The online component of Food & Wine magazine currently has a great slideshow on their site featuring some innovative food entrepreneurs who went mobile without a motor. These small food businesses are dishing up their delicacies straight from their bike carts. Have you seen bike carts about? Do you have any personal favorites (blatant self-marketing is totally ok if you’re a bike food cart owner!). Check out the slideshow here. Read more
Posts tagged ‘food cart’
In light of the fact that there is very little quantitative industry information available for independent mobile food entrepreneurs, I’m tapping into my market research background and have created a short survey geared towards learning more about the logistics, financials, and challenges street food entrepreneurs throughout North America face. In order to receive as much feedback as possible, I hoping you’ll share this with any mobile food entrepreneurs or mobile food associations you know before the survey closes on May 1st. All responses will remain anonymous and will be compiled in a final report that will be available – free of charge – to all respondents and readers of this site. Click here to access the 2012 State Of The Food Truck Nation Survey.
This post is courtesy of Brandon Serna on behalf of FASTSIGNS.
Making your food truck stand out from the rest and leaving a lasting impression on your customers are some of the most important steps you can take with your food truck business. Since this industry doesn’t have many other factors that can ‘wow’ customers and make them coming back for more, you need to make sure everything you do provide is exceptional, the food, service and your appearance. You could offer the best smothered burrito in the city but if your burrito truck is faded and rusted on the outside many people will be second guessing giving you a shot. Here are some important aspects to try to keep in mind when planning out and designing a food truck wrap.
As a follow-up on last week’s posts about Ian Thackaberry’s path towards starting his own food truck business, now seems like a good time to mention that Food On Wheels is now available in ebook format if you prefer ereaders over physical books. For anyone who has a Kindle or has downloaded the free Kindle app for other electronic devices such as ipad and your computer, you can now access the Kindle version from Amazon.com for $7.99. Similarly, if you have a Nook ereader you can also download the book from Barnes & Noble for $7.99. Happy eReading!
You asked so here it is – the cover of Food On Wheels! The graphic artist came up with several versions but I thought this one captured the fun that’s inherent in starting a mobile food business. Let’s be honest, anyone who has considered opening a food truck or food cart is not your usual corporate suit-type and I didn’t want a boring business cover. Don’t let the fun cover fool you though, this book is full of all the information aspiring mobile foodies need to get rolling!
As for the obvious next question – when will the book be released? I’ve been told that we are days away so stay tuned!
After a week of heavy financial-focused posts and a rollercoaster ride in the economic markets, I figured we needed to start this week with something positive. It just so happens that last week my family sent me a copy of the Jackson Hole News & Guide, their local newspaper, with an article about small food entrepreneur 12-year-old Ciel Colon Nguyen.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find a link to the article online otherwise I would post it because this is a story that will put a smile on your face. In a nutshell, this past summer Ciel decided that he wanted to work and make money during summer vacation. Since child labor laws prohibit 12-year-olds from working, Ciel decided to create his own job! Ciel started Ciel’s Snack Attack Cart and, after contacting Friends of Pathways – the local nonprofit trail maintenance organization, he was able to secure a spot to sell his goodies alongside a popular walking/biking/running trail in town.
Every morning Ciel wakes up at 6am to bake fresh cookies and brownies and he squeezes lemons to make the handmade lemonade that he sells trailside. Then the 12-year-old loads everything into the Ciel’s Snack Attack Cart that’s attached to his bike and bikes almost 4 miles to his trail location. Once there, the newspaper reports that he sings throughout his 8-hour day to attract passersby. A true businessman, Ciel has even negotiated with a local grocer to recieve a discounted rate on the ingredients he needs in exchange for promoting that store to his customers. Ceil also give 5% of his net revenue back to Friends of Pathways.
Why is he working so hard when other kids his age are lounging by the pool or playing video games? Ciel says that he’s saving up to buy soccer cleats and, if he makes enough money, bike jerseys for his friends. How can you not be inspired by his story!
I mentioned earlier that I was working on a second book over the summer with the goal of having it ready for my editor come September. Back in early June though my editor called me and said that from a timing standpoint she wanted to be able to review the book in July instead of September and I’m basically now shooting for a September release instead. This has meant a lot of early mornings of writing for me but I’m excited to announce that as of today my next food business book headed off to my editor.
The new book, Food On Wheels: The Complete Guide To Starting A Food Cart, Food Truck, or Other Mobile Food Business, is – as the name hopefully conveys – focused on providing all the information necessary to help entrepreneurs start-up a mobile food business. Here’s an excerpt from the back cover:
Food trucks are hitting the streets from Miami to Maui but greasy reheated tacos and soggy burgers are a thing of the past. Today’s mobile eateries have foodies flocking for gourmet bacon jam burgers, delicious Parisian-style crepes, and decadent handcrafted organic ice cream cones to name just a few. A less expensive alternative to opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant, food trucks, food carts, and even food bicycles can be started by anyone whether you’re a trained chef or an amateur baker. If you’ve ever dreamed of jumping on the food truck bandwagon this book will provide you with all the information necessary to get you on the road. Highlights include:
- Understanding all the startup costs and sources for purchasing or leasing your kitchen on wheels;
- Building a business plan that will guide decision making and set you up for success;
- Obtaining the business licenses, health permits, and parking permits necessary to legally operate;
- Scouting locations for optimal visibility and sales;
- Calculating your true product costs and how to price your menu in a way that will be profitable;
- Connecting with customers inexpensively by using traditional marketing tools and social media to keep them coming back for more; and
- Appendices containing detailed worksheets that clearly walk you through the financial side of the business and comprehensive lists of resources and business licensing offices divided by state and territory.
Since, in the midst of these dog-days of Summer, September feels like another lifetime away, I’ve set up a Food On Wheels mailing list so that you can be alerted by email when the book is available for purchase. If you want to be added to the mailing list simply click here to sign up. As always, I promise not to share your information with anyone and won’t spam you (no more than 1-2 emails total – I promise!). Joining the mailing list does not require you to purchase a copy of the book or e-book when it’s available and, of course, you can unsubscribe from the mailing list at any time.
In the meantime, be sure to check out all the other Food Truck (and food cart, food trailer, food bicycle…) posts here.