Home Tags Posts tagged with "Growth"


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krav food truck cleveland

Oh what a pleasant surprise; to see a city who has leaders in place that defend food truck owners operating in their town. While it may not be new in some sections of the country, it’s welcomed news in many others.

ELYRIA, OH - A chef on wheels rolls to a location and serves food from a mobile kitchen.

The food truck craze has hit Elyria.

For the second Thursday this month, Todd Berry set up in downtown Elyria with his Krav food truck to serve up one of five signature dishes to an eager lunch crowd. On this particular day, a spot near Elyria City Hall was the locale of choice. The menu consisted of a popular Korean barbeque pork loin with a kimchi Asian slaw and smashed avocados.

The prepared-fresh meal stood up well against the others — a Philly cheese steak, lamb or chicken gyro, veggie pita and grilled barbeque chicken thighs.

“It’s a good menu of flavorful food that we can prepare right here on the truck,” Berry said in between quickly assembling meals for a growing crowd of customers. “We have to do everything on the truck, prep and cook on the truck.”

Brick and mortar restaurants don’t have the luxury of picking up and relocating to where the business is best — Berry works in Lorain, Avon, Avon Lake and Vermilion.

Watching customers line the street a stone’s throw from where she has served food for years was a hard pill to swallow for Donna Dove, owner of Donna’s Diner.

“I don’t know why they would do that when we are having a hard time as it is,” she said. “If they were to move in every day, it would be one thing. It would be a constant draw to downtown that helps everyone. But once a week just brings people in, takes their money and then they leave.”

Dove said there was a noticeable difference in her Thursday sales, especially lunch deliveries. But instead of protesting, she said she plans to fight back.

“If they want to park their truck, then I will get my grill out,” she said. “Once people have my $5 roast beef sandwich with peppers and onions, they will want to know why they have never had it before.”

Find the entire article at northcoastnow.com <here>

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full speed ahead

CHARLESTON, WV - Luscious lunch offerings are moving about as food trucks and outdoor carts pop up beneath spring sunshine.

“This is a restaurant on wheels,” said Donna Sales, as she worked out of a truck tagged Sistah’s on the Go. “I go out year-round but it’s slower in the winter. Now it’s picking up. The weather is getting better. The snow about killed me. I’ll do good. I feel it coming.”

Sales has most recently parked her food truck at the intersection of YMCA Driveand Hillcrest, where she serves a steady stream of customers. She figures it’s a good spot and she will be there at lunch time as long as business is brisk.

Sales said food trucks and vendor carts are popular in bigger cities but are just now gaining steam in Charleston.

She opened Sistah’s Rib Shack in 2010 on Seventh Avenue on the West Sidebut closed it late last year due to a lack of business. She believes the location, tucked away on a one-way street, was a drawback. With her food truck, she can have her choice of visible sites.

“I like doing what I do,” she said. “My partner, Clint Arnold, bought the food truck. I cook and move around. This is my dream.”

When there is a big event, Arnold has been known to pitch in. However, he has another full-time business.

Her regular full-time assistant right now is her cousin, Kenneth Foye, who is visiting from Indiana where he also works in the food business.

“I am trying to get him to stay,” she said. “He’s teaching me little things.”

The Sistah’s on the Go truck runs a chalkboard menu that varies from day to day. Among offerings are ribs, chicken, fish, Polish sausage, hot dogs, hot bologna, French fries, onion rings, mac ‘n cheese, green beans, baked beans, fried green tomatoes and peach cobbler. Not everything is offered every day and she is open to requests. As the weather gets warmer, plans call for offering free lemonade.

To place a call-ahead order or inquire about catering, call 304-346-RIBS.

Meanwhile, in downtown Charleston on the corner of Capitol and Lee streets, mouthwatering aromas drift from a cart at lunch time where Mark Gomez andTim Johnson prepare steak kabobs, pulled pork, Philly cheese steak, hot dogs with homemade chili, and corned beef. The business, called All American Capitol, has been rolling around the area since last June.

“We come every day as weather permits,” Gomez said. “We’re here Monday through Friday from 11 to 2. On Friday and Saturday nights we’re at Chase across from Blue Parrot on Capitol Street.”

Gomez has two more carts ready to go when the time comes to expand and he can find adequate help with the enthusiasm he and Johnson have for the business.

“It’s like being a bartender without the alcohol,” Gomez said. “We talk to everybody. We enjoy it.”

He said a license and insurance are among requirements for running the business that must meet the standards of the state Health Department. He believes customers enjoy seeing their food prepared right before their eyes.

He and Sales both have commissary sites for doing the prep work before heading out to their mobile locations.

However, another entrepreneur runs a restaurant in addition to a food truck.

Adrian “Bay” Wright is owner of Dem 2 Brothers and A Grill, 426 Virginia St. W.

In 2011, he set up a grill at the corner of Virginia Street West and Central Avenue where he sold to-go fare. Late last year he moved into the building across the way where customers could enjoy indoor dining. However, he also purchased a food truck a few months ago in order to take his offerings on the road to fairs, festivals or just downtown for the lunch crowd.

“I got the truck last year,” he said. “I started with a cart and then the food truck and then the building. I’ll do downtown and a little bit of everywhere with the food truck.”

Sometimes customers are in the mood to grab a quick bite from outdoor vendors and sit in the sun instead of a restaurant, he said.

He sometimes hires extra help but generally one of his six brothers is around to assist.

“I’ll probably start next month taking the truck out in Charleston to Capitol Street and different places,” said Wright, who plans to make it convenient for the lunch crowd.

The menu includes mouthwatering items such as pulled pork, ribs, Italian sausage, Philly cheese steak, fish, bratwurst, chicken breast, hot beef bologna and hot dogs.

The telephone number for the restaurant is 304-550-4431

There is a sense of camaraderie among those who sell food outdoors, the vendors say. Wright said discussion is swirling around holding an event where they can all meet in one area and sell their specialties. Sales said there is no sense of competition because a customer may buy one item at one stop and a different food from another vendor.

She predicts once the food truck business gets rolling in Charleston that it will continue to pick up speed.

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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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While scanning through our vast Twitter feed daily, we are able to monitor the food truck industry for trends. One of the most recent finding we have stumbled across is that food truck owners tend to stay in start-up mode way too long.

foot on brake food truck

Keeping your mobile food business in start-up mode is like driving your truck with the brakes applied. If you keep telling people you are new to the industry or still figuring things out,  you’ll never be able to take actions for real growth.

After reading this article we hope you’ll realize that it’s time to move your food truck from start-up to growth mode and from planning to actually doing. In two or three years, you want to be able to look back at your start-up phase as an important part of your thriving mobile food business’ history. You want to say something like, “I remember when I was the only one working in my kitchen prepping for my daily shifts. Now I employ 6 people and am on my way to owning a restaurant.”

This is the mindset we want you to move towards and here are five ways to do it:


When you’re first starting your food truck business, in most cases you are handling everything. To begin growing you have to start investing in people to do tasks you can no longer do. We have found that nearly three quarters of all food trucks start with zero employees, which underscores the resistance some vendors have to delegating. You have to grow your business. Stop thinking that people cost money; your lack of production and failure to grow your food truck business will ultimately cost far more.

Pick Your Battles

Don’t get wrapped up for a week deciding on a logo when it ultimately doesn’t matter. Your food truck brand will evolve as your business evolves, so your logo is likely to change. There are far more important things to obsess over such as building a great menu, gaining customers and making money.

Get Attention

One of the most common problems start-up food trucks have is becoming known. Your most important task early on will be to spread the word about yourself and your mobile food business. Ultimately it’s the way to new and returning faces to your service window. In recent news, Candy Yoder of San Antonio had some issues with a venue banning her truck because of the name she selected “CockAsian”. She got national media attention (including a mention during last week’s Saturday Night Live), and offended some people. While she may have ruffled some feathers, her menu is turning criticism into loyal customers. Get out there and get attention, get critics and then get customers.

Throw A Change-up

Instead of saying “I own a small food truck company,” say “I own a food truck company that serves high quality <insert your food here>. It’s like nothing you’ve ever tasted.” Notice the difference? The first makes you seem small and insignificant. It makes no claim. The second makes you seem unique, confident and capable of being a huge success. Know how to pitch yourself and your food truck. Be ready to explain what your mobile food business does that is better, faster and of value to your local marketplace.

Create Urgency

If you start a food truck without setting specific timelines for action and achievements, you will be stuck in park forever. Pressuring yourself to perform should not lead to inferior products leaving your truck; it will end up with projects getting finished. Urgency is key to getting things done.

Your vision is not improved by staying in start-up mode. It’s time to stomp on the accelerator and become a food truck that is grabbing market share from the other more established players in your area.

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OK-Stillwater-PurdyqSTILLWATER, OK - A trend that began on the West Coast has swept the nation and impacted the restaurant business in Stillwater.

Within the last four years, food trucks have infiltrated the streets of Stillwater, providing residents with various types of specialty cuisines.

Dan Purdy is the owner of Purdy Q Mobile Smoke Pit, which has been in Stillwater for 11 months.

Purdy said he was attracted to the idea of starting a business out of a food truck because of the low overhead cost and the flexibility of being a mobile business.

“If I were to open a brick and mortar, it would probably be three times as much as it cost me to get into the truck,” he said.

The start-up cost for Purdy Q Mobile Smoke Pit was about $50,000, Purdy said.

He said he built the truck himself, eliminating much of the cost.

“If I were to go out and buy this truck set-up like this, just the truck itself would be $85,000 to $90,000,” Purdy said.

In addition to lower cost, the owner enjoys having a flexible schedule.

“I like having the freedom,” Purdy said.  “I’m here today, I’m somewhere else tomorrow. There is an extreme amount of flexibility with operating a food truck.”

Purdy said when the tornado hit Carney last year, he was able to shut down in Stillwater and serve free meals to those affected.

“It is a perfect platform to serve in an emergency,” he said.

Through his unique business style, Purdy has been able to show generosity to his customers.

“We gave away like 3,000 meals last year out of this truck,” he said. That is huge. I couldn’t do that in a brick-and-mortar restaurant.”

Pie on the Fly, another popular food truck, serves one-of-a-kind fried pies and is relatively new to Stillwater.

Stephen Griffin, Alex Campbell and Brady London opened Pie on the Fly in October 2013.

Griffin and Campbell went through the entrepreneurship program at Oklahoma State University, which they believe has helped them start their business.

Like Purdy, the owners of Pie on the Fly were able to purchase a truck for a low cost and build it into a business.

So far, the owners can only describe their experience as just plain fun.

Find the entire article at ocolly.com <here>

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IBISWorldNEW YORK, NY - The Food Trucks industry has only grown in strength over the past five years and is one of the best performing segments in the broader food-services sector. The industry’s remarkable rise began in 2008, just as the recession hit, as hundreds of new vendors recognized changing consumer preferences favoring unique, gourmet cuisine.

Cities such as Portland, OR; Austin, TX; and Los Angeles sought to differentiate themselves by crafting laws and creating areas specially designed for mobile food trucks. While the recession put the brakes on the broader food-services sector from 2008 to 2009, it was in fact a boon for the Food Trucks industry as consumers sought to maximize their disposable income by indulging in small conveniences such the affordable gourmet food. As a result, industry revenue has increased at an impressive annualized rate of 12.4% over the five years to 2014.

According to IBISWorld Industry Analyst Andy Brennan, “Despite strong industry-wide performance, some operators have been held back by city regulations, increased competition and low profit margins.” Laws governing food trucks differ between cities, with most specifying what hours a food truck can operate and the distance a food truck must be from the nearest brick-and-mortar restaurant. The industry competes directly with the broader food-services sector, and some brick-and-mortar establishments that pay taxes have lobbied against the industry. Also, in many cities, the industry has begun to reach saturation point, resulting in lower profit margins for some operators. As a result, growth has slowed over the past few years. In 2014 the industry is expected to grow at a slower rate than that of the past five years, posting a 4.4% gain to reach $803.8 million.

“The industry will face various challenges over the next five years, most crucially regulatory hurdles, which have restricted the industry’s growth over the past five years,” says Brennan. Parking laws and other city ordinances are still evolving in many cities to catch up with the industry’s transformation. Industry associations will need to work closely with city governments and other restaurateurs to resolve these issues if food trucks are to play a bigger role in the country’s food-services sector. Still, growing household incomes and changing consumer preferences toward healthy and gourmet cuisine will spur growth over the next five years.

The Food Trucks industry exhibits a low level of concentration due to the highly fragmented nature of the industry. New enterprises have entered the industry at a faster rate, causing the industry to become more fragmented. IBISWorld anticipates this trend to persist in the upcoming years as mobile food vending becomes popular in less saturated regions.

For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Food Trucks in the US industry report page.

Follow IBISWorld on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/IBISWorld 
Friend IBISWorld on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/IBISWorld/121347533189

IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

The Food Trucks industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in preparing and serving meals from a mobile truck. Food is normally prepared, stored and cooked on the truck. The truck may or may not use the same location each day and does not sell alcoholic beverages.

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While expanding a single food truck into a fleet is the goal of many food truck owners, it’s not a simple task. Running multiple food trucks involves creating a simplified management process, delegating responsibilities to truck managers and building a team to handle the demands of daily operations.

Georgias Food Truck Fleet

Knowing how to run a food truck doesn’t guarantee success in managing fleet of trucks because owners can’t always spend enough time at each truck to ensure that things run smoothly in each.

Simplified Management

Success in expansion of your mobile food business depends on the building on your food truck concept and not in the truck. Mobile food vendors who prefer greeting customers or preparing food must first devote time to organizing a standard process that addresses most of the food truck business duties and hiring the right people to undertake these jobs. Simplified management strategies include the following ideas:

  • Subscribe to a multiple-unit POS system that handles the demands of running multiple food trucks smoothly.
  • Use of common ingredients and menus in all trucks so that managers can use standardized inventory and costing systems.
  • Special menu items can be produced in your commissary and distributed to all of the trucks (unless of course your fleet will be in cities far away from each other).
  • Take advantage of local sourcing and warehouse-type stores for buying inventory by using a van to make regular or daily trips and deliveries to each food truck commissary.
  • Use electronic communications to speed decisions and collaborate among separate trucks.

Create systems that handle every aspect of food truck management. Unified systems can handle hiring, inventory control, training, establishing employee conduct, dealing with customer complaints, filing reports and assigning responsibilities for food preparation, service, truck safety, cleaning and maintenance.

Delegate Responsibility

Systems run food truck businesses effectively, but vendors must hire the right people to run them and train workers in their duties. Strategies for success include fostering better communications between owners and managers, customers and managers and workers and supervisors.

  • Web cams enable people to see each other and demonstrate how to handle maintenance tasks or complex culinary procedures.
  • Regular or weekly staff meetings give people opportunities to air grievances, solve problems and make suggestions.
  • Owners should regularly visit each truck to interact with employees and customers.
  • Create a uniform code of conduct, and organize guidelines for hiring and firing that managers understand thoroughly.

Owners of multiple food trucks need to devote time to each of the trucks in their fleet, but giving managers and workers time and attention is critical for success. Managing each truck remotely leads to an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality, so focus on maintaining regular communications with your staff teams.

Hiring the right managers, and creating a standard operational plan for all food trucks not only helps owners handle multiple trucks but also increases profits. Taking time to create a management system and training managers to hire, fire and manage operations will also improve customer service.

This will allow owners to spend more time interacting with customers, identifying new business opportunities and supporting community initiatives when they don’t spend all their time on the day to day operation tasks of their trucks.

If you are the owner of a food truck fleet, we’d love to hear your thoughts on our tips or any additional tips that could help those interested in expanding from one food truck.

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Brick and Mortar Food TruckSAN FRANCISCO, CA - Three mobile food operations are getting brick-and-mortar homes at last. First off, the fine folks at Brass Knuckle — they of the clever band-inspired sandwich names like Fryin’ Maiden (buttermilk fried-chicken sandwich) and Pork Floyd (a pulled-pork melt) — are opening their first, wheel-free home at 749 Larkin Street (at O’Farrell). As Tablehopper reports, chef Shellie Kitchen (who happens to be a contestant on the current season of ABC’s The Taste) kind of flew under the radar with this one,

Meanwhile, Rice Paper Scissors is turning their pop-up at Brick and Mortar (1710 Mission Street) into something more permanent — maybe we’re calling it a semi-permanent pop-up? They’ll be serving lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Wednesday, with weekend brunch in the works too. See the lunch menu here.

Also, Hapa Ramen chef Richie Nakano has finally revealed the location of his eventual brick-and-mortar spot, which has shifted from his planned location (next door to State Bird Provision on Fillmore), to a former 99-cent store in the Mission. As Tablehopper reveals, he’s snagged a lease at 2293 Mission Street (at 19th), but the opening could still be a ways off since there’s a change-of-use application that will have to go through Planning first.

Find the entire article at sfist.com <here>

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Ask anyone who has tried it; starting up a food truck business is a stressful, yet exciting undertaking. As the owner, you must start out as the heart and soul of your mobile food company. In this role, you are the primary driving force behind everything your food truck accomplishes.


But as you find success and your food truck empire starts expanding, too often the business can outgrow a young chef’s individual abilities. During these growing pains, you will have to make decisions in areas where you may lack real experience or knowledge.

While expansion is what you are after (whether it includes additional staff, trucks or even a brick and mortar restaurant), it is imperative that you prioritize and recognize the importance of your own personal growth. By doing so, your food truck business will have a greater chance of success. The more control you take of your own growth, the better it will be for your food truck, your employees and your bottom line.

Here are five tips on how to grow personally with your expanding food truck business:

Surround yourself with trusted individuals.
We are not referring to your family or best friend. Find a mentor with the experience and industry expertise you lack but desperately need. Check out your local food truck organization, reach out to organizations like SCORE.

Take a deep breath. 
Don’t rush into decisions, no matter how urgent they seem. Take time to reflect on all potential outcomes, and seek advice before you make any decisions. It also helps to research other food trucks to or small restaurants to see if you can find situations similar to your own and find out how they dealt with it; good or bad. The more information you have, the more likely the decision you make will be the right one.

Reflect on the mistakes.
When things go wrong or you use poor judgment, figure out how you could have made a better decision. This exercise will grow your character and help you approach similar situations more effectively.

Set up clear communication channels.
While it isn’t always fun to hear complaints about your management style, it is necessary to keep on top of your business and employee morale. Make sure you have a system in place for employees to air grievances, as well as provide you a constant loop of feedback.

Know yourself.
Running a food truck isn’t easy. Lean on your mentors, friends and family for support and develop your own sense of self. When you are comfortable in your own skin, you’ll be a more mature leader.

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If your food truck has a Twitter account that’s isn’t growing, there are a number of reasons this may be happening.

In many ways, Twitter is like a living, breathing thing that can’t be ignored or else it will waste away. Tweeting your truck’s location on a regular basis will only get your food truck’s Twitter account so far.

twitter dead

With that in mind, here are a handful of tips that’ll keep your food truck Twitter account alive with tweets, re-tweets, and follower growth:

Tweet Promotions

There’s no better way for a food truck to gather Twitter followers than by tweeting promotions, coupon codes, and other deals.

Don’t look at this as just a ploy to rack up as many followers as possible; it’s a way to show current customers your appreciation while also attracting new ones.

WARNING: Do not make your promotions and deals dependent on whether or not your followers re-tweet your special offer to their friends and followers. This will end up having a negative effect on your following due to its gimmicky approach.

Answer Customer Questions

A great way to keep your food truck’s Twitter account active is by using it as a way to answer customer questions. Anytime a customer has a question or issue with a menu item or the service they received, using Twitter for customer service will prove to other followers that you care about your customers.

Additionally, Twitter is a great resource for your mobile food business in the form of customer feedback. Use Twitter as a way to ask your customers what your food truck business is doing right as well as where it can improve.

Reply To Everyone

Tweeting questions and statements surrounding your food truck will definitely keep your Twitter account alive, but if one statement turns into multiple remarks, you have to be prepared to answer them all.

When customers aren’t acknowledged, it’s fair to assume they wind up feeling neglected. In the business world, a neglected customer isn’t a customer for long.

The same goes for Twitter followers. So, always interact with your Twitter audience and watch it grow.

Follow Others

Being followed on Twitter is great, especially for  mobile food businesses, but following others in return is just as important. Tweeting is a two-way street, so if you really want to be part of the Twitter community, follow others.

This isn’t to say that just anyone is a good candidate for your food truck to follow on Twitter.

Even if it comes in the form of competition, always follow Twitter accounts relevant to your business, including local restaurants or other food truck businesses.

Keep It Fresh

The only thing worse than a neglected Twitter account is one that seems as though it’s auto-fed tweets. Don’t use Twitter as a self-promotion machine that just shoots out links left and right. It’s not engaging and won’t get your business anywhere.

Instead, hand-feed Twitter with fresh, interesting, and pertinent information about your food truck business and it’s menu.

Besides, if followers feel like they’re interacting with a robot, they’ll follow your competitors instead.

By taking the proper steps, your food truck’s Twitter account will be on a roll in no time.

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