Tags Posts tagged with "Spring"

Spring

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Eye-On-The-Goal

It’s mid-May and the trees are turning green. Some parts of the country are finally seeing the end of Winter. Food truck owners know what this means…your food truck is entering into the busy season.

Great News… right? Are you prepared to do everything that needs to be done?

This is the time of year where food truck vendors strike while the iron is hot. The competition will be tough; everybody is competing for the consumer’s disposable dollar as well as their loyalty. Your competition is not just the food truck parked down the street, but it’s also the restaurants, and the convenience and grocery stores in your town too. Today’s consumer has only so much money to spend on food and everybody wants it.

Your schedule is about to become swamped with festivals and catering events in addition to your daily stops, but you need to remember not to neglect your marketing to remain competitive. Time management is a must to make sure you meet all of your commitments as well as keep up on marketing your mobile food business.

Here are some of the things to keep on your to-do list:

  • Maintain or create an email marketing program.
  • Aggressively promote your food truck on social media.
  • Train your staff to be your marketing ambassadors by providing a great guest experience.
  • Make sure your loyalty program is running at full speed.
  • Prepare a program for marketing gift cards (who doesn’t love to receive a gift of food for a birthday or special occasion).
  • Have a profitable Spring seasonal menu to increase sales.

We understand that there is a lot to do with little time to do everything, but continuous marketing (not just during the slow times of the year is a key to maintaining your food trucks growth.

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spring food truck driving tips

Spring is here officially, although the in some places you may question it. With spring’s arrival we felt that we’d share some driving advice to food truck owners who are getting ready to launch and provide a reminder to those of you who’ve spent a few seasons in your truck.

With winter fading into the background and better weather on the horizon, you’d think the roads would finally be safe again. This isn’t always the case. Today we’ll cover some of the road dangers to avoid as well as a few driving tips to help you and your truck make it safely to summer.

So what are these spring driving dangers?

Rainy days and flooding

Spring rain brings slippery road conditions and flooding. What makes rain and wet pavement so dangerous? For one, slippery roads reduce your truck’s handling and increase the distance it takes to stop your already tough to stop food truck. Big puddles can also cut down on tire traction and could lead to hydroplaning.

Hail

Beware of hail storms, particularly if you live in a hail-belt state (Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri). Even small hailstones can shatter your food truck’s windshield, and raining balls of ice are never good for the roads or your truck’s exterior.

We understand a truck won’t intentionally head out in a hail storm, (how many customers do you expect to wait in line while being pelted with hail?), but if it starts hailing during a shift, have a plan in place to be able to get your truck under cover as soon as possible..

Winter Potholes

In many states, winter wreaks havoc on the roads. Snow plows, salt, sand, and the aftermath of ice can all leave roads a bit battered. Once snow melts away, expect to drive over new potholes.

Bikes and Motorcycles

Spring brings cyclists out of hibernation. Driving alongside cyclists can make traffic maneuvers, from turning right to parallel parking, more dangerous.

Spring Food Truck Driving Safety Tips
  • Check your lights. Since spring rain hinders driving visibility, make sure all your lights work, including headlights, taillights, backup lights, turn signals, parking lights, and brake lights.
  • Replace your wiper blades. Worn-out wiper blades may not be up to the task of clearing water away from your windshield. Check your wiper blades and replace them if necessary.
  • Check your tire pressure. Harsh winter weather can deflate your food truck’s tires. Make sure you have enough air in them once spring rolls around. (As a bonus, proper tire pressure can also help you increase your truck’s mpg *cha ching*!!!)
  • Slow down and drive carefully. The first few rainy days of spring can produce exceptionally slippery roads due to oil and other leaked fluids mixing with rainwater, so slow down and increase your stopping distance when it’s raining.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for bad road conditions. Remember that harsh winter weather breeds potholes and other driving obstacles.

Seasonal showers and poor road conditions can create unpleasant complications for all drivers on the road. Food truck owners need to be a little more cautious due to the size and weight of your vehicles, not to mention that if your truck is damaged and cannot drive…you’re losing sales opportunities. Use the above tips to your advantage and you’ll be that much more prepared for any spring driving dangers that come your food truck’s way.

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preparing food truck for spring

For mobile food vendors who put their food trucks into hibernation over the winter months, spring is an exciting time because it’s time to get your business on the road again.

AZNeats hibernationIf you shut down your truck properly, you made sure to prep your food truck systems for winter storage. This will help to ensure that the de-winterization process will be simple. However, since we are all human, it’s possible to have skipped a step or worse — skipped the winterization process altogether. This means preparing your food truck for spring operation may take additional work — even perhaps fixing some damage. 

Here are some quick steps to help evaluate how your food truck weathered the winter:

  • First Look: Inspect inside the kitchen and cab for water leaks — ceiling or paneling stains — and animal infestation. Even if no water leakage is evident, check the roof for areas where the sealant may have shrunk around vents and other seams. Once you have thoroughly checked for leaks and none are evident, wash and wax your truck. You may also want to apply a petroleum distillate-free protectant in areas including rubber roofs, tires, moldings, and plastics.
  • Freshwater System: If you used a non-toxic antifreeze, drain it as thoroughly as possible via low-point drains, the water heater drain, and tank drains. Return the water-heater bypass to the operational position, and flush the system thoroughly with fresh water via the water pump and a city water connection.
  • Electrical Systems and Appliances: If the batteries have been on a converter or trickle charger, they should be ready for the road. To be safe, just check electrolyte levels (if applicable) and make sure there’s no corrosion on the battery connectors. If everything looks good, connect the shore power cord, and operate all appliances — use a 30-amp (or higher) service to test the A/C. Next, use a polarity checker to ensure all wall outlets are functional.
  • LP-gas: After prolonged storage with the LP-gas supply turned off, the gas lines will be full of air. To purge, open the LP-gas tank or cylinder service valve, then light a stove burner (this may require you to hold a flame next to the burner up to 30 seconds as air escapes). With the burner flame continuing, turn the refrigerator to gas, and check to ensure the flame is lit. Repeat this for the water heater and other kitchen equipment which uses gas to operate. If you suspect a leak in the lines, you can use wipe soapy water over the lines to confirm — bubbles will form where leaks exist for easy detection.
  • Running Gear: During storage, tires gradually lose inflation. Re-inflate to prescribed levels for safe travel — when in doubt use the pressure value listed on the tire sidewall. Food truck owners may opt to inflate tires according to load/inflation tables, when such figures are available. This approach may improve ride quality, and must be used with accurate weight figures for safe travel. You may also want to add 10 psi as a safety margin.

Hopefully, this evaluation shows you that your food truck has survived the winter with no major damage. But in case you’ve stumbled upon some minor repairs needs, we at Mobile Cuisine have a slew of tips to help you through small jobs. If the job is larger, get it to a professional mechanic to have the problems resolved.

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