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October 23, 2015 Staff

Reader Review: The Food Truck Handbook by David Weber

dw1Probably THE definitive guide, if there ever was one, for an overall span of everything one needs to know in starting a Food Truck business, David Weber’s ‘The Food Truck Handbook’ seems to launch itself as the first go-to resource for every suggestion on the subject. ‘Start, Grow, and Succeed in the Mobile Food Business’ is the moniker given, and from what we can tell through reading through that’s exactly what it well help you do.

The text is packed with 34 chapters on basically every subject one can think of regarding the startup, maintenance, running, and growth of a food truck; not to mention how to do it WELL and successfully. 261 pages are filled with everything from picking a Concept to picking a Commissary, forming a Business Plan to finalizing/refining Menu, Raising Money to Watching the Numbers, and Building the Infrastructure to Grow the business or simply Exiting properly. The Introduction section even talks about the History of food trucks, only to then be followed by a full chapter detailing what it REALLY takes to operate a food truck and whether or not you’re sure you want to continue down that path.

Well, if you do, you can bet this script will assist you on the way. Not only are the summaries of every topic fully informative and in-depth, no quick 2-sentence blurb that barely says anything, but they’re rather up-to-date on current concerns. The Raising Money section discusses Crowdsourcing and Microloans, and there’s even a whole chapter devoted to Social Media; in fact, it then has an even more in-depth guide to all the main as an appendix in back. Thus it has yet to be too old for proper use.

A total of 14 different interviews with established food truck owners are spread throughout the book at appropriate intervals, with the latter half piled at the end due to their length. Not only do these provide various fun insights to individual food truck cities, but even further tips and important considerations by those who live food trucks day in and day out. These resources are joined by printed templates of various forms that you will definitely need in day-to-day use and startup planning, such as: Daily Checklists, Time Sheets, Starting Expenses Sheet, a ‘Location Journal,’ and even a ‘Countdown List’ of what needs to get done before opening week by week. It even has a whole appendix detailing the food truck regulations for different cities!

Basically put, David Weber lists just about anything and everything that you as an owner need to know and how to do it at every stage of this challenging and rewarding business concept.

What it DOESN’T Have

Though it keeps standard ‘equations’ for figuring out and understanding WHAT COSG, Revenue, Breakeven point, etc is, the handbook lacks any solid suggestions for what calculations and percentages one should apply to set their menu prices. Secondly, their secondary appendix full of useful templates is lacking anything in the way of ‘outlines’ for Business Plan development, though the details of each section IS fully covered in the chapter on it. In particular it would have also been nice to have various templates and examples of the different cost and income sheets used in the Financial Planning section, one of the most laborious and mind-numbing tasks to fill out of all. Finally, the appendix of ‘Food Truck Regulation’ by city only actually lists the MAJOR food truck ones: Austin, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Los Angeles,  Miami, Milwaukee, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, San Fran, Seattle, and Washington. In general it really is an amazingly helpful addition, and can at least help one get an idea on what their city’s regulations MIGHT be like, but nonetheless it’s only really relevant to owners in those specific areas.

dwAnd that’s about all we can think of really. Perhaps there’s a chance it could go even FURTHER in detail with each section, but compared to other food truck startup resources, other books and even online articles, it’s already well-and-beyond one of if not THE most comprehensive and useful all-in-one source out there.

Whether you’re an experienced restaurant/food industry professional looking to just make a small change or a complete amateur entrepreneur trying to find their goal, or anything in between, The Food Truck Handbook has something for your needs. Supporting knowledge or teaching the necessities, David Weber has certainly put in the effort to provide a full comprehensive text to help just about anyone in their mobile ventures. We would definitely suggest you buy a copy of THIS, maybe one or two other books like we’ve listed Here to fully flesh out your complete resource needs, before starting your personal journey in this field.

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