The popular rolling kitchens will finally be allowed to operate in the region’s largest suburb, eight months after one operator nearly had his truck towed away by the town for serving lunch at an office park.
“It’s not perfect, but we got our foot in the door,” said Mitch Stenger, attorney for the Western New York Food Truck Association.
Town officials Monday unanimously passed new regulations for the growing food truck industry. The rules, which are similar to those in Buffalo, include:
- A $400 fee for each food truck, to be renewed each year for an additional $200.
- A ban on operating within 100 feet of the front door of any restaurant with an open kitchen.
- A three-hour time limit for operation in a public parking space or a commercial area.
- A curfew of 8 p.m. in residential areas and 11 p.m. in public rights-of-way and commercial districts.
The Amherst law restricts trucks from selling their food on residential streets for longer than 20 minutes at a time, as town officials said they did not believe residents wanted them operating there.
Find the entire article by Charlie Specht at the buffalonews.com here
COLUMBUS, OH - Because of complaints from food-truck owners about Columbus’ plan to regulate the popular mobile restaurants, public-safety officials are delaying the start of the program and considering more changes.
Truck owners say the 18 to 20 metered parking spots the city planned to make available on a first-come, first-served basis are not enough and would create a hostile environment among owners scrambling for the spots.
The city is trying to balance allowing the trucks in already cramped areas such as the Short North, Arena District and Downtown while maintaining public safety and not hurting surrounding businesses.
A pilot program was to have been in place by June 1, but the latest back and forth with owners has led to at least a two-week delay to develop new ideas.
The popularity of the culinary cruisers has exploded in the past few years, with an estimated 150 or more of the trucks in the city.
City officials say regulating the trucks is necessary because of complaints from residents and business owners who said some trucks were leaving behind trash, creating noise and parking outside brick-and-mortar restaurants. At the same time, food-truck owners have complained that the city’s commercial sales-license policy is too difficult to understand.
Councilwoman Michelle Mills is leading the charge for regulation that appeases food-truck owners but, she said, “My No. 1 priority is public safety and protecting our residents.”
“There has to be some things that we have to say no to,” she said. “We absolutely want to support the food-truck industry, and it is a huge part of our tour-ism industry here, so we have to strike a balance.”
The city’s pilot program includes the following provisions to operate on city-owned property:
• Trucks have to obey time limits at the meters.
• Public spaces must be vacated by 3 a.m. every day.
• Trucks cannot be longer than 25 feet.
• Owners must obtain a temporary sales permit.
Find the entire article by Lucas Sullivan at The Columbus Dispatch here
The show features seven teams promoting their food trucks coast to coast. But the contestants have never owned or operated food trucks before. The winning team takes home $50,000 and a brand-new food truck.
The show, hosted by chef Tyler Florence, is filming its fourth season. Follow Mobile Cuisine to get the latest news on The Great Food Truck Race.
Happy Tuesday, food truck followers! Keep truckin’ through this week towards a holiday weekend with specials such as Swedish meatballs from Ball or Nothing, Argentine steak or tofu and charred veggie tacos aboard Cirque Cuisine, and turkey-bacon sandwiches with guacamole at Corned Beef King.
Farragut Square (17th and I sts., NW), where you’ll find Kabob Palace, Hula Girl, DC Greek Food, Sang on Wheels, Far East Taco Grill, Wassub, Korengy, Mighty Dog Acai, and Crepe Love; DC Slices, Kimchi BBQ Taco, Pho Wheels, NY Deli Truck, Simple on Wheels, and Chatpat Truck (nearby at 20th and L).
Franklin Square (13th and K sts., NW), where you’ll find Cajunators, Captain Cookie, Carnivore BBQ, Kushi-moto, Cathy’s Bistro, DC Ballers, Pho Nation, Red Hook Lobster, DC Empanadas, Fasika, Rito Loco, and Tokyo in the City.
L’Enfant (Sixth St. and Maryland Ave., SW), where you’ll find Cap Mac, BBQ Bus, Ball or Nothing, Far East Taco Grill, Rolling Ficelle, Curbside Cupcakes, DC Ballers, Mayur Kabob House, Mojo Truck, Tapas Truck, Sol Mexican Grill, Bite2Go, Carnivore BBQ, Ball or Nothing, and Salsa Room Empanadas.
Northern Virginia, where you’ll find Red Hook Lobster, Bratwurst King (Reston), District Taco, Chef on Wheels (Court House), Top Dog, Lemongrass Truck, Curly’s Q (Tysons), Mama’s Donut Bites, Big Cheese, Green Eggs and Burgers (Rosslyn), Mediterranean Delight, Kafta Mania (Ballston), and Ducky’s Grub (Dulles).
Click through the slideshow to see more images.
From escargot (L’es-Car-Go) to all-natural popsicles (The Goodie Box), chicken and waffles (The Waffle Bus) to Pad Thai (Pho-Jita Fusion), food truck fans had plenty to choose from at the Houston Food Truck Fest over the weekend at Stereo Live.
Lynn Rutherford of Cypress, who scored tickets to the fest for Mother’s Day, lunched at Big Z Thai Cuisine.
“We ate some, did a loop and came back,” Rutherford said. “We ordered the papaya salad, pick-me-up beef and [crazy] taco, and they were all great.”
Click through the slideshow at right to see pictures of food, food trucks and fun at Houston Food Truck Fest.
For those who arrived at the May 18 fest — which included more than 18 mobile businesses — with full stomachs, supporting local businesses was still possible. The Picasso Bus — “Art on Wheels” — offered face-painting and more. The Shoe Box, a mobile shoe and sunglasses boutique, was also at the festival.
“I quit my job almost two years ago, and I knew I wanted to open my own boutique, and I knew I had to do it in a different way,” said Coryne Rich, owner of the Shoe Box, which is just a couple months old.
In addition to lower monthly overhead compared to a traditional brick-and-mortar location, Rich, who was influenced by successful mobile boutiques in Los Angeles, loves the flexibility of being a business on wheels.
“Houston can be very guilty of (considering a certain shopping center) hot and then (the excitement is) over,” Rich said, “and so I like the idea of not being locked in to that … and we can move and go wherever the scene is.”
We are often asked what leadership traits most successful food truck operators possess. When you look at the definition of a leader, it states, “one who leads or guides.” And we’ve all heard the phrase “lead by example.” Unfortunately this just isn’t enough. There are at least seven qualities of leadership that help to make a good food truck owner.
The first trait you will find in a successful food truck owner is someone who is not afraid to get his or her hands dirty. Someone who will do the same job, duty, or task alongside subordinates, while keeping a positive attitude. This helps build and gain respect. Besides, how else can you expect someone to do the job you ask him or her to do if you do not know how or are not willing to do it yourself?
A person who listens, not just hears. Pay complete attention to what the person is saying. Look them in the eyes, acknowledge them and don’t interrupt. Ask questions of clarification, reiterate what they are saying, and ask the person if you understand them correctly. But listening doesn’t stop there. You need to follow through on the conversation and do what you said you would do. Build integrity and trust.
Make good business decisions but show compassion when needed. The bottom line is the bottom line. You don’t have to be cruel to accomplish tough results. Be honest, state the facts, ask for suggestions, and make the best decision. A lot of times things look good on paper but don’t really work in reality. Sometimes those who are on the front lines and performing the job every day give the best answers. Not only do you get the answer you may be looking for, you also build confidence and develop future managers and supervisors.
Treat others fairly, including yourself. Favoritism has no place in a mobile food business. Is it hard not to solely rely on those who are the strongest? Absolutely, but it’s your job to encourage and improve the super performers in your food truck business. Learn to delegate to improve teamwork and lighten the load for everybody.
Learning never stops. You should try to learn something new every day, sometimes this will happen without even seeking it out. You also need to be open to learning from subordinates, peers, and supervisors. There is no one person who has all the answers. This industry is in a constant state of change and you need to be able to adapt. It’s important to stay fresh and current. Think outside the box; there’s usually more than one way to accomplish a goal. If the way you tried doesn’t work, you’ve learned, and it’s what you take from the experience that’s important.
Develop those under you. The fastest way to move up is to train someone to take your job. This is one of the best ways to show leadership. Too often, people are afraid of “losing their jobs” because someone else knows how to do their job. This is not the case. This frees up time for you to develop your skills in other aspects of the business.
Finally, you need to be able to admit that you’ve made mistakes. Nobody has all the answers. You’re going to stumble, trip, and even fall. But those who are honest and admit their failures will gain the respect of others and will learn the most.
It’s time for Smyrna Food Truck Tuesday again!
Here is a lineup of the food trucks serving dinner tonight:
- Blaxican brings together Mexican and soul food.
- Buen Provecho serves a “taste of Puerto Rico at your fingertips.”
- Freckled Blue “feeds an Atlantan in need” with every meal purchased.
- Hail Cesar uses “only the freshest ingredients” sourced close to Atlanta.
- Happy Belly is Smyrna’s hometown food truck.
- Ibiza Bites‘s motto is “Life is food! Taste life!”
- King of Pops brings popsicles on wheels!
- Mix’d Up is inspired by Rock and Roll.
- Pressed for Time serves up paninis.
- Soup ‘R Noodles delivers a wide range of foods from its “state of the art kitchen”.
- Yum Yum Cupcake claims to be the first mobile dessert truck in Atlanta.
- Yumbii boasts it’s Atlanta’s first food truck.
Public parking is available adjacent to the playground and mini ampitheatre, and also at Community Bank of the South, Covenant Christian School and Smyrna Presbyterian Church. Parking is limited, so walking or biking is encouraged.
Smyrna Food Truck Tuesdays are recycling friendly. Look for recycling containers and help keep the park clean.
The food trucks participating will change from week to week. Check back with Smyrna-Vinings Patch to see who will be at next week’s event.
Those car salesman skills — Morton has worked in financing and as a sales manager, too — are coming in handy as he markets the truck to private events.
Morton’s also stops at Bella Frutta, at Shepherd and Willow avenues, on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
You can find Morton’s at CartHop lunch events, all from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: on Tuesdays in the Applebee’s parking lot at Friant Road and Fresno Street, on Thursdays on Fulton Mall near Fresno Brewing Company and on Fridays at Eaton Plaza near the water tower.
Follow Morton’s Grill on Facebook and on Twitter at @mortonsgrill.
Chosen Frozen Yogurt
The new Chosen Frozen Yogurt has opened at Shepherd and Chestnut avenues near the Walgreens.
The yogurt shop carries all the regular flavors, plus a few different ones, such as sea salt caramel pretzel, and popular cookies and cream. Same goes for toppings, which include candy and fruit, but also bacon bits.
The yogurt shop is larger than your typical yogurt places because the owners want families and groups to sit and stay awhile. The business also wants to host fundraisers and to be part of the community, the owners say.
The business is a family affair. Kim and Rod Lichti opened the business after looking for something for Rod to do after he retires from his job as a Clovis Police Department sergeant. You’ll find their three older kids working there too, along with their 10- and 12-year-old adopted daughters from China.
“They think something is wrong if they can’t come every day after school and get a cup of yogurt,” Kim Lichti says of the younger ones.
She had hoped to name the business Honey Hill Yogurt, in honor of her Madera beekeeper grandparents who had a business called Honey Hill. But the name was taken by an Arkansas dairy. Coincidentally, the dairy makes a liquid yogurt mix that now supplies Chosen Frozen Yogurt.
– Craft beer lovers take note: Firestone Walker Brewing Company’s 805 ale is now available in the 559. The honey blond ale, brewed in Paso Robles, developed a following among Valley folks who were bringing it back with them from trips to the Central Coast.
Someone from Donaghy Sales of Fresno talked the company into selling its beer through the distributor, the first time it’s been sold outside the 805 area code. You can find it at many Save Mart stores, BevMo!, Whole Foods and several independent sellers. Several restaurants also have the beer on draft, including the Mad Duck, Doghouse Grill, Buffalo Wild Wings and Swiggs.
– Here’s a shout-out to the Triangle Drive In, which celebrated its 50th anniversary May 11. The burger joint on Belmont Avenue, just west of Highway 99, has some loyal fans. You can still get a jumbo burger for $3.55 here.
There’s another Triangle Drive In in Ivanhoe, and plans are underway to open a third one on the east side of town. I’ll keep you updated on plans for that.
AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) – After two heated public meetings, Amherst Town Board members have come up with just the right recipe for how to deal with food trucks.
Up to now, food trucks were a gray area in the Amherst law books. There was no category for how to regulate them. But that changed Monday night.
Board members voted unanimously in favor of new rules for food trucks. The mobile businesses will have to pay $400 for a permit their first year and each additional year or a second truck would be $200. If they’re operating in a residential neighborhood, they can only be there between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.
No food truck operators were present for the vote, but Amherst Supervisor Dr. Barry Weinstein said, “Their attorney sent us an e-mail just before the meeting saying it was a good compromise. I’m pleased that we showed patience and worked it out.”
On another matter, board member Mark Manna moved to end the town’s practice of charging certain charity events for police overtime.
“I think it’s a good value for the residents in the town to bring people together, bring them out in the neighborhood, make them part of the community by having the town provide police services for these walks,” Manna said.
Pat Curtain of Christian Central Academy’s “Grace Race” said, “When you’re putting on a 5K run, it’s to raise funds and there’s a lot of worthy organizations to raise funds for.”
But the suggestion to drop the fees didn’t even get a second vote. Supervisor Barry Weinstein says taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to support each event.
“The Ride for Roswell, they’re going to pay us back about $9,000. I think the total cost is closer to $14,000. They raise $3.4 million. That makes sense,” Dr. Weinstein said.
The charity events that do not have to pay a fee would be those that raise less than a thousand dollars, or any school that is raising money for itself and has had the event in the past.
It was finally beginning to cool off on the back patio of DT Drive Inn on Saturday evening when my friends and I realized we were suddenly starving. Like, so hungry that we considered skipping across Cavalcade for a Honey Bun and a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos from the convenience store to stave it off until we could find a proper meal.
Just then, a bartender began conspicuously unwinding a bright orange extension cord. As if in answer to our growling stomachs, Taco Nuts had pulled up in the parking lot, paint still wet on the squirrel decorating its exterior.
This food truck is the latest endeavor from chef L.J. Wiley, formerly of Yelapa Playa Mexicana fame, who recently returned to Houston after a two-year stint in New York City. After testing the menu during a popup dinner at Kitchen Incubator, and weeks of fixing up his second-hand truck, he was ready to roll.
As if in answer to our growling stomachs, Taco Nuts had pulled up in the parking lot, paint still wet on the squirrel decorating its exterior.
The crew seemed to still be working out the kinks when we queued up outside, the first customers of the night: Queso was still warming up, one employee still had to be talked through the intricacies of a temperamental card reader.
Of course, the foibles were well worth it. Three-for-$8 vegetarian tacos — filled with avocado and roasted tomatoes, tossed with spicy lime aioli, Thai basil and a handful of Fritos (a woefully underutilized chip, in my opinion) that might have looked like an afterthought but provided a crucial and satisfying crunch — were, as I described to my tablemates in a frozen shandy haze, everything that’s right about Thai food and street tacos inside of one perfect corn tortilla.
The salsa was spicy, the queso was creamy and one friend went back for seconds on the ‘El Sancho’ Don Chancho carnitas. I’d say that’s endorsement enough.
Follow Taco Nuts on Twitter for its current location.
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