DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Robin Skinner knows the food truck business. She’s the marketing director for Ruthie’s Rolling Café.
Now she’s teaming up with the folks at Sisu Restaurant and Bar in Uptown Dallas to take advantage of one thing it has that every food truck needs — parking space.
“This is prime real estate that’s not being utilized,” said Skinner.
Wade Randolph Hampton is a partner in Sisu. “I was actually walking out in the parking lot one day and I said how am I going to get people to hang out more hours of the day, more hours of the week.”
Together, the two businesses will open a new food truck park, Uptown Truck Stop, on March 19. Sisu’s owners see it as an opportunity to draw more customers. The restaurant’s pool and patio are big attractions, but only during warmer weather.
“I’m walking through an empty parking lot more in winter,” said Hampton.
The new park’s schedule is already filling with food trucks, like Trailercakes, the cupcake company. “It’s a new location and it’s a great location,” said Heather Zidell, Trailercakes’ owner.
Zidell says, food truck parks offer readily available spots, cutting down the work for truck owners. “Instead of getting on the phone, saying, ‘Can I park there? Can I park there?’”
Visitors will have access to the whole property with a chance to grab a cocktail or hit the pool. Organizers call it a win win opportunity for them and the community.
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Old man winter has hit Hoosiers hard this year, and one segment of the business community is really taking it on the chin.
The snow and frigid temps are making it nearly impossible for mobile food businesses to keep on trucking.
Chef Dan Carter’s Southern Comfort food truck did not expect any customers Friday. Bryan Monroe’s Der Pretzel Wagen didn’t expect customers either. That is because Der Pretzel Wagen and Chef Dan’s were parked in their owners driveways – it was too cold to open.
“It freezes the water line. Therefore, you can’t operate your water system so your stuck in for the day,” says Chef Dan, explaining why his truck is idled by the cold.
The water lines are needed to keep health department mandated sinks running.
Old man winter is freezing local food trucks out of their livelihoods. Usually on social media the trucks tell you where you can find them to enjoy their food. But on subzero days, you see tweets that let you know they have had to cancel.
“We’ve scheduled 23 stops this winter up to today, and we’ve cancelled. We’ve only done nine,” says Der Pretzel’s owner Bryan Monroe.
And when the trucks sit idle, the cash register doesn’t ring.
“This is basically the business. So, if you don’t go out, you don’t make money,” says Chef Dan.
And Chef Dan has actually spent extra money this year replacing the water pipes in the truck.
“It doesn’t freeze and crack. The water might freeze, but the line doesn’t crack,” he says.
Bryan has the same kind of pipes in his truck. But anything below about 25 degrees is just too cold to go out. So, the trucks sit and wait.
“This winter is really tough,” says Chef Dan.
“But you know, the demand is still there and we’ll keep plugging away until we can get out there,” says Monroe.
Despite the very slow season, both Chef Dan and Bryan say their businesses will survive. Bryan’s wife has a full time job and Chef Dan does catering and serves food in the atrium of the main library downtown. That, they say, will get them through until mother nature gives them a break.
This time of year might be considered the off season for food truck vendors, but it still prompted some discussion at Lexington City Hall Tuesday.
A food truck pilot project designates certain zones where food preparation services on wheels are permitted. Economic Development Committee as a Whole Chair Julian Beard says most food truck activity thus far has occurred on private property. The council heard from Andrew Sowthers who is preparing to go into the food truck business. “More of the new truck owners that are building now are doing this as full time jobs, myself included. You know, we’ve left our other careers to do this full time, so we really want to again some of the other trucks doing it part time as a second job,” said Sowthers. There was some discussion about extending the pilot project, but no action was taken. Council member George Meyers says he’s gotten some questions about the pilot from individuals in other professions. “People have said to me, ‘I have a framing business or I have an insurance business or I have this kind of business, what if I buy an RV, come down, pay 25 bucks, I set up and start selling insurance or start selling custom framing or start selling whatever it is, downtown or wherever I want to on public property,” said Meyers. The matter will be back before the economic development panel later this month.
The food-truck business is known for grueling hours and razor-thin margins. So, when Jessica Iannuzzi was offered a windfall of free tomatoes for her Sum Pig food truck, she couldn’t pass it up.
Those tomatoes, though, came with a catch: The truck would become, quite literally, a marketing vehicle for Muir Glen organic canned tomatoes.
“We feel that people connect with food trucks,” Muir Glen’s Katie Proctor said.
In Philly’s maturing food-truck economy, promotions tied to trucks are a booming business – but a somewhat controversial one, given that large companies are invading entrepreneurs’ turf. If mobile vendors don’t choose their partners carefully, they can be in for a perilous ride.
For Iannuzzi, 32, who owns Sum Pig with her fiance, Stephen Koste, 37, the Muir Glen promotion was a major boost for their year-old business. For about a month, the truck displayed Muir Glen posters, distributed coupons, and incorporated the tomatoes into menu items like vegetarian chili, crawfish étouffée, and buffalo-chicken nachos.
At an event at City Hall last fall, Muir Glen gave pallets of canned tomatoes to Philabundance and also laid out a trail of 300 gift boxes, each containing a can of tomatoes and a coupon for a free meal at Sum Pig or a second truck, Street Food Philly.
“It was great exposure,” Iannuzzi said. “Typically, we don’t vend in City Hall, so it was great to be able to vend there. And we loved using the product.”
As a marketing strategy, Proctor said, the company selected trucks that shared its philosophy and devotion to organic foods.
“We really wanted to have a mutually beneficial partnership, so that Muir Glen became a featured ingredient rather than a Muir Glen-branded truck,” she said. “We thought it would be more authentic.”
Of course, not every company doing food-truck marketing goes that route.
Stouffer’s, for example, wanted a total truck takeover to promote its macaroni and cheese in King of Prussia on Black Friday. The company hired USA Mobile Commissary, a local company specializing in food-truck marketing.
“We gave out over 4,000 samples of product in front of Neiman Marcus on that day,” said USA Mobile’s Gary Koppelman. On subsequent days, Stouffer’s actually sold servings of mac and cheese out of the truck.
He said the promotional work required significant resources: a backup truck to supply all that mac and cheese, plus extra staff to serve it for nearly 24 hours.
Koppelman, who is building out a 30,000-square-foot commissary in Brewerytown, also recently distributed bagels, coffee, and doughnuts from a truck branded to promote Fox’s new comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
While he does some one-off promotions, he said, more corporations now see trucks as an ongoing part of their marketing efforts.
For example, he said, he is working with Johnsonville Sausage to put 200 trucks on the street in the next five years. Burger King also has a fleet of 40 trucks. And in the last few years, Sizzler, Applebee’s, and Taco Bell have all rolled out trucks.
As far as George Bieber, 45, is concerned, all that traffic is not good news. The president of the Philadelphia Mobile Food Association and owner of the Sunflower Truck Stop said he has received inquiries about wrapping his truck with ads, but he declined.
After all, his truck is already advertising something: his restaurant, Shorty’s Sunflower Cafe in Pottstown. He doesn’t want to compromise that.
“I think my truck looks awesome,” he said. “I don’t want to pimp myself out to hand out bagels for a TV show. I like cooking.”
More than that, he worries about corporations’ invading a marketplace populated by entrepreneurs. “The mobile-food business, to me, is a good way for an independent person to get into being their own boss,” he said. “When big businesses step on that, it’s not good.”
For example, major corporations could easily outbid independent vendors for slots at high-traffic locations, such as LOVE Park.
Jeff Henretig has experience with the problems that can arise from asymmetrical partnerships between small vendors and big companies.
In 2010, a marketing firm hired Henretig and his partners at a truck called Coup de Taco to promote the syndication of the HBO series Entourage. They’d wrap the truck with the show’s signage and hand out free tacos at two events.
“It seemed like a dream come true, to get paid to get our product out there,” he said. “We were maybe a little too eager. The idea conceptually sounded so good that we kind of overlooked some things in the nitty-gritty details of the documents we signed.”
Instead of a few days, the wrap remained on the truck for a month. Customers were confused and accused Coup de Taco of selling out. And when the wrap came off, the truck’s paint job was destroyed. Worse, Henretig said, the marketing firm claimed Coup de Taco hadn’t fulfilled its contract, and shorted the pay.
“We had no recourse, really,” said Henretig. After the damage to the truck and the brand, the partners decided to close.
Henretig, who’s now a small-business consultant at New York’s East Fourth Partners, said he still believed food-truck marketing could work – in theory.
“If you’re going to do something like this, it should be, above all, a partnership.”
Sum Pig Food Truck’s Crawfish Étouffée
Makes 6 to 8 servings
10 tablespoons butter, divided use
2 tablespoons flour
4 cups chopped onion
3 cups chopped celery
3 cups chopped bell pepper
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
4 1/2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons hot sauce
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound crawfish tails (or substitute shrimp)
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1 cup sliced green onions
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
12 to 16 mini pie-crust shells (2 per serving)
1. In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter, and whisk in flour to combine well. Cook, stirring occasionally, until roux is a peanut-butter color.
2. Add onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme, and cook until soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt, red pepper, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne, and black pepper, and bring to a boil.
3. Skim surface, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add crawfish tails (with their orange fat), lemon juice, green onions, and parsley, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining butter, and stir to combine well.
5. Fill mini pie-crust shells, top with crushed pie shell and chopped green onion or parsley.
- From Jessica Iannuzzi of Sum Pig food truck
Per serving (based on 8): 279 calories; 15.6 grams protein; 15.9 grams carbohydrates; 5.6 grams sugar; 17.1 grams fat;
140 milligrams cholesterol; 1,553 milligrams sodium; 3.2 grams dietary fiber.
Street Food Philly’s Tomato Sauce
Makes 6 cups
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Spanish onion, ¼-inch dice
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
½ medium carrot, finely grated
½ cup celery, diced
2 (28-ounce) cans fire-roasted tomatoes, crushed by hand, juices reserved
Salt and black pepper to taste
1. In a 3-quart saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.
2. Add the thyme, carrot, and celery and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add tomatoes and juice, and bring to a boil, stirring often.
3. Lower heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.
4. Taste and add salt, if needed, and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Michael Sultan of Street Food Philly food truck
Per Serving (based on 1/2 cup): 76 calories; 1.3 grams protein; 8.3 grams carbohydrates; 3.8 grams sugar; 4.3 grams fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 498 milligrams sodium; 2.7 grams dietary fiber.
Sum Pig’s Fire-Roasted Chili
Makes 6 to 8 servings
11/2 cups yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini, ends trimmed and diced
2 cups corn kernels
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 28-ounce can fire-roasted, diced tomatoes
1 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted, diced tomatoes with green chilies
3 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup cooked kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup vegetable stock or water
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
Sour cream and sharp grated cheddar, for garnish
1. In a large, heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion, garlic, zucchini, and corn and cook, stirring, until vegetables are soft and begin to brown around the edges, about 9 minutes.
3. Add chili powder, cumin, salt, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
4. Add both cans of tomatoes, and stir well. Then add beans and vegetable stock or water, and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.
6. Remove from heat, and stir in cilantro. Adjust seasoning and serve, garnishing with sour cream and cheddar.
- Jessica Iannuzzi, Sum Pig food truck
Per serving (based on 8, with 1 tablespoon each of cheese and sour cream): 453 calories; 26 grams protein; 79 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams sugar; 5 grams fat; 7 milligrams cholesterol; 3,577 milligrams sodium; 18 grams dietary fiber.
SAN DIEGO – Some students at High Tech High School in San Diego are using a popular funding website to make their dreams of owning a food truck come true.
Zachary Allbritton’s passion is cooking, and he told 10News, “I love cooking; I do it with my father all the time.”
Zachary, a sophomore, does it for hours at High Tech High.
“It helps me get up in the morning, especially on Mondays,” he said.
In a couple of months, 50 sophomores hope to unveil the food truck Reel Delicious.
From the cooking to the website, to press kits, the students are doing it all.
In a promotional video on the funding website Kickstarter, the group’s ultimate goal is shown.
“The truck will promote cultural understanding and diversity through food and film by serving international dishes made with locally sourced ingredients and by screening from the truck on flat screens during the day and projectors at night, original short and full-length international films,” the students say in the video.
A food truck will cost them $35,000, and most of them aren’t even old enough to drive.
“They’re at the age, 15 16, so the first few have start to get their licenses … most likely need someone over 18 to drive the truck,” said High Tech High teacher Daisy Sharrock, who is helping the students with their project.
The students offer incentives to donors, including catered meals.
If they reach their goal, they get all the funding through Kickstarter. If they fall short, they get nothing.
Teacher Patrick McMahon, who is also helping with the project, said, “If you display a challenge, and they can meet the challenge, that’s what we want to go for here.”
“It allows us to learn and grow so in the future, if we actually have a desire to start our own business, we know what we’re doing,” Zachary said.
The students hope to partner with local film festivals to show movies from their truck.
The group has raised more than $17,000 but only have until the end of the next month to reach their goal.
To see their full campaign, go here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/143867250/reel-delicious
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Posted: Monday, December 16, 2013 12:01 am
Updated: 8:39 am, Mon Dec 16, 2013.
East Waco resident plans food truck court on Elm Avenue
An East Waco resident is gearing up to create a mobile food vending park on Elm Avenue that eventually may host food trucks run by different restaurants and business owners.
“Boardwalk on Elm” is owner Carla Dotson’s food truck, serving “fair food,” including items like nachos, Frito pies, popcorn, snow cones and hamburgers.
Dotson plans to park the truck on a plot of land she bought in the 900 block of Elm Avenue. She already has a sign advertising the business coming soon.
But Dotson also hopes to draw interest from local restaurants with mobile food trucks and offer them space on the property to serve clients.
The property will have bench seating for diners, and Dotson also plans to offer free Wi-Fi service for customers.
“This is going to be something I think will hopefully inspire my neighbors to step out and be a part of this economic growth (on Elm Avenue),” Dotson said.
Dotson has tested her food truck business model at trail riding events throughout Central Texas and near Houston. Beginning in early 2014, she plans to have permanent daily service hours on Elm Avenue.
She aims to take advantage of the after-school crowd of students leaving nearby Rapoport Academy or studying at the East Waco Branch Library, which sits across from her property.
“It’s close to Christmas and people are traveling, and I’m thinking it’s not best time to start right now,” Dotson said.
Dotson said she was inspired to start the food truck business as a means of capitalizing on the expected increase in visitors to the area when the new Baylor University on-campus football stadium opens in August.
Dotson is one of the organizers of the Olive Heights Neighborhood Association, which includes the area surrounding the stadium. Local residents have been concerned about whether the project will cause traffic and safety concerns for homeowners.
Some residents also wanted to make sure the city would allow homeowners to create parking businesses to accommodate game attendees, similar to what residents in South Waco have been able to do around Floyd Casey Stadium on South Valley Mills Drive.
“We’ve got different businesses that are coming in, new restaurants and things like that, but we want to make sure the residents in the neighborhood can show that we can open up businesses and be a part of the economic portion of (the stadium development),” Dotson said.
Monday, December 16, 2013 12:01 am.
Updated: 8:39 am.
Managing your food lorry employees competence be difficult, though it doesn’t reason a candle to handling their payroll. Executing payroll manually involves a slew of formidable calculations, check slicing and taxation withholding, that is a lot of additional work for a bustling food lorry owner. The cost for mistakes can be steep, and it competence lead to a stressful (and costly) revisit from an auditor or a minute from an attorney.
This is because many mobile food vendors select to outsource payroll. There are many options when it comes to handling payroll, including employing an accountant and utilizing online or offline payroll services. Hiring an accountant competence be ideal, though it also competence not be in a bill for a tiny food lorry start up.
This essay breaks down some of top-ranked payroll use options (in no specific order) to cruise for your food lorry business, that will assistance we facilitate your remuneration and tax-filing processes:
Starting during $25 a month, Inuit Online Payroll is an affordable and elementary choice for newcomers to a universe of payroll. It can be integrated with a popular QuickBooks accounting software to support sovereign and state taxation mandate for $39 a month. It’s generally deliberate one of a many permitted and candid payroll platforms for beginners, and it offers many useful features, like Online Time Tracking for employees to record their hours. It provides employers with giveaway mobile apps to conduct payments. It also allows employees to check on their paycheck sum online.
ADP is presumably a best-known code name when it comes to payroll services, and it offers a full-service complement that can also be integrated with QuickBooks. ADP RUN, their tiny business-focused payroll service, has some-more facilities than Intuit does though it’s also significantly pricier. Additionally, some users find it somewhat some-more difficult to set adult due to a larger farrago of options. Unlike Intuit, ADP RUN offers 24/7 patron use assistance as good as payroll mobile entrance for employees (rather than usually employers). Due to a price, it’s mostly deliberate a improved choice for flourishing businesses that can means a some-more endless features.
ONPAY is another affordable full-service tiny business payroll service, that offers a lot of a perks of Intuit, like total monthly payrolls, during a allied price. It even has a few additional features, like worker remuneration by Pay Cards, that are useful for employees who competence not have bank accounts. It can be integrated with QuickBooks, though lacks a ability to sync with other renouned software, such as Quicken and QuickBooks Online.
Another renouned option, Paychex offers extensive online payroll services for tiny businesses. Like a prior dual options, it can send payroll information into QuickBooks as good as other forms of software, and it offers really extensive online payroll options. It does, however, assign an additional cost for certain services, such as approach deposit, and adds an additional assign per additional employee. It also lacks online worker entrance and a internal check-printing underline offering by many other services.
SurePayroll is a auxiliary of Paychex. It offers extensive web-based payroll options focused on tiny business. It has all of a bells and whistles offering by renouned services like Intuit, though distinct many services, it does not assign an additional cost for adding additional states. It has a choice of filing taxes for we and will work with a IRS on your company’s behalf. On a downside, it’s comparatively pricey and competence be a improved fit for small- to medium-sized businesses rather than those with a handful of employees.
ProPayroll is a extensive online payroll complement with an considerable collection of facilities and compensate options. It is famous for a glorious patron service, though has some-more singular program formation capabilities and requires a few some-more additional fees compared to other payroll services.
MyPayrollHR is another online choice that offers formation with QuickBooks and Sage accounting software. It provides a good array of facilities and remuneration options. It offers several giveaway facilities that many other services don’t, like not charging for a further of additional employees, W-2 services or a inclusion of additional states. The usually adhering indicate for smaller food lorry operations competence be a price, that still can’t review to a affordability offering by Intuit and ONPAY.
Please Note: Prices are dull approximations of a cost of a full-service payroll and tax-filing assistance for a business with 5 employees. They competence change formed on series of employees or additional features. These facilities and qualities of these use options are theme to change.
If we use another payroll complement we didn’t include, greatfully feel giveaway to share it in a criticism territory next or on Twitter @MobileCuisine.
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One we write down (the grave business plan), and one that’s unwritten, fluid, and evolving.
This plans of your food lorry sovereignty exists in your mind as a living, changing bargain of where you’re going, because you’re going there, and how you’re going to get there–all formed on your stream bargain of how a destiny of your mobile food lorry business will unfold.
While your created business devise includes specific objectives, movement steps, and transparent assumptions, a phonetic one consists of tummy feel, ubiquitous direction, and extended priorities. Over time, as we accumulate information and exam ideas, you’ll pierce many of these elements from misty and tacit to focused and written.
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What do a adult entrance sovereign health caring reforms meant for a mobile food attention though some-more specifically, your food lorry business?
Will a Affordable Care Act supplement thousands of dollars in additional costs and some-more paperwork or will sovereign subsidies make this a “game changer” for tiny tiny food lorry businesses that have struggled to yield word skeleton to their employees?
Who it will affect
The good news is that a Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) will usually negatively impact a diminutive series of existent food trucks. Food lorry businesses with 50 or some-more employees (which includes reduction than a dozen food trucks in total) will have a choice commencement in 2014: they can unite a health devise for 100% of their workers or compensate $750 per workman in penalties to a sovereign government.
For those lorry owners, they competence opt to take a chastisement and do divided with a health word benefit. Paying a annual chastisement competence be cheaper. So that would leave a employees uninsured and they would have to go to state health devise exchanges to buy health coverage that could be some-more expensive.
The immeasurable infancy of food lorry owners won’t be compulsory to offer health word starting in 2014, and therefore these mobile food companies won’t have to contend with probable fines like a large boys in a industry. But while vendors with 50 or fewer staff members would be free from coverage provisions, they will still have to contend with rising premiums.
If we are partial of a roughly 99% of food lorry business who occupy reduction than 25 or are self-employed, we competence find that a health caring reforms move we some taxation relief.
If we are a food lorry businessman with reduction than 25 employees and compensate a premiums for your staff, we will validate for a taxation credit adult to 35% of their premiums. (In 2014, that credit could be as good as 50% of premiums if we arrange word around one of a Small Business Health Options Programs, or SHOP Exchanges). The taxation mangle we get will count on a integrate of variables: a series of employees we have and their normal pay.
Please note that this taxation mangle won’t be offering to food trucks that are shaped as solitary proprietorship’s. This means alone competence means existent solitary proprietors to incorporate or turn an LLC.
Insurance competence turn cheaper
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that a SHOP Exchanges could reduce annual premiums for mobile food and other tiny businesses by 1-4% with a 3% boost in a volume of coverage.
If we occur to be a food lorry owners that works for yourself, we will expected be means to take advantage of supervision health caring subsidies in 2014. If we are self-employed in 2014 and acquire reduction than 4 times a misery level, we can validate for these subsidies. (To give we some idea, 400% of a 2013 misery turn comes to $94,200 for a family of four.)
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Because of this we will need mentoring that’s tailored to your particular strengths and business goals. And, we need mentors who can boost your entrance to a answers we need.
Work with advisers who can assistance we take a skills you’re honing during a commencement of your food lorry business and request them to a broader hurdles you’ll face in a future.
You can attract these mentors by demonstrating your zeal to learn from them as good as your zeal for flourishing your mobile food business.
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