In recent years, food trucks have become a rapidly growing trend, as seen by several television series (The Great Food Truck Race, Food Truck Face Off, Food Truck Paradise) and many worldwide food truck events. Here in Plantation, FL., there is a local food truck event at Heritage Park every Tuesday night, in which several food trucks come from all over to serve to happy paying customers. Not only is it an interesting way to taste new, homemade, and often unique foods, but it is a simpler way that chefs and entrepreneurs are getting their businesses off the ground without the startup costs of a brick-and mortar-restaurant.
This is how our chef of the month, Yvonne Anderson-Thomas, got her start with Brown Shuga Soul Food. She started out selling baked goods at food festivals in Idaho and quickly moved on to operating a few food trucks selling her homemade Southern cuisine, complete with a flourishing catering business. This career move has proven to be a great decision on her part. Another great example of this success is Press Gourmet Sandwiches, which started out as a food truck, got featured on the Food Network, and now has a restaurant located in Fort Lauderdale, FL. This writer recommends “The Daily,” a sandwich featuring grilled chicken, brie, tomato, spinach, Applewood bacon, and apricot jam. Delicious!
If you are a chef or entrepreneur looking to break into this kind of business, Chef Uniforms is a great way to start browsing for professional chef coats and uniforms. Getting the right look, fit, and style is important. You can see for yourself what Yvonne Anderson-Thomas recommends to bring your chef attire to the next level.
Here are some tips and thoughts from Chef Yvonne herself if you are looking to start your own food truck:
- Everyone is not always happy with your success. Believe in Your dream.
- It’s hard to operate a truck year-round in a city that gets so cold during the winter that your water tank freezes up!
- Join a food truck association or start one. There is power in numbers.
- Make sure you buy a truck that fits your menu as far as the equipment you need.
- Give away free food in exchange for publicity every once in a while.
- It is more work than you can possibly imagine! This is not a job for lazy people, or people who want to retire or think it’s a get rich quick idea. It takes work and perseverance.
- Pay for quality equipment and marketing materials.