Most food truck operators find that once the excitement of tantalizing customers’ taste buds with hand crafted food is over for the day, operating a food truck is a business. A few factors distinguish the mobile food business from other businesses-the most important is that food trucks are mobile. Operating a business from the streets can be simplified when the big parts of the business are accessed from the road. Using food truck business apps to manage your mobile food business means that your office is in your pocket in the form of your smart phone or tablet and can be easily managed any time of the day or night.
We spoke to a few food truck operators around the country in hopes of discovering the apps that make the magic happen for food truck businesses. And we were not disappointed with this list of 2017 food truck business apps.
3 Must-Have 2017 Food Truck Business Apps
Food Truck Locators
The number one goal for a food truck is to be found by hungry customers. There are thousands of food truck trackers on the market, but a few of them stand out in the crowd. Dylan Kough, owner and operator of Smoking Kow BBQ in Washington, DC, puts his faith in Food Truck Fiesta. “In DC, Food Truck Fiesta is the best app. It collates social media posts from trucks and places them on a map of DC. Very helpful.” Carly from Brooklyn Sandwich Co explained, “We use Food Truck Fiesta. It’s consistency and easy-to-follow format is the reason that many of our customers find out food truck.”
Like many food truck apps around the country, when a food truck registers with Food Truck Fiesta, the food truck enters their social media accounts. The food locator app automatically gathers social media location posts each day and places the trucks on a map of DC. Food truck fanatics can register for email updates about their favorite food truck location or visit the map to find their favorite fare.
Chicago Food Truck Finder and Roaming Hunger, are also great options for food trucks to get their names “on the map.” Nina from The Slide Ride publishes their truck schedule to the Chicago Food Truck Finder vendor portal so that customers can locate their truck.
FoodTrucksIn.com has taken the concept of local food truck finders to a national level. Providing the locations of over 6,200 mobile food trucks across the country, they are regarded as having the complete list of food truck locations. FoodTrucksIn.com is the ideal tracker for food truck lovers who are traveling and want to check out the local food truck action in a new city.
Whether your food truck is located in DC, California, or Florida, using a truck locator app is imperative the success of a food truck.
One of the challenges for the food truck industry over the past decade has been to adjust public perception of mobile food. Bringing awareness to consumers about the high quality cuisine offered from food trucks across the country has led to the growing success of the industry. As food truck operators continue to prove to the public that mobile food is no longer construction site street food, but rather hand crafted meals adhering to standards that may surpass brick and mortar restaurants, food safety is key.
The majority of food trucks report using a clipboard and paper to keep track of food temperature logs and food safety reports. When health inspectors knock on a food truck’s door, they conduct an inspection and oftentimes, they request food safety logs. Inspectors expect to see consistent temperature readings and systems put in place to ensure sanitary conditions. FreshCheq helps to automate these food safety tasks and produce quick, cloud based reports.
David Sevcik, owner of Mac ‘N Noodles, uses FreshCheq as his main method of quality control and food safety. “One great part about FreshCheq is the alerts. Within my first week of using FreshCheq, I caught a refrigerator registering a temperature of 45 degrees. I immediately had it repaired and saved what could have been a poor experience for a lot of my guests.”
Bluetooth thermometers frequently need repair or replacement and FreshCheq works with any thermometer. David explained, “FreshCheq gets me excited to do the less fun parts of operating a food service business. Integrating the technology was not only easy but keeps me accountable and allows me to easily maintain a log.”
As a bonus, if food trucks consistently log food temperatures and other tasks at least 95% of the time within a month, they become FreshCheq food safety certified and receive a cool decal for their food truck.
Maybe it is time to upgrade your food truck business from paper spreadsheets and clipboards to a mobile food safety and reporting platform. Health inspectors and your customers will thank you.
After a long day on your feet serving the masses, food truck owners want to know that it was worth it. Happy customers and long lines are satisfying, but what was the financial reward for the day? Food truckers rely on Mint to stay on top of finances from their phones or tablets. Although originally designed for individuals to manage their personal accounts, food truck owners have found that the app works great for their business finances.
A couple of great features of this food truck business app are:
- Expense tracking
- Goal planning
- Automatic purchase categorizing
- Budget setting
- Auto bill paying
Figuring out your day’s profit is easy with the Mint app. No physical office required. Another great bonus is that integrating a food truck with a brick and mortar is no problem with this app.
Other financial management solutions used by food trucks are LearnVest and Level Money, but most food truck owners agree that Mint is at the top of the list.
The Bottom Line
We know that there are tons of food truck business apps out there that are helping food truck owners to dominate the industry and navigate daily challenges. Let us know which food truck business apps work hard for you so that you don’t work as hard.
About The Author
Julie Wilson earned her M.P.S in Publishing from The George Washington University and writes several blogs in various industries. She is a Managing Partner for ProblemSolutionHQ, a software company committed to developing simple solutions for small businesses. She is currently focusing on streamlined food truck solutions with the launch of FreshCheq.com, a food truck food safety app. Julie can typically be found in line at the vegetarian food truck.