Happy New Year – we are looking forward to seeing 2019 bringing happiness and health to all our clients!
Another great article from Cape Town Magazine by By Malu Lambert – bricks and mortar are out, and mobile dining is in! The street food movement is growing internationally……. and the local market is right up there with the trend.
Meals on Wheels – Mobile dining in Cape Town
“The word on the street is: bricks and mortar are out, and mobile dining is in. It makes sense; four walls should be negotiable when you live in a city as fair as ours. Globally the street food movement has made big in-roads; with even large food chains, such as Sizzler and Subway in the US, jumping onto the bandwagon with their own fleets and food trucks.
Here at home, Luca Castiglione, chef-owner of Italian restaurant Limoncello is pioneering the trend with the first food truck under the umbrella The Cape Town Food Trucks. His truck is the test drive, so to speak, for the operation. There are no other food trucks on the cards yet, but restaurants can approach the organisation, whereby they’ll help them set up a truck, and will essentially plug them into their network.
And like so many things these days, it’s the mobile phone that can aid this kind of eating. I had heard rumblings about the food truck, and well, at the first sign of a rumbling in my stomach I took a quick look at their website, which instructs me to tweet at them, @CTfoodtrucks, to find their location. Soon enough I get a response directing me to the Oudekraal Market on the road between Camps Bay and Hout Bay. (You can also call: +27 (0)82 502 3014.)
A short drive later and we find the retro-styled van in the small market set against the backdrop of the Twelve Apostles Mountain range. Luca is inside slicing squid for the spaghetti vera. The pastel blue and yellow lines, not to mention the wooden lettering of the Limoncello sign, hark back to the ‘70s—the time when food trucks (think ice cream vans) were at their most popular.
My partner’s calzone comes in two steaming pockets stuffed with ham and cheese. The spaghetti, straight from the pan, is a moreish mix of squid, olives, capers and cherry tomatoes. We eat perched on rocks overlooking the sea. It’s a perfect lunch: relaxed and simple without the trappings of a restaurant that can sometimes stifle the occasion—no waiters, no bills, no bottled water, just simple, good food in a beautiful location.”
Here’s a great article from Cape Town Magazine (follow the link for the full article) – read how Happytown Healthy Fast Food Trailer and Cafe is making itself known in Cape Town.
Happytown Healthy Fast Food Trailer and Café in Cape Town
“The cheerful mobile venture that’s making organic, gluten-free goods affordable and accessible
The notion of healthy fast food seems as much a paradox as the idea of an honest politician or a conformist Cape Town hipster. In our minds, quick-service snacks are burgers dripping with grease or fries soaked in oil, so the two concepts simply don’t sit well together. Local entrepreneur Aimee Arries and her US-born chef fiancé Heru Johnson, however, are out to disprove this apparent oxymoron and to show that wholesome fare can be rendered as affordable and easily accessible as any Streetwise Zinger or Big Mac Meal.
In mid-July 2014, the duo launched a mobile fast food trailer under the cheerful name of Happytown that serves up bites that are nutritious, well priced and available until the wee hours of the morning when famished party-goers are stumbling home. Currently, the nomadic truck does the rounds predominantly in the Northern Suburbs and Cape Flats from Tuesday to Thursday and in the city bowl from Friday to Sunday, and very soon (end of August 2014), the enthusiastic twosome will also open a permanent eatery just off Long Street.
And the best part is, while Happytown’s fare is healthy and good – we’re talking 100% organic, gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free in many cases too – it also makes anyone with intolerances or allergies appropriately ‘happy’ by being just as deliciously palate-pleasing as any standard quick-service eatery’s slimy chips or fried chicken.
“Healthy food is often not attractive or tasty, but ours is ridonkulously yummy,” says the zealous chef, who spent years fine-tuning the recipes for the brand’s dishes to make them as appealing as possible. “With us, you can have a burger with cheese and a shake and still stay slim and not have to take out a loan to be able to afford it.”
The wholesomeness of the meals is largely due to the types of ingredients sourced and the way in which the items are prepared. The meat used in the trailer’s burgers and wraps is free-range and locally reared, the chicken is air baked not fried, the salads are rich with organic field greens and power plants like spinach, the juices and smoothies are packed with straight-off-the-tree fruits and the non-dairy shakes are creamy and thick but sans lactose, sugar or other additives. Happytown even serves an assortment of scrumptious desserts that are perfect for anyone, including young kiddies, with sugar sensitivities – think gluten-free kiwi cakes, organic homemade juice popsicles and sundaes made with “rice cream that’s as good as gelato”.
Even the packaging does no harm to the body or the environment; all the takeaway boxes are biodegradable and made from natural materials and some of the wrapping is even edible.”
Have a look at what Riante Naidoo has to say about the popularity of food trucks in the Johannesburg area. What are you waiting for?? Get out there and if you don’t want to own your own food truck, go and support someone who does! It’s worth it!
“South Africans are foodies at heart and the booming food truck trend has everyone either running to food markets or hiring them for private events.” says Riante Naidoo reporting for eNCA
“They’re trendy and occasionally cause a frenzy, but food truck owners around the city are getting more out of their businesses on wheels than traditional restaurants.
And South Africans are loving it.
Food trucks are a fairly new concept in the countrys food industry, but the trend has fast been growing since 2014. Cape Town was originally synonymous with the trend and for most foodies who visit the city or live there, going in search of delicious eats from a food truck, is a must.
More recently though, the fad has picked up in Johannesburg. Some of the city’s most popular food trucks include Culture Kitchen, Balkan Burger, the Bearded Fella, The Filthy Moustache, Knickerbocker Ice Cream Company, and The Brohemian.
The offerings from these food trucks represent a range of options from eggs benedict to pizza, sushi, artisanal coffee and ice cream.
Most of the food is prepared in a custom-built kitchen at the back of the truck.
The concept of mobile food can be traced back to America in the 1800s, but today, it has evolved into something more economical, with a gourmet spin. Rental space, especially in large cities such as Johannesburg or Cape Town, is extremely expensive and a food truck eliminates this problem.
Many food trucks are now also a main attraction at corporate events and private parties, and yes, it’s very lucrative, according to several food truck owners.”
Trying to think of ways to expand your business or change things up a bit? Read the article below for some inspiration!
Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone In The Food Truck Industry
“Everyone likes to stay in their bubble.
After all, it’s their bubble, their lane, what they are used to. However, as entrepreneurs and business owners are likely very well aware of, if you want to achieve the most success possible, and if you want to do the most growing as a person, then you have to climb out of your comfort zone.
FoodTruckrs, you need to take note.
As a result, we will be unleashing some ways food truck owners can step out of their comfort zones in the mobile kitchen industry.
Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone In The Food Truck Industry
4. One word: Catering. Catering is not only a great way to meet new people, take on new challenges and serve at different events (it could be a wedding, a birthday party, a family reunion, etc.) but it also provides another stream of income.
When your money is rolling in from different streams, that is when you will really get your business rolling. Not to mention, you won’t have to rely on one stream (your main stream) as much. Plus, and this is the main point for the purposes of this article, catering gigs help you get out of your comfort zone, for you will be traveling to new scenes instead of staying at your normal location(s).
3. When you really start to grow your food truck business, you need to start delegating. It is something every boss/manager/owner has to do. After all, your daily tasks are going to start growing over time, and you can counter that phenomenon, if you will, by dishing out some of your easier work to your employees.
How exactly is this getting you out of your food truck comfort zone? Because you are likely a perfectionist (many chefs are), which means you want to be hands-on with every single task/duty; however, you aren’t quite ready to start delegating work because you want it done a certain way — your way.
Get out of your comfort zone, and start delegating some of your work. Not only will it push you out of your bubble but it will allow you to become the most productive version of yourself since the delegated work will be getting done on top of the work you replaced it with.
2. If you really want to get out of your comfort zone — which of course you do, whether you want to admit it or not — then you need to try out new recipes. Don’t be afraid to incorporate new meals. Likewise, don’t be afraid to change up your menu on a consistent basis, or a seasonal basis. You never know what meal is going to really stick, or what your customers are going to love. Never be afraid to test the waters when it comes to your menu.
1. This kind of goes along the same lines as catering, but it is a little different: If you want to step out of your comfort zone, then you need to hit up new food truck events. There should be plenty of food truck events going down during the busy season (of course, it depends on where you live), and these events are great for branding, getting your name out there, meeting new people, networking, learning and the list could go on and on.
Of course, not everyone wants to travel to food truck events, because it will mean you will have to go to something you are not used to. While some events aren’t for everyone, if you find the perfect event for you, then you should take the leap!”
For the full article, follow the link above.
When owning and running a food trailer business, it’s important to get advice from those who have been in the business longer than you……. Hope you enjoy the read below!
All-Star Advice From Real Food Truck Owners
“In the recent past, we interviewed real life food truck owners who were battling it out in the mobile kitchen industry.
Each food truck had its own unique story — which tends to be the case for any food truck owner in this wonderful industry — and each owner unleashed some invaluable advice for prospective, new and current mobile kitchen owners.
……….. today we will take a look back at some of the interviews we conducted with these food truck owners. Therefore, we gathered some of the advice that was featured in previous articles, and we will be unleashing the advice below.
If you are new to the food truck industry, are thinking about joining or are currently trying to survive and thrive, then it would be wise to take the advice to heart. After all, said advice is from real owners who have actually experienced what this industry has to offer.
John Maxwell Of Ragin’ Cajun Food Truck
“When you run a restaurant, it’s pretty much just seven days a week. Food trucks, during the season, it’s six days a week.”
“You’ve got to love this business. If it’s just a job to you, if you’re just getting into it just to make money, you’re in the wrong business… Granted, you can make a living at it, but if you don’t truly love it, if it doesn’t move your soul, don’t do it.”
Julie Byers Of A Picnic Place
“Do your homework about laws, restrictions, fees, etc. in your area. Make sure you have AT LEAST one year’s worth of salary in savings (or another source of income) to support yourself while you get going. It takes a while to become profitable. Work HARD — this is not an easy venture. Have FUN — when your truck is rockin’, there is nothing more fun!”
Victor Omar D’Angelo Of Barroluco Argentine Comfort Food
“I think that the difficult part is to keep the quality. The quality is the most important. The second one, in my case, is I work 24/7. I don’t stop. I’ve been looking for people to train, and it is a little difficult to find people sometimes. Now, at the moment, I have so many friends that are helping me, supporting me.”
Advice Victor Omar D’Angelo would give to future food truck owners: “I would say to have good capital and a massive marketing plan strategy.””
For more of this article, follow the link above.
Take a look at these useful strategies and help your food trailer business grow! Enjoy the read!
9 Strategies to Increase Your Food Truck Revenue
by: Briana Morgaine
“This article is part of our Food Cart Business Startup Guide—a curated list of articles to help you plan, start, and grow your food cart business!
Here in Portland, Oregon, you can’t swing a stick without hitting half a dozen food trucks serving up a range of delicious options.
The craze for mobile eats has been on the rise. Between 2008 and 2014, industry revenue increased at an annual rate of 12.4 percent. While momentum has slowed slightly, food trucks continue to be a profitable restaurant business model.
However, to be as profitable as possible, you’ll need to strategize. It’s not enough to buy a truck and offer a few of your favorite recipes. Here are 9 solid strategies that will help you bring in more money, attract more customers, and grow your food truck business.
1. Create a solid, memorable concept
Your food truck should have a cohesive design, a clever name, an established brand, and a unique offering.
2. Offer something no other food truck is offering
To make more money as a food truck, you’ll need to find a specific food truck niche that no other cart is occupying.
3. Offer mobile ordering and payment
Beyond being found by third-party food truck locator apps, you might want to consider creating an app specifically for your food truck. The process may sound intimidating, but in reality, it’s relatively simple. Beyond that, making sure your website is optimized for mobile use is an absolute must.
Finally, if you really want to stand out, consider offering mobile payment and mobile ordering options.
4. Change or add to your menu seasonally
To bring in more customers and make more money, consider varying your menu seasonally.
5. Partner with other local businesses
Consider approaching nearby businesses and dropping off menus, or partnering with offices and offering lunchtime specials (potentially with delivery).
6. Cater weddings, parties, and office events
Food truck weddings are especially popular, as they are a unique, less-expensive dining alternative. From a consumer standpoint, food truck weddings are incredibly appealing, as they can cut food costs per person
7. Attend local festivals
By attending local fairs and festivals, you’ll be maximizing your visibility and positioning your food truck where crowds of hungry diners will be congregated.
8. Grow your social media presence
You’ll be hard-pressed to find an industry where social media marketing isn’t recommended. However, the fast-paced nature of the food truck industry makes having an equally responsive, up-to-date social media presence of huge importance.
9. Offer delivery
Expanding beyond the confines of your truck might seem like a big step, but offering delivery is a great way to increase sales.”
5 Ways To Increase Profitability On Your Food Truck Today
“Increase Profitability On Your Food Truck Today
Improve your purchasing system
Food costs are one of a food truck’s biggest expenses. If handled well, they will be a key factor in your success. If handled poorly, they can make it impossible for your mobile food business to make any money. Good food costs start with good ordering, which is largely dependent on how useful your inventory is.
The goal of purchasing is to have just what you need. This means when you need it, at the best price you can get it for. Every purchase should be determined by your menu, and your anticipated amount of business. Ordering things you don’t need, especially if they are perishable, is a careless and expensive mistake.
Integrate ingredient usage throughout your menu
An often overlooked step in a food truck’s success is a menu that contains items that come close to 100% utilization of an entire product. This is not something most food truck customers will ever be aware of. But for increased profitability it’s something you need to pay a lot of attention to.
If you serve chicken in one of your entrées, think about buying whole chickens and using the legs and thighs for other dishes and the remainder of the carcass to make stock for soups or sauces. Not only will you not waste a perfectly good product, your sauces will taste a lot better than the truck around the corner that uses store bought stock.
As anyone that has ever worked in a kitchen knows, processing vegetables almost always results in scraps that can be used in something. Using these scraps for stocks, sauces, garnishes or even appetizers, is a lot better than throwing them away.
Know your cost for every item on your menu
A food truck owner needs to know that not all of the items on your menu are created equal in terms of profitability. Unless you know exactly what you’re paying to create each dish, you don’t really know what the money is made. This will help you direct your service staff which items they suggest more often, which items you should raise the prices on, or which items you might consider eliminating from your menu.
Steps to knowing your menu costs:
Update your inventory list with accurate, current prices.
Understand exactly how much of each ingredient costs. This includes everything in a dish (use Edible Portion costs rather than As Purchased costs).
Raise prices when you need to
So far we’ve touched on how to increase your profit by keeping our expenditures in check. More often than not, this is the way to go. Most of your customers won’t hold it against you if you become a more efficient operator, especially if it results fresh, consistent dishes. Unfortunately, in the food service industry, prices must rise.
When your food cost increase, no matter much you sell, you won’t make up the difference in volume. When raising prices on select items that your customers will be able to relate to. This way it’s more clear that you’re passing on some hard costs and not just being greedy.
Offer regular, profitable specials
Including specials regularly on your food truck menu is a good idea for a few reasons. Not only do they keep things interesting for you and your staff but they are a great way to utilize product that might go to waste.
Take the time and effort to cost the specials out, so you’ll know how to price them. Don’t underestimate the importance of making sure your service window staff is familiar with the new dishes.”
Do you need a new kitchen food trailer? Contact us! We design bespoke food trailers and trucks to suit your specific requirements.
Here are some things to avoid! Learn from the mistakes of others and make your food vending business a success!
Why Do Food Truck Businesses Fail?
“Although the mobile food industry has been growing exponentially over the past few years, some food truck businesses fail (food carts too). Owning a restaurant on wheels in a good economy can be a challenge, but owning one in a down economy can be even more difficult.
We have put together the top 10 reasons why food truck or food cart vendors in the mobile food industry have failed (outside of local legislation which in many cases is out of your hands). Take a look at your gourmet food truck or food cart business (yes hot dog carts too) and make sure you avoid these mistakes, to maintain a flourishing business.
Why Food Truck Businesses Fail
1. Constrained by Your Vision.
A savvy food truck or food cart owner knows it’s all about the customer, not his or her personal tastes and opinions. Don’t be self-possessed. Be open to opinions other than your own. Without a vision, a food truck is like a ship without a rudder and is in danger of drifting aimlessly.
2. No Identity.
Few things are as important in the food truck industry as the way your business is perceived. Lack of identity is the opposite of being constrained by your vision. A food truck’s success depends on its ability to establish a brand and stick to it, so develop an identity and focus on perfecting it.
3. A Bad Opening.
“You never get a second chance to make a good first impression” was never truer than in the mobile food industry business. There’s a reason actors rehearse before opening night—you should too. A soft opening is a great tactic that can lead to an infinitely more successful grand opening of your new food truck.
4. Hiring & Training.
Just like a bad opening, bad service will kill your business quickly. If your vision isn’t executed properly, the damage to your current and future customers is unavoidable. Most food truck owners lack formalized training, procedural and operational processes. Learn from an experienced owner or hire a consultant for expert advice.
5. No Formal Recipes.
How can your truck or food cart kitchen staff maintain consistency without formal recipes? This step is critical to controlling costs, curtailing waste, and providing effective staff training.
6. Poor Inventory Management.
Outside of the initial capital required to purchase your truck or cart, the cost of food is a mobile bistro’s single biggest expense and, unless the financial control systems are in place, you are vulnerable to a drain on your cash. Reducing inventory means a reduction in food cost, so manage your resources carefully.
Unexpected and unforeseen events happen all the time, especially in a food truck business. In many instances, incorrect budgeting is the culprit. Don’t get caught up in the dream of being profitable from Day 1. Make sure you’ve got money left in the bank to help you ride out the difficult days when your truck needs a new generator, or even a new engine or transmission.
8. Poor Ownership.
Don’t be an absentee owner. If you want to own a food truck or cart, expect to work. Otherwise, don’t expect to get paid. But, and this is a big but, if you haven’t put the systems, tools, and people in place that allow you to step away from the day-to-day operations, then you haven’t bought yourself a business; you’ve bought yourself a job with a misleading title.
9. Insufficient Market Analysis.
A thorough examination of locations you plan to sell your fare is vital to know if it is to be successful and, once it is successful, staying on top of business trends will keep it that way. This is another area where an experienced owner, marketer or consultant can help.
10. Lack of a Business Plan.
The last of our top reasons food truck businesses fail relates to the lack of a business plan. The previous nine points MUST be addressed in your business plan, and the plan MUST be right the first time. The business plan is what everything your food truck will do is based on.
Force you to plan ahead.
Think about the competition.
Formulate a marketing strategy.
Define your management structure.
Plan your financing, among other things.
Your food truck business plan is your roadmap to success. Do not proceed without a solid business plan.
The Bottom Line
The old adage “failing to plan is planning to fail” is never more critical than in the mobile food industry. Avoid these top 10 mistakes and enjoy the fruits of your labor.”
“Opening a food truck is much cheaper than opening a restaurant, and therefore a much more tangible goal for those wishing to serve their culinary works to their community. With a comparably low initial investment, people can see their financial freedom just a few years down the road. Once they break even and pay off any loans, as long as their food truck continues to make a profit, they will have gained financial freedom doing what they love.
However, achieving success in the food truck world is much more complex than is often perceived. Just like restaurants, food trucks have a very high rate of failure with 60% going under within three years of opening.
Various factors can contribute to food truck failure, but the main reason is likely oversimplification. People thinking with their hearts decide they can easily reach their goals by opening a food truck and overlook many important details. Dreamers believe simply offering amazing food and acquiring funds to buy a truck and cover overhead will pave the way to success.
Just because starting a food truck is less expensive than many small businesses doesn’t mean opening one is a guaranteed way to achieve financial freedom. Breaking into the food truck world requires extremely hard work, a solid financial plan, and patient, persistent pursuit.
Reasons Food Trucks Fail and How to Prevent Them
To understand more about why food trucks fail, it is best to look specifically at what areas of the business have the potential to weigh it down. The sections below discuss different reasons that food trucks typically fail and all fall under the umbrella of oversimplification. With accurate, realistic, and detailed planning, all of the following mishaps can be avoided.
Lack of Business and Financial Knowledge
A food truck is, above all else, a business. As with any business, a detailed, viable business plan needs to be developed to provide a solid foundation upon which the business can be built. It may be easy to get lost in planning innovative menu items, but food isn’t the only component needing thorough consideration before opening a food truck.
Without a specified layout of costs, operational processes, marketing and branding plans, and research into industry specific issues, any food truck may be bound to fail.
Details covering the necessary licenses, permits, and insurance to cover all food truck specific laws and regulations are sometimes overlooked by people planning to open food trucks. Every state, county, and city has its own laws regarding food trucks and not having the correct licenses and permits can lead to hefty fines.
Non-compliance with ever-changing health department standards can lead to problems. Insurance also necessitates prior planning. Some people hoping to start a food truck underestimate the cost of having insurance covering their business, as well as their physical truck.
High expenses are a common reason food trucks fail. Not only are certain costs sometimes underestimated, some can be completely overlooked. Opening a mobile business can carry many unforeseen expenses like those related to truck and equipment maintenance, fuel, and parking tickets.
Proper investigation into the worst that could possibly happen is necessary when starting a food truck. Solely basing a financial plan on a set growth timeline may not be effective. A large number of food truck owners end up spending more money on their business than they initially expected. With one too many unwanted surprises, a food truck business can fold.”
To continue reading this article, please click the link above
You will need to find out what the requirements are for your specific local municipality, but here is some information from the Western Cape Government as to the business licences and permits required to run a food trailer business in the Western Cape. Please follow the link to the source of the information.
“If you’re planning to start a business you’ll probably need a business licence. If your business needs a licence to operate you may not start trading until a licence has been issued. Trading without a valid licence is a punishable offense.
To operate your business, you’ll need to comply with certain health and safety regulations. Certain businesses require only a business trading licence to operate, and some may need to comply with additional regulations.
A business licence is generally required for businesses that need to comply with health and safety regulations. You’ll have to apply for the licence if you want to start one of the following businesses:
If your business sells or supplies meals or perishable food to eat on the premises or to take away, you’ll need a licence to do so.
Health and entertainment facilities
You need a licence for:
Turkish baths, saunas and health baths,
Massage or infra-red treatments,
Male and female escort agencies,
Three or more slot machines and electronic games,
Three or more snooker or billiard tables,
Nightclubs and bars, where live or loud music is played, and
Adult entertainment premises.
If you’re a hawker selling food and meals, which you take from place to place or sell from a vehicle, you’ll need a permit.
Where do I apply for a business licence?
Your local municipality handles business licences and you can contact them for details on licensing procedures and the various health and safety regulations required for different kinds of business.
Depending on the type of business, you may need to comply with the following requirements:
- Safety (particularly fire)
If you comply with all the requirements, you’ll be issued with a licence. If not, you can apply for a 14-day grace period, during which you can make changes to your premises so that they meet the requirements.
For more information please contact your local municipality.
If you want to sell or manufacture liquor, the law requires you to apply for a liquor licence before you do.”