about why you ask others for recommendations before you buy or don’t buy an expensive or important product or service. It’s because you are in search of the good, bad or inside tips on the product or service.

3 ways to use food truck catering testimonials:

  • Place testimonials throughout your food truck website, not just in a special separate section. Spread them throughout your site and mix them in with your other content. If possible add a photo from the event the happy client is referring to and label it as such.
  • If you use a large photo album or portfolio to show clients your past events, don’t hesitate to place testimonials in this album in such a way that they will see them as they turn the pages in the photo album. Don’t put testimonials in a special section in the back of the album. Mix them in with the photos. Also, take time to talk about them in the same way as you do about the photos. Every testimonial has a story behind it.
  • If prospects come to your office, (if you have one), you should have your walls flooded with framed letters and notes from happy clients. Take time to talk about these testimonials or take one down from the wall for the prospect to read before you start your sales presentation. Also, don’t be afraid to place testimonials you received via email on the wall for all to see.

Do you show off your food truck catering testimonials to sell your catering services? How do you do it if different from these suggestions? We’d love it if you shared your tips with our readers in the comment section below.

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crime-scene-tape

READING, PA - A 15-year-old boy was arrested on his birthday moments after Reading police said he robbed a food truck at knifepoint.

The holdup happened around 11:20 a.m. Monday on the parking lot of a car wash in the 1800 block of Kutztown Road. The teen, armed with a knife, approached the truck and demanded money from a worker inside, police said.

“That is very sad that our society has come to this, you know holding up other children.

Children holding up children, that is sad,” said Wilma Herrera, the owner of El Carreton Del Sabor.

The suspect made off with $20, but he didn’t get very far before he was apprehended by responding RPD officers.

Andrew Butler, an employee at nearby H&B NAPA AutoCare, said he’s seen the teen often leaving trash in the business’ parking lot, but he never expected this. “The kid is always around. He always seemed like a little bit of trouble, but I guess I was surprised he actually did it,” Butler said.

The food truck’s owner said she is just happy police caught him so quickly.

Find the entire article at wfmz.com <here>

best food truck graphic ad
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