Technology You Can Use To Operate Your Food Truck More Efficiently

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Operating a food truck is not easy because of the pressure to make money as soon as possible and the need to stay relevant so income gradually increases and stabilizes providing you with a steady income year in and year out. One way to reduce the anxiety regarding operating, finance, and accounting details is to install software that can help you monitor your progress on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual basis.

In addition, with technology you can save on other costs such as labor and productivity.

Here are some suggestions on what technology you can use to keep a vigil eye on your business while you attend to your customers’ needs and orders.

Install a POS system

A Point of Sale (POS) system does not only record your daily sales, it can help you keep track of your inventories and work hours for the computation of payroll. You will need to invest in the software, hardware, and training of your workers. There are more than half a dozen options that can be bought online, many of which have free trial offers.

The basic criteria for a good food truck POS system are: affordability, user-friendliness, ease in customization, and with a good selections of functions.

Get a Simple Mobile Payment System

This is one way to accept credit card payments without having to go through the complex system. You can use your mobile phone or tablet to process payments, or tie the mobile payment system in with your POS set-up.

Consider Cloud-based Services

From managing your workers to securing your files, you can use different cloud-based systems like Dropbox, Mailbox, Asana, 30/30, Evernote, Skype, Quickbooks, Neverlate, Pramata, ZenPayroll, Expensify, and Square. You will have to check for charges associated with cloud services because you can easily rack up thousands of dollars in charges if you leave your workers free and unlimited access to some cloud services.

Social Media Marketing

Naturally, you need to use social media like Twitter  to spread the word about your outstanding products. Just make sure to screen everything that is posted online so you avoid offending anyone or commenting in such a way that would question your integrity and business ethics.


Planning Your Food Truck’s Commissary

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Every successful food truck has an organized commissary so if you plan on staying in the food truck business for a while, you should think ahead about setting up a commissary to help you stay organized, clean, and ready for anything including food or ingredient shortages, price fluctuations on raw materials, and an area where you can create new dishes to offer on your menu.

Understanding the Need for a Commissary

A commissary is the place where you can stock up on your ingredients so you do not have to keep making trips to the market or ordering from your suppliers. Some food ingredients can be stocked up without affecting the freshness of your food like seasoning, oil, baking ingredients, and packaging, among others. If you can order in bulk, you get a chance to lower your costs by asking for the wholesale discount. The commissary is not where you cook the food you will sell daily but you can create new dishes and use the area to store the perishables on your food truck every night.

Depending on your location, you may even be required to have a commissary if you are not allowed to cook from your food truck by some city ordinance. If this is the case with you, will cannot use your personal home kitchen as a commissary but you will be required to find a place that is licensed for commercial use.

Thus, before you make plans about a commissary, find out what the local laws require. This will save you a lot of time and grievance not to mention unnecessary expenses.

Some of the common rules on running a commissary:

  1. Commissaries are subject to sanitation inspection and must have local certification renewed every year.
  2. It is possible to rent shared space with other food truck owners to save on rental and local government fees.
  3. Some cities do not allow the food to be cooked in the commissary stating that they have to be served fresh from the food truck. This usually applies to meals that have to be served hot or contain fresh ingredients like salad greens.

The benefits of having a commissary are multiple. For instance, you get storage space. You also have a place to park your food truck when it is not in use. It also makes it convenient for disposing of trash and cleaning your kitchen equipment.  Finally, you can use the commissary as your  business address which will make it convenient for anyone to contact you.

The Don’ts For A Successful Food Truck Business

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Most entrepreneurs already have an idea of what would help a food truck business succeed. It would need great food, attractive prices, and friendly faces. As for the potential landmines in operating a food truck business, the debate rages on. In fact, a common warning mentioned whenever the idea of launching a food truck business enters a conversation is, “It’s one of the hardest small businesses you could possibly think of getting into.” Continue reading »