Tags Posts tagged with "Truck"

Truck

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Kwasi Boyd has wrapped vehicles with printed vinyl for more than a decade. Lately, his business has gotten a big lift.

Custome Vehicle WrapsBehind the boom is the rising number of food trucks in the Bay Area. Mr. Boyd’s Emeryville-based business, Custom Vehicle Wraps Inc., covers vehicles with wallpaper-like material, which is an alternative to paint jobs, charging around $6,000 to wrap a 30-foot truck. In the past three years, food trucks have become more than 40% of his business, and their numbers are growing much faster than the tour buses and sports cars he otherwise works on, he says.

“It’s pretty crazy,” says Mr. Boyd, 41 years old, who says he wrapped six food trucks through the first seven days of 2013 and has brought on five people to help him. “There are times where I had to do 10 trucks at once.”

Mr. Boyd is one of many small-business owners in the Bay Area who are benefiting from the proliferation of these trucks, which cook and serve an assortment of gourmet street foods, such as Korean tacos, oven-blistered pizzas and Indian sandwiches. Parking-lot operators, hardware stores, graphic designers and mobile-kitchen makers are also getting new business.

There are no official statistics on the number of food trucks in the Bay Area, but the landscape shows evidence of rapid growth.

Matt Cohen, who runs the popular “Off the Grid” food-truck gatherings and a consulting business for food trucks, says there were five gourmet food trucks in San Francisco when he started his company in June 2010. “We work with 100 trucks a week now,” he says. “We expect that to grow to 200 by the end of the year.”

Others in the industry have placed the number of food trucks in the Bay Area at more than 250.

As a result, Mr. Cohen hired five full-time employees to help him organize and run food-truck events in 2011 and added 13 more last year, including a demographer who figures out where the best places are to hold new events. (The answer: areas with lots of 25- to 45-year-old professionals that are accessible via public transportation and have other businesses nearby.) He plans to double his staff again this year.

Meanwhile, El Monte Catering Trucks, which puts kitchens in used delivery trucks, moved from Los Angeles to San Jose four years ago because it sensed that there was a growing market for food trucks in the Bay Area, says Yari Garcia Lyndsey, its manager.

Find the entire article by Ben Worthen at The Wall Street Journal <here>

 

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food-truck-photography

Outside of the food itself, much of the attraction to the mobile food industry is the fun, colorful designs that food truck owners have wrapped their trucks in. Many food truck owners have numerous pictures taken of their truck by professionals and non-professionals alike. Some will even take the photos themselves to use for their marketing materials.

To capture exciting and interesting photography of a food truck, you must understand how to pose the truck just as you would pose a person as the first step in composing a portrait photograph. Many of the specific techniques are similar, in that you want to shoot from the best angle to show the truck (person) at its best and be very attentive of all the little details of how the truck is “dressed” and “groomed.” This article will explore a number of these food truck posing tips.

A Clean Machine

It should go without saying, but just to provide you with a complete checklist: The vehicle you photograph should be thoroughly cleaned, polished, and even detailed before you line up your shot. This includes the interior and engine compartment if you plan to photograph them. In addition, check that all the external parts are attached securely.

Strike a Pose

The location(s) you’ve selected to photograph the food truck has a major impact on how you pose the vehicle in the location, which is all the more reason you need to understand the posing techniques below. It’s best to start with photos from a front (right or left) 45-degree angle. These could include a low-angle at 45 degrees, a high angle closer to the vehicle with the camera moved towards a head-on shot and two angles in the opposite direction from 45 degrees towards a side-on shot.

To find the best position of the truck for your photos, you must take into account a number of factors. They are the direction of the light, the reflections it produces, the background and the space around the vehicle.

As with most outdoor photography, you want the sun behind you or behind you and to either side. This can be an interesting lighting angle. The camera is on a diagonal angle from the left or right headlight and the sun is at an angle that spills the light down the side towards the camera. Look carefully for unwanted reflections on the body and the glass of the windows. Then, reposition the truck just enough to reduce their effect.

As you are deciding where to park your subject, you must also be constantly checking the background.
The fourth factor, or the space around the vehicle, is also important. First, you want enough space to move closer and further for wider and tighter views, and even to shoot some images with a telephoto lens. You also want to be sure there is plenty of space in front of and behind the truck, which helps to emphasize and enlarge the appearance of the space on either side of the vehicle.

The other front angle and two rear angles are photographed much the same, except you turn the vehicle 180 degrees or into any position, so the sunlight is hitting that side and the background still looks good. You also move the truck to shoot direct front, rear and side views. Another variation is to shoot every angle with the wheels straight and with one full turn to display the wheel design.

We hope these tips allow you to provide the best photos of your food truck to maximize the wrap you have spent so much time developing.

 

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The promotion of your food truck requires personal interaction with potential customers to create interest in your mobile food business. Since “potential customers” include current customers that may become repeat visitors, promotion can happen inside as well as outside of the truck.

Promotion Megaphone

Try some of these tactics to promote your food truck business:

Contact local organizations.

Ask the chamber of commerce or the convention center for a list of contact information for organizations, such as service organizations, unions, political organizations, etc. Call them and tell them about your truck. Offer to cater their meetings and parties at a good discount.

Make friends with the right people.

Try to be on good terms with people who come in contact with tourists or big groups. Examples are hotel staff, concierge services, event coordinators at hotels or convention centers, tour guides, gas station attendants, car rental employees, etc.

Train employees in personal selling.

Any employee of your food truck can get involved with personal selling. Train your service window staff members as well as all of your on-board truck staff to engage in personal selling outside of the truck. Provide them with business cards or promotional materials, which they can distribute to prospective customers. This will help boost sales, and it will also increase your employees’ enthusiasm.

Pitch to local companies.

You can speak personally with the human resources (HR) managers or appropriate personnel at any companies or factories that are in your local area to see if they are interested in setting up a truck stop on their property or having you cater a meeting or event.

Follow up personally with customers.

You can do this both inside and outside of the food truck. After customers finish their meal, it is never a bad idea for the owner or truck manager to speak with them, thanking them and asking if they were satisfied with everything. You can also follow up on customer service issues. For example, if customers fill out a comment card and leave negative comments, you could call them to apologize for their negative experience and offer to make up for it next time by fixing the problem and giving them a discount.

Vend at local events.

Personally attend local arts or culinary festivals where you can vend or hand out samples. Talk to the event goers and tell them why they should try out your food truck. Even if you do not create any immediate sales, you will create awareness and get your truck’s name out there.

Be friendly, not pushy.

Whenever you are talking to a prospective customer, show excitement about what you have to offer, but be easy-going. If they are not very receptive of your pitch, do not irritate them further.

Use good body language.

Any time you are in public, you should represent your mobile food business with your image. One way to do this is to use good body language. Make eye contact, smile and do not cross your arms. If you are talking to someone on the phone, smile while you are doing it, because the smile will come through in your voice.

Get involved with the community.

The more activities you are personally involved with, the more people you will meet. Almost every person you meet is a new potential customer. You do not need to turn your whole social life into a sales pitch, but you can make a point of good-naturedly mentioning your food truck to friends and new acquaintances.

Hand out flyers, menus or coupons.

People are more receptive to promotional materials that come directly from a person. Instead of putting flyers and posters on cars or stuffing them in mailboxes, try handing them out in person. As you or your employees hand out pamphlets and coupons, they can make a good impression by using good body language and friendly sales techniques.

 

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bagel fun facts

The internet is full of fabulous facts about everything from current events to the history basket weaving. Because of this, as we research for our daily content on food trucks, food carts and street food, we stumble upon some items of knowledge that we just did not know. We have decided when these fun facts pop up, that we would share them with our readers in our section titled “Did You Know?”

For today’s Did You Know we will look at Bagel fun facts.

bagel fun factsThe Facts: They were first created in 1683 to honor King John III Sobieski of Poland, after he protected Austria’s people from an attack by Turkish invaders.

  • Bagels are the only bread that are boiled before baked. Once the bagel dough is shaped into a circle, they are dipped in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. After that, they are drained and baked for about 10 minutes.
  • That little hole in the center isn’t just for looks. The bagel hole comes in handy to thread multiple bagels onto a dowel, making transport easily, especially for street vendors selling the doughy delights.
  • February 9th is National Bagels and Lox Day.
  • July 26th is National Bagelfest Day.
  • December 11th is National “Have a Bagel” Day.
  • Prepackaged bagels first became available in grocery stores in the 1950’s.  Frozen bagels were introduced in 1960.
  • North Carolina molecular scientist Robert Bohannon developed ‘Buzz Donuts’ and ‘Buzzed Bagels’- caffeinated donuts and bagels in 2007.  They contain the caffeine equivalent of 2 cups of coffee.
  • Despite the myriad bagel flavors available from blueberry to the “everything” bagel, the most popular choice is plain, followed closely by sesame.

Bagel Fun Facts We Missed

If so, please feel free to let us know in the comment section below. We always love to add to these lists. If we can verify that the facts is just that, a fact, we will give the reader credit in the article.

Reference: Wikipedia: Fun Facts about Bagels.

 

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We have recently received a number of emails from prospective food truck owners that are interested in starting up a food truck that caters to both vegetarians and vegans with their dessert menus. The problem many of these individuals have is they not familiar with the vegan lifestyle, and want to know what would be considered proper vegan acceptable desserts. Vegan foods cannot contain any type of animal product. Poultry, fish, and meat are the most obvious items that must be eliminated from this type of diet. Eggs, honey, and dairy products cannot be eaten by vegans either, and create a bigger problem when finding acceptable vegan desserts.

food-trucks-cinnamon-snail-treats
A sample of vegan goodies from The Cinnamon Snail out of Hoboken, NJ

For any baked good to be considered vegan, it cannot be made with eggs, milk, cream, or butter. Acceptable egg substitutes are soft tofu, applesauce, mashed banana, or cornstarch. Milk can be replaced with soy milk, nut milk, rice milk, or even water. For buttermilk, a mixture of soy milk and vinegar can be used as a substitution. Vegan margarine is available in some supermarkets and health food stores.

Placing several substitutions in a regular recipe can be tricky. Using a vegan recipe for baked goods is the best option for making satisfying vegan desserts. Vegan recipes can be found for cookies, cakes, pies, and brownies.

Fruit crisps and cobblers are among the easiest vegan desserts to add to your menu. For a quick and easy crisp, simply pour oatmeal prepared with soy milk or water over fruit. Blueberries, sliced apples and peaches are great options. Fruit salads combined with vegan marshmallows and nuts are a simple dessert choice as well.

Nut products, such as peanut butter are important to a vegan diet because of their protein content. Some vegans have trouble getting protein from other food truck menu options. Desserts containing nuts such as chocolate peanut butter pie, or macaroons made with coconut and dates can be used. Cookies are particularly easy to work nuts into, from peanut butter cookies to chocolate chip cookies loaded with extras such as pecans and almonds.

By working creatively with dairy substitutes, nearly any traditional dessert can be converted into a vegan dish. If you purchase packaged mixes, double check the label to make sure that the contents adhere to vegan standards. Many products that aren’t labeled as vegan, still meet the appropriate requirements and can be used as delicious vegan desserts to be sold from your food truck.

Please do your part today and join the Meatless Monday movement? Signing up is fast and easy! Follow them on Twittter.

Mobile Cuisine looks forward to our continued coverage of Meatless Monday for our readers!

 

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The mobile food truck industry is nearing its 5th year of monumental growth. Once referred to as roach coaches, mobile food has made a strong comeback to become the fastest growing trend in the restaurant industry. Broadcasting their whereabouts on Twitter and other social media networks has replaced the need of a culinary entrepreneur to maintain a brick and mortar store front. Aside from the assistance of social media, it’s their unique options like; Korean Tacos, shredded BBQ Pork on a Waffle, Creme Brulee, and Kobe Beef Sliders, that has been the key to success for these mobile food businesses.

Klout is a San Francisco based company that provides social media analytics that measures a user’s influence across their social network. The analysis is done on data collected from sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Linked In and measures the size of a person’s network, the content created, and how other people interact with that content. Just as we have the last couple of years Mobile Cuisine has kept an eye on this tracking and investigated the Klout statistics to see which food truck would be the most influential in 2012.

Once again in first place, just as they have the last 2 years, is The Big Gay Ice Cream truck from New York City. Serving soft serve ice cream with a twist, like their ‘Salty Pimp’ which is vanilla ice cream or Dulce de Leche, sea salt, dipped in chocolate.

You may note that just as we found after analyzing thousands of the nation’s trucks through Klout, LA and NYC have once again dominated this list, with a few outside entrants from Atlanta, Boston, Las Vegas and Indianapolis.

Here are the Nation’s top 10 Most Influential Food Trucks for 2012:

#1 Big Gay Ice Cream – NYC (KLOUT Score: 72)

big-gay-ice-cream-truck

#2 Fukuburger Truck – Las Vegas (70)

fukuburger

#3 The Cinnamon Snail – NYC (68)

Cinnamon_Snail

#4 King of Pops – Atlanta (67)
#5 Coolhaus – NYC, LA, Miami and Austin (66)
#6 The Grilled Cheese Truck – Los Angeles (65)
#6 Jogasaki Burrito – Los Angeles (65)
#6 Wafels & Dinges – NYC (65)
#7 Kickass Cupcakes – Boston (63)
#7 Korilla BBQ – NYC (63)
#7 Staff Meal Truck – Boston (63)
#7 West Coast Tacos – Indianapolis (63)

Honorable Mention: The Grilled Cheeserie – Nashville (62), Grill em All – Los Angeles (62), Wow! Food Truck – Atlanta (62), Andrae’s Kitchen – Walla Walla (61), Streetza Pizza – Milwaukee (61) and The Scratch Truck – Indianapolis (61)

Please note that Klout updates their scores daily, so these results will change throughout the year. We arrived at our list based on the Klout scores from 11/28/2012.

 

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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 provide specials to your loyal customers to keep them coming back.
  • Make customers feel like a member of the 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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JACKSONVILLE, FL – They’re trendy, they’re tasty, and they’re seemingly lining up to park in Jacksonville.

Food trucks are booming in larger cities such as Atlanta, and local vendors have been inquiring about how to set up shop in Jacksonville. Now the City Council plans to consider whether and how to let that happen.

jacksonville__FOODTRUCK
Photo by: Trent Penny

Food trucks have in recent years become popular with customers, and with foodie entrepreneurs who are attracted to the idea of being able to prepare and sell food with lower overhead cost and without being tied to a specific location, following customers to wherever they happen to be hungry. Many rely on social media to let their fans know where to find their favored fare. The trend has spawned Food Network show The Great Food Truck Race; in its latest season, aspiring entrepreneurs competed in such Southern cities as Fayetteville, Ark., and Nashville to win prize money and their own food truck.

As the food truck invasion has hit Alabama, some local governments have looked to regulate the vehicles. Birmingham officials have been working on such an ordinance for months.

In Jacksonville, building inspector Mark Williams said requests “come in spurts — we may have three this week and then we may have none for a long time.” Since he took over as building inspector in 2007, he estimates he’s had at least 20 requests to operate within the city.

City officials are unclear how to handle the requests under the city’s law, said Williams, and he is now looking for direction from the City Council as to how the city should regulate and/or license the mobile establishments.

Find the entire article by Paige Rentz at annistonstar.com <here>

 

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SOMERVILLE, MA - The Somerville Board of Aldermen on Oct. 25 passed an ordinance to regulate the operations of food trucks in the city.

somerville food_trucks

The debate to write an ordinance began approximately eight months ago and brought to the Board’s attention that the city had no rules in place for food trucks, according to Ward 7 Alderman Bob Trane.

Potential food trucks in Somerville must now comply with requirements outlined by the Board and submit an application for a license, according to Alderman at Large Bill White. Food trucks must also undergo a public hearing with the Board, which will look at a number of factors before issuing approval, including the location that the food truck applies to be stationed at, health and safety standards and business hours.

Each food truck will be reviewed on a case?by?case basis, Trane said.

Until the passage of the ordinance, food trucks were allowed to operate at any time or location, Trane said. The Board now has more of a say in where food trucks may go and their hours of operation, according to Ward 4 Alderman TonyLafuente.

For example, food trucks now are not allowed to operate outside the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. unless the owners receive a special permit. In addition, food trucks must remain in one location and are prohibited from moving around, Trane said.

“They can’t keep bouncing all over the place or go willy?nilly in a different spot,” he told the Daily.

Food trucks must also conform to health and safety requirements before receiving a license, White said.

Lafuente added that the Board of Aldermen seeks to avoid complaints about generator noises and food smells.

“We’re going to control as much as we can,” he said.

Click the link to find the entire about Somerville Ordinance Regulating Food Trucks article by Hunter Ryan at the Tufts Daily.

 

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The internet is full of fabulous facts about everything from current events to the history basket weaving. Because of this, as we research for our daily content on food trucks, food carts and street food, we stumble upon some items of knowledge that we just did not know. We have decided when these fun facts pop up, that we would share them with our readers in our section titled “Did You Know?”

For today’s Did You Know fun food facts we will look at Deviled Eggs.

deviled eggs

The Facts: Deviled eggs or eggs mimosa are hard-boiled eggs, shelled, cut in half and filled with the hard-boiled egg’s yolk mixed with other ingredients such as mayonnaise and mustard, but many other variants exist internationally. Deviled eggs are usually served cold. They are served as a side dish, appetizer or a main course, and are a common holiday or party food.

  • The term “deviled”, in reference to food, was in use in the 18th century, with the first known print reference appearing in 1786. In the 19th century, it came to be used most often with spicy or zesty food, including eggs prepared with mustard, pepper or other ingredients stuffed in the yolk cavity.
  • The deviled egg originated in ancient Rome.
  • November 2nd is National Deviled Egg Day.
  • Sonya Thomas holds the record for eating 65 Hard Boiled Eggs in 6 minutes 40 seconds.
  • The term “deviled” dates back to the 19th century, referring to the use of particularly hot or piquant spices in cooking.

 

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