Tags Posts tagged with "Tip"

Tip

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Honey Cooking Tip

Food truck owners are always looking to save as much money as they can to help keep their profits up. Food waste is one area that can help this cause that often overlooked. Starting today, we will filter in some handy cost saving tips that you can use to keep your food yield as high as possible.

Have you ever open a jar of honey to find that it’s turned into an awful looking crystallized mass? Instead of throwing it in the waste basket, try this trick to bring honey back to it’s original state:

  • Place the jar in a bowl of hot water until the honey is smooth and runny, this should only take 5 to 10 minutes.

To prevent crystals from forming again, store the honey in a cool, dry place (not the refrigerator) and avoid the introduction of moisture.

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food truck tip of the day

Asking a lot of questions is one behavior that successful food truck owners share. Instead of just rushing to take action, posing questions helps you solidify the entire innovation process by improving your ability to spot new growth opportunities and pinpoint problems.

Consider using questions like these to increase your odds of success in the mobile food industry:

  • What problem is the customer struggling to solve? In most situations its how, when and where to feed their hunger. Understand where your customers are when they are there and how you can solve their hunger pangs in ways other trucks miss the mark..
  • Who has already solved this problem? It’s likely that some other food truck vendor has already found a solution in a different region of the country. Gaining inspiration from their successful approach can speed up your process.
  • What can you do that few other food trucks can do?  Zero in on what makes you unique to maximize the chances of creating desirable menu offerings.

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food truck tip of the day

Many food truck owners we’ve spoken with seem to be skeptical of the term “super-consumers” and the potential they provide their mobile food businesses. They assume these customers can’t be persuaded to buy more from their truck, even though they’re responsible for a large portion of their truck sales. They’re highly engaged with the brand, and not particularly price sensitive.

As the mobile food industry grows, food truck owners must become better at identifying and engaging this group of customers. Doing so can often reveal hidden opportunities for growth and insights that can drive their business strategy.

Because “super-consumers” are passionate about a truck, they are an ideal audience for testing out new menu items (in many cases, they themselves are a source of new ideas). And they’re easy to reach, so you can increase the efficiency of your marketing and promotions by focusing efforts on a narrow slice of your customer base, instead of trying to activate former customers through expensive marketing campaigns.

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food truck tip of the day

I often hear that the pressure of owning a food truck business can be overwhelming, and while everyone is entitled to a life, a vacation and some down time, too much of a good thing can be bad. Despite the fact that you have a great concept, park in prime locations and a mouth-watering menu, when a food truck owner is not around to protect and watch over their investment, not only does the business suffer, but the employees do, too.

You might have a great team, but if you do not have a willingness to mentor, if you are rarely in the truck to observe, provide direction, motivate and teach that team, then how do you expect them to help grow your mobile food business?

No one likes or works well under a micro-manager, but a food truck cannot survive for long with an absentee owner, you must find a balance. There are plenty of outside forces that you have no control over, such as competition, bad publicity and increasing food prices. But what you can control is you.

Remember this simple business philosophy: If you take care of your business, the business will take care of you and if you take care of your employees, they will take care of you and your business.

If you are not focused on or devoted to your mobile food business, if you are not fully committed to the success of your food truck then your business will not be successful. If you are not able to handle the pressures and challenges that come with owning your own food truck, if you try to manage your truck and your employees from your home or office, and if you don’t spend time marketing and promoting your business, you will never be seen as an accomplished mobile food vendor.

As any successful vendor knows, owning a food truck is a huge commitment to long hours, working weekends and sometimes no time off for weeks at a time. If you’re looking for a nine-to-five job, owning a food truck is not for you.

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tip of the dayIn owning a mobile food business, just as any other food service industry business, critique is often negatively equated with criticism. But constructive criticism is essential in any arena that requires creativity, innovation, and problem-solving.

Since leadership requires all three, food truck owners need to be sure they are not only open to criticism, but that they actively seek it out. Ask your staff members, other food truck owners and customers — to poke holes in your menu items, customer service and operations.

Critique can be a useful approach to test ideas and keep your mobile food business relevant.

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tip of the dayWhen you set out to create a food truck business it’s not enough to think you want to serve, let’s say, Pinoy (Filipino) cuisine. That’s a menu, not a concept.

You want to identify your brand. Consider everything from your your truck’s wrap, price point, the vibe your truck emanates, style of your service (serve from inside the truck or have your server work outside the truck), and even the uniforms your staff will wear. Think about it like baking powder – you don’t see it or taste it, but if it’s not there the cake isn’t going rise.

To develop your concept, first seek out your target market, and establish what will best serve the local demographic. Are you in an area where there are lots of families, or is there a large singles population where lots of people are dating, what is the average income?

All these questions will impact whether you seeking parking locations in the downtown business district or if you will be better off targeting family focused festivals or catering. And don’t forget to make sure that every aspect of your brand is in alignment, a food truck can struggle because there’s a disconnect between the menu and the location they park. If there are contradictions between you menu’s price point, and the truck’s concept and the neighborhood that you locate in, it can mean troubles for your mobile food business.

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tip of the dayI guess you could say being in culinary school has taught me a thing or two about how to look professional when walking into a kitchen. Every day, food truck owners strive to show how professional they are as well.

Since your customers can usually see into the truck’s kitchen, this idea should extend into how you and your employees present yourselves. The first step in the process should be keeping your uniform as clean and pressed as possible. Here are some tips & tricks to keeping your entire food truck staff uniforms (even if it’s jeans and a tee shirt) in tip-top shape.

  • Instant Stain Removers - This is a must-have when it comes to those stains that your food truck kitchen dishes out. They are easy to use and keeps the stain from setting, so when you go to wash it, like magic, it disappears!
  • Ironing- As cliche as it may seem, it definitely one that works. Bringing out the old iron board that’s tucked away in the garage, will keep your uniform looking crisp and sharp. If you happen to be someone who own an iron (and refuses to spend a few bucks to get one), a great alternative are the sprays that help de-wrinkle clothing as they come out of the drier.
  • Apron - The apron is basically a shield, you WILL use it to battle off stains, and is essential to keep you clean throughout your shift. (on a food safety note, be sure to take your apron off every time you leave the truck. Who knos what you could run up against and bring into your clean kitchen)

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tip of the daySocial media is not just for socializing or posting the next parking location for your food truck. When handled correctly, you can use it to enhance your personal brand, establish your expertise, or demonstrate your digital fluency.

Commit to using social media for professional reasons and be proactive about managing your activity and image. Consider what potential investors, business partners or customers will see — you don’t want them to discover only pictures of you and your dog, or worse.

Make sure at a minimum you have a LinkedIn account with a completed profile. Try tweeting or blogging about your expertise in the culinary world, thereby creating content that others can forward, retweet, or repost. This can help you establish yourself as an expert in the mobile food industry.

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tip of the dayIt may be obvious that a food truck vendor can’t solve a problem that’s not well defined, but many people neglect this detail. Next time you think you’re ready to go into problem-solving mode for an issue in your mobile food business, consider the following:

  • Establish the basic need for a solution. Why does this problem need solving?
  • Justify the need. Make sure it’s worth your time. Is the effort aligned with your food truck business or marketing strategy? What do you, your food truck staff, or your mobile food business stand to gain from a solution?
  • Give it context. What approaches have you or your food truck team already tried? What have other truck owners done? Are there constraints on the solution?
  • Write the problem statement. Take your answers to the questions above and lay out the problem. Indicate the scope, the requirements of a solution, and who you will include in solving the problem in your food truck.

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tip of the day

 

Growth of a mobile food business can be difficult in any type of economy, but it is absolutely essential to survival. Seek growth ideas from an often overlooked source of innovation — ask your the employees of your food truck. Start by laying out a vision of where you want the organization to go. Then list the company’s assets, map its capabilities, and identify new trends in the food truck industry. Not only will you tap an easily accessible source of ideas, you will ensure your staff is engaged in your food truck’s future. They will have their fingerprints all over it and they will appreciate you for the opportunity.

 

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