The 12 Things to not do when starting a food truck

Posted by Damian Roberti on

Starting a Food Truck is Exciting, Scary, and  Pretty much a HUGE ( HUGE) challenge. Here are 12 things though you should never do. 

One of the first things to do with any food business is to incorporate your food business. never make, and serve food as a hobby. There is a ton of liability factors that could take everything you worked for if you don't create an LLC or incorporate.

All right, so let's get right to it. This is marketing food online and if you are not subscribed to the premier YouTube channel for food entrepreneurs, hit that subscribe button and give us a like if the video has helped you out and if you've got questions as always, please let me know and we will get to them as soon as we can. And this video, I want to give you 12 things to think about. If you're looking to start a food truck, of course, there are a million things to do in order to create a food truck and not only just create one but make one profitable and successful year after year. But here are 12 things to keep in mind if you're just getting started. And I don't want to scare you away from your goal or dream of having a food truck, but these are things that you can prepare for and do your best to eliminate the possibilities of them happening.
And the reason being is that that these 12 things can literally put your food truck out of commission and of course out of business temporarily or even permanently. So I'm going to go from number 12 all the way down to the number one and I'll give you a few tips and some pointers that you can actually prepare yourself in order for you to be successful even if these happen to pop up. Okay? So number 12 ruining your food, ruining what you're cooking. If you're not cooking the food properly and if you get sidetracked, if you are someone who can't focus specifically on each customer and each order I'm overcooking or even under cooking, the food can actually lead to somebody getting sick. Or even if you're overcooking, it leads to losing your ingredients, losing payroll, losing time. And obviously inconveniencing your customer who is waiting for their food.


So always be prepared when you're cooking your food, staying focused on that one singular customer at a time. And if you have a team with you, delegate to them what they need to be doing. And so everyone is on the same page and nobody is going to ruin the ingredients because you've got to keep this in mind. Your food truck only has so much space in it. So when you have already gone to either your commissary or a commercial kitchen and prepared the ingredients you have on your truck, basically what you're going to be selling. And if you were forecasting selling a certain amount of food and you begin to ruin the ingredients or overcook or course undercook it, then that's going to limit your earning potential for the day. And of course, that can put your food truck out of business. Next up.




Number 11, numerous food trucks have them. Um, not all of them do because of course, it depends upon the type of food you're preparing. But one of the most dangerous things is handling and traveling with a propane tank or more. If you've got even two propane tanks, uh, but with a propane tank that's not properly, or if you've got some type of leakage or if it's not hooked up properly, these are things that you need to create a checklist for and make sure that they are functioning properly because that actually is one of the most dangerous things to have on your food truck. And of course, not only would it ruin your food truck, but there are customers by standards and even vehicles when you're driving. For instance, if God forbid that actually happened in a propane tank were to explode or even fall off your truck because it's not secured properly, it could cause serious damage.

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And of course, that would be costly. And again, it could put your food truck out of business. Now number 10, this is something that is, um, not necessarily just for used food trucks or maybe ones that are older. They're of course potentials for new food trucks to have this problem. But if you've got any electrical problems or electrical wiring that's not put in properly or not updated or happens to be a short circuit circuiting or if it's not something that's coming from an older truck that has been maintained, um, electrical problems can be a huge issue. Uh, it could lead to anything from one of your ovens or fryers not working properly or cooking the food properly. Um, it could also lead to electrical issues that would go so far as to even create fires within the fi, the truck food truck itself. And of course that happens again, that could, uh, could basically hinder the amount of money that you're gonna make at an event or even through a week or even a month.
So making sure your, the electrical wiring is good to go. Making sure that the electrician is licensed and insured and the, whoever's doing that inside of your facility, inside of your, your food truck itself, making sure that it's done properly. Uh, any type of loose wiring inside a small area like a food truck can be seriously hazardous. And of course, you don't want to get your workers hurt. But the biggest thing is having your food truck go up in flames because the electrical is done wrong. Now number nine, and of course this is something that nobody can foresee, but keep in mind when you are driving, you could potentially get into accidents or even um, running into buildings. If you're happened to be in a very narrow alley or someplace where your having to park your food truck, be very cautious of your driving because it's literally a restaurant on wheels and it's gigantic.
Your truck, uh, could have the potential of course to be in, into an accident and that would be something that would lead to financial issues and of course insurance issues and that could hinder your profitability for your food truck. Now, number eight, this is going to come in handy, especially with anyone who is, uh, familiar with handling food. Um, in many States, in many cities or even counties actually require, uh, food permits, food licenses that actually puts you through courses or programs so you understand it. But if you are dealing with food that has not been cooked properly, thought out properly or just even cooked and prepared to the point where it is edible, it could cause serious illness for a customer or consumer. People can get sick and that would cause a huge problem for your food truck and eventually put you out of commission not earning any money.
So make sure that your food is handled properly, not only in your commissary or your new commercial kitchen, but once you bring that food on board with the food truck, uh, the actual final preparation of the meal for someone to eat that is the most critical point. You want to make sure that the food is cooked properly and thoroughly and handled. If it's raw, it has to be handled properly before it's cooked. Now number seven, this is something that is not talked a huge, a lot amount, but it is something that can be kind of a, not a nuisance, but of course they're only trying to do their job. But if police officers or the police are constantly having you move from location to location because maybe you don't have the right permits or you don't have the, uh, the go ahead to be in a certain part of a city or a County, uh, they can be not necessarily pestering, but they could just basically make it difficult for you to set up and get yourself up and running and preparing your food.
So, uh, the authorities will have definitely have some issues to do with your food truck depending upon where you are and where you're going and where you're going to be. So keep that in mind just to make sure that you've got the permission, you've got the go ahead to be where you are. And then from there you won't have any issues. Now number six, parking. Now the one thing of course about food trucks, briefly kind of mentioned what I said. Number seven, food trucks are relatively low, obviously large, uh, pieces of equipment and they're like rolling restaurants. Now if you're going to a festival or somewhere that's dedicated to some type of event, normally they're going to designate a place for you to park. If some events are not put together and organized properly, parking can be a huge problem because if you are not given the, go ahead to be in a certain area or you don't even know where you can go, you cannot set up your truck and obviously you can't serve unless you've got yourself settled and you're up and running.
So make sure that you are well aware of the parking, uh, where you can and more importantly, where you can't park. So once you get those doors open and you get the food prep and you get it set, you have no issues with parking. Number five, this is something that is a challenge for anyone's business. And I can tell you, even from my own business, when I had an Italian bakery, it was not a food truck at that time. It was not a food truck. It was an Italian bakery. But having the right amount of, of, of materials, uh, anything from like napkins to silverware, cutlery, dishes, uh, cups and drink and whatever it may be, making sure that you've got enough utensils, uh, bags or even, uh, plates for your food, whatever containers you're putting it in. Be sure to basically keep in stock as much as you physically can on your, on your truck to make sure.
Now, the reason why I say that is sometimes you may have a customer that ends up getting several napkins or a few forks or maybe more forks and knives and they need, uh, maybe more containers or an additional container for their kids. Now it may sound kind of silly and trivial, but it's not because at the end of the day, if you were set out to do 500 plates and you went through 500 plates of materials and utensils and you're already out, then the future customers that you're going to have for the next couple of hours aren't going to have plates to eat on. So you want to be kind of very, not restrictive, but don't ha you don't want to be handing out more utensils and you brought, and I guess this is what I want to say, be sure to have enough materials.
Now number four, this is something you definitely want to have a my opinion. You want to have an extra safe or some type of safe place. Make sure you have enough change to transact your customers who are paying in cash. Now, nowadays there is quite a few transactions. If not, I would say anywhere from 70 or 80% of the transactions are with cards. So you're not going to need to have a lot of cash on hand, but you need to make sure that you do have enough, uh, smaller bills because a lot of people will come in with tens and twenties making sure you have enough change and such to transact those people who do have cash. Um, that is a big, big, uh, uh, business hinder if you do
not have enough. And that could basically hinder your business from making additional transactions just because you don't have enough cash. And that's kind of,
and lack of a better word, that's silly for you to not have enough money on hand. You need to kind of gauge that and make sure you've got enough for people with cash. Number three, the biggest problem with having a food truck, um, is that it obviously runs off of a, of an engine of course. Um, or having a generator there that is operating some of your, uh, equipment or some of the features on your truck and your generator's not working, functioning right. You want to make sure you put that on your list checklist before you go to an event. You make sure that it's properly working and that you shouldn't have any issues. So a lot of this, these 12 really quick side note of this, this, that I'm telling you about, things that you can basically check before you go to ensure that you're going to be successful at it.
It's not stuff that could be left alone and then just cross your fingers and hopefully it works. Check all of these things. Have yourself a checklist. The checklist are, are, uh, are fantastic to have. They're going to help you and your team, make sure that you're working, uh, at optimum level so you can make as much money as you can at each event. So number two, equipment breaking down. Now it could be anywhere from a fryer to a freezer. It could be anything from a steamer to a a blender. Even if you happen to have a cart that's doing smoothies or something of that sort, making sure the equipment is really working, functioning properly, and is ready to roll for the day. Again, put it on your checklist. Every single piece of equipment is functioning. You're going to have much more success, uh, at each event.
Now this is something you have to do every single time. You have to make sure every event that you go to these things are working properly. So number one, the biggest headache for food truck entrepreneurs is your truck engine. Now the functionality of your engine is the, the brain of your entire operation. Having a piece of equipment, getting to an event, maybe a certain piece of equipment, networking. And you can get by with that. That's one thing. Okay? The engine of your truck, you need to make sure that you're constantly on top of everything and the fluids are topped off. Your oil changes are fine, your engine itself has checks. I would definitely recommend because of the amount of stress put on it, because of how big it is that you do every three to four months, you've got to go into the shop just to make sure it's functioning properly.

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And the reason why I say this is number one because it's also something that's going to be costly if you're going to factor into your food truck, the cost to operate it. Keep in mind that that engine is paramount. Having an engine working properly every single time you go to an event is of the utmost importance. Okay? So having that factored into the cost of what you're doing on a, on a maybe quarterly basis, every three months or four months, making sure you have money set aside to have it checked and it's operating right is going to be really a great investment for you. And of course you can write that off as a business expense of course. So number one is the engine. So those are the 12 most important things you really need to be aware of that could potentially put your food truck out of business and you want to make sure that those things are followed through with and they're being checked on and you've got checklists and everything else that you would need to make sure it works right. So you have a successful food truck. So if that was helpful, as always, please do give me a big thumbs up. And if you have any questions about that, please let me know down below and I will see you guys on the next video. Disclaimer: Some of the links in this blog are affiliate links I may be paid if you purchase through them .