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TotD

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food truck fire houston

tip of the day

Today’s tip of the day looks at how to put out fires that occur in your food truck or your commercial kitchen.

When a fire starts in these areas you need to act fast to keep the fire from getting out of control. But how you act depends on what kind of fire you have and where it is.

Follow these instructions for putting out food truck kitchen fires:
  • If you have a fire in the oven or the microwave, close the door or keep it closed, and turn off the oven. Don’t open the door! The lack of oxygen will suffocate the flames.
  • If your oven continues to smoke like a fire is still going on in there, call the fire department.
  • If you have a fire in a cooking pan, use an oven mitt to clap on the lid, then move the pan off the burner, and turn off the stove. The lack of oxygen will stop the flames in a pot.
  • If you can’t safely put the lid on a flaming pan or you don’t have a lid for the pan, use your fire extinguisher. Aim at the base of the fire — not the flames.
  • Never use water to put out grease fires! Water repels grease and can spread the fire by splattering the grease. Instead, try one of these methods:
    • If the fire is small, cover the pan with a lid and turn off the burner.
    • Throw lots of baking soda or salt on it. Never use flour, which can explode or make the fire worse.
    • Smother the fire with a wet towel or other large wet cloth.
    • Use a fire extinguisher.
  • Don’t swat at a fire with a towel, apron, or other clothing. You’re likely to fan the flames and spread the fire.
  • If the fire is spreading and you can’t control it, get everyone off the truck or out of the building and call 911. Make sure your entire staff knows how to get out of these areas safely in case of a fire. Practice your fire escape routes at least twice a year.

Do you have any additional tips for putting out food truck kitchen fires? Leave your tip in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

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food truck tip of the day

Small businesses across the country have been taking a beating over the last few years due to the economy and even the growing mobile food industry isn’t an exception.

No matter the reasons behind some trucks closing, there are still a huge number of individuals who are looking to enter the industry.

RELATED: Find Food Trucks For Sale At Mobile Cuisine

Taking over a failed truck can be an easy way to get onto the streets of your local area. Here are four tips to follow if you are taking over an existing truck without plans on re-branding it.

tip of the day

Communicate the change in ownership to old customers

When you buy a brand that has been around for some time, show the longtime customers that you appreciate their business by giving them customer appreciation discounts.

Get to know them and establish yourself as the new owner. When people are used to brands they are not used to change. Let them know that their favorite staples will remain on the menu.

Assure them that you are going to carry on the brand just as good as it was before, if not better.

Add some new items

When comes to change you have to be very careful with established food truck brands. Keep on the old staples, but make sure that the quality of the food is upgraded to current standards.

Familiarize yourself with new taste profiles, quality control and other things that will make a difference to new and old recipes. Let older customers know about the new changes so they won’t be shocked.

Bump up the truck’s profile

Don’t be afraid to step up your game and compete with other food truck businesses in the area. Do things that have never been done at that truck before. Increase advertising and marketing.

Play on new strategies in social networking. Use Twitter, Facebook, and geo-location services like Foursquare to find new customers.

Think with the new generation in mind. It can be a hard pill to swallow to change something that has been around awhile.

Consider hiring new staff

Analyze the current staff and determine if they have what it takes to move forward with your changes. You’ll probably have to get rid some staff that don’t fit your plans.

Put them to work to see what they can do. Keep the ones that are willing to listen to change and who are loyal to your vision for the direction of your business and not the previous owner’s vision.

RELATED: Post Your Food Truck Jobs At Mobile Cuisine

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food truck tip of the day

tip of the dayUltimately the quality of the food you serve will draw people to your service window; however customers are far more likely to return for purchases of your menu items if they feel valued by the person selling it.

Under-appreciated customers will look elsewhere to make their next food purchase.

Reach out to each of your customers and make sure they know how important they are to your business.

Give them the opportunity to meet as many of your staff as possible. Have your service window staff thank them for their business and ask them to tell them a little bit about themselves.

When you or your staff creates an emotional connection with your customers, they are more open to hearing what you have to offer, and much more inclined to keep coming back for more.

This interaction needs to be genuine and shouldn’t never be phony or insincere.

Do you have a tip you’d like to share with our readers? If so, please feel free to drop us an email, a DM on Twitter, or a private message on Facebook and we’ll discuss how to provide your information in a future “Tip of the Day”.

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food truck tip of the day

tip of the day

Today’s mobile food businesses need to recognize that customer loyalty goes a long way. Continually re-evaluate your approach to customer service.

  • Take some time and effort to provide meals based on various dietary needs or allergies. Expanding your customer base through simple changes to some of your favorite menu items can be as easy as swapping out some ingredients for others.
  • Use social media to notify your loyal customers about up-coming specials to keep them coming back.
  • Make all of your customers feel like a member of your food truck family.

These simple changes or additions to your current customer service plan can help pave the road to continued growth of your food truck business.

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food truck tip of the day

When something is new, it’s human nature to treat it like a chore. Chores are often time-consuming and not fun. While I know on weekend mornings, it really only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to vacuum the house, however, the idea of doing it becomes daunting.

If this is how you look at social media for your food truck business, of course it is going to feel overly time consuming and like a chores. You may even figure you just don’t have time for it. However, if you think of it like speaking with your customers at your truck, you will be ready and happy to add it to daily your routine.

Do you already take the time to make sure customers understand your everything involved in preparing your menu items? Do you consider that something you don’t have time for?

Maybe on busy days you do not feel like you have the time; regardless, you still understand the value. Same principle, different audience. Both are your customers.

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food truck tip of the day

Many food truck owner forays into social media yield nothing more than wasted time and effort. Before you establish your food truck Twitter account or start a Facebook page, step back and think about what messages will be relevant to your customers or potential customers.

tip of the dayOf course you want to send out your next location or your special of the day/week, but if your other communications aren’t useful or interesting to them, you might as well be tweeting into a black hole.

Start by understanding the conversations that are already happening around your food truck. Then craft messages accordingly.

Before sending anything out, ask yourself:

  • What value does this message carry for our customers?
  • What action are we hoping to inspire?

If you don’t have a clear answer to each of these questions, it’s time to return to the drawing board.

 

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food truck tip of the day

It’s not always easy to have friends at work when you own a food truck. The most important owners need to maintain their leadership and friendships is courage and the willingness to act in the face of emotion. Three tactics can help you navigate this and at the same time make you a better mobile food vendor.

  • Have a strong, clear commitment to your business objectives. If you want to achieve something, you must be willing to make hard decisions. Be transparent, upfront, and passionate, even as others, including friends, disagree with you.
  • Develop your friendship skills. Skills like integrity, listening, and setting strong boundaries, can help you manage dual roles of friend and food truck owner.
  • Be prepared to lose the friendship. Recognize that you ultimately can’t control what happens to a friendship. Some people might not be able to live with the decisions you make. Learn to deal with the loss and move on.

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food truck tip of the day

I’ve recently noticed that many food trucks tend to forget the word “social” in social media. They may post location updates on Facebook or compose tweets on Twitter, but they don’t progress further than that. They never take the time to read the replies or actively engage by responding to their followers. Ultimately this is the reverse of what social media is all about and every food truck vendor should take full advantage of the many social media platforms at their disposal.

If the number of social media platforms stresses you out…instead, focus on your customers and learn how to engage with them more effectively. Significant time is spent on researching how to use various social media tools, but understanding your customers and how they react on social media will be more beneficial to your mobile food business in the long run.

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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

tip of the daySurviving the inevitable ups and downs of being a food truck owner can be tough, but persistence is an essential skill for a culinary entrepreneur. Here are three tips for seeing your mobile food endeavor through:

  • Don’t predict your failure. It’s easy to see everything that could go wrong in your mobile food empire. Instead of looking at all of the possible future failures you could see, focus on the task at hand of you and make it a success.
  • Don’t let feelings get in the way. You may not feel like doing another draft of your business plan or pushing for a 30 day credit line from your suppliers after you’ve heard “no” too many times. But do what you must despite how you may feel.
  • Lean on your family and staff. When you’re having a bad day or feel like it’s not worth all the effort, talk to your family inside and out of your food truck and share what you’re feeling.
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