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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Starting a Food Truck Business

Book Description

- Everything readers need to know to start up and operate a wildly popular mobile food business

- Includes crucial marketing expertise from a successful food truck entrepreneur

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. Introduction
  7. Part 1: Food Truck Basics
    1. 1 The Food Truck Revolution
      1. What Is a Food Truck?
      2. How It All Began
      3. What’s Driving the Growth?
        1. The Recession
        2. Technology
        3. Foodie Culture and Social Media
      4. The World of Food Trucks
        1. Taco Trucks: The Original
        2. Pizza Trucks: It’s All About the Ovens
        3. Dessert Trucks: Nighttime Sweetspots
        4. Ice-Cream Trucks: Good-Bye, Good Humor
        5. Dumpling Trucks: Simply Delicious
        6. Burger Trucks: Look Out Mickey D’s, We’re the Burger Kings!
      5. Mediterranean Trucks: New York’s Taco Truck
    2. 2 Secrets of Food Truck Success
      1. Understanding the Business Model
        1. Projecting Food and Labor Costs
        2. Estimating Average Sales
        3. Estimating Labor Costs
        4. Determining Whether You Pass the Test
        5. Testing Your Production Time
        6. Hitching Your Truck to Three Revenue Streams
        7. Estimating Commissary Costs
      2. Choosing an Authentic Concept
      3. Making Sure You Have Sufficient Start-UpCapital
      4. Generating Volume, Volume, Volume
        1. Identifying Your Spots
        2. Creating an Assembly Line
        3. Getting from Place to Place Efficiently
      5. Achieving Consistency
        1. Perfecting Your Recipes
        2. Sampling Your Food
        3. Training Your Staff
        4. Taking Charge
        5. Hiring Great People
      6. Adding Value
        1. Creating an Emotional Attachment
        2. Turning on the Personality
    3. 3 The Right Concept and Food
      1. Staying True to Who You Are
      2. Picking Your Niche
      3. Determining Your Cultural Perspective
      4. Knowing Who You’re Feeding
        1. Profiling Your Food Truck Clientele
        2. Meeting a Demand
      5. Matching Your Menu to Your Concept
        1. Making the Proper Selections
        2. Presenting Your Menu
      6. Pricing to Your Market
        1. Calculating the Price-Value Relationship
        2. Ensuring Profitability
        3. Downplaying the Price for Customers
      7. Creating Your Brand
      8. Testing Your Concept with a Focus Group
    4. 4 The Right Truck
      1. Types of Trucks
        1. Chevy Step Vans
        2. Sprinters
        3. Prefabricated Trucks
      2. Calculating Truck Costs
      3. Finding Your Truck
        1. eBay and Craigslist
        2. Truck Dealers and Auctions
        3. Customizers
      4. Redesigning an Existing Truck
        1. Choosing Your Equipment
        2. Powering Your Vehicle
      5. Budgeting for Fuel and Maintenance
      6. Finding an Off-Truck Kitchen (Commissary)
    5. 5 The Right Location
      1. Being Mobile: The Pros and Cons
      2. Identifying Where You Should Park
        1. Office Buildings and Office Parks
        2. Residential Buildings
        3. Large Events
        4. Dorms and College Buildings
        5. Seasonal Locations
        6. Nightspots
        7. Food Truck Lots
      3. Determining Where You’re Allowed to Park
      4. Considering Traffic
      5. Knowing Locations to Avoid
        1. Low-Traffic Areas
        2. Restaurant Rows
      6. Looking at Other Businesses in the Area
      7. Building Your Spots
  8. Part 2: The Mobile Food Mogul
    1. 6 Preparing Your Business Plan
      1. Why a Business Plan Matters
      2. Describing Your Concept, Brand, and Market
        1. Your Identity
        2. Your Market
        3. Your Competition
      3. Forecasting Sales
      4. Forecasting Expenses
      5. Determining Your Breakeven
      6. Estimating Profits
      7. Choosing Your Business Structure
        1. Sole Proprietorship
        2. Partnership
        3. Limited Partnership
        4. Corporation
    2. 7 Finding Financing
      1. Knowing How Much Money You Need
        1. Calculating Your Start-Up Costs
        2. Calculating Operating Capital
      2. Determining Your Contribution
      3. Identifying Investors
        1. Potential Partners
        2. Silent Partners
        3. Family and Friends
      4. What You Need to Show Potential Investors
      5. How to Structure an Investment
      6. Getting a Loan
        1. What You Need to Show the Bank
        2. Small Business Administration Loans
      7. Other Ways to Increase Liquidity
        1. Supplier Credit
        2. Sponsorships
    3. 8 Regulations and Licensing
      1. Knowing Your Local Laws
      2. Getting Permits and Required Licenses
      3. Following Health Codes
      4. Obtaining Health Inspections
      5. Staying on Top of Evolving Regulations
      6. Buying the Insurance You Need
        1. General Liability Insurance
        2. Commercial Auto Insurance
        3. Finding an Agent and Asking the Right Questions
      7. Establishing a Domain Name and Trademark
    4. 9 Creating Your Marketing Plan
      1. Designing Your Brand Logo
        1. Finding a Graphic Designer
      2. Creating Your Online Presence
        1. Website
        2. Twitter
        3. Facebook and Foursquare
      3. Planning a Launch Event
      4. Reaching Out to Bloggers
      5. Working with the Mainstream Press
      6. Treating Every Day As an Event
      7. Making Social Media Your Friend
      8. Creating Strong Product and Personal Relationships
    5. 10 Setting Up YourOffice
      1. Deciding Where to Put Your Office
      2. Creating a Communications Hub
        1. Telephone
        2. Internet Services
        3. Fax
      3. Handling Payroll and Records
      4. Keeping Records
      5. Getting Outside Help
  9. Part 3: Getting Road Ready
    1. 11 Setting Up the“House”
      1. Understanding Your Unique Situation
      2. Designing the Exterior of Your Truck
        1. Painting
        2. Vinyl Wrap
        3. Window
        4. Awning
        5. Drink Fridge
        6. Exterior Menu Holder
        7. Menu Board
      3. The Point of Sale System
        1. Tablet Systems
        2. Credit Cards
      4. Setting Up the Kitchen
        1. Organization
        2. Job Assignments
      5. Creating an Efficient Workflow
    2. 12 Hiring and Managing Staff
      1. How Many and What Positions?
      2. Getting the Right People On Board
        1. Prep Cook
        2. On-Truck Cook
        3. Cashier/Greeter
        4. The Hiring Process
      3. Training and Educating Your Staff
        1. Setting the Right Tone
        2. Training
        3. Teaching the Importance of Customer Service
      4. Scheduling
      5. Setting Policies
      6. Motivating and Retaining Your Staff
    3. 13 Inventory and Maintenance
      1. Purchasing and Managing Supplies
        1. Understanding the Role of the Purchasing Agent
        2. Researching Your Product Options
        3. Determining Preparation Time
        4. Locating Suppliers
        5. Comparison Shopping
        6. Negotiating
      2. Inventory
        1. Inventory Counts
        2. Preventing Theft
        3. Minimizing Waste
      3. Truck Maintenance
    4. 14 Food Preparation and Safety
      1. Working with Your Chef
      2. Keeping Your Kitchen Clean and Safe
        1. Battling Illness
        2. Preventing Cross-Contamination
        3. Food Safety on the Truck and Off
        4. Cleaning Supplies
        5. Emergencies
  10. Part 4: Growing Your Business
    1. 15 Protecting Your Business
      1. Financial Reviews
        1. Playing by the Numbers
        2. Calculating Your Breakeven Report
        3. Reviewing Daily Sales and Expenses
        4. Generating an Income Statement
        5. Performing a Cash Flow Analysis
      2. Evaluating Operations
        1. Reviewing Your Menu Mix
        2. Reviewing Purchasing and Inventory
    2. 16 Building Your Clientele
      1. Feedback: Listen to the People Who Feed You
        1. Truck Conversations
        2. Feedback Cards
        3. Online Dialogue
      2. Responding to Criticism and Praise
        1. Gathering and Listening to Employee Feedback
      3. Understanding Your Customers
        1. Observing and Listening
        2. Anticipating Their Desires
      4. Exceeding Expectations
        1. Making Amends: Service Recovery
        2. Strategies for Earning Customer Loyalty
        3. Gathering Contact Information
    3. 17 Expanding Your Marketing Efforts
      1. The Compounding Cycle
        1. Determining Your Message
        2. The Campaign
        3. The Steps
      2. Social Media
        1. Doubletree CAREavan
        2. Made for Mexicue
        3. Chil’lantro BBQ
      3. Publicity
      4. Community Outreach
      5. Advertising
    4. 18 Food Truck Events and Opportunities
      1. Festivals
        1. Getting Noticed
        2. Getting Involved
        3. Covering Costs
      2. Food Truck Lots
      3. Television
        1. The Great Food Truck Race: Season 1
        2. Top Chef
        3. Throwdown! with Bobby Flay
      4. What’s Next?
    5. 19 One Truck or More?
      1. Lifecycle of a Hospitality Business
        1. Stage One: Market Introduction
        2. Stage Two: Growth
        3. Stage Three: Maturity
        4. Stage Four: Decline
      2. Making a Living from a Food Truck
      3. Am I Ready to Expand?
        1. Demand
        2. Capital Resources
        3. Staff
        4. Systems
        5. Adding a Bricks-and-Mortar Location
      4. Identifying the Benefits of Expansion
      5. Watching for the Pitfalls of Expansion
      6. Selling Your Business
  11. Appendix
    1. A Glossary
    2. B Resources
    3. C Truck Tales
  12. Index