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In the mobile food industry, the term “COGS” stands for cost of goods sold. The term describes the amount of money a food truck spends on supplies and food ingredients – such as beverages, seasonings, meats, fruits and vegetables – used to prepare the menu items they sell. Your COGS should ideally account for no more than 35 percent of your sales.

By following these steps you will be able to cut your expenses and waste which in turn will increase your profits.

5 Steps To Control You Food Truck COGS

Categorize your food expenses. 

It’s easier to control your COGS when you keep track of how much is spent on each group. For instance, if you allow 11 percent for meats, 10 percent for produce, 6 percent for dairy, 5 percent for baked goods and 3 percent for beverages, you’ll stay within the suggested COGS of 35 percent. Break down your food items into groups and set guidelines that govern how much to spend in each category.

Comparison shop to find better pricing. 

Though most food truck owners prefer to maintain solid, ongoing relationships with food suppliers and distributors, it’s a good policy to stay informed of cost-effective alternatives. Continuously be on the lookout for more economical suppliers and order from those who offer the best deals. Ensure that bargain pricing does not sacrifice quality products.

Measure all ingredients in food-preparation procedures.

Food truck owners are at risk of losing considerable amounts of profit when food-prep staff members don’t properly measure ingredients. For instance, if you or your staff continually uses a full cup of butter for a recipe that only requires 3/4 of a cup, your cost of butter will quickly rise by 25 percent. Enforce strict measurement guidelines for your recipes.

Adjust your menu or prices accordingly when using seasonal ingredients. 

Certain fruits and vegetables increase and decrease in price according to season. Limit the sales of seasonal items to periods when they are plentiful and acquired at minimal price. If you continue to sell such goods during off-season periods, adjust your menu pricing to offset the extra cost.

Design specials that reduce waste and use slow-moving stock. 

Meal specials are typically offered for a limited time at a bargain price to entice customers to buy them. Make use of soon-to-expire foods by including them in specials. For instance, if your sliced breads are about to become stale and your cheese is about to expire, create a grilled-cheese special.

Have you used these strategies or something similar in your food truck? Did they bring your food truck COGS under control? We’d love to hear your thoughts. You can share them with us via email, Facebook or Twitter.

In today’s Under the Hood section we provide you with an article written by the folks over at sdtrucksprings.com.

There are many food trucks out there nowadays, this trend is something that has been around for a long time and has really blown up over the past few years. The ideal food truck is one that stands out by having an awesome product to offer with original ideas and unique qualities both in what food they serve and appearance of the truck.


These trucks will vary in size, shape, motif and what goods they sell. If you own or operate one of these trucks you must remember there is one property that every food truck will have and it is often overlooked, the suspension underneath. Whether the trucks are full of frozen treats or serving BBQ meals, they will each have a similar issue; the truck will eventually sag.

A damaged suspension could lead to:

  • Permit Issues
  • Lack of Stability Control
  • Down Truck = Closed Truck
  • Up to Thousands in Repair Costs

A properly operating suspension provides:

  • Smoother Ride
  • Increased Safety & Stability
  • No Vehicle Down Time
  • Save Future Repairs

Food truck owners have to be sure their vehicles are always full enough to satisfy the growing number of customers they have, however, by constantly loading to capacity it adds a lot of weight. All of the added weight can cause a slew of problems to what is underneath. With that said, there are a few simple solutions that can be preventative or a fix to an already impending problem. You may want to look into a few options depending on the style of your vehicle; there are helper springs, air bags and Timbren’s to start. All of these systems can help prevent major problems in your future and extend how long your food truck will last. Do remember if the springs are too worn you may need to replace them before adding load support.

Dangers of Over-Worked Suspension

  • Causes strain on springs, reduces lifespan of leaf/coil springs
  • Leaves vehicle unbalanced
  • Creates danger of overturning
  • Steering becomes difficult to control
  • Can cause difficulty stopping and breaking
  • Vehicle may experience sway and bumpy ride

The Layout and Type of Truck

When working with food trucks there are many things that have to be taken into consideration. One key factor of your business, as well as suspension setup, is the layout of the truck. That being said, let’s explore this aspect first. The layout of vehicle is important to how your business runs, you need everything to be assessable so you can quickly serve your patrons, you want to have everything where it’s easy for you to reach here convenience matters most. Having everything you need on board is important, but it can hurt your suspension. Let’s take a look at a truck we’ve all probably visited once or twice when we were kids, an ice cream truck. Inside you have your freeze and compressor toward the rear, and along the side you have the miscellaneous stuff such as candy, plastic toys, and drinks. Right by the service window you have the soft serve ice cream machine with the toppings set up to the side. We see that the weight is nicely distributed throughout the truck, however, this still is a lot of weight to put onto this suspension. To keep this truck from sagging and leaning a Hellwig helper would be a great addition. Helper springs will do exactly what their name states; help your existing leaf springs. By installing helper springs you are taking some of the stress off of your leaf springs, these will also add some load capacity to your vehicle protecting your suspension from the damage that weight causes, and give you a smoother ride.

There are many different types of food trucks, each one will have their own unique characteristics. No matter how simple or complex the truck is, it’s contents will put stress on your suspension. Many of these will have the additional weight of a freezer, grill and sink. These necessary additions are usually all located on one side of the vehicle for easy access. While it is important to have these appliances they can really make your truck lean. In a case like this you may want to look into adding a Firestone or Air Lift Airbag kit. Air bags will give you the ability to counter-act the addition weight added onto the vehicle. The air-bag kit is a great way to keep your ride level and safe, and also give you total control over how the truck rides. This way you won’t have to worry about losing the mustard.

Let’s look at some bigger models of food trucks; we will use a full service catering truck as an example. These types of truck serve many different types of food, from simple grab and go to sit down meals. With the versatile menu they have, they need a lot of stock and appliances to fill their requests adding a lot of additional weight to the vehicle. These trucks have almost everything on-board, from freezers, to multi top ovens, even a kitchen sink. All of the necessary food and supplies normally causes these trucks to be back heavy. This can defiantly cause sagging. By adding a Timbren you are going to see instant improvement, even with all that weight. Timbren’s kick into action when enough weight is added and act as a cushion to the suspension, helping to hold up extra weight. Timbren’s come in a wide range of weight capacities depending on your vehicle; this system will help protect your current suspension while adding the ability for more weight.

We have only covered a small portion of food trucks that are out there, there are many other types and every food truck has its own unique feel and look to them as well as layout. All of these different trucks will have the similar problems from extra weight. When dealing with these problems just take a look at your options for load support and use these examples to narrow it down to the one set up that will suit your personal needs best.

Find the original article as well as a way to get a great discount on the types of suspension parts discussed in this article <here>

S & D Truck Springs was established in 1971 S & D Spring and Wheel Alignment Co., Inc., a family owned and operated business has built a national reputation in providing truck suspension repair, suspension replacement, spring customization and re-arching. Our expertise and vast knowledge in the commercial truck and independent truck repair industry has helped us grow significantly while establishing long term and trustworthy relationships with our clients. Over the years our quality driven company has progressed to supplying a multitude of products and services throughout the tri-state area, while also supplying parts and services to the trucking industry across the United States and Canada.


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