The Best Business Practices for Food Trucks
Imagine answering to no boss but your self, making good money and working the hours you want to work. Such is the life of a food truck vendor. But you have to be careful of pitfalls that can cause frustration and cut into profits.
Owning a food truck can be a rewarding and profitable venture. Aside from the financial benefits, having a food truck also allows you to exercise your creativity and your love of preparing food.
Many food truck owners may, however, find their business overwhelming and a source of frustration. Owners also may not generate the profits that they initially hoped for. In many cases, profits suffer because they don’t follow the best practices of owning a food truck.
In this post, Truckster the go-to food truck finder, will be taking a look at some of the most important things that you should attend to every day to ensure that your food truck remains popular and profitable.
Best Practices for Food Truck Owners
Follow the Trends
Food truck owners active in the culinary industry need to stay on top of the latest trends. As time passes, the world sees changes in attitudes about health, the environment, and the community. All of these changing attitudes can affect your food truck business.
Examples of food trends in 2018 include food that promotes gut health, the use of timut pepper from Nepal, as well as plant-based proteins. Environmentally friendly wrapping and packaging are a trend that many food trucks make the mistake of ignoring.
Take some time every week to acquaint yourself with the latest trends and to determine which ones apply to your business. If you adhere to the latest trends, you will have a significant advantage over your competitors.
Imagine being hired to do the catering for a public event but failing to show up because your food truck broke down. If you don’t organize properly, catastrophic failures like this can occur.
Organization comes down to coordinating food-preparation activities, making to-do lists, drawing up schedules, planning for and obtaining backup systems, effective time management, and streamlining your staff’s operations.
Food truck optimization is a multi-dimensional process and should form an integral part of your day-to-day activities.
Market Your Food Truck
One of the benefits of owning a food truck is that the vehicle itself is a larger-than-life, mobile advertisement.
Your truck should not be your only advertisement, however. If you are in the food industry, using the visual appeal of the food you serve is critical, especially on social media platforms like Instagram.
If you operate in a specific area, make sure that you target the locals with social media ads. Get a website up and running with a blog to generate some search-engine traffic from people who plan to visit your city. Services like Truckster are also valuable sources of getting new customers.
Communication is another valuable marketing method. Posting your daily lunch specials, location, business hours, or public events on Twitter or Facebook will attract loyal followers to buy from your food truck.
Ensure that You Meet All Legal Requirements
As a food truck operator, you have to show that you meet all city regulations as well as relevant state and federal laws. These requirements come down to health safety, business licensing, and rules about zoning and parking.
Many regulations and laws are applicable, and they differ from city to city and state to state. Most of these regulations aim to promote the safety of the general public and also to ensure that the products you sell are of the highest quality.
To learn more about the regulations that apply to you, contact your local department of health, motor vehicle department, city hall, or county clerk’s office. Take the time to ensure that you have all the required licensing, identifications, permits, and records.
Hello Improper City! Beer Garden and Food Truck Park
After much anticipation, Improper City opened its doors this fall and let us tell you, it does not disappoint. Similar to the Rayback Collective in Boulder, which shares common ownership, Improper City features a beer garden, food truck park, and event space. However it carries its own curated vibe specific to the RINO district. It claims to have the largest patio in Denver, CO and we don’t doubt it to be true. At 12,000 square feet, their patio holds enough space for six food trucks, a mobile bar, outdoor seating, firepits, and of course your favorite yard games. This is the extraordinary food truck park we’ve all been waiting for.
Improper City Grand Opening
With their grand opening just this October, It’s already one of our go-to spots. They list a changing lineup of 26 craft beers, 4 wines, and 8 draft cocktails. The bar is said to be 75 feet long and, for Denver’s 300 days of sunshine, there’s an outdoor mobile bar to help handle the crowds. Their monthly calendar includes events such as Holiday Market, Yoga + Yappy Hour, Artist Showcases, and more.
We mentioned this place screams RINO, right? When you walk through the doors, the walls are lined with unique pieces from local artists, leading you up to the espresso bar where you can have your sustainably sourced coffee beans any which way you please. Depending on the day, you may be entranced by live music from local bands or soloists. The ambience welcomes everyone, whether you’re looking for a community workplace or a friendly happy hour. Did we mention this place fits perfectly into our beloved RINO district?
So far we’ve seen some great food trucks on the opening lineup, including La Rola Urban Columbian, Beef King, Goin’ South, Crescent City, Basic Kneads, and La Rue, just to name a few highlights. You can expect that sunny days will bring a rotating list of four to six trucks to choose from, keeping even your pickiest of friends happy. Of course you can check out Truckster to preview which trucks will be there, and if you’re like some of our friends, already have your order picked out before you even leave home!
What’s Next for Improper City?
Okay so it already has everything! What to look out for coming next? It’s rumored that Improper City will be working with CRUSH, Denver’s annual street art festival, likely for more fascinating outdoor murals to decorate Walnut Street. We imagine this place will take on it’s own unique character as it matures, just as Finn’s Manor and other RINO favorites have done. The real question is, for those of us who work there from time to time, at what point in the day do we switch from delicious coffee beverages to Ratio Beerkworks’ seasonal on tap?
Conclusion: If you haven’t been to Improper City yet, YOU MUST GO! No matter your tastes or preferences, this place is life changing. It will become your new staple. With so many food trucks and beverages to choose from, you will always need to come back to try something different.
What is Denver Known For?
Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Denver is best known for its rugged beauty and views that carry on for miles. But there is more to the mile-high city than just beautiful scenery. It has had its share of a raucous history.
There are plenty of tales of land grabs and colorful characters that helped to turn this mining outpost into the huge city it is today. Silver mining is what gave this town its start, but it wasn’t all good times. There is a famous legend about a barkeep who shot a person unable to pony up for his beer. Today, Truckster is going to tell you some things you may or may not yet know about Denver, Colorado.
Weed is Legal in Places
It’s now known as quite a permissive city – you can legally buy marijuana and, as long as you are not in a public place, light it up. But it hasn’t always been as liberal. Back in 1902, couples were not allowed to kiss at Union Station, for example.
The Best Food in the World
It makes sense that a place that would legalize marijuana would have the best food ever. Whether you light up on occasion or not, you are bound to find tasty food you will love. Want something more haute cuisine? Just Google restaurants in the area.
Some Unusual Sights
If you are planning a heist, and you can find a way to carry it out, the capitol building is worth taking a look at. The 24-karat dome is the place to start but, even more valuable is the Colorado Rose Onyx used inside. (This is the only place that you are likely to see it in the world.)
Don’t forget to get your picture taken with Blucifer when you land. This stature is huge but what is interesting is that it actually killed the artist that created it. A bit of it fell off and severed an artery in his leg. He died, and the stature has been called cursed ever since.
Some Dubious Honors
City dwellers have always been more environmentally forward thinking than most. They won the bid for the 1976 Winter Olympics but turned it down because of the potential expense and impact to the environment. They hold the title of the only city to do this.
Colfax Avenue is ideal for those with a bit of a wild streak. It is one of the longest streets of its type. Be warned, though, the crime rate is high, and the nightlife is somewhat seedy. But if you want to see the “Wickedest Street in America” this is it.
Lots to Do
If you love greenery, in terms of lush lawns as well as grass, there are over 200 parks in the area. Just a mere sixty miles away you can indulge in a bit of skiing in winter. The locals are pretty into their sports – the city has five major pro teams, despite the fact that it isn’t one of the biggest cities in the United States.
For beer lovers, the Great American Beer Festival is something that is not to be missed. Test out over 3000 brews but do pace yourself – the high altitude makes you feel drunk faster.
And that, in a nutshell, is some of what Denver is known for. There is a lot more information out there – we had a tough time deciding which juicy tidbits to include, so if you found this interesting, do some more research – you’ll find tons of interesting facts.
The Best Munchies in Denver
When it comes to getting that holiday high, there are few places as good as Denver. They have accommodation where the owners are not too phased about your habits and there are lots of things that are fun to do when you are high.
But, before we get into that, it makes sense to understand what the law says about cannabis in town. Yes, you can buy it, legally but lighting up in a public place can land you in trouble with the law. Also, be aware, you are only allowed to carry an ounce on you at a time. Stick to those rules and all’s well.
But anyway, that’s enough of the serios stuff. Let’s get to the best thing about the city when you are high – the food. Even if you have the monster munchies, you will find more than enough food to make you happy.
To start off with, Get the Truckster food truck app from App Store or Google Play because the munchies won’t wait until you are near a restaurant. The app will tell you where the closest food truck is so that you can beat that craving.
Once that’s sorted, consider trying out one of these awesome restaurants.
It has pizza, an it is sexy? Actually, the pizza is really awesome. The owners also donate a portion of profits to the cause legalizing cannabis. What makes these pizzas unique is that you can choose the standard tomato sauce, or you can choose a “white” sauce instead. They have plenty of options for vegans as well.
With a name as chill as that, you know that the food is going to be good. The style is based on French cuisine but features a contemporary twist that will delight you. The owner uses only fresh ingredients and makes much of their food from scratch. Eat as much as you want and then enhance your buzz with an awesome glass of wine.
This is a restaurant catering for guests of the bed and breakfast. It’s awesome for guests because you are allowed to partake as much as you want. The good is simple but very tasty and they serve wine and beer as well.
The owners are happy to cater for you if you have specialist dietary requirements. Eat on your own or eat with the others in the communal dining area.
This is a pretty lively restaurant and features on serving American food at its best. Go in for a breakfast or sleep in and enjoy brunch instead. The food is amazing and really hits the spot. And the owners have a social conscience – they donate 1% of their sales to community projects.
Denver has to be one of the best cities to get baked in. There is so much to see, so much to do and the people are friendly and very open-minded. If you leave this city hungry, it’s only because you spent all your money on weed instead of food!
What To Do In Downtown Denver
There are a lot of things to do in Denver. There’s a vibrant night-life that you can enjoy as a swinging single and still plenty to do if you have our kids with you. In this post, we will go through the top family activities in downtown Denver.
While perusing downtown you should download the Truckster app to see if there are any food trucks nearby. You don’t want to miss out on some of the best food trucks in the country!
Children’s Museum of Denver
There are exhibits here that will delight kids that are young and kids that are a little older. As older kids ourselves, we love getting loose here and checking out the rock-climbing, the physics playground and learning to build a rocket.
Tattered Cover Book Store
This is unique because it is a privately run bookseller and listed amongst the best in America. Spend some time unwinding while the kiddies look for something to read, or take the opportunity to relax and have some coffee before tackling the next item on your “To-Do” list.
This is where the Colorado Rockies have had there home for more than two decades. We’re not talking about the actual Rocky Mountains, naturally, but Denver’s own Major League team. If you are a fan of baseball and want an extra cool experience, book one of the purple seats on the top deck.
Sitting there means you can tell your friends that you were precisely one mile above sea level. Kids will love this fun fact and also the Rockies mascot, Dinger.
Downtown Children’s Playground
If you just want somewhere for your kids to work off some energy, this playground is ideal. There is lots of space and many different play items. Younger kids can play in the sand box or clamber up the net. Older kids can figure out how to activate the water feature.
This has to be one of the prettiest spots in the city. It is at the junction of Cherry Creek and South Platter River. It is a river park with a few larges expenses of green grass, perfect for a picnic. On a warm, summer’s day, dip your toes into the river and consider kayaking.
The Platte Valley Trolley offers a new way to experience the scenery and is a lot of fun. If you are into rock-climbing, you will find REI and their climbing pinnacle. It is 47-foot high and a work of art in itself.
This is a favorite place for bikers, bladers, and boarders. With surfaces catering to beginners through to very advanced, everyone should have fun and challenge themselves here.
This center is all about the interactive learning experience. Your kids will get to feel as though they are flying, see what conditions down a mine were like and find out more about what family life on a farm in the 1920’s was like.
We have only touched on some of the potential excursions you and your family could enjoy. This is a town that you could explore for months and still not have seen everything. What’s the best advice we have? Come visit and see for yourself.
What Food Is Denver Known For?
We may not know exactly how it all began, but we know one thing for certain – Denver has food for every type of palate. Looking for a taco with all the trimmings? You just need to find out the Denver food truck schedule.
Want something more haute cuisine? You are covered as well. Coloradans are known for their hospitality and their love of great food. Perhaps it all goes back to the time when the pioneers prepared their first buffalo steak.
Whatever the reason, the Mile-High City has an impressive range of choice when it comes to food. If you cannot find it here, there’s a good chance that it doesn’t exist. Anyway, that’s enough bragging. That’s not what this post is about. In this post, we are going to take a look at the food that the city is best known for, so you know where to start your culinary exploration.
Pack your taste-buds and prepare for them to be set ablaze. Every restaurant has their own unique take on this classic. It’s tasty, its fiery and you should not miss it.
Burritos With Everything
Probably not ideal if you are on a diet, but we love our burritos. Buy them at a food truck and make sure to have all the fixings. There is not a single meal that a burrito wouldn’t work for.
It’s time to skip the fancy restaurants and track down a food truck. These taste so good that if you close your eyes, you’ll think you are in Mexico.
Vegans and vegetarians are catered for, for sure, but a lot of us like our meat. We like to have a slab of meat on our plates. And it doesn’t have to be beef. Try and elk hotdog or bison patty and add a bit of adventure to your day.
Oysters from the Rocky Mountains
This seems odd considering that the state is landlocked, but you shouldn’t leave town without giving these a try.
You can get cheeseburgers anywhere, but Denver claims to have invented them back in 1935. If you want a cheeseburger done right, no other town will even come close. Choose your toppings, go for some awesome sides and you are all set.
Green Chile Cheese Fries
These pack a punch but are the perfect accompaniment to any meal.
We’re a sociable city. We like everyone to feel welcome. That’s why we do veggies to perfection. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, you are sure to love our innovative take on preparing vegetables.
It tastes great, but no one really knows how the first one came about. It doesn’t really matter though – no diner worth its salt will skip it.
Cinnamon is not just for the holidays. Go for the more traditional buns or try something a little unusual like adding a bacon topping.
At the end of the day, there are a lot of choices when it comes to food in the mile-high city. Do your taste-buds a favor and come and see for yourself.
Where To Eat In Denver?
Denver boasts a wide range of cuisine to help you beat the chilly winter or to enjoy on a warm summer’s evening. If you are looking for great food, stop by one of the restaurants below, or consider eating at one of the iconic Denver food trucks. Just always take one simple precaution – go hungry. The food is so good that you will wish that you had a second stomach.
As you can no doubt tell by the name, this features southern cuisine. And it is finger-licking good, but there is a twist – it’s light and tasty, without lashing of fat as you would normally get with in the south. Do try the Julep, that’s a secret recipe handed down that tastes amazing.
If Italian cuisine is more up your alley, the Tavernetta is an experience that you don’t want to miss. From the minute you walk in, you know that this is impressive. But it doesn’t just boast a talented decorator – the food is really something that you will want to savor.
It’s Italian at its best.
If high spirits are as important to you as your meal, this is the place to go. They have their own distillery, so you know you are getting something special. They put the same high standards that they use when distilling spirits to the foods that come out of the kitchen.
Don’t expect your standard fare here, though. The Avocado Daiquiri is just one of the quirky menu items that foodies will love.
Bang Up to the Elephant
cwarm, Caribbean atmosphere. You will think that you are in a completely different place. This is the ideal place if you want spicy, traditional Caribbean food.
Izakaya Ronin Five Points
We said that you could find almost any kind of cuisine in the city and this is proof of that. For sashimi, and sushi that tastes wonderful and is beautifully presented, you cannot go wrong. But if you thought that sushi was all there was to Japanese cuisine; this restaurant is out to prove you wrong.
Stop in and find out exactly what they have on offer. Pair it with some Saki, or some very rare whiskey –it all depends on what you feel like.
This takes an innovative concept, the split restaurant and runs with it beautifully. Go in for leek and potato soup on a cold day, or get yourself something a little more filling. The range features good old-fashioned comfort food with a modern twist.
Snack on a pastry and coffee on your way to work and head back after work for dinner and cocktails. The other side of the restaurant, Beckon, features a chef’s counter restaurant for a somewhat unique take on fine dining.
With all these fabulous restaurants, you are sure to find something that you enjoy. And that’s part of what makes this city so awesome – there are so many different tastes catered for. Could it be the ultimate foodie’s paradise? We believe so.
Why Is Denver A Good Place For A Food Truck?
Do you love cooking and dream of the day when people will be lining up to have you cook for them? Opening a restaurant is the dream of many but can be a pretty difficult one to achieve. You have to get the location right, employ enough staff, and cater for a bunch of overheads.
If only there was some way of getting your foot int the door. Of testing the waters without committing to long leases and staff contracts. With Denver food trucks, you have exactly that opportunity.
Why Denver Specifically?
Based on a report that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation put out, Denver comes second only to Portland when it comes to a city being truck-friendly.
The report was written after extensive research conducted over the course of a year in twenty cities. They looked at:
- How easy it was to get a permit or license. (In this category, Denver came out tops, meaning that you had the least amount of red tape to wade through.)
- Zoning laws.
- Start-up costs. (Denver also came up top when it came to the costs to get the business off the ground. )
- Operational costs.
According to researchers, starting your business in Denver was simple and straightforward. They also noted that the operating procedures needed to stay compliant were simple as well.
Is it Really that Easy?
Not everyone would agree with that assessment. Those in the know say that while Denver does try to accommodate business owners, you still have to be willing to fork over a lot of hard cash to get your business open.
Local truck owners cite that the fire safety regulations are onerous and could provide a barrier for entry for owners who are not properly prepared.
What is it With the Fire Department?
The issue is that the fire suppression systems required are pretty pricey. You might also have to change the size of the propane tank and alter the gas lines. While these measures make sense from a safety angle, they also mean a substantial increase in costs that the owner has to bear.
And we aren’t talking about a couple of hundred dollars here, more like a few thousand.
Where Denver also did poorly was when it came to operational compliance. In this area, the inspections, visits to regulatory agencies, insurance costs, licenses, permits, and taxes add up to a pretty penny. In this area, the city dropped to sixth place.
You can expect to pay tens of thousands of dollars annually just to be compliant, and that is a lot of money.
But, maybe we should be looking at things from a slightly different angle. After all, the cost of running a brick and mortar restaurant can be a lot higher.
And, with a restaurant, if you have chosen the wrong location to set up in, you are usually not able to do much about it until your lease has expired. With a food truck, you just pack up and move on.
Why a Food Truck is a Great Choice for Your Outdoor Wedding
Your wedding is supposed to be the most special day of your life. But the hard truth of the matter is that weddings cost more money than almost any single purchase we’ll make in our lives. That is, if we do what the wedding industry tells us to do.
No, nowadays weddings are all about choice. Don’t let a wedding planner convince you to book an overpriced caterer for your outdoor wedding. While a food truck may seem unconventional, there are actually a lot of great advantages to hiring a truck and an experienced crew to make your special day a unique one that everyone will remember. If you’re in the Mile High City you should find a food truck in Denver to cater your wedding.
Cost of Food Truck vs Catering for Wedding
We mentioned money, right? Wedding caterers can cost thousands and thousands of dollars, with one source even claiming an average cost of over $12,000. At 100 guests, that’s $120 per person. With a food truck, you can get that cost down to a cool $20 per head.
And don’t think that just because you’re getting your wedding dinner at a discount means it’s not going to be truly special. These days, food trucks are operated by some of the most unique and inspired chefs in the country, who are simply tired of the grind of running a traditional kitchen. And with Truckster, you can quickly find a variety of great food trucks near you to start exploring.
When you think of food trucks, you might think of old, beat-up, retrofitted buses turned into makeshift kitchens. And many of them are; it’s part of the unique aesthetic of the food truck community! However, many food trucks are stylish and modern. What’s more, many vehicles can be equipped to serve food, even temporarily, giving you the freedom to choose from a broad range of options.
Need we say more? Buffet style options are hugely popular because patrons can choose what they want, right there, in the moment. While a food truck isn’t a traditional buffet, so-to-speak, they function the same way. Line up, get what you’d like on the spot, and you’re done!
Buffet-style service is much more convenient for your guests than sitting and waiting patiently for a handful of caterers to serve their plates one by one. Outdoor weddings are simply more difficult for traditional caterers. Plus, an outdoor wedding with a buffet is just asking for bugs and even animal friends to crash the party. A food truck keeps your food fresh, warm, and indoors, all while readily accessible!
Big Wedding? Bigger Choices!
For every 60 or 70 guests, you’ll want to hire an additional food truck. This will not only keep the line moving and ensure there’s enough to go around (even for seconds and thirds), but it’ll give you and your guests even more options. You can plan an extensive menu, and with the recent explosion in food truck popularity, there’s almost nothing that can’t be prepped and served off of a truck.
When you’ve found the trucks you’re interested in hiring, talk with the owners about what you’d like to offer, and see what kind of specialties they can do. Food trucks can cover everything from your appetizers to your desserts (ok, maybe not your wedding cake) so don’t hesitate to get creative.
If you’re ready to start hunting for your weddings perfect food truck, jump on over to Truckster and start your search today!
Best Types of Venues for Food Trucks
Food trucks are getting more and more popular across America, offering quick and convenient food in practically any place where people gather. As a new food truck owner, you’re looking for the most opportunistic locations to set up camp and find troves of hungry customers. So, where should you be looking to park your truck to make the most money? And, where should you avoid putting your food truck? Let’s answer these important questions so your business can start maximizing its profits today.
Want to get listed and have customers find you? They can find Denver food trucks with Truckster, the food truck locator app. Recommend it to your customers so they can find you again!
Let’s Explore Some of The Best Places to Park Your Food Truck
Food Truck Lots
Some cities now have entire plots for food trucks to gather. While you’re butting heads with your competition, these lots are a sort of cafeteria-style attraction for diners. Since they offer a wide variety of choices, they’re popular and often busy during mealtimes.
Gas stations offer two advantages. Everyone who drives a car occasionally stops there, and when you’re travelling, you often get hungry. Then, the employees at the station often work long hours and don’t want to eat gas station food for every meal. Making an agreement with highly trafficked gas stations is a great way to set up shop away from your competition.
The Bar Scene
It’s incredibly common for food trucks to park on the street in areas dense with bars, clubs, and venues. Many of these establishments operate without their own kitchens, and their attendees consume alcohol and stay for several hours at a time. During peak hours, this makes for a busy night!
Keep in mind, though, you can’t just set up shop anywhere you like. You need to be familiar with the local laws having to do with operating a business, and selling on the streets. You should also have a relationship with any shopkeepers who are adjacent to your parking spot. It’s important to be respectful of the businesses who are attracting customers to the location you chose.
Whether it’s a festival of food, music, arts, or films, you can bet a food truck is a welcome addition for hungry party-goers. Festivals typically involve long days walking around in the sun or sitting for a long time in a theater, and people work up enormous appetites. Plus, festivals offer the benefit of stadium-style pricing. Since attendees can’t come and go, they’re willing to pay exorbitant markups for food and beverage.
However, the lucrative business of a festival crowd isn’t without its costs. Some of the largest festivals in the country host upwards of 100,000 people, and the event sponsors know the value of that exposure. In order to operate your food truck at many festival events, you’ll be required to pay a vendor’s fee up front. Plus, the event typically reserves the right to limit or forbid the sale of certain items.
For example, your truck’s beverage brand may be a direct competitor with the beverage company sponsoring the film festival. If you want to serve drinks, you’ll have to scramble for inventory you’re not used to supplying. Some festivals require the exclusive use of biodegradable paper products. Your truck will have to comply in order to be permitted to do business at these places.
While there are certainly pitfalls to operating at a festival, you can make a lot of money doing so. Just make sure the festivals you choose are a good fit for your business.
No matter where you operate, it’s a good idea to get your food truck business registered with Truckster to make your name known in your community!
- The Best Business Practices for Food Trucks
- Hello Improper City! Beer Garden and Food Truck Park
- What is Denver Known For?
- The Best Munchies in Denver
- What To Do In Downtown Denver
- What Food Is Denver Known For?
- Where To Eat In Denver?
- Why Is Denver A Good Place For A Food Truck?
- Why a Food Truck is a Great Choice for Your Outdoor Wedding
- Best Types of Venues for Food Trucks