Foodies in South Africa

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!

Food Truck Food - Kitchen Food Trailers

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“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.”

 

Advice From Real Food Truck Owners

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!

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All-Star Advice From Real Food Truck Owners

FoodTruckr

“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.

Tips For Preventing Food Truck Failure

Success - Tips for succeeding in your food trailer business

The number of food trucks has been growing exponentially since 2008, yet some food trucks still haven’t been able to succeed. Here are ten reasons why some food trucks don’t survive and tips you can use to avoid these shortfalls.

Brohemian Pizza Oven Trailer - Kitchen Food Trailers

DEVELOP AN IDENTITY AND STICK TO IT

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. If your food truck doesn’t differentiate itself from the competition, consumer acceptance of your truck’s concept is bound to wane quickly. Simple, cookie-cutter imitation of an existing concept doesn’t have staying power, and most imitations are bound to fail quickly.

Bringing every customer in your area up to your service window is impossible, so don’t spend too much time trying to. Establish your target market, and then create the style of food and environment that’s suitable for that market. After you create your identity, make sure it’s reflected in your menu.

Creating an overreaching menu is one of the most common mistakes a food truck can make. A menu with too much selection tries to do a lot while accomplishing very little. This tactic often sacrifices overall food quality. Instead, keep your menu simple with no more than four to six items and, ideally, variations on the same thing. Doing so makes your concept identifiable and brand-friendly.

ANALYZE YOUR MARKET CAREFULLY

Failure to establish that a market for your food truck cuisine exists and failing to stay aware of trends in your local market are two of the biggest mistakes you can make as a food truck operator. These errors can easily be avoided.

Before opening your business, you need to establish a demand for your cuisine and an ability to capture some market share. After you’ve opened your service window, you should continue to analyze the direction of consumer demand and make any changes or adjustments as needed. Without this fact-based knowledge of your market, making these informed business changes is near impossible.

WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN

A business plan is your written guide of what you want your mobile restaurant to be and how you plan to achieve this goal. It forces you to plan ahead, think about the competition, formulate a marketing strategy, define your management structure, and plan your financing, among other things. It becomes your road map to success.

Don’t proceed without a solid business plan. Not putting a business plan together doesn’t mean that your food truck will fail, but it does mean you’ll do the following:

  • Spend more money

  • Reach fewer of the right customers

  • Be less efficient

  • Grow your business more slowly, if at all

PLAN FOR A YEAR’S WORTH OF CAPITAL

The mobile food industry is known to have low entry and exit points compared to the restaurant industry. Thus, most food truck owners try to enter the industry with low capital. As a result, most enter this industry with just enough funding to open the service window but not enough to sustain them in the first few lean months.

Unexpected and unforeseen events happen all the time, especially in a food truck business.

A good goal to set for yourself is to allocate enough capital to keep your business afloat for at least 12 months while you establish yourself in the market.

HIRE AND TRAIN WISELY

Bad service will kill your business quickly — it’s just that simple. Your food truck has a finite amount of goodwill, and bad staff will use it up all too quickly. Employees are the representatives of your business. Put a substantial amount of time and effort into the hiring process and don’t settle for individuals who are less than extraordinary.

Most food truck owners lack formalized training in procedural and operational processes. If you fit into this category, take the time to learn from an experienced owner or hire a consultant for expert advice.

HAVE A GRAND OPENING

“You never get a second chance to make a good first impression” was never truer than in the mobile food industry business.

Hosting a grand opening event is a chance to immediately establish your truck as a member in the local community. Rather than opening your service window and waiting for your guests to arrive, create an event that will lead first-time guests to become your regular customers. Some of the mistakes to sidestep in planning a food truck grand opening are easy to avoid:

  • Prepare for a crowd.

  • Expect the unexpected.

  • Time your event carefully.

ENSURE CONSISTENCY

After you’ve created an identity for your food truck, it’s important that you consistently preserve that identity. Every time a customer walks up to your service window, he should experience the same food quality and service. It shouldn’t matter which chef is working the kitchen on any given day.

Consistency is the key to establishing a regular customer base. Managing a customer’s expectations is an essential part of running your food truck, and consistently providing the same quality product ultimately can determine its success or failure.

Your kitchen staff can’t maintain consistency without formal recipes. Developing them is critical to controlling costs, curtailing waste, and providing effective staff training.

CONTROL YOUR FOOD COSTS

Outside of the initial capital required to purchase your truck, the cost of food is a mobile bistro’s single biggest expense. The ability to manage food costs is one of the most important elements of running a successful food truck.

Successful food truck owners set the price of a product as a direct relationship to the cost of making that product. Keeping track of how inventory is ordered and minimizing costs so all food that’s purchased ends up in a customer’s hands can drastically improve your bottom line and provide valuable flexibility in determining your pricing.

SOLICIT OPINIONS OTHER THAN YOUR OWN

A shrewd business owner knows it’s all about the customer, not your personal tastes and opinions. You must be open to opinions other than your own.

Strive to maintain a healthy obsession with product and service quality. You must keep a pulse on what your customers like and dislike about your menu and staff. Ask your customers for their complaints or even be so bold as to ask how you can become their favorite food truck.

BE A PRESENT LEADER

Don’t be an absentee owner. If you want to own a food truck, you must expect to work in it. The only way to maintain familiarity with your business is to spend a significant amount of time there, both physically and mentally.

Don’t confuse physical presence with micromanagement. Work hard and set an example. If you display dedication and commitment, you may inspire your team to show you the same level of commitment.

Preventing Food Truck Failure – Source – Dummies.com

Food Truck Serves Free Burritos To Homeless People

Food Truck Charity - Driving Social Change

Volunteers hand out up to 250 meals a night, five nights a week.

This food truck is serving up free burritos, wrapped in community kindness, to people in need.

The Share A Meal food truck, run by nonprofit Khalsa Peace Corps, gives out hot burritos to homeless people around Los Angeles five days a week. Volunteers make anywhere from 150 to 250 burritos per night, volunteer Alejandro Garcia told The Huffington Post.

Khalsa Peace Corps founders Ravi and Jacquelin Singh started the program in 2009, out of a simple desire to serve the community.

“We came up with the idea to have mobile kitchens so we could get to where the need is, to where homeless people are,” Ravi Singh told HuffPost.

“One of the reactions is usually, ‘is this stuff really meant for us?’” Singh added. “Because they didn’t believe there would be a food truck just for them. We just wanted to serve them with dignity.”

Homelessness is a major problem in Los Angeles: The city had 28,464 homeless peopleon a given night in January 2016 ― an 11 percent increase from last year.

“The homeless situation in Los Angeles is an epidemic,” Garcia said. “Sometimes they don’t have the simplest thing: something to eat. That’s something every person should have access to.”

 Food Truck Serves Free Burritos To Homeless People

The Share A Meal truck goes out every night, Monday to Friday, to different areas of Los Angeles where homeless people tend to gather, from Skid Row to Downtown.

Some nights only a couple volunteers show up to help, and other nights there are a dozen. But there is always a core group ― including Garcia for the past two years ― to hand out food and the occasional basic necessity, such as socks, blankets or toiletries.

“The burritos are a way of saying we’re here, we’re helping, we’re trying to support you,” Garcia said. “To let the homeless community know they’re not forgotten.”

Share A Meal used to raise its funds by operating as a normal food truck by day, and then giving out free food by night. But now the Singhs only use the truck to deliver free food. They fund the project with donations to the Khalsa Peace Corps and with their own money.

“It’s all about bringing awareness,” Garcia said. “Hopefully this will inspire more people to do similar things, or to come join us in our cause.”

Source – Huffington Post

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