food truck

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food truck

Postby granit » Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:04 pm

anyone have any experience? I live in charleston SC and was considering trying to go in on some late night food truckery downtown off of king street (the main drag, similiar to bourbon street etc elsewhere in the country) and try and sell tacos or grilled cheese.. maybe get wierd and sell both, with an abundance of college bros seeking munchable items when the other traditional spots start to close down.

Thoughts, pitfalls, etc? My goal would be to make about $200-300 a night and get there at 11:00pm-2:30 am thursday-friday-saturday

biggest black hole for me is I don't know where to start legally other than I need a business permit and then the health codes associated with a cart or how permits work are beyond me at the moment. any advice is great, always love to learn new things and explore the opportunity further. :D

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Re: food truck

Postby Maghus » Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:56 am

Last edited by Maghus on Wed May 01, 2019 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: food truck

Postby hasp » Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:18 am

Hit up hospitals and places that have no late night food crap in their place. Will make a killing if you advertise before you do it.

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Re: food truck

Postby ecthus » Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:53 pm

I don’t have any legal knowledge, but regulations on food carts vary from city to city. I’d just find a number at the city to call and start there. I think you’ll need a food handlers permit.

My area in Seattle has a ton of carts that do hot dogs—dog, cream cheese, grilled onions. Something simple fast and forgiving seems like a good way to start. The other benefit of this system is you just pull a grill out of the truck rather than having the whole van/truck as your restaurant space. The ones that set up regularly through the week are outside of music venues. They can give consistent numbers outside of weekends and provide crowds that aren’t old enough to get bar food.

Good luck!

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Re: food truck

Postby Reyne » Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:00 pm

Not with a truck but I've worked in professional kitchens. You'll need a food handler's permit yeah, but they aren't that hard to get. Just need to know some basic food safety. Shouldn't be prohibitively expensive, at least they aren't in California. I think I paid like, $10? I'd expect to spend $50k-$70k on a proper "food truck." A cart would be way cheaper obviously. Whatever you use will have to be compliant with city health codes and whatnot.

It's good to have a profit goal but I'd also work out a rudimentary business plan first. You'll need to decide on a menu, figure out what you need to make it and what you have to work with (cart/truck/etc), how much that will cost you, how long the stuff will keep (taco shells will be fine longer than say fresh meat), figure out cost of insurance/permits, and then work out how much you need to sell every day just to break even on the costs and then work out what is feasible to do - obviously you can't sell 100 tacos a minute so there is some upper bound. It also doesn't make sense to buy 100 lbs of meat that will spoil in 2 days if your projected sales won't actually go through that much meat in 2 days. Stuff like that is good to work out beforehand but wowo do people just not do that and then end up with tons of spoiled food in their fridge that never even had a chance of getting sold in time.

For example; say you charge $10/plate for X which costs you $5/plate (let's just lump in the daily costs of insurance/permits/equipment/etc. in with the cost of ingredients), $5 profit per plate. To reach your goal of $300 you'd have to sell 60 plates, over 3.5 hours it's about 17 plates an hour. Then see if that makes sense - with those numbers it makes sense to me (but obviously I pulled those numbers out of a hat). If you have to sell 1000 tacos in 3 hours to break even because you're not charging enough then not so much!

I think a late night food truck or cart with munchies for college kids is a great idea.

granit wrote:biggest black hole for me is I don't know where to start legally other than I need a business permit and then the health codes associated with a cart or how permits work are beyond me at the moment.

Just going to have to bite the bullet and consult with an attorney specializing in that in your area, I think.

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Re: food truck

Postby hyzael » Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:03 pm

yes, I'm considering using a food cart outside a few local bars we're known to haunt thursday-saturday until about 2:30am, bars let out early at 2 so, should be enough time. Break down should be easy, in bed by 3:30am hopefully. It's not so bad. Just hard work involved.

Build your own grilled cheese with bacon, avocado, peppers/onions, etc.

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Re: food truck

Postby edard » Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:54 pm

have worked in catering and hospitality for years including food trucks you can make some really good money if its done right the key is to give ppl good quallity food it will be a bit slow at first but once you get in to the swing of it you can rake it in

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