Tags Posts tagged with "Food"

Food

food truck business cards

There are plenty of ways to layout your business cards for your food truck business; the key is to make sure it matches your truck’s branding plan. To help you with making sure your food truck business cards are developed properly here are a few tips to use when designing or reviewing them.

5 Simple Rules For Your Food Truck Business Cards
Include important information

Make sure you include all the information on your food truck business cards that you think a client would find useful. We’ve provided a quick checklist, but you may have other things you want to throw in as well.

  • Your name – Put the name your contacts know you by.
  • What you do – Remember to include what you do or what defines your job scope within your food truck business.
  • Contact information – Phone number, website url, e-mail, office address, social media profiles etc.
  • Catering – It’s very important to let prospective customers know that you provide catering services from your food truck. You can create specific marketing collateral for your catering services, but you need to make sure your food truck business cards let them know it is a service you offer.
Ensure your text is readable

This is an often overlooked element in food truck business cards I’ve seen over the years. You don’t want prospective clients to have to strain their eyes to read your website address or email. Make sure your text is at least 8 pt, in a clear readable font and in bold color. Anything smaller than 8 pt may look fine on your monitor, but may be printed as a fuzzy, smudged-out line. You could also try to accentuate your name or important contact information by making it slightly bigger or bolder than the rest of your information.

Your logo

If you’ve got a well-designed logo, let it subtly dominate your business card. It is a visual representation of your brand and will catch the eye of members of your target market.

The back side

There is a lot of debate about what should go on the back side of your business card. Some say keep it blank so people you hand it to can write notes. While others say put more information here. We suggest doing both. Use some of the space to provide returning customers a free offer, but also allow some space for note-taking.

Avoid using borders

It’s best to try to avoid using borders on your food truck business cards. They may look good, but when the cards are cut, you will most likely have some ‘lop-sided’ edges. All printers have a margin of error for cutting your cards, which can be as much as a few millimeters, so expect some variance in the area where the blade falls.

Do you have any additional tips for food truck business cards? What’s worked for you, what hasn’t. We’d love to hear your thoughts. You can share them with us via email, Twitter or Facebook.

Food Truck Branding Basics

Every food truck operation is a brand, whether it’s a single taco truck parked on the side of the highway or part of a huge national brand.

The brand is essential for your food truck to survive, it defines everything your truck stands for; it differentiates it and allows all advertising and marketing messages to revolve around it.

Food Truck Branding Basics

Why is it important to have a strong brand?

If you don’t have a brand your food truck is merely an empty shell. You haven’t positioned yourself in the consumer’s mind. If you don’t activate a brand in the correct way you have an empty and meaningless promise sitting out there.

What are the key elements to developing a food truck brand?

Your food truck brand is about every aspect of your mobile business. You have to look at the experience your customers receive when they visit your truck, food, messaging, etc.

When you are branding, or redefining your brand, you have to understand who your primary and secondary audiences are and what the needs and wants of those audiences are.

What you have to find is differentiation.

How does a food truck differentiate itself?

It starts in your tagline. Does your tagline resonate with your market? If you are a pizza truck who promotes fresh products, your tagline must explain that. Does it say you don’t make your sauce from paste that has to be rehydrated in the store but from real tomatoes that have been picked.

What are some big mistakes made when branding?

The big one is a lack of a differentiating position. Sometimes mobile business owners go with the big campaign but haven’t really looked under the hood and looked at whether their campaign really connects with the primary and secondary market with which they want to resonate and don’t ask whether [their brand] is really showing what they want to stand for. They also don’t judge themselves critically.

How do you find out whether your food truck brand and your messaging connect with your primary and secondary markets?

A food truck must look at who is the audience and who is the direct competitive set. Then you do some research. Find out who has the most propensity to eat with you, break the sub groups down, men/women, young/old/middle aged, with kids/without kids, etc.

Then you define your audience. This is absolutely an art and a skill in the world of marketing and advertising. With this information your food truck brand can maximize your reach.

How can you reinforce your brand without overdoing it?

I don’t think you can overdo it ever. If you look at consumers today they are overwhelmed with messaging so if you’re not out there messaging often to your primary and secondary audiences, you’re not resonating with them and your brand will not thrive.

Why is consistency important within a brand?

If you fracture the message you confuse consumers because they don’t know what you stand for.

Become a recognizable fixture in the local mobile food community with careful branding design. Remember to keep your messaging on point with your food truck’s personality. Use your branding to put a positive face on your mobile business and advertise a taste of what customers can expect to enjoy.

Do you have any additional food truck branding basics you think we missed? We’d love to hear your thoughts. You can share them in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

press kit

We were recently informed that more journalists and reporters prefer to use online press kits to gather research information on food trucks as opposed to the old style hard copy press kits.

Why? Because the Internet is a 24/7 operation and a busy reporter on deadline can jump online and cruise through an online press kit without having to wait for an overnight package or fax.

Many food truck owners are embracing this new form of media relations and have already created their own press kit.

Like your Web site, your online press kit should contain certain elements and be simple to navigate.

Do’s and Don’ts” for creating your own food truck online press kit:
Do’s:

Be easy to locate on your Website. This link should appear prominently in the site’s menu or on the home page. Reporters don’t have time to search for it.

Provide materials commonly used by the media. A general press kit usually contains background of the truck, FAQ, and profiles of key individuals or spokespeople.

This is what a reporter will want to see when they visit your online media room. The purpose of providing these common documents is to minimize any extra work a reporter will need to do to get what they need.

Other important items to include are high-resolution, digital photos, high-resolution digital logo graphics, and of course your press releases.

Include the media coverage you may have already received. When you or your truck has been covered by the media (preferably the favorable stuff), it will help to legitimize your business to show it off.

However, be careful about copyright issues when re-posting articles. If you or your truck has appeared in the media, use anything from audio clips, video clips, and links to the media outlets’ web site in your online media room’s “In the Press” page.

A simple email to the author or editor can work as verification for reprint permission.

Include media contact information. If the person handling your media relations is not an employee of the business, be sure that the contact info in the online media room directs reporters to the person who is.

If a reporter reaches out and their request is lost in cyberspace, chances are, they won’t come back.

Don’ts:

Combine info for both the public AND the media. Ideally, the information provided for the media should be separate from content intended for the public or consumers.

One reason is that it makes it more difficult for the media to find what it wants, and another is because it reduces your control over the info provided to the media.

Messaging is very important, and while it can sometimes vary for the public, it should always be consistent for the media – after all, your messaging is what they’re using to cover you with.

Require a reporter to make numerous requests for additional info. There are always going to be some things that you do not want to provide online on a constant basis.

This could include certain photos of you and your truck and even your logo. Feel free to say “please contact us for photos of our team and truck,” or “please contact us for a high resolution image of our logo.”

The point of your press kit is to provide the media with most of what it needs.

Be out of date. Update press kit materials as needed, and try to keep a current press release available – even if it wasn’t distributed on the wire or to reporters directly.

By keeping a timely supply of “news,” in your media room, it will be obvious to the media that it receives your attention.

Other Helpful Tips:

Use links – not e-mail attachments.  Media rooms with media libraries should allow you to upload your documents and create a URL to their location online, which you can provide to the media instead of an e-mail attachment.

When was the last time you opened an e-mail from a stranger that had an attachment?

Use a blog. Blogs are a great way to discuss your food truck or the mobile food industry and are often used by members of the media when researching for a story.

By following these tips and by putting yourself in the shoes of a journalist, you will be able to develop an online presence that is both informative and convenient.

Do this and you’ll meet the demands of the media and increase the likelihood of gaining editorial exposure for your food truck business.

Do you have a press kit for your food truck? We’d love to see them. Share the link in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

situations that could close your food truck
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.

PETALUMA, CA – Rancho Feeding Corporation, a Petaluma, Calif. establishment, is recalling approximately 8,742,700 pounds, because it processed diseased and unsound animals and carried out these activities without the benefit or full benefit of federal inspection.

recallThus, the products are adulterated, because they are unsound, unwholesome or otherwise are unfit for human food and must be removed from commerce, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The following Rancho Feeding Corporation products are subject to recall:

  • “Beef Carcasses” (wholesale and custom sales only)
  • 2 per box “Beef (Market) Heads” (retail only)
  • 4-gallons per box “Beef Blood” (wholesale only)
  • 20-lb. boxes of “Beef Oxtail”
  • 30-lb. boxes of “Beef Cheeks”
  • 30-lb. boxes of ” Beef Lips”
  • 30-lb. boxes of “Beef Omasum”
  • 30-lb. boxes of “Beef Tripas”
  • 30-lb. boxes of “Mountain Oysters”
  • 30-lb. boxes of “Sweet Breads”
  • 30- and 60-lb. boxes of “Beef Liver”
  • 30- and 60-lb. boxes of “Beef Tripe”
  • 30- and 60-lb. boxes of “Beef Tongue”
  • 30- and 60-lb. boxes of “Veal Cuts”
  • 40-lb. boxes of “Veal Bones”
  • 50-lb. boxes of “Beef Feet”
  • 50-lb. boxes of “Beef Hearts”
  • 60-lb. boxes of “Veal Trim”

Beef carcasses and boxes bear the establishment number “EST. 527″ inside the USDA mark of inspection.  Each box bears the case code number ending in “3” or “4.” The products were produced Jan. 1, 2013 through Jan. 7, 2014 and shipped to distribution centers and retail establishments in California, Florida, Illinois and Texas.

FSIS has received no reports of illness due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a health care provider.

food truck association

In our efforts to assist the mobile food industry, Mobile Cuisine has consistently provided business information for food truck and food cart owners. With the rapid expansion of the industry many cities in the country have more than a dozen food trucks patrolling their streets now. Because of this trending growth, there have been numerous requests submitted to us to provide information on organizing food truck groups to give these areas a single focused voice to discuss their local issues.

Food Truck AssociationHave you been thinking about starting a new, nonprofit, tax-exempt food truck association in your city or region? Have you tried to decide whether you should organize as a 501 c3 or c6? Do you know the difference between them?

The c3 and c6 are similar in terms of exemption from income taxes, their qualifying characteristics, the application process (IRS Form 1023 vs. 1024), and the various rules governing their ongoing activities can be quite different.

It is helpful to first understand the distinction between a “nonprofit” and a “tax-exempt” entity. “Nonprofit” refers to an entity’s incorporation/organizational status as governed by state law, whereas “tax-exempt” refers to federal income tax exemption governed by the Internal Revenue Code. The c3 and c6 are two of the most common IRS tax-exempt statuses for nonprofits.

To qualify for either exempt status, a nonprofit must meet specific tests which are outlined in IRS Publication 557, Chapters 3 and 4, available at www.IRS.gov. One common requirement of a tax-exempt entity is that your net earnings may not benefit private shareholders or individuals. Once organized, c3 and c6 organizations are both required to file annual IRS Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-N depending on their size. They may also be required to file 990-T and pay taxes if they have “unrelated business income.” While the applicable IRS schedules and required disclosures of the c3 and c6 vary, all tax exempt entities are expected to have strong governance policies and practices in place and the new 990 wants to know a great deal about them.

Which exempt classification is right for your food truck association?

Here are some common differences:

501(c)(3) Food Truck Association

  • Operated exclusively for charitable, educational, religious, literary, or scientific purposes
  • Includes membership associations (e.g., professional society), if the purpose is to advance the profession with respect to “educational” activities
  • Lobbying and political activities are significantly restricted. A c3 will lose tax-exempt status if the IRS determines that it has engaged in “substantial” lobbying activities

Special Advantages of the c3 include:

  • Enhanced fundraising advantages, such as eligibility to receive tax-deductible “charitable contributions” and gifts of property and eligibility to receive many grants
  • Eligibility to receive other state and local tax exemptions (e.g., sales tax)

Example of nonprofit 501(c)(3) food truck association: Urban Justice Center – Street Vendor Project

501(c)(6) Food Truck Association

  • Operated to promote a common business interest, and to improve business conditions in the industry
  • A membership organization (e.g., business league, industry trade association), advancing a common business interest
  • Allowed a wide-range of lobbying. Yet, the main stipulation is that a c6 is required to disclose to membership the % of their annual dues that is lobbying (i.e., non-deductible to members for tax purposes)
  • Dues or other payments to a c6 are only deductible to the extent that they serve an “ordinary and necessary” business purpose of the payer

Examples of nonprofit 501(c)(6) food truck association: DCMFVA: DC Mobile Food Vendors Association, SoCal Mobile Food Vendors’ Association

As you can see, there are several similarities and distinct differences within the world of the 501(c); and c3/c6 represents only two of several types. When creating a new food truck association for the mobile food vendors in your city or region, it is always recommended to consult with legal, tax, and association management professionals with the background and experience to help you make an informed decision and to protect your ongoing tax-exempt status.

If you have any additional tips for those interested in forming a new non profit food truck association, please drop us a message or reach out to the National Food Truck Association for help.

sandwich fun facts

The internet is full of fabulous facts about everything from current events to the history basket weaving. Because of this, as we research for our daily content on food trucks, food carts and street food, we stumble upon some items of knowledge that we just did not know. We have decided when these fun facts pop up, that we would share them with our readers in our section titled “Did You Know?”

For today’s Did You Know we will look at Sandwich fun facts.

sandwich fun factsThe Facts: A sandwich is a food item commonly consisting of two or more slices of bread, with one or more fillings between them. Sandwiches are a widely popular type of lunch food, typically taken to work, school, or picnics to be eaten as part of a packed lunch. The bread can be used as it is, or it can be coated with any condiments to enhance flavor and texture. They are also widely sold in restaurants and cafes, served hot or cold.

  • Sandwiches are thought to be the namesake of John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, following the claim that he was the eponymous inventor of the sandwich.
  • The first written usage of the English word appeared in Edward Gibbon’s journal, in longhand, referring to “bits of cold meat” as a “Sandwich”.
  • October 9th is National Grinder, Hoagie, Hero Day.
  • November 3rd is National Sandwich Day.
  • The average American will have consumed 1,500 PB&Js by the time they graduate high school.
  • The most people making sandwiches simultaneously is 607 and was achieved by British Sandwich Association (UK), in Manchester, UK, on May 14, 2013.
  • The world’s largest sandwich weighed 5,440 pounds.
  • The most expensive sandwich ever sold was a grilled toast sandwich that seemed to have an image of the Virgin Mary on it. It sold for $28,000 in 2004.
  • Depending on the region, hero sandwiches have been called many other names, including hoagie, grinder, and sub. The latter comes from Benedetto Capaldo’s Italian deli in New London, Conn., during World War II. The deli received an order from the nearby US Naval submarine base for 500 hero sandwiches. From that day forward any time a customer ordered a hero sandwich the employees at the deli called it a “sub.”
  • Americans eat more than 300 million sandwiches every day – an amazing statistic since there are slightly more than 300 million Americans.
  •  The most popular sandwich in America is the standard ham sandwich (ham, cheese, and mustard or mayonnaise), followed by the BLT.

Sandwich Fun Facts We Missed

If so, please feel free to let us know in the comment section below. We always love to add to these lists. If we can verify that the facts is just that, a fact, we will give the reader credit in the article.

Reference: Wikipedia: Fun Facts about the Sandwich.

The internet is full of fabulous facts about everything from current events to the history basket weaving. Because of this, as we research for our daily content on food trucks, food carts and street food, we stumble upon some items of knowledge that we just did not know. We have decided when these fun facts pop up, that we would share them with our readers in our section titled “Did You Know?”

For today’s Did You Know we will look at Caramel Custard fun facts.

caramel custard fun factsThe Facts: Caramel Custard, crème caramel or flan or caramel custard is a custard dessert with a layer of soft caramel on top, as opposed to crème brûlée, which is custard with a hard caramel top. The dish is eaten throughout the world.

  • Caramel custard is a variant of plain custard (crème) where sugar syrup cooked to caramel stage is poured into the mold before adding the custard base. It is usually cooked in a bain-marie on a stove top or in the oven in a water bath. It is turned and served with the caramel sauce on top, hence the alternate French name crème caramel renversée.
  • Flan is found in recipes as far back as ancient Rome. It was during Roman times that domesticated chickens were first kept for laying eggs. The Romans, with eggs in surplus, and consulting the Greek’s knowledge of the art of cooking, developed new recipes, one of which turned out to be a custardly concoction known as flan.
  • October 3rd is National Caramel Custard Day.
  • When does caramel become caramel? When the heat on the milk solids combine with the sugar ingredients, a caramel flavor is created, therein creating the caramel.
  • According to Platina’s De Honesta Voluptate,(On Right Pleasure and Good Health), an Italian cookery text published in 1475, custard-type dishes were considered health food.

Caramel Custard Fun Facts We Missed

If so, please feel free to let us know in the comment section below. We always love to add to these lists. If we can verify that the facts is just that, a fact, we will give the reader credit in the article.

Reference: Wikipedia: Fun Facts about  Caramel Custard.

NCR Silver

Social Connections