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Food Trucks

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Food Truck Winter Storage

Although it isn’t quite Winter yet, recently we have noticed a few Twitter messages from food trucks around the country were preparing to shut down until Spring.

Unless your mobile food business is located in the warmer climate areas in the United States, the first frost is usually a sign that it’s time to start thinking about putting your food truck away for the winter. Proper storage of your food truck can save you a lot of work down the road.

In this article Mobile Cuisine will share a few food truck winter storage tips you should follow before packing your vehicle away for the winter. Come next spring, your vehicle will look great and perform well.

Before you begin, be sure when taking parts apart, to be organized. Keep similar parts together in a safe place where they won’t get lost and layout parts in a way that will allow you to put them back in the same order.

Food Truck Winter StorageFood Truck Winter Storage Tips

Make Safety Your Top Priority

Every vehicle is different. When it comes to maintenance and repairs always follow the vehicle’s owner’s manual. Make sure you have all of your tools and supplies before you begin – the last thing you want to do is go shopping when you have the car on the jack.

Safety should be your number one priority. Don’t smoke, drink alcoholic beverages, or wear exposed jewelry while working on your food truck. Watch out for hot objects, sharp instruments, hazardous materials and other potential safety hazards in and around your workspace. Always wear a set of safety glasses, a dust mask and latex gloves.

Do not work with a Philips when the job calls for a flat screwdriver. Substituting tools can compromise your safety.

Finally, when the fun turns to frustration or if the job requires specialized knowledge beyond your abilities, seek the assistance of a professional mechanic. The last thing we want is someone getting hurt.

Perform All Repairs And Maintenance 

Perform any known repairs or maintenance on your vehicle. You don’t want to forget and find out the hard way on the first spring drive.

Change The Oil 

Change your engine oil and filter. You don’t want contaminants that have built up in the oil to sit in your engine all winter. Change the oil again when taking the truck out in spring to remove any condensation build up in the oil pan.

Fill The Tank 

Add a container of fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank and completely fill the tank with high quality gasoline. Drive a quick 10 miles or so to work the stabilizer through the entire fuel system.

Prevent Rust 

Spray hinges, crevices, and anything shiny with a coating of WD-40 to prevent rusting. This can be wiped off in the spring with a degreaser. If you are using a rust inhibiting coating on the exterior, it should be applied now. Let the vehicle sit for a few days before washing and waxing.

Wash And Wax 

You’ll want to do a complete and thorough cleaning before storage. Wash the car, inside and out.
Wax all painted surfaces with a high quality wax.

Remove Kitchen Equipment

If your mobile bistro isn’t going to be stored in a heated area this step should be followed. If any of your kitchen equipment is not bolted down, remove it from your food truck and store it in a secure heated area.

Clean all of the remaining kitchen equipment to make sure there is no food to sit and spoil over the winter. Prop open your oven and refrigeration units to prevent mold from building up and ruining this equipment.

Wipe Down Rubber Parts 

Wipe all rubber parts and seals with a rubber dressing to stop them from drying out and cracking.

Battery Maintenance 

At the very least, disconnect the battery cables. If your storage area is not heated, it’s recommended that the battery is removed and stored indoors through the winter, but always watch for the possibility of corrosive battery acid.

IMPORTANT - Before disconnecting a battery, be sure you disarm any alarms and that you have any necessary lock codes for the stereo or other electronic equipment.

It’s important to maintain the battery to prolong its ability to hold a charge as time goes by. Battery maintenance can be done in a few different ways:

  • Trickle charge the battery every few weeks with a battery charger.
  • Use a battery charger that has a “maintain” setting so the battery is kept at the right state of charge, but not overcharged.
  • Use a 12V solar panel and battery maintainer to constantly monitor/charge the battery.

Fill Washer Fluid 

Fill your washer fluid container with winter washer fluid to prevent freezing and cracking of the fluid container.

Keep The Critters Out 

Cover or plug the exhaust tail pipe and air intake tubing to prevent rodents from taking up residence. Steel wool works well, just remember to remove it before starting the car! Some people also like to use mothballs under the hood or in the trunk to keep rodents away. It’s NOT recommended to use mothballs on the interior of your food truck.

On The Ground? Off The Ground? 

Next you’ll need to decide whether to raise the vehicle for food truck winter storage or leave it sitting on the ground. Flat spots on the tires used to be the main reason to store a vehicle raised off the ground, but with modern day tires, this has become less of an issue.  Generally, if the truck is only parked for the winter, storing it on the ground should be fine. Over-inflating your tires by 5-8 pounds can help prevent flat spotting over the winter.

If you are raising it off the ground, you’re next decision is whether or not to remove the wheels. Some people prefer to remove the wheels when storing a car, rather than have them in a high traffic garage area where your rims can be damaged.

IMPORTANT – DO NOT use the parking brake when storing a vehicle. Parking brakes can seize over months of being left on.

Cover It Up 

First, leave the windows down a few inches to let the interior breathe then cover the truck. Covers should be a breathable, snug fitting material. Tarps or plastic are not recommended.

Make Sure You Are ‘Covered’ 

Adjust your insurance accordingly. Call your insurance agent and let them know your food truck has been stored. They can recommend the appropriate amount of insurance.

Do you have any additional tips for Food Truck Winter Storage? If so, please feel free to leave a comment below, Tweet us or share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

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favoriting tweets

So what is that star thing on Twitter and what does it do?

There seems to be a lot of food truck owners who haven’t really explored favoriting tweets or at least don’t see much value in starring tweets of others so here’s a quick intro to one of the most overlooked little gems of Twitter.

Favoriting TweetsWhat is a Favorite?

There is a small star under each tweet that allows you to favorite a tweet.

Everything else is open for interpretation and there lies the main problem. It isn’t readily apparent why a mobile food operator would use this. Is this a bookmark or a high five?

Favoriting Tweets: How to use them

The standard disclaimer applies: There isn’t a wrong way and this isn’t an exhaustive list.

Method 1: Save a tweet for later.

As a busy food truck owner knows keeping an eye on your twitter feed and reading the links that show up in it during the day can be a difficult task. Favortiing can help you save a link that you’d like to read but you don’t have time at that exact moment to digest the entire article. You can favorite the tweet so you can easily find it later and read it when it’s more convenient.

To see your favorited tweets just visit your Twitter profile and click on the Favorites tab.

Method 2: Show appreciation (give a little Twitter high five)

This is the method some owners I have spoken with prefer because it allows them to show appreciation to someone for their tweet without retweeting it. In my view, a retweet is for others whereas a favorite is for you and the author of the tweet.

Method 3: Create a “Reviews” archive

This is a great method for food truck owners- Favorite a tweet when someone says something nice about your product or customer service. You can use these tweets in the future on promotional displays, real and digital, and it’s a quick way to show off your positive user feedback.

Method 4: Create an archive of tweets

Twitter search is not quite as handy as most would like so if you want to create a searchable archive of tweets you can get the rss feed of your favorited tweets and plug it into Google Reader. Nifty huh?

Monitoring who is favoriting tweets from your truck

There are a couple of ways to see when someone favorites your tweets. The first 2 are the most common and the last 2 are my favorite.

1) Twitter.com now includes mentions in the tab formally known as mentions. Just make sure to uncheck the “Show mentions only” checkbox.

2) Tweetdeck will also display favorites in your replies tab.

3) Boxcar iPhone App – This app is how to get push notifications for everything Twitter. Its faster and more reliable, supports many services and comes with settings to set quiet times, sound notifications, and much more. Part of that more is the ability to get a push notification when someone favorites your tweet. It’s free and awesome. Visit Boxcar.io for more info.

4) Favstar.fm – A quirky but very useful service built completely around favorite Tweets. Authorize your twitter account to see who favorites your tweets.

So, do you favorite tweets? How do you use them for your mobile food business?

If this article encourages you to give them a try let us hear from you, or tweet this article and we might just favorite it.

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vegan food truck customers

It’s Monday again, and for today’s Meatless Monday coverage we are going to look at individuals who have taken vegetarianism to the next level in their dietary lifestyle.

Growth in the mobile food industry is only being matched by the growth of individuals in the United States who have made the conscious effort to limit or even eliminate the amount of meat they include in their lives. There are now twice as many vegetarians in American as there were in 1994, and almost a third of them are now vegans.

vegan food truck customers

Food truck owners around the country are constantly looking to find new customers, and being able to offer the growing vegan population food from your truck is an easy way to expand your customer base.

The problem many mobile food unit operators have isn’t that they are open to expanding their menus, but that they aren’t sure what vegans can or cannot eat. Today’s article hopes to help those understand vegan food truck customers, and what they typically eat.

What is a Vegan?

As many people already know, vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or poultry. The way the vegans differ from vegetarians is that they do not eat other animal products and by-products such as eggs, dairy products and honey.

Why Veganism?

People choose to follow a vegan lifestyle for health, environmental, and/or ethical reasons. For example, some vegans feel that one promotes the meat industry by consuming eggs and dairy products.

Many vegans choose this lifestyle to promote a more humane and caring world. They know they are not perfect, but believe they have a responsibility to try to do their best, while not being judgmental of others.

Vegan Food Truck Customer Nutrition

The key to a nutritionally sound vegan diet is variety. A healthy and varied vegan diet includes fruits, vegetables, plenty of leafy greens, whole grain products, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Protein

It is very easy for a vegan diet to meet the recommendations for protein as long as calorie intake is adequate. Strict protein planning or combining is not necessary. The key is to eat a varied diet.

Almost all foods except for alcohol, sugar, and fats provide some protein. Vegan sources include: lentils, chickpeas, tofu, peas, peanut butter, soy milk, almonds, spinach, rice, whole wheat bread, potatoes, broccoli and kale.

Fat

Vegan diets are free of cholesterol and are generally low in saturated fat. Thus eating a vegan diet makes it easy to conform to recommendations given to reduce the risk of major chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. High-fat foods, which should be used sparingly, include oils, margarine, nuts, nut butters, seed butters, avocado, and coconut.

Calcium

Calcium, needed for strong bones, is found in dark green vegetables, tofu made with calcium sulfate, calcium-fortified soy milk and orange juice (I also heard that wheatgrass juice is good, tho you need a wheatgrass juicer), and many other foods commonly eaten by vegans. Although lower animal protein intake may reduce calcium losses, there is currently not enough evidence to suggest that vegans have lower calcium needs. Vegans should eat foods that are high in calcium and/or use a calcium supplement.

Other good sources of calcium include: okra, turnip greens, soybeans, tempeh, almond butter, broccoli, bok choy and commercial soy yogurt.

Zinc

Vegan diets can provide zinc at levels close to or even higher than the RDA. Zinc is found in grains, legumes, and nuts.

Iron

Dried beans and dark green leafy vegetables are especially good sources of iron, better on a per calorie basis than meat. Iron absorption is increased markedly by eating foods containing vitamin C along with foods containing iron.

Sources of Iron

Soybeans, lentils, blackstrap molasses, kidney beans, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, Swiss chard, tempeh, black beans, prune juice, beet greens, tahini, peas, bulghur, bok choy, raisins, watermelon, millet, and kale.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

In order to maximize production of DHA and EPA (omega-3 fatty acids), vegans should include good sources of alpha-linolenic acid in their diets such as flaxseed, flaxseed oil, canola oil, tofu, soybeans, and walnuts.

Common Vegan Foods

Oatmeal, stir-fried vegetables, cereal, toast, orange juice, peanut butter on whole wheat bread, frozen fruit desserts, lentil soup, salad bar items like chickpeas and three bean salad, dates, apples, macaroni, fruit smoothies, popcorn, spaghetti, vegetarian baked beans, guacamole, chili…

Vegans Also Eat…

Tofu lasagna, homemade pancakes without eggs, hummus, eggless cookies, soy ice cream, tempeh, corn chowder, soy yogurt, rice pudding, fava beans, banana muffins, spinach pies, oat nut burgers, falafel, corn fritters, French toast made with soy milk, soy hot dogs, vegetable burgers, pumpkin casserole, scrambled tofu, seitan.

Egg Replacers:

  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) soft tofu blended with the liquid ingredients of the recipe, or
  • 1 small banana, mashed, or
  • 1/4 cup applesauce, or
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot starch.

The following substitutions can be made for dairy products:

Soy milk, rice milk, potato milk, nut milk, or water (in some recipes) may be used. Buttermilk can be replaced with soured soy or rice milk. For each Cup of buttermilk, use 1 cup soymilk plus 1 tablespoon of vinegar.

Soy cheese available in health food stores. (Be aware that many soy cheeses contain casein, which is a dairy product.)

Crumbled tofu can be substituted for cottage cheese or ricotta cheese in lasagna and similar dishes.

Several brands of nondairy cream cheese are available in some supermarkets and kosher stores.

We hope this guide gives you a better understanding on how to serve vegan food truck customers. We understand that some trucks have a very limited menu, however, being able to add at least one vegan meal to your truck’s menu will allow even more people to enjoy your truck’s cuisine.

meatless monday

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

Mobile Cuisine Magazine looks forward to sharing Meatless Monday with our readers!

 

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food truck parking tickets
Image Credit: www.nycfoodtrucks.org

Every municipality has its own parking regulations you need to know while you are operating within their city limits. Ignorance of the law is usually no defense against a food truck parking ticket, especially if the police were notified by a restaurant who felt you were parked to close to their storefront.

food truck ticket

Parking tickets in the mobile food industry have become extremely common, partially because they’re easy laws for you to break without being aware of it and also because they make a lot of money for the city. With that said they are the sort of trouble that can be easy to avoid having to pay.

Dealing With Food Truck Parking Tickets

City governments love their parking tickets, so much so that many of them get handed out even if you didn’t break a law. To avoid paying for these tickets the first thing you want to check for is a mistake.

According to parking expert Eric Feder, if anything on the parking ticket is wrong (from the date to the location to the cited violation) you have an easy way out. You can even get out of a ticket if the writing is illegible. If anything is off or wrong on your citation, contest it and you should be able to get it dismissed without much trouble.

If a mistake was made and the citation was real, you’re not necessarily out of luck. Sometimes street markings are confusing or unclear. If that’s the case, photograph your parked food truck, the area around it, and any relevant signs to show as evidence for when you’re in court. You can’t argue ignorance to the law, but if the law can’t be easily understood you can argue that.

You’re also in the clear if your parking violation was the result of an emergency. For example, if your engine overheated and you had to run to a store to get water or antifreeze to cool it off, your receipt can be used as proof to show what you were doing when the ticket was issued.

This is the case for virtually any emergency, so long as you have proof. Technically you could fake an emergency to get out of a parking ticket, but you should really try an honest approach. Most judges are pretty good at detecting lies, so think twice about trying something dishonest.

We hope this article will help a mobile vendor get out of having to pay for a food truck parking ticket they either did not break any law to receive or merely received because the street markings were confusing.

Not only can the fees for these tickets become expensive, but they can get your food truck on the radar of the local ticketing officers who may spend more of their time looking for your truck to give you additional tickets later on. Food truck parking tickets can be the bane of a vendors existence due to the fact that if they want to fight them, it requires that they take time out of the truck to fight them.

Do you have any additional tips on how to beat a food truck parking ticket? If so, please feel free to share in the comment section below, Tweet us, or share them on our Facebook page.

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zombie food truck

The Halloween is back and there will be ghosts and goblins wandering the streets in search of treats in the coming weeks. We have compiled some ideas for your use to help spark sales and show your customers that are in the Halloween spirit with them.

Spookify your Twitter theme: Many people feel as if one profile theme is enough and never touch it after they initially activate their account. Change your theme to match the season show your followers that you and your business enjoy Halloween as much as they do.

pumpkin food truck

Find a Truck Gathering: Throughout the country, more and more cities are allowing food trucks, and in those cities, the market is accepting them with open arms. A recent trend across California is festivals centered on food trucks. Find one of these gatherings that are following a Halloween theme. Show up following some of these tips, and you and your customers will do nothing but enjoy the evening.

Special Halloween Menu Items: This may be the easiest thing for food trucks to do to get into the Halloween spirit. Take a standard menu item, tweak it to give it a Halloween flavor, or even renaming menu items can let your customers know you are part of the scene, not just there for sales.

Costumes: As long as safety is viewed as the number one issue, ask your employees to dress up for the night. Make it fun for both your employees and customers. We don’t want to find out that any of you food truckers has gotten into an accident because you left your mask on while driving or has injured themselves while preparing their food because their costume was to baggy.

Decorations: Fake spider webs, jack-o-lanterns, spooky lighting, maybe even a little dry ice in a bucket outside of the truck. If you have a lot you plan to spend the evening in, decorate it for the occasion.

Halloween Music: This is part of the decorating theme, but something that can be over looked. Go out and buy a compilation CD of Halloween sounds or songs and play them for your customers throughout the night, just make sure to keep the volume at a level where orders can be given without the need to scream.

Candy for the Kids: Always part of Halloween, many parents will be out with their children trick or treating, if the kids are rushing Mom and Dad off because the truck next door is giving away Snickers bars, you are risking a loss in sales.

Contests: Hold a best costume contest at a specific time of the night. Not only will this type of thing be fun for your customers, it will give them more reason to hang around your truck (and buy more food). The winner could receive a free item off your menu.

We would love to hear from our readers about suggestions or tips that you think would work well for food trucks. If you are out tonight and spot a truck that is in the spirit of the night, take a picture and send it to us at admin [at] mobile-cuisine [dot] com. Who knows, your shot, or your favorite truck may be part of the next feature in Mobile Cuisine.

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social media time management

It seems from some of the most recent questions we’ve received that some food truck vendors are still having difficulty in improving their social media presence without having to spend more time than they thought they would to get anything accomplished.

Are you one of these vendors? Not to worry, today’s article is all about social media time management and was designed to show you how to streamline the time you invest with social media while still being able to build a strong online brand that draws customers to your food truck service window.

4 Social Media Time Management Tips

Downsize

One mistake I see some vendors make is joining every social network on the web and spending time to stay relevant on each one. If you are presently on what may seem like every social media platform, take some time to find out which ones are actually drawing customers in and interacting with you.

If there is no customer interaction on some, cut down or eliminate the time you spend there and focus more of your time on those that are more active.

If your customers don’t engage with you on Pinterest or Instagram, there’s no need to be there.

Once you know where you’re your message is being heard, pick two or three and don’t worry about the rest.

Speak With Your Customers

Spend some time engaging with your social media followers. Does is seem as most of them are not in your local area? If not, you could be spending your time engaging with people who may never spend a moment waiting in line for one of your awesome menu items. If this is the case you need to fine tune your approach.

Look at your updates that generate the most interest, and use those as a starting point for conversations. When you find a customer hot button issue, run with it. Be sure you share information that is both relevant to your food truck and beneficial for your customers.

You need to focus your social media communications on your customers to build trust and encourage interaction. This will lead to a creating social media advocates for your food truck business.

Consistant User Names

There are some vendors I found while researching this article that use upwards of 3 to five different user names on various social networks. Some even have several handles for Twitter alone.

Not only is this difficult to manage (unless you are paying someone to handle all of these accounts for you), but it also confuses customers which will ultimately dilute your brand.

Settle on a single username so people can easily find and follow you. Use your food truck’s name or a shorter variation. If you’re Your Name Food Truck on Facebook, don’t create a different handle for Twitter, keep it consistent.

Become Predictable

In social media it pays to be predicable. Create a schedule for posting on the social media networks you’ve chosen to have a presence. Choose times when you know your customers are most likely to see your posts.

Once you have your schedule in place, stick to it, it’s much easier to identify what to share in advance rather than trying to do it in real time.

Use the space in between your scheduled posts for customer conversations. Retweet or comment on things you like and thank customers who promote your food truck.

We hope this helps those of you that are having a tough time navigating all of the social media avenues available to food truck vendors. Time is one thing that we understand vendors don’t have in surplus.

If you have addition tips on social media time management, please feel free to share them in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

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Starbucks food truck

NEW YORK, NY — Here’s something that will make returning to school less painful for some college students: Starbucks is launching food trucks.

The lucky students at Arizona State University, James Madison University in Virginia and Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina won’t have to hit up the school cafeteria for a cup of coffee or snack any longer. The mobile Starbucks truck could be parked right along their route to that 8 a.m. class.

The trucks will offer a menu of food and drinks nearly identical to that found in Starbucks stores and will move to various locations on the campuses, the company said in a news release.

The three selected universities already have Starbucks locations on campus, but the trucks are expected to have more flexible hours and in some cases will stay open later than a dining hall.

The four-wheel service is only a pilot program for now. Trucks are already rolling at Arizona State and James Madison. One will hit the road at Coastal Carolina on Sept. 2.

Find the entire article at q13fox.com <here>

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public relations basics

Most food truck’s across the country lack the cash to invest in an internal press staff, so as usual, this task is just one more job an already busy mobile food vendor needs to take care of themselves. So what is it that journalists want when you send them information about your food truck or an event you are going to be part of?

public relations basics

Check out our public relations basics list of 10 Do’s and Don’ts for pitching a story to the press about your food truck.

  1. DO some research and figure out the right reporter before you pitch a story. All reporters have beats and Associated Press also has national writers who specialize in certain areas, including business, entertainment, medicine, health, sports and lifestyles.
  2. DO make sure your story pitch is national in interest and sharply focused. AP is for national and international news. Stories about local food truck events and a new menu items developed by a local food truck aren’t AP stories — but they might be a better fit at a local publication.
  3. DO write succinct press releases, preferably with bullet points noting the time, place and date of the event and a FEW sentences explaining the “what” and “why” of the story. Every newsroom in America receives hundreds of press releases each day by fax and email. Long winded pitches fall through the cracks.
  4. DON’T shop your story around to multiple reporters at once. If one reporter turns down your pitch, it’s likely all reporters will turn it down. If a reporter can’t handle your pitch or it isn’t in their beat area but he or she thinks it has interest, the reporter will pass it along to the appropriate person. Please keep in mind, they talk to each other and pass along pitches all the time.
  5. DO tell reporters that if (despite no. 4) you’re sending a pitch to multiple people within the same newsroom. If a reporter begins a story based on a pitch, only to find out one or two other reporters in other departments or beats have done the same thing, this will make reporters more cautious the next time you pitch something.
  6. DON’T call to follow up on a pitch. If they are interested, they will call or email to let you know.
  7. DO take no for an answer. Nothing drives a reporter crazier than getting multiple pitches for the same story from the same person after they’ve said no once, twice or even three times or having a spokesperson argue on the phone over a “no” response. If you accept a no this time, maybe the next time they will work with you. If you drive them nuts when they are on deadline, that won’t happen.
  8. If you really have a great story, DON’T wait until the day before, or even two days before, to pitch it. The best stories may require a week or more of planning and reporting. Too often, pitches that could have been a good story, but we are first notified of them the day of the event or the day before. That’s just not enough time to turn around a story, alert all the editors, coordinate any video or photo coverage and edit the piece.
  9. DON’T assume you know everything about pitching the media. Media is ever changing and fast moving. With the proliferation of news sites on the Internet popping up daily, news comes in many forms and we can all learn a thing or two!
  10. DO be consistent and send news out regularly. One day your food truck story may be the one that gets chosen to follow.

If you and your food truck follow other rules that would fit into a list of public relations basics, please feel free to share them in the comment section below.

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menu food truck toronto

TORONTO, CANADA – Summer is the season for food trucks, but many vendors say despite the new regulations it’s still a challenge doing business in the city.

“That’s the hardest part. There is nowhere to park cause there are restaurants all over Toronto,” said Bryan Siu-Chong who is co-founder of MeNU Food Truck.

On Tuesday afternoon, MeNU Food Truck was parked along University, just outside Toronto General Hospital. When Global News was there, a security guard approached Siu-Chong at the truck to tell them they were not supposed to be there – apparently, because there was a food court in the hospital, they were violating the 50-metre rule.

Global News checked with City Hall’s Municipal Licensing and Standards department. We learned that MeNU was in the right place and did not have to move.

Carleton Grant is the Director of Policy and Strategic Support for the department. He said the rule is only for restaurants that are facing a street, not food courts inside a building.

“Now we need to educate the businesses, the parking lots , the hospitals the security guards, what the rules are,” said Grant.
When the city introduced the permit system it allowed for 125 permits at a cost of $5000 each. To date, only 14 permits have been picked up by gourmet food trucks.

Zane Caplansky owns a food truck and a restaurant, Caplansky’s Delicatessen. He says he opted not to get a permit. “It is the most expensive mobile vending permit in the world, and it’s useless.” Said Caplansky.

Find the entire article at globalnews.ca <here>

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iowa city food trucks

IOWA CITY, IA - Vendors were hammered with lunch orders on day one of the Iowa City food truck and mobile food vendor pilot program at Chauncey Swan Park.

Thursday marked the beginning of an experiment that will run through Oct. 31. The program is intended to test interest in allowing more mobile food vending permits, outside of six issued for the pedestrian mall.

Thursday’s vendors included Bread Garden Market’s gelato bicycle, Keepin’ Up with the Jones’s, Local Burrito and The Box Lunch.

Kyle Sieck, owner and chef at Local Burrito, said he ran out of food and needed more employees. Sieck said the rush could have been an “anomaly” due to the program’s novelty.

“That aside, I’m still really impressed that the community came out to support it on the first day,” he said.

Sieck said he is optimistic about the months ahead, and is excited to see how the students’ return to Iowa City affects business.

Sieck said he hopes to see officials keep working to make mobile vending in Iowa City more inclusive.

“I would just like to see a more comprehensive mobile vending ordinance and increase opportunities for us to be involved in the community,” he said. “The reason being we’re small businesses and entrepreneurs, and we can bring food to people at certain places and times where they aren’t currently being supplied.”

Jane McCune, of Blank & McCune real estate agency, said the location is a block from her office, making it a convenient lunch destination.

“I think (adding more food trucks) would be a good idea because I think there are plenty of people who are out and about, especially on the ped mall, and I think they would embrace the idea of eating local food outdoors,” she said.

Claire Myers, who works downtown, said she learned about the program through Twitter and came out to support local food.

“It’s convenient and obviously it’s worth a little more money to support local business,” she said.

Find the entire article at press-citizen.com <here>

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