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Should You Take a Food Truck Training Class?

Why you should take Food Truck Classes.

Running a food truck is just as hard if not harder than running a restaurant.  Would you start a restaurant without any formal training? Probably not, right?

You should be taking training of some sort before you get started on type of serious business endeavor. There’s literally no profession or real business you can start with a realistic chance of success. Would a dentist hang up their shingle without first attending school and acquiring the necessary certifications? We certainly hope not!

But for some reason there are plenty of people that think they can start a food truck business without any sort of mentorship. Keep in mind that there are plenty of different ways to learn. You can certainly learn a lot of the concepts and numbers behind operating a food truck business in a class, but working part-time or being an intern on a food truck can often be even more valuable. Ideally, you would get trained on both aspects of the business before rolling out on your own.

A lot of community colleges are now offering food truck classes and we think the perfect mix is online training and class based training now that they are being offered. Also, community college classes are always more affordable than universities and you might even be able to figure out a way to get some of your books and schooling paid for with a scholarship.

Tony’s Clam Chowder – Built By M&R Specialty Trailers and Trucks.

What should you be learning?

This is really tough to say because each food truck owner brings a different and unique set of skills and knowledge to their business but here is a general list of things you should be competent in before you set out to start your truck:

  • Food prep and Food Safety
  • Marketing and Menu basics
  • Managerial Leadership and Conflict Resolution
  • Truck Safety and Rules of the Road
  • Food Truck Regulations for your city
  • Food Truck Finance
  • Marketing
  • How to Pull off a Catering Event
  • How to Create a Weekly Operations Schedule

This is a basic and sparse list of everything you’ll master as an experienced food truck owner but you don’t have to know it all before you get started.  After all, you’ll never be a food truck owner if you don’t take the first step, right?

Start your apprenticeship

We highly recommend reaching out to a local food truck and ask to tag along or work for free.  Yes, we said work for free.  Every great technician, professional or master of any craft always served under an apprenticeship.  You should too.

Pick your favorite food truck and call the owner up.  Tell him about your dream and offer to help for free for a few months.  It’s gonna suck, but its the best way to learn the job on the go and those are when the real lessons get absorbed the best.  Good ‘ol hands on training.

This is one of the approaches that Dave Krolak of the of the Cas’ Pierogi and Kielbasa food truck used to start his business. Instead of going it alone, he reached out directly to one of the prominent local food truck owners in the area and offered to compensate him for training. That modest investment in training has yielded all sorts of benefits for Krolak’s business in return.

First, he got an understanding of what it really takes to operate a food truck from someone that’s successfully operating the business. Questions that could take other inexperienced vendors weeks to figure out on their own could be quickly solved by Dave’s mentor.

In addition to a better understanding of the business this arrangement yielded some immediate monetary benefits as well. As you may know, a lot of owning a food truck is getting to know the players in your community. Specifically, getting to know the people that are organizing events in your town, other food truck owners that understand the most profitable daily service locations, and the corporate contacts that book catering events.

Having a teacher rapidly increased the speed the Dave’s food truck business that would have otherwise took years to experience the same levels of success. Why not fast forward through early stages of trying to figure out who the local players are and where the biggest events are in your area? Instead find and compensate a mentor to send your success into hyper drive.

Crepe Myrtle Cafe Food Truck – Built by M&R Specialty Trailers and Trucks

Apply what you learn

You don’t have to have your food truck to apply what you’re learning already.  If you can try a pop-up or catering event for a friends birthday party…then apply and practice these skills before you start your food truck. Imagine yourself in the food truck while you’re practicing some of these skill sets.

If you’re putting together your business plan for your food truck with all of the financials, apply that new knowledge to your business as well.  Most of the skill sets your learning translate over to what you’re currently doing so flex these muscles as much as possible.

If you’re going to be investing tens of thousands of dollars into a food truck or hundreds of thousands into a restaurant, it makes sense to spend some time investing in yourself through classes, a mentor, or reading blogs and blogs like this. While taking a class is no guarantee of longterm success it will certainly increase your chances.

Huntsville Shopping Center: Alabama Food Truck Park?

Huntsville Shopping Center debuts Food Truck Park

If there is anything that is more trending than food trucks right now then it is certainly the “food truck parks” and if little ‘ol Huntsville, Alabama is getting one then you know we’ve hit mainstream.  It’s not the fanciest of food truck park ideas as they decided to go with a mix of indoor and outdoor space with only a little character and styling but just having one helps move the industry forward another inch.

If you love food truck fare, but aren’t fond of long lines or extreme temperatures, a new street food option is coming soon to the Creekside Shopping Center parking lot in Huntsville.

Pinhook Provisions Street Food Park

Amie Vaughn White, who works for South Realty, plans to open Pinhook Provisions Street Food Park, a new year-round mobile dining hotspot on 2315 Bob Wallace Ave. featuring ample parking, climate-controlled indoor seating, outdoor seating with fans, restrooms, yard games, live music and more.

White, who does design work on the side, said the idea began brewing last year when she was with a client in Atlanta and saw a similar venue in the Howell Mill area. The concept started coming to fruition about two months ago and is now on target to launch Aug. 1 across from Jerry Damson Honda.

“I love the food truck rallies (in Huntsville), but they’re slammed and they’re hot and there’s nowhere to go to the restroom,” she said. “I thought, ‘Why couldn’t Huntsville have its own food truck park?’”

Founded in 1974, South Realty is a Huntsville-based commercial and residential real estate firm that owns the Creekside retail center, which is home to Marco’s Pizza, Ideal Exercise, The Printer Connection and other tenants. White, who has been working on and off at her father’s company since she was 15, is now director of development for the small business.

Named after Pinhook Creek, the park will accommodate up to 12 food trucks, have more than 70 parking spots, include trash removal and recycling, feature picnic tables and outdoor fans, and offer dog-friendly amenities such as community water bowls and pickup stations. It will also provide Wi-Fi service and two entrances and exits for easy access.

“I want it to be a destination,” she said. “I imagine it to be somewhere that strikes a balance between high-end and down to earth, so you can bring your kids but you can also enjoy a nice atmosphere.”

The park, which will open with a breakfast and lunch rotation, will later expand to offer dinner and weekend hours, as well as special events. The daily breakfast shift will run from 7-10 a.m. and lunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the week.

The Brief History of Food Trucks in America (1691 – Present)

Food trucks in America are considered to be a brand new movement. However, mobile food has been alive and kicking as far back as the 1600s when street cart owners were considered by some to be unfair competition for brick-and-mortar restaurant owners.

In this post, we take a brief look at the history of food trucks in America. From the first street vendors in the 1600s, to the chuck wagons of the Wild West, all the way to the modern gourmet food trucks that we’re familiar with today.

1691 – New York City (previously New Amsterdam) starts regulating street vendors selling food and other items from vending carts around the city.

Inside a gourmet food truck. 

History of Food Trucks: 1800’s

1850’s – Dining cars begin serving cross country train passengers with meals.

1866 – Charles Goodnight invents the “Chuck Wagon” to feed cattlemen and wagon trains traversing the old West.

1872 – The first make-shift diner is setup in a horse-drawn freight wagon.

1894 – Ivy League universities start to attract sausage vendors who sell their hot dogs outside the student dorms and their carts became known as “dog wagons”.

History of Food Trucks: 1900’s

1917 – The US Army mobile canteens (or field kitchens) start feeding troops.

1936 – Oscar Mayer introduces the first portable hot dog cart, The Weiner Mobile.

1950’s – Ice cream trucks become a thing and start selling their frozen treats on every street in America.

1960’s – Roach coaches are born and begin selling food to construction sites around the country.

1974 – The East Los Angeles bar gets the nation’s first taco truck when Raul Martinez converts an old ice cream truck.

1980’s – Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ attracts “grease trucks” selling “Fat Sandwiches” to college students.

History of Food Trucks: 2000’s

A Modern Food Van Built by M&R Specialty Trailers and Trucks.

2004 – New York celebrates their food cart heritage after The Street Vendor Project creates the Vendy Awards. A competition that selects and celebrates NYC’s best street food vendors.

July 2006 – Wikipedia adds “food truck” to their data list and creates the history of food trucks around the world.

November 2008 – Roy Choi hits a homerun with his Kogi BBQ food truck in Los Angeles, selling Asian infused tacos to the masses.

January 2010 – Southern California Mobile Food Vendors Association (SoCalMFVA) is formed by Matt Geller, becoming the first member organized entity created to protect the rights of food truck owners.

May 2010 – The National Restaurant Association portions some 1,500 square feet to food truck exhibits at its annual convention in Chicago, signaling a recognition of their importance.

August 2010 – The mobile food industry gets its first television program, the Great Food Truck Race and become an overnight hit.

September 2010 – The US government adds a reference guide called the “Tips for Starting Your Own Street Food Business” to its small business website, www.business.gov.

October 2010 – Zagat guide announces that they will begin to provide reviews of food trucks in 2011.

November 2010 – Los Angeles begins to rank food trucks with letter grades, just like their cousin restaurants.

January 2011 – President Barak Obama “Tweets” out that his favorite food truck in Washington DC is D.C. Empanadas.  City erupts in pride!

June 2011 – New York issues the first limited liquor license to the Pera Food Truck.

August 2011 – The Gap clothing retailer launches a nationwide ad campaign marketing a retro style jean with the use of a food truck in it.

February 2012 – NFL Super Bowl allows food trucks in to serve fans in Indianapolis.

June 2014 – The National Food Truck Association (NFTA and not to be confused with NAFTA) is formed creating the first national association of food truck associations.

August 2014 – The movie “Chef” is released which serves as the first ever motion picture to be centered around the story of a food truck and its owner.

Spring 2015 – Hundreds of successful food truck owners across the country begin opening complimentary restaurants as they master their trade

Present – Food Truck owners start looking for and requiring fully automated food truck POS systems to handle their on-the-go businesses and other mobile business concepts start to gain a foothold in the industry. Food trucks are evolving into larger enterprises and moving to restaurants, multiple food trucks, and some have even gone on to acquire venture capital funding and build multi-million dollar food brands.

What will happen next in the food truck industry is anyones guess. But looking toward the future of the food truck industry all signs point to increased growth in the industry. According to IBISWorld Industry reports over $1 billion in annual revenues can be expected in the coming years.

Video Tour: Sky’s Pizza Pie Trailer Container Conversion

When Sky’s Pizza Pie based out of Pensacola, Florida, wanted to establish a mobile sales channel they  turned to M&R Specialty Trailers and Trucks to custom build a rolling pizza parlor.

Below is a video of how M&R Specialty Trailers and Trucks executed the basic layout of the trailer according to the client’s concept before delivering the unit to the customer to make the finishing touches on their archetypal mobile pizza parlor.

About Sky’s Pizza Pie

Sky’s Pizza Pie is known for their appetizing New York Style Pizza made hot and fresh daily. Voted as the Best Pizza on the Coast for two straight years (2014 & 2015), this locally owned and operated pizza parlor was established by proprietor Sarah Noble back in 2010. Sky’s Pizza humble beginnings started as a small bakery and bagel business at 6604 N Davis Highway. They eventually evolved into Sky’s Pizza Pie three years after they first opened to the public. In 2015, they moved to a much larger location to correspond to their expanding business and accommodate their growing customer base.

Sky’s Pizza pride themselves of creating a pizza akin to the New York Style pizza this side of the Florida Panhandle. Their hand-tossed dough is made daily and uses only the finest and freshest ingredients bought locally. Just imagine these toppings list: Italian Sausage, Pepperoni, Ground Beef, Ham, Roma Tomato, Bacon, Green Pepper, Artichokes, Spinach, Black Olives, Fresh Garlic, Red Onion, Pineapple, Roasted Red Peppers, Ricotta, Anchovies, Mushroom, Capers, Salami, Capicola, Jalapeños, Banana Peppers, Feta, Green Olives, Pesto, and Meatballs.

Other than their famous New York Style Pizza, they also serve other delectable treats such as fried cheese sticks, garlic knots, wings, wraps and sub sandwiches, salads, calzones, and strombolis, as well as desserts. Their loyal customers consistently give them high ratings due to their large servings, great price, and exceptional customer service.

Sky’s Pizza Pie make use of stone ovens to make sure the crust is made perfect every single time. Their pizzas come in different sizes, from 16″, 18″, up to the enormous 24″ pizzas which can feed a large family or group. They offer amazing lunch specials seven days a week with great daily specials to fill up your craving tummy. You can drop by and order your pie or you can call for delivery at 477-4424 which comes with a delivery fee of $3.00 with a $15 minimum purchase. Sky’s Pizza Pie also offers catering services for birthday parties, business meetings, family gatherings, graduations, as well as luncheons.

Sky’s Pizza Pie Trailer Video Tour

In this project, M&R Specialty Trailers and Trucks used a heavy duty container van with two 7,200 lb. axles. The unit has a small generator mounted at the front with two propane tanks enough to power the trailer upon its operation. Sky’s Pizza Pie intends to put an electronic awning at the top, which comes out automatically at the press of a button.

They used an open design featuring two large glass windows with screens on each side and a serving window at the middle pursuant to the customer’s specifications. There will also be a couple of colored LED lights at the top to illuminate Sky’s Pizza’s signage. Inside, there will be two large double deck pizza ovens and a couple of pizza prep counters and refrigeration for their ingredients.

For this build, Sky’s Pizza prefers to install the equipment themselves which were purchased through their supplier in Destin, Florida.

This build out is an example of what we believe makes M&R Specialty Trailers and Trucks truly unique. Our primary goal is always to deliver on our customers goals. Whether they want a basic layout or a full build mobile food truck, each build is carried out with the utmost satisfaction of the client. In this case, Sky’s Pizza Pie wanted to install a one-of-a-kind pizza oven in a different location.

M&R’s business has been built on their client’s trust and confidence over the years. You’ll only get the best service when you consider M&R Specialty Trailers and Trucks as your mobile food truck builder.

How to Create a Weekly Operations Schedule For Your Food Truck

Before you roll your food truck concept out into the world, it’s a smart idea to build out a tentative daily or weekly operations schedule. This is also referred to “daily service” by those in the industry. This operations schedule will give you a sense of the frequency you plan to work and the days you plan to take off for downtime.

One mistake that beginning mobile food vendors make is that they don’t build a plan of where and when they plan to vend. The other frequently made mistake is that they don’t build out enough prospective locations to vend at. These new business owners may have a local flea market in mind or an event they plan to serve at. But if the first location or two doesn’t work out they struggle to figure out what to do next.

When you start a food truck of your own, you’ll be doing a lot of experimenting with locations in the early days to figure out what spots and operation times are the most profitable for your business. It’s important to keep in mind that just because a certain event works well for a pizza truck, doesn’t mean that it will be a home run for a donut trailer. Consumers eat and drink different items at different times so it’s important to give yourself time to figure this stuff out in the first few months of the business.

If you plan to open a specialty coffee truck, like the one shown above, your highest profit hours will be at different times than a pizza truck.

Building out a daily operations plan doesn’t need to be complicated either. You can open up a Word Document and start planning out what you think a Sunday – Saturday would look like as a food truck operator. A cheap calendar and a pen will accomplish this task just as well. This is a great time to begin thinking about the times and locations your food truck would be most profitable to operate. For many food vendors, the question of when to operate will be straight forward. If you’re planning to serve meals like hamburgers and french fries for example, the most profitable operation hours will be lunch and dinner on Fridays and weekends. If you plan to focus more on beverages, like coffee for example, your most profitable hours will be in the morning.

As you begin to build out this operation plan, be honest with yourself if this is the type of hours you want to work. If you’re a morning person, operating a food unit that will generate most of it’s sales in the evening might not be the right choice. If you’re still in the planning and prep phase of your business this is the ideal opportunity to reflect on the what type of a lifestyle you want to have in addition setting business and revenue goals. The business should serve you as much as you serve and grow the business.

As an example, we’ve published a sample operations plan that you can use as a guide for developing your own operation schedule to show you just how easy this is to get started with. In the example below, we’ve created the plan for a coffee truck business, but you can edit the hours of operation and strategic selling locations to reflect your future business and geographic area.

Operations Plan 

Serving hours are built to capture both weekday mornings (high-demand time for coffee), as well as weekend evenings (high projected demand for pre-made dessert items). The specific locations we plan to vend are outlined below in the Strategic Selling Locations for Daily Operation

Weekly Operations Schedule

Serving Days: Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

Serving Times: Morning

7AM- 12PM 7AM- 12PM 7AM- 12PM 9AM- 2PM

Evening:  6PM- 10PM 6PM- 10PM

The desserts and baked goods being sold are already prepared and packaged. Since we want to focus primarily on serving coffees and teas, we will purchase food products from other vendors. The following schedule outlines when food preparation is done as well as the equipment maintenance and communication / business development with other clients. Although we will be handling regular business communication throughout the week, we want to carve out specific times to conduct this work as well to avoid overwhelm.

Food Prep, Equipment Maintenance, Business Development

Tuesday: 2 – 6 p.m.

Thursday: 2 – 6 p.m.

Friday: 2 – 6 p.m.

Strategic Selling Locations For Daily Operation

Selling locations will represent where the coffee truck parks most of the time. These locations are businesses who have given written permission (often times by email) to park its truck at their location. Businesses will do this for goodwill, symbiotic benefit, or sometimes revenue sharing opportunity. At most selling locations, our business will be the only mobile food vendor present. Strategic selling locations inside our city include:

The Temecula Library, Weekly Farmer’s Market at the Promenade Mall, Weekly Farmer’s Market in Old Town, Saturday flea market on Winchester, outside of the wineries, outside of local breweries.

Strategic selling locations nearby Riverside County include:

Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, Avocado Days in Fallbrook, numerous hot rod events around the area.

Gourmet Aviator

Built by M&R Specialty Trailers and Trucks.

Strategic Events

Strategic events are festivals, fairs, and public gatherings that include mobile food vendors. Strategic events very often must be booked very far in advance of the event. They represent opportunity for high volume of sales in a short period of time. In future years as we develop additional relationships, we expect to participate in more of these lucrative annually held events.

Strategic events in Riverside County include:

Ballon and Wine Festival, Summer Concert Series, Summer Movie Nights, Temecula Food Truck Rally, Pet Adoption Events, High School Homecoming, High School Sporting Events, Sport Team Fundraising events, Fall Festivals, Halloween Festivals, Christmas Tree selling locations.

We hope you use this post to develop your own operations plan. If you’re having trouble figuring out where and when to vend one of the best places to start looking is at the social media profile of other food truck vendors in your area. The most popular food trucks will regularly publish their hours of operation / where they plan to vend on social media websites like Twitter and Facebook. This makes it easy to find locations that allow mobile food vendors on a regular basis.

Finally, start to be more aware of where you see food trucks operating around the city. If on your next trip to Home Depot, you see a concession trailer take note of the location and add it to your list of potential vending locations. Simply being aware of your surroundings as your doing your regular routine around the city will help you identify other profitable vending locations.

Is It Possible To Start a Food Boat Business?

Food trucks transformed how food is served on land. But could the same culinary disruption be about to happen on boats as well? Is it even possible to start a food boat business?

In fact, there are businesses that generate revenue in a similar way to food trucks, but with a boat instead. Usually these aqua based business operate only a short time of the year during peak tourist season at a lake or a busy harbor when other there are many other vessels in the water. Here’s how the business model works.

Most of these so called “food boats” operate more like floating convenience store than a restaurant. Prepackaged treats like ice-cream sandwiches, candy bars, sunflower seeds, pre-made sandwiches and cold beverages is all that’s usually served from these units. In many cases, you won’t be able to find a fresh cooked meal like you would expect on a truck.

The kitchen equipment on these floating units is often sparse. Some boats will have a full-size refrigerator or freezer to keep pre-packaged food items cold. These boats stick to serving pre-packaged or ready-to-eat items because the health code requirements needed to serve this product is minimal. In an effort to better serve their customers, these units will also carry gas, water, batteries, fishing bait and other supplies that could be required by boaters. Below is a video on food boat in action based out of Washington, D.C., called Nauti Foods:

As you can see in the video everyone from paddle boarders to other boaters visit this pontoon for a quick snack.

Is This a Full-Time Business?

For most operators this is not a full-time venture. It’s a simple way to generate a few extra bucks during peak summer time weekends. Often the folks that operate this type of unit part-time have a related business similar like managing a dock or teaching boating lessons. Although there are probably a handful of exceptions, operating this type of business is not a viable way to generate a comfortable and consistent income.

Florida is one state where you would have a better than average chance of operating this business full time due to year round good weather and plenty rivers, lakes, and ocean water.

One type of boat that could produce a full-time income would be a tour or river boat dinner cruise, however. These types of businesses have operated successfully for generations where there’s nearby water source. Due to their larger size, these boats can provide large crowds of 100 – 500 people dinner and entertainment for an evening or longer. These experiences can be as short as a few hours to a few weeks if you happen to be on a cruise ship.

At the end of the day, if you’re looking for a creative way to make some extra cash during the peak tourist months in your area this could be a way to accomplish that goal. Just don’t expect this to be your main source of income.

Roy Choi Proves There’s No Limit to Food Truck Business Potential

Roy Choi proves there’s no limit to the type of food business you can launch with a food truck. Choi’s story is been well told. Starting in Los Angeles with a small food truck serving Korean tacos, he is credited with helping to launch the modern food truck movement as we know it.

Now, only a decade after getting started, Choi has evolved into a celebrity chef with books, a fleet of food trucks, and now a collection of BBQ sauces available only at William’s Sonoma. Choi’s growth is astounding and impossible to replicate, but there’s plenty of business lessons “ordinary” food truck owners can learn from the story too.

While you may never be credited with launching a food movement (timing, location, hard work and luck have a lot to do with that), you can apply some of these lessons into your own food trailer. First is that the concession trailer can serve as the launchpad for a bigger food brand. But often you need to think outside the food truck box to make it happen.

Roy Choi in action. Photo Credit: http://kogibbq.com/about-chef-roy/

Case and point, you don’t need don’t need distribution or support of a major retailer to begin selling your own sauces or rubs. If you own a small BBQ trailer, you can begin by selling homemade rubs at catering events or daily service.

Assuming you operate a BBQ business already, the cool thing about releasing a sauce or rub is that doing so won’t take a lot of extra work. You already have the recipe. You’re already making the product. You already have a business entity and brand created. All you need to do now is package the product according to health guidelines.

Even if you don’t have an existing concession business, thanks to updated Cottage Food Laws in most states you can get started easily from a legal perspective assuming you meet their requirements. Cottage food law vary from state to state, but all of them have limit the amount of revenue you can make per year. In California, you can make over $50,000 annually and still be considered a cottage food business.

In the event you do exceed your small food businesses annual revenue limits, you can change into another food business entity like an LLC or Sole Proprietorship. Needing to change the structure of your business due to a high-volume of sales is a good problem to have.

Built by M&R Specialty Trailers and Trucks

How Could This Work in Your Business?

The examples we’ve shared above all apply to BBQ businesses, but if you use your imagination you could apply similar growth strategies to any food business. Here are a few other ways we’ve seen mobile food owners expand and grow their brands no matter what the product:

  • A kettle corn or popcorn vendor could sell organic and packaged bags at independent grocery stores. This could create a new channel of sales. In fact, the brand Boomchickapop started in this exact way by selling at local events and outside Minnesota Vikings football games. In 2017, the same brand was sold to the food giant Conagra. Not bad for a little kettle corn stand.
  • A food truck selling Asian-style street tacos eventually started a multi-location restaurant in Austin. The Peached Tortilla is now one of the most popular establishments in the city and even has a location open at the Austin airport if you happen to visit.
  • Family members selling lobster rolls from a food truck got an investment ABC’s hit television show Shark Tank. Now Cousins Maine Lobster has evolved into a food truck franchise, restaurant, and successful mail order business. The founders even wrote a book about how they transformed a single food truck into a multi-million dollar food business. Pretty cool!

Of course even if you don’t have aspirations of selling your business to a large corporation or becoming a celebrity chef there are still plenty of lessons that can come from these food business entrepreneurs. Maybe most importantly is that if you’re able to make a concept work on a small scale, it’s likely that you can scale it up and grow your business further through other channels.

Of course, the most natural progression of course would be simply to add a second concession trailer or truck to your business if you already own a mobile food unit. Once you start to get busy and become well known in your area you’ll start to feel like you want to be two places at once. For example, you might want to serve a high-value catering event and a well-attended promotional event on the other side of town. The only way this will be possible is if you have two units.

Bottom line, the great thing about starting out with a food truck is that it can evolve into anything you want: restaurant, more food trucks, a product line, a book, or a celebrity chef. Roy Choi has proven the sky’s the limit when you start a mobile food business.

Video Tour: Russel’s Rib Shack Combo Smoker Trailer

Watch the video tour below with Russel’s Rib Shack new combo smoker trailer based out of Atlanta, Georgia. Anyone with in the ATL area would be wise to look up Russel for world-class competition-level BBQ delivered to their upcoming event.

Video Tour

Unlike a lot of other BBQ trailers or smokers you find on the market, we build a custom trailer from the ground up that are specifically designed to fit the equipment you need on the unit. Many builders will buy pre-made trailers and essentially play a game of Tetris to fit all your desired equipment on-board a certain sized unit. This is not the optimal way to design a professionally designed trailer you plan to operate for many years to come and build a business around. At M&R Specialty Trailers and Trucks, no two trailers are the same.

As you’ll see with this build out there is four inch C-channel framing underneath the unit. C-channel framing is essential for enhanced stability and durability of the unit. This was built with a 5,000 pound axle and the unit was upgraded with chrome rims. This trailer features the NS 72 SWT. The NS7 SWT comes standard with two shelves at 72″L x 22″D. These shelves can be pulled out so you can easily access meats. Removable shelves also makes cleanup infinitely easier.

The smoker unit also features three durable locks to ensure the doors don’t move while commuting to events. This creates a generous cooking surface over 3,000 square inches to smoke chicken, ribs, steak or any other type of grilled foods you desire. Check the full specifications of the NS 72 SWT and optional upgrades here.

 

At the four minute point of the video you can evaluate the smoker box. This box features 3 additional shelves at the front of the trailer. A firebox is also positioned at the front of the unit where logs can be placed. A starter was also installed in the firebox making it easier to get heat going on a cold day. A burner was also positioned in the firebox as a heat assist by request. This helps prevent ash from falling into the burner and is something we’re happy to install upon request.

Coming in standard on this unit is a two-burner hot plate. There’s also a built-in cutting board that you can pop-off and hose down when cleaning. Finally, we always ensure you’ve got storage space built into your trailers to store cooking utensils or other equipment needed for BBQ. Watch the video in its entirety to learn more!

We Understand Professional BBQ 

As noted in the video, you can learn more about our lineup of New South Smokers and Grills here. From there you can evaluate different options and upgrades that our customers frequently make for their unit. Additionally, if you have a custom feature you would like installed, give us a call and we can more than likely make it happen. We can also share unique ways we’ve modified other trailers for customers in the past. Our goal is to build a one-of-a-kind unit that will serve you for years to come. Give us a call at 904-397-0246 to tell us about your next trailer.

How Do You Remove Stains from White Kitchen Restaurant Towels?

Keeping white kitchen towels from becoming discolored isn’t easy. Restaurants and food trucks are tough environments to stay clean. Especially when you might relying these versatile towels to wipe up grease, clean food prep areas, or utilize as a make-shift oven mitt. The uses of these towels are many and you’ll need a lot of them. It’s not easy to keep these white towels white!

There’s a reason most restaurants don’t use brilliant white tablecloths. Doing the laundry is a significant added expense and something you’ll  find exclusively at high-brow eateries. There are added costs to clean, replace, and added labor associated with handling linen tablecloths and napkins. Although maintaining clean towels is less work than the prior, the basic maintenance is the same.

Aside from improving the appearance of towels, you’ll need to keep them clean from a health perspective as well. The last thing you want to do is clean up a kitchen with a greasy towel. Appearance is a side benefit of running a tight ship!

But how do you keep these towels that sparkling white long term through all the daily wear and tear? In this blog post we’ll outline the three options you have to ensure you’ve got spotless towels in your food truck or restaurant. Choose the option or combination of options that are best for your situation.

How do you keep restaurant towels clean?

Replace Often

One of the secrets that isn’t really a secret is that no matter how much care you put into washing towels, you’ll need to replace these regularly. Between grease, sauce, and the occasional coffee stain, these linens are put through the ringer daily. At a certain point, no magical combination of OXI Clean, bleach, or soaking is going to save these things.

Thankfully, you can buy 12-dozen Terry Rag restaurant cleaning towels for under $50 with free shipping on Amazon. These work towels are not intended to be kept forever so don’t make this mistake. Another tip is to only use well-worn towels to wipe up grease. After wiping up grease throw the used towels into the trash receptacle. Wiping up grease will reduce the life span of any restaurant towel.

Hire a Towel Service

If you want an industrial level clean, hiring a towel service can be an effective use of monthly spend. Many of these laundry services will pick up dirty linens at your restaurant, minimizing the hours needed to keep things clean. If you have a small food operation, like a food truck, you may be able to pay for these services for around $100 monthly. You can find nearby commercial laundry services by searching Press Cleaners or heading to Google to find providers near you. These services are available in nearly every U.S. city.

Aside from a time savings, a commercial service will use their equipment and products including lye to wash your towels. Lye, will decompose grease and make the gunk easier to rinse off. Even if you’re vigilant and pre-soak your greasy towels, you do not want too much of this gunky, clogging stuff getting into your home washing machine. You also don’t want to mix your families clothes with restaurant linens in the event you plan to bring items home to wash. It’s not worth your time for the amount of money you’ll save!

DIY Wash Process

Not ready for professional laundry services yet? Follow the steps below to extend the life of your towels.

Step 1 – Divide and Conquer: Separate your lightly soiled and stained or greasy towels into three separate plastic bins.

1.) The lightly used towels can go straight into the wash. Put them on a cold rinse cycle and off you go.

2.) Food or beverage stained towels go into their own bin.

3.) Greasy towels go into the third container.

Step 2 – Pre-Cleaning Rinse

The food stained and greasy towels will be soaked in cold water. After about 15 minutes, take the towels of of their respective bins.

Step 3 – Use Bleach or OXI Clean. 

Add bleach if it’s safe with your towels… It will be for most kitchen towels. Many folks also swear by the effectiveness of OXI Clean so that’s another option. Soak for another 15 – 20 minutes and then rinse off water. Finally, rinse off the towels with clean cool water.

Step 4 –  Hot Wash 

Finally, was the towels on the hot cycle using your detergent of choice. After the towels come out of the wash you should see brilliant and desirable looking restaurant towels.

We hope this post has helped to outline the steps needed to keep your towels clean! As mentioned previously, even the best most industrial level clean won’t keep these linens spotless forever so plan to replace your kitchen towels every 3 – 6 months.

Real-World Food Blogging Topic Ideas for Food Truck and Restaurant Owners

Own a restaurant or food truck, but aren’t sure if you should take time to publish a blog? The reality is if you’re operating any type of food business finding the time to sit down and write a blog post or record a video won’t be easy. After all, you’ve got a business to grow and customers to serve.

Truth be told, if you own a restaurant and are trying to decide what type of marketing tactic you should invest your limited time and effort into, we don’t recommend blogging as the first option. There are plenty of other ways that are going to get you a faster return by driving more customers to your business.

Some faster ways to increase awareness of your business online include focusing on generating positive reviews for your restaurant on websites like Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook. Consumers use these websites to discover new places to eat and decide where they want to dine. Other strategies such as offering coupons or limited time discounts work well to drive more immediate traffic to your establishment. Both ideas will bring diners to you faster than a blog ever could.

Is Blogging Right For Your Food Truck Business?

The Benefits of Publishing a Blog

After reading the first section of this post, it might feel like we don’t believe in blogging. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Assuming you have the time and ability to publishing entertaining or helpful content regularly, it can deliver an astronomical return on investment. The point is you aren’t going to realize the benefits today, this week, this month, or even this year if you’re just starting out.

But if you can push through a couple years blogging and come out the other side, you’ll realize some incredible benefits like massive awareness and increased loyalty. Essentially, you’ll have a digital magazine that people enjoy consuming regularly.

We’ve found our blog to be extremely helpful in educating food truck owners about running a food truck and answer frequently asked questions about operating business. Consistently blogging has helped us grow our business, but it didn’t happen overnight.

Blog Ideas You Can Start Writing About Now

Of course, simply setting up a blog or not putting much effort into the posts you publish isn’t going to get you far. Getting traction with your blog will have a lot to do with your consistency publishing and quality of content. The easiest way to ensure consistency is to set a schedule for yourself. For example, you could make a commitment to publish two blog posts per week for the next two years. This sort of commitment will take a lot of time, but it’s what’s required if you want to see results. Due to the length of time required to get any results is why we recommend other marketing methods first.

After you’ve got a schedule in place, it’s time to come up with a list of ideas to write about and publish on your blog. Keep in mind that you could publish all sorts of multimedia content on your blog including text, audio in the form of a podcast, images, or video. In fact, the more ways you can include video and imagery the better your posts will be.

Below is a list of topics ideas you can use that work well for both a restaurant, food truck, or any type of food business really. These ideas are intended to be interesting and or helpful to the right person. More than half of the restaurants trying out a blog get their content wrong initially because they only write about themselves or what they write is extremely boring. Don’t expect to get any results with boring content. It won’t work. You can start with these ideas below to get started the right way.

Cooking Demonstrations: Whether you operate a food truck or restaurant, you’re going to be in the kitchen cooking different meals all the time. Why not use this time to demonstrate to prospective customers how you make the food? This is the ideal way to generate high-quality blog content while being productive in the kitchen. You may even find a certain chef or yourself has a great personality and works well on the camera. These individuals are perfect to feature.

Notice I said you could record a cooking demonstration. You won’t need any special equipment for this as most cell phone cameras are good enough to pull this off. From there you can upload the video into YouTube or Facebook and embed the video into a blog post on your website. Follow this process and you’ll have an effective way to develop blog and social media content.

Test Menu Items: You should also be coming up with exciting new menu items for your restaurant. Testing out new items, even if you don’t plan to put them on the menu is the ideal type of content for a blog. People love to give their opinion on almost anything and testing out new menu ideas and getting feedback from your audience on if you should keep it is a great way to encourage people to participate and get involved in your brand. You could even create a “secret” test menu for hard-core customers.

Interviews: You shouldn’t only talk about yourself in a blog. In fact, it will help you out a lot of you feature other people and businesses. One way to generate content while featuring other businesses is to conduct interviews of other people. We recommend publishing either print or recorded interviews with chefs or other restaurant owners in the area. Asking for an interview is an effective way to start a relationship with someone you’ve never met and help to build awareness of your spot among influential folks in a market. The more local relationships you can build in your market the more opportunities will generally be sent your way.

Promote Events: Any time you serve a corporate catering event, work with a non-profit on a fundraiser or attend a local event like a fair it’s an opportunity to publish a recap about the event on your blog. Other businesses or event promoters love it when you help you promote their stuff on social media or a website. Doing so can also be interesting to attendees and it’s yet another opportunity to produce content of interest to a local audience.

In conclusion, blogging serve as the publishing focal point for your restaurant or food truck. But you’ve got to be willing to put in the time and effort before you will see all the positive results even with a list of content topic ideas.

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