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Adventures in Food Truckin'

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi all, I've been a caterer for the last 15 years and have always done off site catering, especially corporate. What are your experiences with food trucks? Are they worth the investment? I've heard it's hard to get contracts to serve factories, hospitals and job sites. I've also heard if people in your area are not used to food trucks they see them as dirty or are afraid to try them. It would be nice to take a kitchen with me to an outdoor event but is it worth the extra costs, education (commercial driver's license in my state) and odd hours?

 

P.S. I'm not taking about doing concessions at country fairs, I would like to appeal to the working class demographic in my area offering hot subs, salads, chips, fruit and drinks right outside of their workplace at shift changes and lunch times.

 

Plus I don't think I can pull off a trucker cap. A captain's hat yes, but that's an a different conversation entirely. :look:

 

Thanks for any experience,

 

Chef Dee

post #2 of 4
Food truck success has a lot to do with city ordinances and city/county tax compliance. Some places are just complicated to run food trucks legally.

I know a few food truck owners in our city, Kansas City, and there are several dozen that operate most days of the week. They had to lobby to get local ordinances lifted in different areas of the city just to make a living. I haven't seen ANY issues with the public having an opinion they are dirty or sub par. Quite the opposite really.

Laws aside, a food truck's success seems to hinge on the owner's ability to build a large contact list and to religiously communicate with their followers to let them know where they'll be. Most their stops involve agreements with a particular business to allow them to park at their business, often on the same day every week.

I suggest finding food truck pages on Facebook and following all of them you can. Facebook is a popular communication tool for trucks and a great way to learn where other food trucks operate.

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks Brandon, that was very insightful. We have no food trucks near me. And I mean none. I've never even seen a food truck within 100 miles of here (Central Pennsylvania). But we have one of the largest hospitals in the state (over 2000 employees), and about 15 factories within 10 miles of our headquarters. I already do business with them for banquets, holiday parties, pharm reps and drop offs. Seems like a good market, just wanted some insider info on having food available to individuals instead of large groups. I'll do my best to research the local laws regarding food trucks in this area and see if I can get permission to operate at these locations before I even start planning. I think it could be worth it. Thank you.

post #4 of 4
Sounds like an untapped market. If you have relations already at the factories, it might be really easy to get permission to sell onsite. Regulatory agencies have less authority on private property. The ordinances on parking, loitering and some of the other hurdles you might run into on city streets wouldn't apply once you are on someone's private property with their permission.

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply
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