Tags Posts tagged with "Truck"

Truck

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ups-natural-gas-truckNEW YORK (AP) — New York City is getting its first food truck fully powered by compressed natural gas.

Proponents say it’s easier on the environment.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Texas oil and gas investor T. Boone Pickens are discussing the details Thursday at City Hall Park in Manhattan.

How does natural gas compare to diesel?

CNG LNG

Available in compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG), with near-zero emissions, natural gas engines are not only quieter than their diesel counterparts, they’re also decidedly cleaner. Switching to natural gas translates to potentially significant fuel cost savings: As the price of diesel continues to rise, the cost of natural gas remains relatively lower and stable. Federal and state vehicle tax credits—as well as infrastructure tax credits available to green fleets—can greatly reduce acquisition costs.

Is natural gas better for the environment?

By implementing natural gas-powered products, you’re doing your part to help the environment. Some of these new engines reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) up to 20%. By investing in a natural gas-powered vehicle, you’re greening-up your bottom line and the environment.

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Forget Panda Express.The latest in airport dining is food that comes a truck.

airports food truck trend
The Cheesesteak Truck can be found at Tampa International Airport once every week. (Christine Osborn)

It was really just a matter of time. Food trucks have invaded nearly every city in America. Why should the airports — the first glimpse travelers get of the cities they’re visiting — be left out?

A few airports have recently brought food trucks to their cell phone parking lots. Orlando International has six food trucks at its commercial lot and taxi staging area. One — Los Angeles International — even has plans to build a structure that looks like a food truck in Terminal 4, rotating the offerings from the city’s most popular food trucks.

Tampa International has the most robust offering. The program started in mid-November as a way to service the throngs of people waiting in the cell phone parking lot to pick up loved ones during the busy holiday travel season. The 30-day trial was such a success that the airport has extended the program through August, with a new food truck every day. There’s the Cheesesteak Truck, serving the obvious; Nicos Arepas Grill, serving Venezuelan arepas and chachapas; the Dude and His Food, serving burgers, hot dogs and the like; Graffeaties, serving global street food; and several more in the rotation.

And while the program has been successful from a customer-service standpoint, it’s “not a money-making initiative for us,” said Christine Osborn, communications manager for Tampa International Airport. “But it’s really caught on, and customers love it.”

It is, however, making money for someone. Tom Bradley owns the Cheesesteak Truck, the featured food truck at Tampa International that’s there once a week. “At first I wasn’t sure how it would do, but it’s been great for business,” he said while ringing up a customer who was purchasing a cheesesteak. “When you’re on a street corner, you get the lunch crowd, but that’s pretty much it. Here we have a steady stream of business most of the day.

“My favorite are flight delays,” he said, remembering a particularly busy day around Christmas when snowstorms in the North were keeping people waiting for hours in the cell phone lots for loved ones.

The food truck at Austin – Bergstrom International Airport in Texas is also a recent addition: Twist of Spice — serving Tex-Mex, paninis and salads — arrived in the cell phone lot last month. Airport spokesman Jim Halbrook said the pilot program’s been well-received. “The feedback’s been all favorable,” he said. “There are picnic tables to eat at, it’s very pleasant.”

Find the entire article about the new Food Trucks at Airports Trend by Genevieve Shaw Brown at abcnews.go.com

More Food Truck Trend

 

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Numerous food truck vendors have joined Pinterest, the popular visual bookmarking tool. Unfortunately  there are plenty that are making mistakes along the way as they try to figure out how to use the site for marketing their food trucks.

pinterest dos and donts

Pinterest, which launched in 2010, has grown to more than 11 million users. Every day, people use the website to “pin” images and videos to their personal pin boards so they can save and share the things they love. The site gets social when people follow each other and repin or comment on each other’s pins.

The vast majority of Pinterest users are women between the ages of 25 and 34, so it’s a natural place for mobile food business to spend time if they want to connect with that target audience. If you are wondering how to use it, it is easy to get creative inspiration by reviewing other food truck pinboards.

With that in mind, here are some Pinterest do’s and don’ts to help you use the site to promote your mobile food business.

Do’s

Tell stories and tap into emotions. Pinterest is a place for storytelling. Help consumers become emotionally connected to your food truck brand by pinning content that reveals more about your brand personality than just your menu items.

Get social and build relationships. Pinterest is a social destination, so get involved with its community. Find active Pinterest members and build relationships with them by following them, repinning their content and commenting on their pins. The commenting feature in Pinterest is still greatly underutilized, and you can stand out by using it frequently.

Create group pinboards and crowdsource. You don’t have to go it alone on Pinterest. Create group pinboards and invite other users to pin content to those boards. For example, ask customers to pin pictures of them before they eat one of your menu items or while they wait in line to give their order. You also could hold a contest to crowdsource pins. Ask customers to review your food on your website and pin a quote from their review to a special contest pinboard. You benefit from more reviews and a pinboard that’s filled with testimonials.

Don’ts

Use pinterest for direct marketing. Pinterest states that the site should not be used for direct marketing, advertising or sales. Excessive and overt self-promotion is clearly unacceptable, so make sure you’re pinning diverse content, not just pictures of your menu items. You need to get creative and use Pinterest for indirect marketing.

Forget who the Pinterest audience is. Approximately three out of four Pinterest users are currently women. While the site is beginning to attract more male users, you shouldn’t waste time pinning a lot of content that women are unlikely to be interested in.

Pin anything and everything. Cluttering your pinboards with everything you think people might like is a mistake. Just as people don’t like to sift through clutter in search engine results and on websites, they don’t want to be overwhelmed on Pinterest. Stay focused, but don’t be afraid to pin interesting content that your target audience would enjoy and that’s at least loosely connected to your food truck business. This type of content can help give your brand more personality.

 

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Many new food truck entrepreneurs try to keep their existing job until their food truck is established and begins generating enough income to pay the bills. The problem with this philosophy is that starting your food truck business before you quit your job isn’t easy.

juggling jobs

While you juggle your existing job and your new mobile food business, keep these points in mind:

Put Your Existing Job First

Always remember that until you hand in your resignation, your existing job comes first. Before moving ahead with your business plans, make sure you understand the responsibilities and work hours involved in running a food truck.

Balance Your Time

Operating a food truck takes a lot of time. Between the food purchasing, food prep, operation of the truck in addition to all of the marketing and communication involved, many truck owners wish they had more time. Start slow, this may mean operating the truck on weekends or at food truck events to start. This will allow you to concentrate on your job without taking away from your ability to build your food truck brand.

Also, try to meet on weekends with suppliers, potential employees and other people related to your mobile food company. This will help you avoid potential conflicts with your work hours. Avoid the temptation to meet with people before work. Traffic jams and other unpredictable delays can make you late for your job.

Inform Your Employer

If you think your employer will be receptive, tell your employer that you’re starting your own food truck business. That will make it easier to talk to your supervisor about changing your work schedule if you need more flexible hours.

Use Your Own Equipment

Never use your employer’s phones, computers or other equipment or supplies for business related to your own company. If you don’t have a smartphone, invest in one now. Use it during breaks at your job to answer e-mail and make phone calls related to your food truck.

Prepare Your Family

Prepare your family for the prospect that you’ll be working on your new mobile venture on weekends and into the evenings on some weeknights.

Be Patient

Stay focused on your job while you’re at work. You may need that job longer than you expect. You can’t predict how long it will take to get your food truck established.

Did you start your food truck while still employed? Share your tips on how to balance them in the comment section below.

 

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BOSTON, MA - The food trucks that roam the streets of Boston have claimed their top spots for the official start of the city’s mobile vending season.

roxys food truck boston
image from boston.cbslocal.com

More than 50 food truck vendors participated in the city’s annual live lottery of prime sites on Jan. 16 where Edith Murnane, the city’s director of food initiatives, drew names of vendors who then chose shifts at 17 locations throughout the city.

The truck vendors, which offer a variety of fare, will begin serving at their chosen sites and times in April, which is the official start of the 2013 food truck season.

The City of Boston passed the Mobile Food Truck Ordinance in April 2011, launching the Mobile Food Truck Pilot. Under this pilot, 15 public sites were opened in downtown Boston and Boston’s neighborhoods to 15 food truck vendors.

Since Boston’s the 2011 launch, the number of vendors and trucks on the streets has grown steadily. In 2012, 16 new truck businesses and 23 new trucks began operating in Boston, according the city.

The city has also established a total of 18 public sites, including three cluster sites that allow two or three food trucks to operate at a time.

“I’m thrilled that Boston’s food truck program has grown so quickly and has expanded to such a diverse selection of vendors,” Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino said in a statement. “My administration has worked vigorously to allow these local businesses grow while providing the public with delicious, healthy, and accessible food.”

The schedule for the public sites as determined by the lottery is available here.

Find the original article by Johanna Kaiser at boston.com <here>

 

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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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