How To Start a Home-based Food Truck Business

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-07-03
  • Publisher: Globe Pequot
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Everything you need to know to run a profitable and satisfying food truck business from your home

Author Biography

Eric Thomas’s passion for cooking and Bar B Que started in Chicago at the young age of 10. While in the military he gained an appreciation for Korean food and learned how to prepare Korean style Bar B Que. While stationed at the U.S. Army post, Fort Hood in Killen, TX, he immersed himself in the way true Texas style Bar B Que is done and how to appreciate a good steak. After leaving the military, he worked in corporate America for 8 years during which time he continued to cook for friends, family and started working on his next big venture, The Rolling Grill that specialized in onsite mobile Bar B Que, catering and Al Fresco dining services. The Rolling Grill prides itself in being called the “Onsite Grilling Professional”. Eric’s success with The Rolling Grill has also allowed him to start an award winning BBQ competition team, which travels the southeast competing in Bar B Que competitions throughout the year and also a video interview with Daryl Mast from BBQSuperstars.com.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. xiii
So You Want to Start a Food Truck Businessp. 1
Why I Chose Barbecuep. 1
What Barbecue Means to Mep. 2
Why Should You Choose a Mobile Food Business?p. 2
Who Requests a Mobile Vendor's Services?p. 2
Where Can Mobile Food Businesses Work?p. 3
Five Biggest Consumer Marketsp. 4
Do You Have What It Takes?p. 8
Getting Startedp. 10
The Mobile Food Movementp. 10
Food Truck Historyp. 11
The Food Truck of the Futurep. 12
Hurdles Facing Mobile Food Vendorsp. 13
Commissary Spacep. 14
The Health Departmentp. 14
Mobile Food Trendsp. 19
Major Cities with a Food Truck Presencep. 24
Market Researchp. 26
Competition Researchp. 26
Who Is Your Market?p. 27
Product Researchp. 27
Location Researchp. 28
Creating a Preferred Vendor Listp. 30
So What Message Do You Want to Convey to Your Followers?p. 32
Setting Up Your Businessp. 33
Creating a Business Planp. 33
What Business Entity Is Right for You?p. 44
Are You the Owner and Operator?p. 44
Start-Up Costs Associated with Food Trucksp. 45
Setting Up Your Home-Based Officep. 48
Employer Identification Number (EIN)p. 49
Business Checking Accountp. 50
Merchant Account 5o
Bookkeeping and Managementp. 51
Time to Call the Accountantp. 55
So How Do You Manage a Food Truck?p. 56
Legal Aspects and Food Safetyp. 59
Licenses and Permitsp. 59
ServSafe Certifiedp. 60
Health Department Inspectionp. 61
Wash Your Handsp. 62
Cross-Contaminationp. 63
You Need Insurancep. 64
Legal Timelinep. 65
Outfitting Your Food Truckp. 67
Mobile Kitchens … Truck, Trailer, or Cart?p. 67
Food Truck Design and Layoutp. 69
What Does Your Commercial Mobile Kitchen Need?p. 72
Purchasing a Second-Hand Truck, Trailer, or Cartp. 73
Keeping an Inventoryp. 75
Menu Planning, Price Structures, and Cateringp. 77
Menu Planning (What Do You Want To Sell?)p. 77
Structuring a Menup. 79
Menu Flexibilityp. 84
Menu Pricingp. 86
Let's Not Forget About Cateringp. 87
Catering Menu Packages and Pricingp. 88
Understanding Marketing, Promo, and Advertisingp. 92
Free Marketing Firstp. 92
Creating a Logop. 94
Business Cardp. 98
Time to Build Your Websitep. 98
Search Engine Placementp. 102
Blogging Your Way to Customersp. 102
Pay-Per-Click Advertisingp. 103
Use Videos to Promote Your Businessp. 103
Mobile Food Groups and Organizationsp. 104
Don't Just Sell the Food, Sell Your Brandp. 104
Dealing with Customersp. 106
Satisfying Your Daily Customersp. 106
Attracting New Customersp. 107
So Your Customers Want You to Caterp. 108
Proposal and Contract Developmentp. 108
Operational Concernsp. 116
The Planning Stagesp. 116
Site Surveyp. 118
Operating Your Food Truckp. 119
Preparing Your Food Truck for Large Gatheringsp. 123
Are You Ready?p. 128
Open for Businessp. 130
Ready, Set… Let's Prepp. 131
Setting Up Your Food Truck, Trailer, or Cart for Businessp. 131
How Catering Is Differentp. 133
Ready, Set… Let's Cookp. 133
Feeding and Serving Your Customersp. 135
Collecting Your Paymentp. 136
End-of-Day Cleanupp. 136
Evaluate Your First Day on the Jobp. 136
So What Does Tomorrow Bring?p. 137
Growing Your Businessp. 138
Let the Selling Beginp. 139
Teaming Up with Other Trucksp. 142
The Investors Are Callingp. 143
Does It Make Sense to Expand to Two Trucks?p. 143
Participating in Competitionsp. 143
Concluding Thoughtsp. 144
Mobile Food Operator Resourcesp. 146
Associationsp. 146
Food Truck and Trailer Builders and Equipment Suppliersp. 149
Food Truck Support Sitesp. 152
Magazines and Online Publicationsp. 153
Domain and Website Servicesp. 154
City Health Departments and Mobile Food Vendor Government and City Resourcesp. 154
Mobile Food Truck Cooking Resourcesp. 169
Cooking Class Is in Sessionp. 169
Food Truck Barbecue 101 (Methods, Woods, and Cooking Equipment)p. 176
Sellable Recipes to Get You Startedp. 179
Metric Conversion Tablesp. 191
Food and Farmers' Markets Across the Countryp. 192
Special Event Planning Guidep. 200
Glossaryp. 209
Indexp. 213
About the Authorp. 218
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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