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Prices

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brisket slider

Super Q Food Truck – Texas Beef Brisket Slider

Already pricey beef at grocery stores is expected to become even more expensive in February – wholesale beef and cattle prices are at all-time highs this winter in the United States, fueled by a tight supply of cattle.

Prices for slaughter-ready cattle soared this month because the shutdown of packing plants during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays constricted the flow of steaks and roasts to supermarkets and restaurants.

With the U.S. cattle herd already at a 61-year low of 89 million head, supplies tightened further as waves of unusually cold weather slowed cattle weight gains and delayed the movement of livestock from feeding yards to slaughterhouses.

But consumers should catch a brief break once arctic temperatures ease and warmer spring weather allow cattle to put on weight more easily and get to market quicker. Packing plants also are expected to lower the price that they charge grocers for beef in the face of a brewing pushback against high prices, economists said.

“You can take cattle up as high as you want, and when does the consumer get a chance to vote?,” said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities in West Des Moines, Iowa.

There are limits to the price relief, however. Despite some short-term easing, economists forecast beef prices to hover around record highs for at least two more years.

Beef will become tougher to find in grocery stores as retailers choose to feature chicken and other less costly meats, said John Ginzel, analyst with brokerage firm The Linn Group in Chicago. Exorbitant beef costs will cause major damage to retailer orders for the next 60 days, he added.

“Once this winter weather and supply flow disruptions end, there is going to be a very limp demand out there on the part of grocers and consumers. It’s going to take a lot of downward price reaction to buy some of that back,” said Ginzel.

The outlook for a temporary drop in U.S. beef costs comes as global prices also are expected to moderate because of waning demand from shoppers suffering sticker shock.

Find the entire article by Reuters <here>

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Outside the initial investment for your food truck, food cost is typically the highest reoccurring expense involved in the running of your mobile business. In order to keep food cost percentage at a manageable rate, we have come up with a list of tips you can follow:

 

Keep an eye on your profits and losses: When you know what profits you are bringing in as well as the fixed expenses affecting your food truck, you can better evaluate your options and see where you can cut costs.

Conduct inventory consistently: Regular and thorough inventory counts will help you stay in control of your usage and the costs associated. This is especially important for high-cost items.

Price menu items properly: When you price your menu items reasonably, your customers will continue to pay you and you will make a profit on your products. (Keep an eye out on a future article on this topic)

Portion food correctly: Be sure to serve food in portions that doesn’t become wasted.  If you keep an eye on your trash receptacle, see if your customers are throwing away food they are too full to eat. If there tends to be a lot of food being discarded, you may be over-portioning your meals.

Rethink the garnish: Garnishes often consist of fancy fruits or layers of fresh lettuce which add visual appeal but are rarely eaten. Use less expensive food items or remove garnishes entirely to save on food costs.

Keep a record of all food waste: Use a waste chart to write down any foods that are made incorrectly, thrown away or spilled. Failing to record this “usage” will skew inventory reports and throw off your food cost percentage.

Be consistent with food purchases: Consistency with food purchases comes with time but can help you to anticipate expenses from week to week and keep your food costs steady.

Build a rapport with your suppliers: Once you are in business a while, your suppliers will get to know your regular food orders and you will become familiar with the cost of your purchased goods. Be sure you stay in communication with your suppliers in case of any problems with food quality or any issues with food prices.

We hope you found this article helpful, and if you have any additional suggestion, please feel free to add them in the comment section below.

 

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gas prices california

A sign posted with gasoline prices is seen at a Mobil gas station in Santa Monica, Calif., Oct. 4, 2012. Jonathan Alcorn/Reuters

California gas prices are soaring because of refinery outages and pipeline problems. Gas prices at some Los Angeles stations now top $5 a gallon.

A gallon of regular at the station was selling for $4.79, up from $4.59 the day before. Premium gasoline was $4.99.

“Every time these go up, I can’t just raise my hourly rate up as well,” Figueredo complained.

Throughout California, the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline jumped 8 cents overnight to $4.32 and was up 18 cents during the past week, according to the AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge.

Analysts said it was poised to quickly soar past $4.37 a gallon — the high so far this year — after refinery outages and pipeline problems left the state short on supplies.

The highest average price ever for regular gasoline in the state was $4.61 in 2008.

Among the recent disruptions, an Aug. 6 fire at a Chevron Corp. refinery in Richmond left one of the region’s largest refineries producing at a reduced capacity. A power failure in Southern California has affected an Exxon Mobil Corp. refinery, and a Chevron pipeline that moves crude to Northern California was also shut down.

Elsewhere, the national average for gas is $3.78 a gallon, the highest ever for this time of year. However,gas prices in many states have started moving lower, which is typical for October.

But in California, gasoline inventories are the lowest in more than 10 years — a situation made worse by the state’s strict pollution limits that require a special blend of cleaner-burning gasoline.

GasBuddy.com, said they are seeing the highest prices in the state around Los Angeles, where at least five stations have crossed the $5 a gallon mark, including $5.29 in Burbank and $5.11 in Norwalk.

Prices will keep rising, he says, because in the past week wholesale gasoline prices have jumped $1 a gallon, but average retail prices have only increased 30 cents.

“This is one of the easiest forecasts: Retail prices are going to skyrocket,” he said.

The jump in wholesale prices can be particularly tough on independent gas stations that often pay more for their gas because they are not part of a larger chain.

Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service, said he’s heard of a few California station owners shutting their pumps rather than charging the $4.90 a gallon or more necessary to break even.

“Wholesale price increases lead to retail price increases,” Kloza said. “But there is some restraint among companies who do not want to exercise their current pricing power and irritate their customers.”

At the San Francisco 76 station, the 42-year-old Fugueredo believes the push for profits by oil companies is behind the increases.

“I heard that the recent heat wave had affected refineries in California, and the Chevron refinery blew up. But the oil companies are just greedy,” he said, standing next to his white panel van.

Other San Francisco motorists have been taking the recent price spikes mostly in stride, but now that gas is closing in on $5 a gallon, some are considering changing their transportation habits.

“I might actually park my car for a while and start biking,” said Sam Hewatt, 25, who was filling his sedan with $4.99-a-gallon premium.

Some analysts believe prices nationally will begin to decline soon but say California could see a longer spike given its unique fuel requirements.

“Nationally, I believe most prices will wobble to and fro for the next week or so, with an eventual slow but steady attrition in retail gas prices, particularly in the Midwest and Southeast,” Kloza said. “California is a wild card.”

Find the original article By Jason Dearen, Associated Press <here>

 

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MIXED INFLATION MESSAGE: A sharp rise in gasoline costs drove up wholesale prices last month by 1.7 percent in August, the most in more than three years. But outside energy and food, price gains were mild — up 0.2 percent.

gas nozzle

ENERGY EFFECT: The rise in the overall producer price index, which measures price changes before they reach the consumer, was mostly because gas prices soared 13.6 percent, the biggest gain in three years. Food prices rose 0.9 percent.

THE OUTLOOK: Food prices are likely to rise further in the coming months as the Midwest drought has made corn, soybeans and other grains much more expensive. But overall, economists aren’t worried that inflation is rapidly accelerating, given weak U.S. economic growth and high unemployment.

 

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food truck start up cost

A common question we are asked by our readers relates to food truck start up cost. Due to varied factors that can be used to determine this answer, we typically provide a broad range of $40,000 – $250,000. While it technically answers the question, it’s still a bit broad for someone trying to determine if opening a food truck business is something they can afford, or something they need to get a loan for. Because of this, we have generated this chart to help those interested in joining the mobile food industry.

In the chart, you’ll find three areas; one time start up costs, re-occurring start up costs and costs that vary from area to area. Each of these sections is subdivided by three price ranges; $ = low, $$ = average and $$$ = high for each area.

While this guide should be used as a general group of ranges, it is helpful for those interested in finding how much starting up a food truck business can cost.

Food Truck Business Start Up Costs

$ $$ $$$
One time start-up costs
Purchasing your food truck 5000 25000 125000
Vehicle inspection 100 300 500
Retrofitting and/or bring the truck up to code 25000 40000 50000
Generator 1500 5000 10000
Register/POS System 150 1250 2500
Paint 1000 2000 3000
Truck wrap 2500 3500 5000
Initial food purchases 500 1250 2000
Utensils and paper goods 500 1000 3500
Website design 500 3500 7500
Initial office equipment and supplies 200 500 1000
Initial advertising and PR 500 750 1000
Professional, legal and consulting fees 500 2000 5000
Reoccurring start-up costs
Payroll 1500 2500 3500
Commercial kitchen/Commissary rent 500 1500 3000
Credit card processing equipment 50 150 500
Fuel 250 300 400
Start-up costs which vary by location
Permits and licensing  50  500  10000
Insurance  300 500  1000

Please note:

  • Prices shown are not set in stone, and can change without notice.
  • Prices shown in the reoccurring categories are for 1 week.
  • Prices shown which vary by location are for 1 month.

So what do you think about the cost to start a food truck?

cost to start a food truck

While is may seem like a steep price to start a food truck business, try to compare these costs to that of a brick and mortar restaurant. The high end prices in this chart don’t come close to comparing to starting a small quick service restaurant.

Be sure to keep an eye open for contests. In season three of The Great Food Truck Race, they gave away a food truck to the eventual winners. Talk about a great way to cut your food truck start up cost.

So how much were your food truck start up costs? Let us know in the comment section or drop us a line via our contact page if you would prefer to keep your food truck business start up cost a little more private.
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