The Start of the 2016 Food Truck Season; What You Can Expect and Be Excited About

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The food truck season 2016 is underway and a lot of interesting, tantalizing, and new food ideas are expected. This year, expect there to be more food truck festivals that are more organized with better attractions and sumptuous food. However, since the past years food trucks have enjoyed immense popularity, it is very likely that the competition will be fiercer and it might be tougher to get into the festivals or prime locations unless you book a spot well in advance. And even with advance booking, organizers will be selective about the food truck choices so as not to have the too much of the same food concept.

Tips on Getting Asked to Food Festivals

  • Look up the calendar of organizers, local governments, and public venues
  • Consider offering the organizer something like free snack or drinks for the organizer and his team.  It can become part of your marketing budget because these are the people who will be in control of the event and walking around holding your food or drinks. The exposure will be tremendous!
  • Volunteer. You can help set-up, provide manpower (your staff), or supply basic needs like water, first aid, or other essentials
  • Be a sponsor for the entertainment. You can negotiate a barter deal that will not require you to give out cash but food or drinks to the band or singers
  • Go over the calendar and look for long weekends. It’s better to join a festival that runs for the entire weekend than be in a one-day event.

According to the National Restaurant Association, the 2016 food and drinks trends are:

  • Locally grown produce and locally sourced seafood and meats
  • Natural  ingredients with minimal use of processed foods
  • Nutritious children’s meals
  • Ethnic spices
  • Authentic cuisine
  • Homemade food that does not look homemade

If you plan on offering drinks on your menu, it would help to consider the following suggestions:

  • Homemade healthy, nonalcoholic drinks
  • Mocktails
  • Sparkling water
  • Gourmet drinks
  • Coconut water
  • Cold coffee
  • Smoothies

Clearly, food trucks are here to stay and be an exciting part of spring and summer. However, the people who support food trucks are slowly becoming more refined and selective about what food truck to support. Thus, make sure to keep your truck clean, organized, and fresh.  Happy summer days ahead!

Food Truck Insurance: An Overview of The Types of Insurance You Need

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The typical insurance package needed by a food truck business should include commercial auto liability, general liability, business and personal property insurance, workers compensation, unemployment insurance, umbrella liability or excess liability, and additional insured certificates if the owner of the food truck plans on joining food truck events regardless if hosted by a private events planner  or a local government agency.

Many insurance companies have an insurance package for food truck owners. The cost of insuring your food truck business  would depend on several factors such as:

  • Your annual gross sales
  • Value of your business personal property
  • Type of food truck

The insurance could cost as low as $300 or go much higher depending on the value of your equipment, number of employees, location, and gross sales.

Insurance Difference for Food Trailers and Food Trucks

There is a difference in insurance requirements for trailers and trucks. This is because the trailer needs a vehicle to tow it while a truck doesn’t. Thus, a trailer insurance will not be acceptable for a food truck operation and assuming that a trailer is automatically covered by the insurance of the vehicle towing is would be wrong especially if the trailer is to be used for business purposes.

Using a trailer for your food truck business is best covered by a commercial auto policy and the policy should be treated as a business insurance policy. However, if you plan on using your personal car to tow the trailer, it is imperative that you inform the insurance provider so they can increase your liability and add it as a business use endorsement. Otherwise, you risk being denied any claim should it ever get to this point. For commercial auto liability, the minimum limit is $1,000,000 unlike personal coverage which can be booked for much lower.

Another benefit to having a commercial auto policy is the option to buy Excess Liability which is demanded by some parties who rent out private or public land for events. This kind of coverage is not available under a personal auto policy.

Food Trucks That Have Gone Nationwide & How They Did It

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V-Grits is a food truck from Louiseville that serves vegan food. It recently announced that it has plans to go nationwide using a meal subscription service that will provide subscribers with recipes they can create on their own in their kitchens after ordering the ingredients from V-Grits. V-Grits plans to ship food ingredients to all their subscribers ; food ingredients that they make in their commissary. According to the owner of V-Grits, Kristina Addington, the plan is to start local and slowly expand the subscription service.

Yes, the food truck business has started to evolve into something very unique and V-Grits is not the only one that has grown. Continue reading »

Food Truck Technology: Should You Invest?

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Food truck technology is one way to improve your food truck operations. However, the technology costs money to acquire and to operate so the big question is which technology should be you invest in and which one should you consider at a later date.

Some of the technologies for food truck operations that are being sold include mobile ordering system, a POS system,  credit card payments, online payment schemes like Apple Pay or Google Wallet, and even recyclable solutions.

The Mobile Ordering System

Unless you have enough people to handle both walk up customers and mobile orders, you should not get this technology yet. Not being able to service hungry people on time will cost you more in terms of poor feedback and reviews. If you are strapped for people and you want a mobile ordering system, sell pre-packed goods on your mobile system but anything that has to be cooked on the spot will have to follow the first-come, first serve policy.

In addition, with a mobile ordering system, you could have a potential problem of inventory and supply. You could run out of raw materials or packaging before the end of the day. It sounds like a great problem until you realize that you could lose customers by not having enough supply for unexpected surges in sales.

The Point Of Sale (POS) System

This technology is a must-have because the system will not only help you keep track of sales, it can only track inventory and staff hours.  There are many POS systems available and some can be integrated with a mobile ordering system. When choosing a POS system, aside from the acquisition cost, consider the cost of operating it, training, equipment, and upgrades. This way you won’t have to worry about overhauling the system completely when your food truck business starts to expand – and with this kind of business, expansion is very possible to more trucks, carts, catering and even to a small restaurant down the road.

Innovative Solutions

There is a food truck, Kanteen, that operates re-using its cooking oil as its fuel – to run the truck! The system is  possible on any truck that can run on biodiesel. Used cooking oil can be automatically drained into a container that will convert it to biodiesel. The truck would have to meet the legal specifications for a vehicle running on biodiesel which means you will have to do some research on local laws to find out if this solution is viable in your neighborhood or not.

Food Trucks That Have Gone On To Bigger Things

When food trucks began showing up over 10 years ago, it did not create a big impact except to be another alternative to fast food joints. Then, something happened and suddenly food trucks became big business sprouting dozens of food trucks around the world. The race was on to be grab the bigger slice of the market in what was seen as the new “gold rush” for ordinary folks looking for extra income.

Now, amateur cooks are becoming experts in the food business and quite a number have moved on to bigger things – their own sit-down restaurants.

Burrasca Food Cart

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Burrasca started as a food cart in Portland in 2013 selling Tuscan food. They started very lean with on a cash-only basis and one part-time employee and a full time chef. Initially, their idea was to test the market with their food then start crowdfunding to put up their own restaurant. Last December 2014, they decided to go for it and raise $12,000 to open their own brick and mortar. With help from 148 backers and loyal customers, they were able to raise almost $13,800.

They now have their restaurant which is getting excellent results including top reviews on Trip Advisor and other websites.


LudoBird is the offshoot of Ludo Truck in Los Angeles’ Staples Center. Chef Ludo Lefebvre’s fried chicken was rated one of Los Angeles’ best by Zagat and has been called the “impresario of pop-up dining.” Chef Ludo comes from France and has cooked in Michelin-starred restaurants but his food truck fried chicken is fun, affordable, and not fussy.  He has other restaurants like the Trois Mec and Petit Trois so he knows the business inside out. He says the food truck is fun and different and people are more willing to try new things with a food truck than a restaurant.

Kogi Barbecue

Kogi barbecue in Los Angeles is the poster food tuck for the industry. It’s one of the best known food trucks that is known for its kimchi quesadillas and short rib tacos. Now, Kogi by Roy Choi is a food empire and does catering alongside 5 brick and mortar businesses, including a stall at LAX Terminal 4. Choi still operates Kogi food trucks around Los Angeles.

The Pun of Owning a Food Truck

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The rate that food trucks are sprouting up all over the world, it is becoming quite difficult to find a catchy name for food trucks which is why a number of them are using pun names. Not only does this makes it easier to market the food truck concept, it is also great for branding.

Some of the more interesting food trucks that have used pun names are: Continue reading »

Best Food Trucks from Asians

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Asia is known worldwide for its exotic flavors and dishes. Ingredients are strange but flavorful and the complexity of many of Asian dishes are difficult to mimic. Everyone traveling to Asia must make it a point to sample the different cuisine although luckily, food trucks are starting to pop up in non-Asian countries serving wonderful authentic Asian food making to possible to enjoy the genuine Asian flavors right at your doorstep … or a few steps away from your place of work.

Some of the top Asian food trucks in the country include:

Kogi BBQ which serves Korean food, or more specifically, Korean barbeque tacos. They have been around since 2008 and are now considered one of the food truck royalties in the United States with several branches and taco stands across the country. Continue reading »

Pringles Food Truck Flavors & Other Trends Following The Food Truck Craze

The food truck phenomena is well-entrenched in the global food market and one would think that it has peaked with thousands of food trucks operating around the world but no! There’s a new something this season and it is unexpected and exciting.

It’s Pringles Food Truck Flavors

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No, Pringles did not decide to put up a food truck but they did decide to offer a food truck flavors series. It started with the Limited Edition Cheeseburger and the Restaurant Cravers Cheeseburger flavors which were released earlier. Both flavors were very similar to a popular fast food chain and did not fare very well which is why it came as a surprise to learn that the company decided to launch a third flavor: Chicken Taco.

All 3 flavors are now on the shelves and appeal to a select group of consumers.

Continue reading »

New Food Trucks Around The US

Summer’s here and so are the food trucks but to add more flavor to the season are the new food trucks with their interesting slants on what they think will catch the eyes of the growing number of food truck lovers. Some of the new food trucks to look out for are:

In Seattle … Nibbles!

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Nibbles is a food truck with current address at the West Seattle Eagles parking every lunch time from Mondays to Fridays except Thursdays. Owned and operated by chefs Robert Breckenridge and partner Carmen Hernandez, this food truck’s specialty is Southwest fusion food.  Their menu includes a smoky meatloaf sandwich, salmon chili, smoked chicken salad, apple cake, and drinks.

Continue reading »

Spam is Back! High End Spam Food Truck

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Spam is over 77 years old and has become an urban legend of sorts and a lifesaver for many Americans and people around the world who need to prepare a quick and tasty meal or snack. One of the myths about Spam is that it stands for “Scientifically Processed Animal Matter” in spite of the company’s repeated publication that it is made of pork, salt, water, potato starch, sodium nitrate and sugar.  Spam was a creation of the founder’s son, Jay Hormel in a gallant effort to provide full employment, all year round and put an end to seasonal employment. Continue reading »